It seems like we’re at the peak of the digital era. Recently, digital business and marketing trends have swiftly evolved. 15 years ago, you could build a website in a week, stuff it with simple keywords like “sneakers,” throw some ads up pointing to existing websites, and create an instantaneous residual salary; this isn’t exactly the case anymore where SEO, content marketing, and advertising are concerned.
Today, you can build a website in a day (with some content management systems).
Today, you must focus on much more than keywords to make search engines notice you.
Today, consumers use Ad Blockers, so you need to be cautious with any online advertising.
In a Nutshell, What are the Trends in SEO and Content Marketing?
If you’re reading this, you probably already know a bit about search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. Yet, you may or may not know what’s happening in these worlds. If not, don’t be ashamed — these systems are still unfolding new subsystems while most people still consider them “emerging.” Here’s what’s going on.
Value and Relevance are More Influential to SEO than Keywords
Throughout my career, I’ve spent thousands on search engine education. I didn’t just stop after the first course, either. Why? Google and other search engines update their algorithms often, so, by the time you think you have SEO mastered, there is a new upgrade that is likely going to decrease traffic to your website. Unless, of course, you know the secret.
While making an effort to rank for specific search terms and keywords isn’t a completely dead practice, there is one way to ensure that your content is excellent: provide value to your audience and be relevant and timely. If you do this, you can’t go wrong.
More shares lead to more traffic and organic backlink building. A high number of top-quality backlinks signal to search engines that your page is worth ranking. So, keywords aren’t as critical as they used to be.
There’s Much More to Content Marketing Than Writing Articles
When people think of content, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a blogger sitting around writing articles all day. In an article I wrote for Visual Contenting, I laid out the content marketing myths that I most often hear. Here’s a summary:
- Search engine strategy should line up with product/ service offering.
- Content marketing is cheap.
- Companies should outsource content creation to save money.
- Web design isn’t as important as content quality.
The truth is that your SEO efforts should line up with your customers’ pain points, NOT your products and services. Content marketing, though it has a higher ROI than traditional marketing, costs money. When you outsource this type of work, you should find an expert in the niche you’re writing about rather than go with the cheapest bid. Your web design plays a deciding role in the success of your campaigns. This is a complex industry.
So, How do SEO and Content Marketing Relate to Each other Today?
You publish content and search engines read it, right? Well, yes and no. It’s not exactly that easy anymore. There are so many factors at play today – they seem to complicate the issue. Yet, it may be much simpler than you think.
Imagine that you’re making a pie. You remember most of your grandmother’s recipe. But what was her secret ingredient? Of course, in the past, you would have called your mother or grandmother, and you still might, but if she doesn’t answer, what do you do? You turn to Google, and you can’t just search for “apple pie.” You know that you have to be more specific if you’re ever going to find what you’re looking for.
You might look up “What are some rare ingredients you might add to apple pie?” That’s how most people look for everything. Google is almost like a friend that we go to with our most pressing questions. The most common question people in Idaho asked Google last year was, “Is Ted Cruz the Zodiac Killer?” This isn’t a joke.
What Does This Mean for Your Content Marketing Strategy?
So, when creating your content, you need to realize that search engines are only going to become more intelligent, so you need to use human language when writing online. Unless you’re BuzzFeed, don’t worry about ranking for trending search terms.
Yes, it’s great to know what’s trending, and you should seek strategic ways to meet your readers where they are today. But, the chances of ranking for the most searched term shrink more and more all the time.
This is How to Use Trends to Your Advantage
Today, search terms related to the Home Run Derby are trending. So, you know what’s hot. You can get creative with this. Offer your readers something they’ve never read before. Giancarlo Stanton is breaking records at the competition, and his fans might want to know, for example, how old he was when he started playing baseball or if he has any children.
If it’s somehow related to your brand, on a day like today, you might want to publish an article titled, “You’ll never believe how old Giancarlo Stanton was when he started playing baseball!” This could definitely get people’s attention.
Piggyback on trends rather than trying to write the same thing all the journalists are already covering. When you can wow people with something original, you’re more likely to stand out from the crowd and attract high-volume traffic to your site.
When it comes to search engines, there are so many factors to your ranking success that keywords are moving to the wayside. As consumer paradigms shift, your content marketing must evolve. Now, more than ever, you need to focus on providing meaning and purpose with all your promotional efforts.
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