SEO and Content Marketing – Is There Even a Difference Anymore?

When I first started working in social media marketing, SEO was a technical skill that relied heavily on how a website was coded, specific methods for designating keywords, and other technical gobbledygook.

Only those who’d actually spent the time learning and becoming proficient in the technical skills needed for SEO could be relied upon to help boost your website’s search engine rankings. Or, you could game the system – stuff your website copy with keywords by adding paragraph after paragraph of keywords as metadata, or just as white text at the bottom of your website.

I got started in digital marketing just as these tactics were fading out, and instead, the methods for building a search engine optimized site were beginning to evolve.  Google’s Hummingbird algorithm was coming, and while the previous versions focused on penalizing keyword stuffing (which is what I learned as I got started), hummingbird was something new.

Before that, though, search engines operated in predictable ways.  The number of times a keyword or phrase appeared in a particular webpage mattered, as well as exactly where that keyword appeared. There were checklists everywhere that promised high SERP placements, as long as you had a keyword in the H1 tag, your image alt texts, and at least 3 times throughout the web page – or something along those lines.

Following those guidelines took little practical skill, although weaving them into content that was actually worthwhile was a harder task.

It was that shift from simply ticking off check boxes on the list of SEO optimization to actually producing worthwhile content that brought us to where we are now:  where can i buy nolvadex pct uk SEO is Content Marketing.

where can i buy propecia in bangalore SEO for B2B Then why is there still SEO – and what’s up with all the website plugins to help with it?

SEO still exists because, let’s face it, many (if not most) small to mid sized businesses are just now catching on to the idea that it’s even a thing. They’re still focusing on the more outdated ideas of SEO, and that’s why they install plug ins, rather than learning what actually goes in to optimizing their site for search  today.

To know why the methods of improving SERP placements are more focused on content and less on precisely where you place keywords, we need to talk a little bit about how Google ranks web pages in the first place.

In 2013, Google’s algorithm updated to Hummingbird, which focused on semantic search rather than simply the individual words in a search. This method of search operates around the context of a given query, meaning that Google is looking for the underlying reason for their search, not just combinations of the words they’ve typed in.

Hummingbird also focused on the idea of conversational search – think about how you ask Siri or Cortana to give you an answer about something. We don’t use our phones to search by stating keywords into them, we ask a question.

This is becoming true for how people use search even when they’re not using a virtual assistant to search for them. Think about headlines and how you search for things – “How to optimize a Twitter profile” is a different search than “Why optimize a Twitter profile”, and both are questions someone would want answered.

Hummingbird is about giving people solutions to why they are searching, rather than simply laying out facts.

That is why SEO strategy has needed to change. You can’t really game the system for a long term positive result by simply stuffing keywords in specific order – you have to actually create content that provides value to your website visitors.

hummingbird google algorithm

SEO does still require some technical know-how, but you need content first and foremost.

Yes, you absolutely do still need someone to help with linking, schema data, and other back end optimization that isn’t going to be taken care of through the creation of quality content.

But all of that back end work will count for little, if anything, without the production of quality content that provides value to your site visitors.

The content you provide should be focusing on how to meet the needs of your visitors.

Notice that I don’t say it should be trying to promote your business as much as possible. The point of this content is on the visitor, not on you. When it comes to blog content, you’ll want to create information that’s helpful, rather than promotional. The fact that people visit your site and find it informative will accomplish far more for your SERP position than simply bleating about how amazing you are all the time.

What improves your search engine ranking isn’t how many times you talk about yourself, but how many visitors you get to your site for various keywords. Visitors don’t just type in keywords, though – they type in questions. If your site answers those questions, you’ll attract more visitors, your SERP position will rise, and you win at search.

Improve your SEO by improving your content.

The answer to improving SEO in 2017 is that you just plain need to produce good content.

Not lots of content.

Good content.

When you can provide information on a topic, thoroughly and completely, your website will rank higher for that topic. Plain and simple.

Knowing what topics to try and create content for is hard, though. So is figuring out the various long tailed keywords you can try and rank for while creating that amazing content you’ll be writing.

That’s where planning out your keyword strategy ahead of time comes in handy.

I created a helpful keyword planner to get you started.  It’ll help you turn one keyword into multiple related keywords.

Use them naturally throughout your blog, and you’ll find yourself rising through the ranks in search engine placements.

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