Because of relatively recent changes to Google's algorithm, there is a stronger connection between quality content and search engine page rank (1). In the past, backlinks were seen as one of the most important ways to increase page rank. While they still have an influence, quality may have a greater effect than quantity, especially if spammy websites are directing traffic back to a website. Blogs are one of the best ways to gain more inbound links.
Why is it so important to maximize the effectiveness of SEO campaigns? Seventy percent of clicks come from organic searches rather than paid (2). In addition, 75 percent of Internet users never get past the first page of results, which is why brands need to stand out. Marketers need to keep up with changes in ranking signals. For example, site speed is now one of the most important indicators to search engines, and relevant terms are one of the key on-page factors (1).
Mistakes to avoid with SEO and a content marketing strategy
While B2B content is a highly effective lead generation tool, it can sometimes be at odds with strong SEO results. Because marketers are so focused on attracting qualified leads, some B2B firms have a tendency to gate all content, but this does not make a positive contribution to SEO (3). Closing content off behind a form prevents search engine bots from crawling and indexing the pages, which means that even if it is well-researched and delivers value, potential readers won't be able to find it. Content marketers need to know which content should be gated and which pieces should be readily available. In-depth marketing efforts such as white papers and e-books can be gated because they are valuable sources of qualified leads. However, blogs should not be gated. This is a chance to provide a valuable resource for leads.
Another common mistake is putting too much focus on keywords. While these terms help relevant prospects find your website, marketers need to focus on the value of the content more than the searchability. If visitors are staying on the page and engaging with the content, this can send a stronger signal to search engines than loading a post with keywords.
Marketers need to utilize multiple forms of content marketing to maximize their SEO results. In fact, longform content can be a jumping-off point for other materials. One way to highlight the best industry data your company has is with infographics. This form of content is easy to share on social media profiles, and your blog and can help you garner more attention for a gated e-book. Releasing an in-depth form of content such as a white paper is a great opportunity to create a short blog series to spark engagement and interest leading up to the release (3). You can even create a webinar to go along with a white paper or e-book.
While content marketing has a strong influence on SEO, it's still important to not neglect best practices to improve your page rank. High-quality content can improve your brand's online visibility. The buyer's journey has changed a great deal in a short amount of time, so it's no longer enough to target prospects with specific keywords. Content can serve as a lead nurturing tool. SEO and content marketing will likely become more intertwined in the future.
1. "SearchMetrics Released SEO Ranking Factors For 2014: Content Now Really King?"
2. "7 SEO Stats That Will Have You Crawling With Excitement (Infographic)"
3. "B2B Content Marketers: Are You Making These 5 Common SEO Mistakes?"