Part of the modern approach
Are you still chasing crap links around? Doing PageRank sculpting or being fanatical over meta data? Then methinks you should stick around and read this post as you could be stuck somewhere circa 2007 in your SEO efforts.
A few things prompted this post; from a chat with fellow warriors, to developments in page segmentation to listening to my fav copywriter grumbling about the lack of respect her cohorts and she gets.. one thing seems odd – People aren’t recognizing the value in content.
Sure, for years the mantra at Google has been ‘quality content’. And we all know the age-old call to arms of; ‘Content is King’…. I can’t help but wonder if, like banner blindness, some folks haven’t quiet grasped the evolution of it all.
Building a sound content strategy
If you’re not working with content programs at the core of your efforts, you’re missing a seriously important part of modern day SEO.
Why content programs work;
- Freshness – one thing search engines do eat up it’s fresh content. This can increase crawl rates and indexation which is a def boon
- Re-visit rates – it can increase readership and return rates and benefit over-all site stickiness.
- Increased linkage – having a steady stream of quality content invariably will make the task of link building easier (and attain more diversified link profile).
- Social food – much like the above, one can better create awareness (and links) by having a strong representation in the marketplace.
- Networking – can be used to meet others in the market for other co-operative efforts.
Aspects of a content program
- Content generation – creation of content (articles, link bait etc..) that is to be used in the program (placed on the site or elsewhere).
- Content visibility – from outreach programs to social media, on site content isn’t much use if nobody knows it’s there.
- Content syndication – promoting content from the site through various social activities and RSS implementation. It increases traffic, bolsters rankings and improves brand awareness. Content syndication can be an important element for any site.
- Content placement – often times one can find industry media sites (or blogs) where one can have content placed (think guest posts etc..).
If you’re going to spent money on paid links (and take the risk) the same resources can be better spent on a content program which will have a far more diversified return than simple paid link acquisition ever would.
The Social Connection
If there is one thing we all know, link building can be one of the more trying aspects of SEO. With the rise of social media/networking/book marking, this has become somewhat easier. Back in the old days one had to rely on tactics such as directories, forums, article repositories and comments (oh my, anyone remember guest books? We KILLED that app). Now? Not at all.
Social isn’t about the direct links as much as it is about the secondary ones.
It is advisable that some type of (at very least) minimal social presence is in place even for SEO programs. It there are social media marketers aligned with your efforts all the better, just make sure everyone is on the same page.
Pay for links or content strategy?
And here’s the main consideration I try to impress upon those seeking knowledge; paying for links in a fools gold of links.
One of the more important goals of a strong content program is to not only bring in traffic and build authority, but get some links while we’re at it. For those of you still using paid links, consider this;
Paid Link – let us say that’s we’re paying $50/month for a PR6 link. If the shelf life of the average organic link (after decay) is 18 months, that would be $900. Right? And at any time if you turn the juice off, they’re gone.
Content – or in this case, link bait/magnets. I spend, say, $500 on getting the content (or resource/tool) research and crafted release it into the wild (with outreach, syndication and social in place). The links are yours. You are also getting (most likely) more traffic and have diversified the link profile and built some authority that can be leveraged with future efforts.
It really is a no brainer and I can speak from experience that this can be done and often garner far more link love than any single paid link. Why in the world would you take the inherent risk of paying for links when the same investment will net greater value.
Content really is King
And that’s the truth. Those that scoff at such statements from search engines like Google obviously have never really built a strong content program/strategy. In most cases it is a lack of foresight and effort (not to mention investment) that causes most to fail.
When done right you should be able to build authority, links, traffic and relevance (think semantic baskets) and more. Forget about the comment spam, link wheels, forum sigs and paid links. That’s child’s play that does little more than build a temporary boost. Content strategy is for the long term
Oh and one last note, be sure to think outside of the box and consider ALL types of content. In a world of Universal Search being more and more prominent, there is no end to the types of content you can get into the SERPs…