Content marketing is the strategy of choice for many webmasters nowadays and with good reason. Done well, it offers a sustainable way to promote your brand and authority, attract traffic and showcase your expertise. The question is, are you doing it right?
Like link building and keyword stuffing before it, content marketing is tremendously attractive to the spammers. Whereas once they blasted masses of poor content to article directories, now they’re putting it on websites and other properties.
Fortunately, Google is becoming increasingly adept at recognising thin and rehashed content. If you want to do things the right way, garner the long term benefits and avoid Google penalties, here are some tips on publishing content that delights both humans and search engines.
Make Sure It’s Substantial, Useful and Relevant
The days of 250 word posts and articles are long gone. Nowadays, you need something that conveys value. A minimum of around 500 words is about right.
However, you must make sure it offers relevant value to your visitor. Sure, you’re proud of your site and your achievements but your visitor is there solely to find out what you can do for him. If you can bring some light into his life, he’ll reward you with his custom, loyalty and by spreading the word to others.
Write for Readers, Not Search Engines
With the advent of Hummingbird last year, Google is now able to understand user intent in search. That means that those clunky articles full of unnatural phrases such as “best dry cleaner Brooklyn” are no longer necessary (if they ever were).
The fact is that if you have a good understanding of the topic and have done thorough research, you’ll include all the necessary keywords just by focusing on the end user. By satisfying his needs, you’ll also satisfy the search engines.
Make Links ‘No Follow’
If you posting on external sites, add the ‘no follow’ tag if you’re linking back to your site. Using a no follow tag means you get visitors clicking through which is the kind of traffic you’re looking for.
In case you’re unhappy about not getting a link from your work, it helps to consider this kind of content marketing as part of an overall SEO strategy. When developing a link strategy for your clients, you need to think about building a portfolio of varied links that Google counts as natural.