How Does Content Marketing Help SEO?

Seth Godin once said that “Content marketing is the only marketing left!”

And in every sense that statement is absolutely true.

As any business that needs external consumers to buy its products and/or services…

Will need marketing those contents to be singularly the most important function of that business.

In a highly competitive world however, with millions of pieces of content being spewed out and consumed each day the question is:

How do you get the attention and interest of those that you seek to attract and retain?

For that, it is important to formulate a content strategy fully focused around satisfying the needs of the target consumer.

Essentially this can be broken down into 2 major components:

1. QUALITY –

Naturally, the higher the quality of the content, the higher the audience engagement value you can expect!

“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” – David Ogilvy

Any piece of marketing material that you create must reflect the needs of the consumer at its very core.

Incidentally by content we mean, web pages, blog posts, newsletters, PR articles, videos, Infographics, podcasts and images.

Latest figures show that a buyer‘s journey is often reflected by how satisfactorily the questions that he/she might have; have been clearly addressed and answered.

And oh btw, you can also save a lot of time and effort by re-purposing your existing content to extend both their reach and longevity.

content marketing matters

BONUS TIP: here are some free and paid tools to help you do just that: AudacityPiktochartAnimotoMeetEdgar

The next stage is to diligently identify the right social networking and/or news platforms.

2. DISTRIBUTION –

A crucial step in running successful content marketing campaigns is to identify correctly who the target consumers are and where they frequent most online.

content marketing distribution

Therefore knowing when and how often to promote your content for optimum effect will be pretty important.

Researching the latest audience demographics of each online platform for:

Age

Gender

Marital Status

Level of Income

Level of Education

Occupation

Location

Try digging a bit deeper to further understand how this target audience is likely to think or react by studying:

Personality traits

Attitudes

Values

Browsing

Interests/Hobbies

Buying habits

content marketing banner

CONTENT CREATION – Getting into the mindset of the consumer.

Answering key issues like needs, challenges and frustrations your audiences have is likely to resonate more at a deeper level.

It is very likely that, most consumers will buy from a physical or mental perspective and sometimes a mixture of two based upon:

Need > Desire > Aspiration > Impulse > Trend > Validation/Acknowledgement > Brand.

And therefore, understanding what your respective audience’s needs & likely frustrations are, will help to change your want-based narrative.

i.e. – How can they help you (“buy my product/sign up for my service” etc.)?

To one that is instead based more on understanding and adding value to them.

i.e. – How can your business product or service help them instead?

Take a look at this aspirational value proposition advertisement by Versace below.

Versace-content-advertising
HARLEY WEIR/COURTESY OF VERSACE

In this instance, Versace firmly places the suggestion in the prospective consumers’ mind that it believes this perfume is “key to looking beautiful on a beach”

And yet this is precisely where the perfume is least likely to be used!

HELPING YOUR TARGET CONSUMER – How will your business service or products help your target audience?

Your content marketing strategy can be further improved by highlighting what you have to offer against common criteria listed below:

What major consumer problem will you be helping to solve?

Is it likely to make their lives easier/better?

Will they want to pay money for it?

What drives them to making that final purchasing decision?

High cart abandonment rates are the bain of most online retailers.

And will therefore need to offset this by working out:

a). what persuasions your potential customers may require to induce that final step?

b). what hurdles might prevent or hinder them from going ahead?

Working this out, will prove to be extremely beneficial in getting your offer propositions spot on.

Before placing your products and offers before your consumers.

However it will not be enough to simply; a) write great copy or b) do an amazing job of marketing it convincingly to generate excitement and buzz.

Although, reaching the right decision maker is key to successful content distribution.

Otherwise you may find that your time and energy is wastefully spent with little or no reward.

This may be particularly true if you are promoting just a service led proposition.

Where you may need to spend a lot of time in demoing your service.

And then following up many times afterwards to close just one sale.

And substantially increasing the cost of new account acquisitions.

Purchasing Habits –

Research your consumer buying habits particularly if they’ve purchased from a competitor.

This will confirm that they have a positive potential interest in your service/products.

And may be open to buying from you or that they may be happy staying with the competitor.

