Lessons From SES: Content Marketing And Search
Speaking at the Search Engine Strategies Conference
We presented at Toronto’s Search Engine Strategies Conference. We had a lot of fun and a great experience. Aaron Levenstadt, our DSM’s Chief Digital Advisor spoke at the event. He discussed Analytics, SEO, conversion optimization, alignment and strategy, process and organization. A variety of ways to use analytics to improve performance and to improve your online experience were also discussed. As well, we learned a lot and we want to share those highlights with you here:
Penguin 2.0 update creates sweeping changes and makes content marketing is more important than ever. Now we must renew focus on user experience and engagement. SEO 1.0 is still relevant but the new world of SEO ranking means building credibility and authority. We achieve this with high quality, engaging content. Optimization is necessary but not enough.
Content creation is a resource intensive activity; most marketers wish they could devote more to it. The time and resources we give to creating content is best used to produce quality content. Content that is dynamic, useful, and engaging. What is quality content for your site? It depends on your audience needs and your expertise.
Conducting keyword research tailors your site’s content and search marketing efforts to reflect what people are looking for and takes advantage of current trends. Keyword driven content creation strategies are crucial to ensuring you not only meet your users needs, but also that you do so in a competitive manner that gives your site higher ranking on SERPs. Effective markup of this content that provides rich snippets in the SERPs will not only make your site standout, but also gives the added value of providing users with targeted, succinct, and relevant information; resulting in a higher click-through-rate (CTR) and, in turn, a higher search rank.
How authorship affects rank
Authorship is the other side of the content marketing coin. Google states that information tied to verified online profiles ranks higher than information that is not. “The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be, irrelevance.” – Eric Schmidt.
This means that branding and establishing a visible online profile should be a key part of your company’s online marketing efforts. Foregoing anonymity allows trust, authority, and credibility of a person or company in a given subject area to be cultivated and traced. Attaching an identity to a quality piece of content compounds credibility and builds brand loyalty and trust. This, in turn, ensures higher ranking in SERPs.
Quality, engaging content produced and supported by a credible author can only be leveraged if it reaches the right people. Distribution through multiple channels is becoming the norm. Social media is an especially useful space to extend reach and engage with your users. It is a powerful platform to share your quality content, allowing you to identify and leverage trends.
Social media fosters engagement with your audience, which further builds brand loyalty and your online reputation. In short, use social media to foster credibility by connecting and interacting with other authoritative brands and companies.
Since Google’s beginnings, Search theory has pivoted around individuals. Initially, highly ranked were sites that got more people to link to it. Today, a content-centric approach to marketing focuses on people. It values users, who are producing the best and most engaging content possible. It rewards companies and individuals that forego anonymity in favour of building credibility and trust. It ensures that those who focus on quality and accountability will emerge from the fray, and punishes those who don’t.