Why SEO and Content Marketing Are Connected
Ever since content marketing emerged on the scene a few years ago, marketers have been predicting it would overtake search engine optimization. However, the most recent change to Google's algorithm, Hummingbird, has made content and search more intertwined than ever before.
Optimized landing pages are no longer dependent solely on the right keyword placement; high-quality writing makes a big difference.
How Has Hummingbird Directly Impacted Search?
SEO is a constantly evolving field, so it makes sense that rising tactics like mobile and content marketing have had a direct impact on how Google assigns its rankings. More people use their smartphones to conduct searches.
However, individuals interact with mobile search differently than they would from a desktop. For example, they may be looking for a local business. One of the major changes brought by Hummingbird is contextual search, according to Wordstream's Internet Marketing Blog.
Because of the shift to contextual search, keywords have less bearing in determining page rank. In the past, keyword density and placement had a bigger impact on how easy it was for users to find a page - sometimes at the expense of the usefulness of the content.
However, Hummingbird has shifted the emphasis to content quality. If users visit your website and find value in the information, you will most likely gain higher page rankings than if your website is stuffed with keywords.
Additionally, Hummingbird has changed the type of keywords that perform best. In the past, most keywords were a word or two, but longtail keywords - typically phrases rather than a single word - are becoming more relevant because of the way people tend to search, especially from mobile.
How Can You Get the Most From Your Content?
While it may seem like Hummingbird makes SEO substantially more complicated, this isn't the case. Companies that prioritize good content will similarly succeed at SEO. Econsultancy and Wordstream listed the following tips for content that will drive SEO results:
- Quality over quantity: There is a long-running debate among content marketers over whether quality or quantity matters more. In the past, frequently updated pages would show up higher in the results page, but with increased attention to quality, this isn't the case anymore. Updating your blog every day won't matter unless you're providing readers high-quality content. Your target audience won't want to return otherwise.
- Incorporate more metrics: Traffic, landing page conversions and keyword performance are all still important, but engagement is a telling indicator of how your content is working. This can be determined through bounce rates and time on a particular page.
- Focus on original content: Providing unique blog posts encourages readers to share. While curated content was popular in the past, Google is placing more focus on original content.
- Keyword research: As previously mentioned, keyword usage has changed. Before creating new content, you need to determine what the goal of each piece is. Is it brand awareness or lead generation?
- Create more visual content: Content diversity is becoming more important for a well-rounded approach. While textual information certainly has a time and a place, infographics, landing page videos and other visual types of content can be more engaging, which can improve search engine rankings over time. Visual content can often convey more information in a shorter amount of time.
- Don't use too much industry jargon: This has been a content marketing best practice for a long time, but it will be more important to drive future SEO results. While it may be easy to fall into the trap of industry buzzwords, these terms may not resonate with your audience, which can hurt the effectiveness of your content.