SEO is always changing – find out what you need to know as a content marketer.
Back in 1996, Bill Gates declared that “Content is King” when it comes to making money from the internet. He was right then and he’s still right now. Over the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion of content on the web – from individual bloggers discussing niche areas, to businesses muscling in on the act and trying to grab their customers’ attention. In 2014, over 70% of marketers have someone who is overseeing a content marketing strategy in their business. That’s a lot of content being produced, which means your content can easily get lost and not be seen by your target audience.
How do you ensure that your content gets seen? The easiest thing is to just ensure that your content is ranking for key terms in Google. But the skills for Search Engine Optimisation and content marketing aren’t the same. So what can content marketers do to ensure that their content is being found?
Here are the three SEO basics all content marketers must get their heads around:
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Anyone who has a vague idea about SEO knows that, on some level, it’s all about key terms. In the past you used to choose the term you wanted to rank for, use it a number of times in your content and – hey presto! – you’ll be ranking and attracting traffic. Things have got a little more complex since then, but there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to key terms:
Using the key term in the title
The title of your piece will often get used as the title tag for the page your website is hosted on. The title tag has an awful lot of influence on the ranking potential for a web page and, as such, it needs to contain the key term you’re targeting. To make it easier, when you’re devising the titles of your blog pieces or content, you should try and put the key term in the title. This will ensure that, regardless of what content management system you’re using, the key term will appear in the title tag of the page and give you a ranking boost.
Using key terms in the copy
For modern SEO, it’s still very important to ensure that you’re using the key terms you want to target in the copy of your content, but it’s not as complicated as it used to be. In the past, you’d have to identify all of the different key terms that people could use and try to create individual pages for each of them. This means that even if people who searched for the term “marketing software” and “marketing system” were looking for the same thing, they’d get very different results. Content marketers needed to create a piece of content for both terms.
Things are slightly different now though. In 2014, Google introduced the “Hummingbird” update to its search algorithm. What Hummingbird did was lead to Google having a better understanding of language. By analysing data and the way people use Google, it could learn that “ marketing software” and “marketing system” were the same thing. They could display results for both of the key terms and produce a better results page for the user.
What does this mean for content marketers? It means that you should focus on creating bigger and better content rather than producing more, but of slightly lower quality. You don’t need to target every key term variant, so put some time and effort into producing higher quality content which will resonate with your audience.