Article

Chloe Basterfield
Chloe Basterfield 27 May 2015

SEO For Content Marketers: 3 Basics You Must Understand

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.

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:

  1. Key Terms

 

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:

a) 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.


 b) 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.

 

  1. Copy Length


If I told you a panda could be penalising your business, would you be shocked? You shouldn’t be. Whilst this panda isn’t black and white and cuddly, it is specifically going out of its way to penalise websites with poor quality content. The Google Panda update made huge waves when it was first released and continues to do so to this day. The key take away for content marketers when it comes to Panda is that it actively seeks out to penalise sites who have a low word count on their pages.

 

What do you need to do to make sure your content isn’t being penalised by Panda? Make sure your content is a minimum of 600 words. It really is as simple as that. If you have older pieces of content that are too short, look to combine them with other pieces on similar themes so you can create more in depth and engaging pieces which will also rank better.

 

Link Building

 

While not as important as they used to be, links still play an integral part in how search engines rank content. As a content marketer, your job may not be to build links, but there are things you can do to encourage people to link to your content. Techniques such as including “Tweet this quote” buttons in blogs allow you to encourage people to share your content and increase the likelihood that people will see it and link to it - simple to implement but with huge potential for making an impact.

Takeaways

  • SEO is changing all the time - but the basics have been much the same since the days of Ask Jeeves, Quake and AOL.
  • You don’t have to be a data genius to make simple SEO adjustments - just learn the rules.


Learn how to make your marketing messaging stand out with this  eGuide: Modern Marketing Essentials Guide: Content Marketing

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Instagram Contests – How to a run an excellent and legal contest

Instagram Contests – How to a run an excellent and legal contest

Running Instagram contests is a great idea! Instagram is a huge social media platform, with 700 million monthly active users. So just being active on it already significantly increases your reach and social media presence. But running contest can take it to the next level by increasing your engagement, generating leads, and making your audience happy.

Jan Zajac
Jan Zajac 15 August 2017
Read more
Twitter: The Complaint Box?

Twitter: The Complaint Box?

Twitter has proved to be a vastly versatile platform over the years – but has the facilitated interaction between brands and customers turned it into a complaint box?

Teodora Miscov
Teodora Miscov 18 August 2017
Read more
3 reasons why pdf files shouldn't drive your content strategy

3 reasons why pdf files shouldn't drive your content strategy

Technical communication is everything related to the creation and distribution of your company’s product support information. But while product documentation is created to help users - partners, suppliers, installers and customers - it’s not always user friendly! In fact, creating immersive and personalized experiences to all potential end users is one of today’s biggest challenges faced by marketers.

Inês Pimentel
Inês Pimentel 17 August 2017
Read more