What and how do they consume media?
Are they interested in reading magazines?

What movies and TV do they watch?

The websites and social media sites they often frequent?

On social media, closely monitor the times they are:

i) most active

ii) the content they most engage with in terms of clicks, comments, follows, likes and shares.

How can you adapt to reach your target audience and have you identified your target audience correctly?

By nailing down your consumer demographics, you save a lot of the guesswork involved in creating the right persuasive tone and frequency of your advertising messages to them.

Both Google Adwords & Facebook Ads are excellent sources for pinpointing audiences that your products will best serve.

Researching blog posts, news articles and online surveys is another way also, of getting a better understanding of consumer behaviour within your market sector.

Defining your ideal market audiences can be tough however.

Narrowing down who to target however, does make it easier to adapt the type of marketing messages that will best resonate with your audiences.

And which are the most effective social media channels at reaching them.

CONTENT MARKETING & SEO –

The synergy between SEO and content marketing cannot be exaggerated enough!

There are many experts who disagree however, that the 2 are linked at all and happily cite instances where one works completely independent of the other.

We, on the other hand believe that in the online domain neither discipline can function effectively without the other.

Particularly if the need to sell online is paramount to the business.

As SEO sets the parameters on how content should be formulated in order to become searchable online.

Content thus created must then fulfill that requirement through being dispersed strategically across the world wide web.

SEO is primarily focused around getting your websites to rank for a specific set of keywords.

And therefore, a great link profile that points back to your domain is definitely one of the key factors to ranking in 2020 and beyond.

Link building can be pretty tough however…

Running successful SEO campaigns (in the majority of market sectors), the best approach is therefore going to be through content marketing to earn those links.

The synergy between SEO and content marketing is further highlighted in this excellent post by SEJ,

Wherein it states, “The perennial question of whether SEO and content marketing are at odds with each other seems to have an answer at last”.

Ultimately, both disciplines exist to service the needs of the site user and are intrinsically conjoined by this intent.

IN A NUTSHELL…

Content marketing is your outreach activity to attracting your perfect customer or client.

The quality of content and strategic distribution will be key factors in determining the success or failure of your content marketing strategy.

Make sure that SEO is employed at the very start of your content creation phase to maximise it’s impact.

And lastly…

Try not to work in silos as this can often breed hostility, entrenchment and lack of co-operation between teams.

Need help with your content creation and marketing? Reach out to our content marketing services team in London – we’re here to help…

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Darryl Antonio
Digitalhound are an award-winning London digital marketing agency with 20+ years of expertise in delivering high performance results for its' clients.

Darryl & his team are proven experts in growth-hacking digital campaigns, helping businesses grow to their fullest potential online while lowering their cost of acquisition.

A sought after speaker at high-end Digital Marketing conferences, Darryl is available for private business consultations, seminars and conferences.

Call the London team on 020 7873 2476 to arrange a FREE 'no obligation' chat about your business today...
link building services

Is link building still as important for search engine rankings in 2020?

Is link building still an important part of SEO and rankings in 2020?

This is the no. 1 question that we get asked most by new clients and in our website enquiry forms.

And YES, despite controversy, misinformation, hype & fear, this is still an essential part of SEO to rank for important keywords.

Over the last few years literally thousands of companies have sprung up almost overnight offering link building packages.

But are they really what they’re cracked up to be?

This post will help you to determine the quality of your service provider if using an external source.

And more importantly why it may be time to change, if not.

Let’s just take a look at some of the basics first…

1. What is link building?

link building explained

Link building is a process of getting other relevant websites to link back to your site. This gives the impression that they are endorsing your website.

Such endorsements, otherwise commonly known as ‘inbound links’ are considered to be an important ranking signal for search engines.

However, there are many ways of gaining inbound links.

1. Link Quality

Getting higher quality external resources linking back to your page, the more useful your page is perceived as being.

And will potentially merit a higher search position.

‘Bad’ links – i.e. links from ‘spammy sites’ or irrelevant sources are looked at as indications of poor quality.

Thereby diminishing the page’s value & authority in the eyes of the search engines’ and often resulting in ranking penalties.

