STRATEGIC CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing has been around for some time but has just recently been gaining attention within main stream marketing circles in reference to search engine optimization (SEO). It is often underestimated by even long time professionals in SEO but is a very powerful means of building both inbound links and traffic to your site. The key is creating content based on true value and user interest so that it spreads virally like wild fire through sharing in powerful social media circles.
What It Used To Be
Several years ago many marketers, specifically search engine optimizers, would generate loads of keyword stuffed content about various topics related to whatever products or services they were offering knowing that search engines would index this content, and based on more primitive search engine algorithms, would display these content pages high within search results provided that key terms were found within the page and basic on-page elements were present. This would generate lots of traffic to optimizers web sites based on the amount of content they were publishing and hosting on their sites. The algorithms targeting poor quality content have changed greatly which has caused these processes to be much less effective and has effectively cleaned up internet search engines considerably.
What It Is Today
Today, you see a much more sophisticated approach to content marketing which is more genuine and much more effective for marketers when done successfully. True content marketing involves generating high quality content which peeks the interest of readers so that when they finish reading it, their so moved by it's creatively and authorship, that they share it with friends, others, link to it from blog's or sites and cause it to out-perform other pages in search engines which may be similar in focus. This process builds not only back links, but true targeted traffic, one of the most valuable commodities the web can provide marketers.
One of the best ways to build links for SEO purposes is to obtain contextual links that are editorial in nature. Contextual links refer to links within the content of the page. These kinds of links are the most effective for SEO because they're natural to search engines. By getting a contextual link within a body of content in relation to its target web site reaps significant rewards when done commonly and in high quantity. Targets sites can rank for contextual linked anchor text quickly and consistently because search engines trust it more and this makes a huge difference in changes applied to the score of web pages. Merit based links within content related to the link works much better than most other types of links a site can produce through advertising or marketing techniques.
The Social Element
There is also a significant value associated with being linked to from social circles. Search engines like Google and Microsoft, which now automatically includes Yahoo, have openly admitted that they do use social signals in the algorithms which make up the ranking determinations of search engines. Having links to your site on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ as well as other popular social sites is significant as it signals there is buzz and discussion related to a particular site. Web sites which generate no social activity at all will not see a value of 'social circle actively' because they are not found within social circles and aren't being mentioned. Have a site referenced in social circles can be compared to having a web site or not having a web site, it's clearly better having one than not having one. For search engine optimization, it's better to be mentioned within social circles, than it is to not be mentioned at all.
The Freshness Value
Google specifically has admitted several times over the last year that they are adding a value associated with the freshness of content produced as well as more scrutiny on those who are producing it. Newer content is considered, in some or most cases, as more valuable than older content and is moving into search engines faster, even by the minuet. Fresh content often out-ranks and out-performs older content as blog's, news, and the freshness of information is pushed to the forefront of what is found within search. There is a tremendous value put on new information in an effort to make new content easy to find. Those producing fresh quality content will receive a great deal of the traffic available from the first pages of search engines, specifically Google. Savvy marketing professionals know not to underestimate content marketing in any online advertising strategy.
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