In case you hadn't noticed, blogs have become a pretty big deal (see top 50 marketing blogs to watch in 2013). The latest research indicates that 86% of consumers consider user-generated content a reliable resource for health information. There's no reason you can't sway people with your brilliant words about your company's product or service - as long as you can draw readers to your page. In a world where traditional SEO is dead, how do you even get people to read and share? We'll examine some of the biggest lies about how you should approach content marketing SEO:
1. You Must Use a Keyword in Your Page Title
Depending on the blogging platform you're using, there's a good chance that your blog content title will also become a page title, which could boost your search ranking for that key phrase. Since social shares now matter to your overall ranking, it's just as important to write a killer blog title that's clickable and inspires social media shares than one that's based around your key phrase. Would you click a blog title that sounds awkward, boring and composed just for SEO? Unlikely.
If you're concerned that it's going to be hard to rank if you modify your keyword for a more clickable title, fear not. Google has gotten pretty good at context. Unless everyone starts using the exact phrase search operator, which means you're surrounding the phrase you're searching for with quotations marks, you're going to get relevant results. This means they'll be similar, but not an exact match. If you're trying to optimize the phrase "build digital influence" and ultimately draft a blog title of "10 Rock Star Tips for Building Digital Influence," Google will almost certainly forgive you.
2. Meta Keywords Make Up for Terrible Content
False. Back when it was much easier to game search ranking with a Content Marketing SEO strategy that was based on quantity, not quality, meta keywords mattered a great deal. Now, not so much. According to experienced Content Marketer Pauline Magnusson, abusing meta keywords can actually do more harm than good. If you're overloading your content with meta keywords that are irrelevant or just excessive, Google's probably going to think you're compensating for something, and you could get slammed with negative SEO.
3. Your Keyword Density Needs to Be 2-6%
Stop. Please go and try to find a recent interview with a recognized SEO expert who tells you an optimal keyword density for your content marketing. I'm confident you won't be able to. Keywords matter, but there's no magical number of times you should include them in your Content Marketing SEO to shoot to the first page of search results. Writing sentences packed with statistics and high-quality thought is a far more effective strategy than trying to fit phrases into sentences whether or not it makes sense.
4. Google Hates Small Businesses
You need an SEO professional who's skilled at things like site maps and robot.txt files and determining whether your content management software in order to rank well. Google hates small businesses or anyone who doesn't have an enormous ad words budget, so you might as well just stop trying. Please don't listen to what could be the most devastating lie floating around today about the current state of SEO. HubSpot blogger Corey Eridon points out that the latest search updates are in favor of small businesses - as long as you're willing to put the time into social media and creating quality content. It's not about how often you show up to your blog, it's about whether or not you're finding the topics that matter to people and covering them intelligently! Using trending topic analysis and author analysis tools from companies like SocialEars makes it simple to discover the most shared topics to link in your content.
So How Do You Do Content Marketing SEO?
Once you’ve gotten past the lies about content marketing SEO, the question remains… how do you get your original content to rank and increase shares? The problem with just doing long tail keyword SEO is that it can take a long, long time to build a following from the low search volumes long tail searches generate. To accelerate the process, I use these best practices:
- Do your long-tail keyword SEO on your content just like you always did
- Choose a catchy, click-worthy, sharable title for your content
- Find trending and highly shared topics related to the topic of your content. These can be blogs, press releases, tweets, Facebook posts etc.
- Link to the highly shared content from your own content. 2 – 3 links per 500 words seems to be optimal.
- Leave an insightful comment, tweet or post with each source you linked to
- If you referenced someone on Twitter, tweet that person and let them know you mentioned them. (use appropriate hashtags of course)
What techniques have you tried? What’s worked best for your content marketing SEO?