This is why we strongly advocate that you thoroughly audit your site’s backlink profile as a primary step to take.

This is crucial and should be undertaken before you even consider employing any link building campaign.

By doing this, you’ll be able to eliminate any links that could potentially threaten your current search rankings.

And start with a clean slate to building fresh, high-quality links.

link building still relevant for 2020

2. UNNATURAL LINK CREATION

Creating links primarily for the purpose of manipulating search rankings, can be considered a violation of Google webmaster guidelines.

Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate the guidelines:

1. Text advertisements that pass Page Rank

2. Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank

3. Links with over-optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:

There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress

4. Low-quality directory or bookmark site links.

5. Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites.

(For a full explanation please go to Google help)

3. LINK ATTRACTION

Link building can be confusing, time intensive & frustrating.

However, improving links & social signals is vital for websites that want to be found in the organic search results.

The term ‘link building’ is pretty misleading though, as it’s more about giving your audiences compelling reasons to link back.

This is more accurately ‘link attraction’ rather than ‘link building’!

By understanding your target audience before developing your content marketing strategy, you offer valuable reasons to earn those links.

A good linking strategy will build relationships with your target audiences via the creation of high quality shareable content.

Content can be shared via guest posts, articles, blogs, online magazines, websites, video sharing platforms, podcasts, social media and forums.

Doing this will help to increase referral traffic and maximise the visibility of your brand.

link building services

4. DOMAIN AUTHORITY (DA) & PAGE AUTHORITY (PA)

Ensure that the links you attract are from quality resources by checking their domain authority and page authority.

Domain and page authority scores (1-100) were developed by Moz.com & is designed to predict how well a website will rank in the search results.

Simply visit their site and enter any domain to find the most relevant SEO metrics for that site.

5. Relevant & Fresh

Listed below are 7 quick tips to get you building links naturally, organically and successfully starting with:

7 link building tips

1. Analysis – Study the links of the top ranking sites in your niche and go after ones that are most relevant.

2. Content – Look for content articles that are trending in your industry and create a higher quality version.

3. Edu. – Check out the local schools, universities and charities for a resource section that you can add your websites to.

4. Link Roundups – Find blog link roundups in your market sector by doing a search i.e. “keyword” + “link roundup” and pitch them your best content.

5. Broken Links – The Google Chrome browser, has a free extension called ‘Check My Links’ to find sites with broken links.

6. Memes – Humorous memes are easy to produce via free online meme generators and can be an effective way attract links.

7. Slides & videos – Convert articles & posts into interactive content and distribute them out to the top video and slide sharing platforms.

IN CONCLUSION…

Link building is still an essential part of SEO in 2020 to ranking well for your desired keywords.

However, building or attracting the right type of links that will help with your search rankings is a time consuming and undoubtedly tedious task.

Building links has been likened to some sort of ‘dark art’ but, is still a key factor in determining rankings.

There are many ways to build links. Much of it has been written and talked about but the most effective way is when link building occurs naturally when people share your content.

Social media now plays an important role too.

As content can be easily shared on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms.

So, try thinking out of the box and be creative when going after those links.

And remember that consistency is the key to successfully attracting and retaining the quality of links that you require.

Therefore, you will need to keep at it and it will pay dividends in the long run.

If however, you do get stuck, lack the time or need some expert input, just contact our link building services team for help and advice.

And don’t forget, you can always ask us anything in the comments section below.

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Darryl Antonio
Digitalhound are an award-winning London digital marketing agency with 20+ years of expertise in delivering high performance results for its' clients.

Darryl & his team are proven experts in growth-hacking digital campaigns, helping businesses grow to their fullest potential online while lowering their cost of acquisition.

A sought after speaker at high-end Digital Marketing conferences, Darryl is available for private business consultations, seminars and conferences.

Call the London team on 020 7873 2476 to arrange a FREE 'no obligation' chat about your business today...

Image Search Rankings – How to rank images in Google…

Image Search Rankings or image SEO what is that all about and why on earth would I want to do that anyway?

Ever heard the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”?

