The world of online content is anything but static. Everything is constantly changing and developing, and if you don’t take note—your content and rankings will suffer. In the past, content marketers were hell-bent on developing heavy, keyword-driven SEO for their sites and blogs (some still are). But since Google and other search engines are now performing more like real people rather than robots, web publishers need to make their content more appealing to both parties.
The old ways of putting out content that was 70% SEO and 30% reader-based text is out the window. Content marketers will gain more popularity with average readers, industry specialists and search engines if they alter their content on blogs, guest posts and sites to fit a more modern, text and data-driven recipe.
Consider trying to produce content that follows the percentages below for great ranking results as well as reader and industry respect.
40% Talent for Writing and Communicating
Cleanly written, error free, compelling content is so paramount to a productive blog or site that it just can’t be ignored. Search engines will penalize poorly written content and drop your rankings.
In addition to being practically free of spelling mistakes, bad grammar and confusing sentences, web content needs to say something! It shouldn't just have a basic SEO purpose. Real people should want to read what your site or blog has to say. Here are some tips that will get you far:
• Obviously, use short, gripping paragraphs that make readers want to keep going.
• Do some market research by testing your posts on a qualified person that can give you feedback about your writing—and their level of interest while reading.
• HIRE A PRO! If your writing isn’t that great, hire a professional writer or copywriter that can develop edited, well-written content for you. Find someone you like, and stick with them so that your content maintains a certain voice.
30% Quality Images, Stats and Infographics
As it turns out, both people and search engines appreciate a breather from text. In fact, they prefer for text to be riddled with supplemental content that is driven by facts, data, stats, or real world images. Readers want proof. Search engines want to provide solid sources resulting from the public’s search queries. Inputting photos, illustrative statistics, graphs, and original infographics throughout content satisfies both parties.
Some of the most successful bloggers and content marketers around use strictly data driven content, so what can we learn from them?
• Facts and stats: content publishers should backup factual information with a source to be more credible. Often this involves stating some numbers and statistics when referring to information through text. Instead of saying “fundraising efforts more than doubled compared to last year,” try something like, “fundraising is up $6,320 from a previous $6,028, making the grand total of $12,348–more than double the efforts of last year!”
• Get visual with images, graphs and inforgraphics: numbers just don’t break through the stretches of text like visuals, so you have to include some illustrative images to give readers a break. Search engines also appreciate solid data and explanatory, real world images. Get creative and don’t use carbon copies of something you see on another site. Take your own photos, do your own research and build your own graphs and visuals.
30% SEO and Content Marketing
Although they shouldn't receive quite 70% of your blogging and posting efforts, SEO and traditional link building content marketing is still a part of a good publishing strategy. Don’t ignore keywords, just make their placement secondary to well done content. Still do some guest posting and some link building, but make it natural to the purpose of your site or blog.
Bottom line: Don’t result to keyword stuffing, junky links and spammy tags that will make you seem desperate to readers and search engines. You’ll only be hurting yourself.
Try a more understated but relevant approach to the new phases of SEO and link-driven content marketing Here’s what smart bloggers and marketers will be considering this year:
• Mobile and tablet friendly content (most are now viewing content this way, so it makes for better social shares)
• Organically written, engaging posts with SEO as a backdrop
• Industry-specific guest posting and collaboration for link building
A final thought: All sites and blogs are different. The purpose of each content creator’s online presence is going to be unique to their mission and vision.
Content marketers will all have their own distinctive recipes for strong, productive content. However, this post should help those stuck in the old ways develop new and more effective methods of getting content seen and appreciated out on the web.
Do you have any other suggestions? Share them via comments below!