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What is Content Marketing and what are its impacts?

What is Content Marketing and what are its impacts?
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Four months into the new year, today I want to focus on one of the most integral aspects of SEO strategy that holds utmost relevance in 2014.

Never before has ‘rich content’ been emphasized enough. SEO gurus today recommend quality content above all to improve website rankings. However, there is still a huge gap in understanding and execution. Most are not sure about what is good enough to be considered as ‘quality’ content. Uncertain, websites are stuffed with paragraphs that repeat keywords. There is a disconnect among the different pages of the website with plenty of areas for improvement. We will not get into a discussion on good and bad content – these questions have been answered in the past. And there are numerous posts that talk about ‘to do’ in SEO. In fact, as a reference, you may check this Forbes post for a more updated SEO to-do list for 2014. But we will dwell on something that goes deeper – how can we make the best use of content, what factors can boost a good content, and the myths surrounding expectations of ROI from internet marketing & SEO campaigns.

First and foremost, let us clearly understand that SEO is important. A website can reach more and more people and penetrate the market with proper marketing and propaganda. With targeted steps and calculated measures, a good website can gradually move up in search engine results. And this does not require resorting to malpractices to achieve this goal or expedite this process. Second, it takes a lot of patience to see a website get better and better, and perform well on search engines. The shortest route is to continue to do what is right for the target audience and everything that adds value to user experience. Innovating your web presentation and inventing new ways to wow the audience can be the single most powerful tool to gradually move up the ladder.

Most of you who work on optimizing a website are familiar with a feeling of frustration after a point of time, especially when you are doing all the supposedly right things and yet there is no upward movement in sight. The frustration is even more prominent in the people you may be working for – like your clients or agencies that hire you. Unfortunately, many stop the effort midway, disillusioned with the process. It is critical that as SEO experts, you educate website owners and webmasters about what needs to be done to maintain website hygiene and secure search engine performance. With more and more businesses converting to the web, and embracing newer and more advanced technologies, ranking with your old website can be a challenge. While you need to ensure that you use updated software and licenses, consider changing the look and feel of your website periodically to compete with the new websites launched every day. Although this is just the presentation part - nothing else can get you more prominence than a useful website. Instead, explore the zillion ways to wow a visitor to your website – through video tutorials, interactive forums, white paper downloads, regular publishing on your blog, demystifying the common myths of your industry etc. People are always searching for a easy way out to common issues through forums, and sharing experiences or expertise can go a long way in connecting you to your audience. This will lead to a wealth of content that your visitors will appreciate.

The next part is sharing this content with more people. People need to know about your website to be able to talk about it more often. How can we do that? No website starts with a rank 1, 2 or 3! So chances of the website returning a high rank in the search result is pretty slim. Does this mean people will never know about the good content of your website? Reality is not that depressing!

So the next step is content marketing. A very effective tool is social media. Almost the entire literate community on the Globe is hooked on to social media to connect, meet, experience and even sell stuff online. Here you have a ready audience who you can reach out to very easily. With the correct steps, this can help you make a resonating effect. Present your content well, target your audience intelligently (while simultaneously growing the dimensions of your group) and share. Keep sharing and distributing the content multiple times, in multiple (interesting) formats. Initiate discussions, respond to feedback and comments and acknowledge and respond to queries. You have a bunch of people talking about it, and another larger community party to the conversation.

The more people know about you, the higher are your chances of generating leads. There may not always be a direct connection between investing on SEO and ROI. But fruits of SEO can go a long way in building your audience and brand over a period of time.

While I was researching more on how this topic has been dealt with on the internet, I found this video by Rand Fishkin relevant and graphically well presented. Sharing the link so you all can watch!

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