Now, enter the commercial world…

Where the latest consumer research tells us that images are 1 of the Top 3 most engaging forms of content online!

Therefore, it does make sense to have those images on your website ranking well on Google – Agreed?

So, how to rank your images?

The image search rankings tips listed below should help you to significantly improve your image search rankings.

So, let’s get started with these 6 essential ingredients…

IMAGE SEARCH RANKINGS – HOW TO RANK IMAGES IN GOOGLE

Image search rankings - Google seo
This is the image description

Let’s breakdown each of these elements individually.

1. QUALITY

Using high quality images will naturally produce:

Higher engagement – The better the quality, users will be more likely to save, share with friends and family and return for more.

Better user experience – Research also shows that site visitors tend to stick around for longer.

Higher quality traffic – With site visitors less likely to bounce off your site, length of stay usually means better conversion ratios.

TIP: Make sure to optimise your images so that they load faster as ‘page speed’ is an important ranking factor.

Here are a couple of free tools that you can use to compress your images so that they load faster.

Compressjpg.com & Compressor.io

2. IMAGE PLACEMENT

Relevancy – Images should be relevant for the pages that they are placed on.

Above the fold – Placing your images where users can see them without scrolling does affect bounce rates and ultimately rankings.

Visibility – Images should be placed near relevant text to improve search indexation and visibility.

Image text – Although Google does have optical character recognition (OCR) from a crawl budget standpoint, it is advisable to avoid embedding text in images.

3. IMAGE DESCRIPTION

Titles – When adding images to your pages make sure that the page titles are relevant and include meta tags.

Image alt text – Include your primary keywords here but avoid repeating them over & over again. Instead use LSI driven or contextual keywords.

Context around images – Images should be placed where there is appropriate context surrounding them.

Add structured data – Adding image mark-up data is an important step that will help with better indexation and higher rankings.

4. CAPTIONS

Descriptive – Captions that are well described are better ranked while also being helpful to those that are visually impaired.

Around images – Place your captions above and/or directly below images for better search context.

Use semantic mark-up – Using the (<figcaption>) element to provide more information about the image.
Example =

lions Johannesburg safari
lions Johannesburg safari

5. IMAGE FILE NAMES

Relevancy – Change non-descriptive file names to more relevant descriptive names.

Keywords – Select and use your primary keyword as the file name.

Example = Instead of naming your image [001.jpg] – use something more accurate [NintendoWii.jpg]

Learn more about image search rankings from Google’s very own, John Mueller below:

6. SITEMAPS & HOSTING

Ranking Potency – Boost the ranking potency of your website images by including:

Image sitemap – higher crawlability, higher indexability & higher rankings.

Faster hosting – Install mod_page speed to perform many speed optimizations automatically.

Too many images – Split up large sitemaps with smaller more search engine friendly numbers.

IMAGE SEARCH RANKINGS – RECAP

To rank your images on Google image search follow these guidelines:

  • Use quality images
  • Place them on relevant pages
  • Use appropriate titles, meta tags & mark-up
  • Place descriptive captions around images
  • Select keyword rich file names
  • Create image sitemaps
  • Install Google’s mod_pagespeed

And there you have it…

image seo - how to rank  on image search

All the essential steps and best practices to get your images ranking well on Google, to enjoy higher engagement, better user experience & higher conversions.

Let us know how you get on in the comments below and don’t forget to like & share this post if you found it useful.

And if you get stuck or need any further help with your SEO, please contact our London SEO Agency for help and advice.

Darryl Antonio on FacebookDarryl Antonio on GoogleDarryl Antonio on LinkedinDarryl Antonio on Twitter
Darryl Antonio
Digitalhound are an award-winning London digital marketing agency with 20+ years of expertise in delivering high performance results for its' clients.

Darryl & his team are proven experts in growth-hacking digital campaigns, helping businesses grow to their fullest potential online while lowering their cost of acquisition.

A sought after speaker at high-end Digital Marketing conferences, Darryl is available for private business consultations, seminars and conferences.

Call the London team on 020 7873 2476 to arrange a FREE 'no obligation' chat about your business today...