According to Matt Cutts (former head of the web spam team at Google), good content is a key to high rankings in Google. At first, it was hard to believe him, but the more pages were falling down from their rankings, the more people took Cutts’ words seriously.
All due to Google’s decision about penalizing websites which do not follow its (content) guidelines.
Panda and Penguin’s sweet revenge
The Panda update presented in 2011 put down all the pages, which were flooding the net with too many ads and irritating spam. Penguin on the other hand, born one year after Panda, penalized the websites with unnatural and low-quality link profile.
This whole chaos made SEO Specialists think. A lot. What can we do so that Google wouldn’t punish us never again? How can we engage loyally and committed users and clients? The answer is: content marketing.
A high quality of published web content (meaning: articles, videos, images and photos, webinars, podcasts etc.) will pull internet users, and convince them to get more engaged with the brand and perhaps products, too. As we all know, happy user = growing traffic = high page rankings.
If you provide your viewers with a high-quality content, you can count on several impactful profits, such as:
• Long-lasting relations. You could put billions of crappy links online and that will bring you immediate results. However, what you really need is truly engaged and happy customers with whom you’d build a life-long connection.
• Presence that lasts. Internet does not forget. High-quality content will last forever and will engage users to your website even if your e-marketing campaign finished a long time ago.
• Positive image. When you deliver good content, you show yourself as an expert in the field. You are proving that your website is not just a trade fair which advertises its products. Instead, you are creating a dialogue platform; a space to ask questions and receive answers.
• SEO Infotainment. Infotainment is a journalism genre which joins information and entertainment. Try to deliver pieces of digestible, attractive and nicely-packaged content such as infographics, videos, viral photos etc.
• A dialogue, not a monolog. Despite traditional marketing method, content marketing strives to create a valuable relationship with the clients. This is not a one-way message, but a conversation which is moderated mainly by the users themselves. Take advantage of the content marketing benefits and engage your viewers (hint: social media is a perfect help to do so).
Build a good 'content marketing – SEO' relationship
The effect of joined forces is not all the work. Now what you need to do is to keep strong positions in the search engine and make the users stay on the website. Just the fact that you’re succeeding in content marketing strategies does not give you permission to stop increasing the results. That is why it’s good to know a few tricks which help to build strong, long-lasting and engaging content.
Usability first. The internet users are above all pragmatic. They won’t click on anything which wouldn’t bring an added value. Thus, put a good care of the user experience on top of your priority list. Make the content answer to their needs and questions (no wonder lots of popular articles start with ‘how to…’; it just implies knowing the answer to a concrete problem).
Meet your viewer. Before opening any PowerPoint, Illustrator, or Word document, think deeply, to whom exactly you’re creating your materials. Once you get to know your target audience, it’ll get easier to communicate in the language which will be perfectly adjusted to them.
How long should you go? It’s a purely technical aspect, but worth to know about. The best length is the one which would bring you the biggest conversion. According to statistics from quicksprout.com, the most popular texts are between 1500 words. The longer the text is the better… but surely it doesn’t allow you to write as much as you want, with no point or structure. The content should be long but pithy. If you’re able to present all you need in just 1000 words – better stay with this length.
The original article was published in Polish on interaktywnie.com in 2015.