Content Strategy

What’s Going On With Google?

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Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving but a closer look today reveals they are now focusing on the meaning behind the terms under which users are searching. To achieve this they utilise their unique size and scope to trawl millions of websites to look for the answer to each and every query before returning with thousands of answers that need to be ranked against one another.

In providing this shortlist of answers to users, Google strives to give users the most well written and intriguing content, and rightly so. Search engine algorithms look for a variety of criteria when ranking, most importantly is the freshness of your content, so updating it regularly is imperative.

The phrases used on your website are also monitored in relation to the searched topic, which means getting highly comparative words and terms included is a must. You can see how else you can benefit from brilliant content here.

The release of Google’s Panda algorithm in 2011 made it harder for websites and business trying to survive in the search engine game. 2012’s Penguin update made excellent content its focus, and the 2013 release of Hummingbird proved you couldn’t just cheat with basic keywords anymore and Google was adapting to the trending behaviour of users simply keying in questions instead of search terms.

Keyword stuffing is a common term in the SEO industry, and should be avoided at all costs. Naturally flowing, unique content wins hands down on webpage rankings over multiple word mentions. If Google detects an unusually high amount of keywords on a page, it will be flagged as badly written content and over-optimisation.

Google uses the bounce rate of your website to monitor the effectiveness of it, so engaging content is a must. If visitors only view one landing page, it could be an indication that your content is failing. Including links to other pages on your site and having likeable, appealing updates is a sure-fire way to combat a high bounce rate.

Are you on Google+? You should be. Google takes any content you post there and indexes it immediately, thus giving you a better standing in the search engine rankings.

The majority of SEO experts are continuing to navigate through the newest algorithm update, Pigeon, but have so far found it has a stronger focus on contextual intelligence for searches. With this, trendy technological eyewear Google Glass breaking the market and 2015 bringing more editions of Google’s popular Nexus phone, we can be sure that next year’s update will tie in and be pretty spectacular.

Content more effective than keywords!

Before we start, apologies if this is old news but it really is surprising just how many people we speak to who don’t realise the pivotal role content plays today when it comes to ANY form of online marketing.

It goes without saying that audiences will naturally gravitate towards sites that offer the most relevant and up to date content on topics that interest them. This said, in the past websites, who’s business relied heavily on digital foot-fall, side-stepped the need to employ qualitative content by throwing money at SEO trickery or keywords in an attempt to “game” search engines into sending them traffic.

Although there will always be a need for SEO and a place for keywords, the new kid on the block is what it should always have been – what are people really reading / watching / sharing / commenting on – AKA quality content.

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In the last 2 years the search engine big boys Google, Yahoo and Bing have called time on such practices stating via a number of algorithm updates that they will now be rewarding quality content and penalising over-optimized (think keyword-heavy pages) in an effort to give people what they want/expect to find.

Why is it taking so long for businesses to realise? Well, it’s quite ironic when you think about it. The answer lies in two other questions.

Q: Who is the CEO going to ask about content vs SEO? His marketing or SEO guy?
A: probably not the marketing guy.

Q: Who is going to advise that Content Marketing is a better investment than SEO and keywords?
A: probably not the SEO guy.

Rather than bore you all by explaining exactly why this is both logical and better for everyone we found you some juicy visual content in the form of this useful info graphic from the guys at Brafton.com

Enjoy!

p.s. – and by all means share with anyone that you feel still hasn’t got the message!

Brafton's Infographic: Why Content for SEO?

By Charlie McGhee

In the news…

Being an agency focused on editorial strategy & content creation this article is simply too good for us not to share with you all!

After reading this we urge you to share it with anyone you think still needs convincing about the pivotal role content and social are going to play in any marketing strategy over the next few years. Comments are both welcome and encouraged!

Article courtesy of Andrew Roberts posting to TheWallBlog 10-02-2014 (Read the article in full)
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15 Content Marketing Questions

So your company has admitted you need less commercial marketing focusing on what makes your brand great and more content marketing relating to topics your audience actually cares about. So what happens next?

CN_ContentStrategyMany companies think the best thing to do is to simply start increasing their content output, typically taking the form of more blog articles and press releases or eBooks which they then share with their existing audience via email or social media.

Although this is exactly the type of content marketing you should be thinking about, publishing it without the right foundations in place can be a big waste of time and money for your business and in many cases do more harm than good.

Just because you need a strategy, doesn’t mean that it has to take you too long to come up with one that will work. All you need is a clear understanding of what your audience expects and a realistic approach to how such a strategy could be implemented.

Below is a list of 15 questions which it is essential you answer before embarking on any sort of content marketing activity;

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