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How to Align Your Content Marketing Efforts With the New SEO

By Carly Stec

How to Align Your Content Marketing Efforts With the New SEO

How_to_Align_Your_Content_Marketing_Efforts_With_the_New_SEOThe other day I came across an infographic from a company called Positionly about the new SEO that got me thinking.

While we've all been given some time to adapt to the changes that the latest Google algorithm brought about, it can be difficult to shake old habits. 

At this point, most of us have taken off our new SEO training wheels. We're rethinking the way we used to do things, and for the most part, it's working. 

We understand that with the introduction of the new SEO quality content serves as your ticket to ride, but what does SEO quality encompass?

There's no doubt that our SEO strategies still need streamlining. We're still trying to work out all the kinks, which is why I decided to map out the ways businesses should be approaching the new SEO. 

My thought process being that by defining exactly where we should be placing our focus, we'll all start to feel a little better about this new way of doing things. 

Optimize for Your Buyer Personas

While in years past content creators spent a lot of time focusing on optimizing their work to ensure it would be picked up by search engines, the new focus is on creating content that aligns with your buyer personas. Creating content from humans to humans. 

Marketers should be creating content that aims to provide solutions for their persona's common challenges, and serve as a utility above anything else. 

Nailing down the details that make up your ideal personas should come before anything else. Before first-drafts, before brainstorming, before conceptualization. 

What challenges are they faced with on a daily basis? How do they consume information? What factors influence their purchasing decisions? The new SEO is about creating content that addresses questions like this

The new goal is to not only meet the demand, but exceed it. Find out what your audience wants, and then find a way to present it to them to ensure they receive the most valuable possible. For example, if you're creating a "how-to" post, don't just tell them how to do it, but rather show them how to do it. Really, truly helpful posts will get bookmarked, revisited, and shared time and time again. 

Focus on Two-way Engagement

While monitoring the conversation will provide you with insight, joining the conversation will provide you with value.

Treat all of your online interactions like a cocktail party. Whether you're writing a blog or crafting a Tweet, you want to put forth something that invites others to speak up. This is how you build a presence.

Engaging in an online dialogue with people in your industry, as well as your customers will help you build brand awareness and strengthen relationship.

Take advantage of your social media channels. Rather than pumping out blog post link after blog post link, ask something really though-provoking. Stir the pot. 

Keep in mind that posing the question isn't enough. Make sure that you're checking back regularly to clarify, respond, challenge, and advance the conversation. 

Make Use of Tools

The rules behind the keyword game have changed, but that doesn't mean the whole world has to crumble beneath our feet.

With the new SEO comes a new toolbox of resources that can be used to measure valuable keyword data that can be used to steer your content in the right direction.

One of my favorite ways to approach keyword research is Google Trends. This feature is particularly useful for marketers looking for insight into trending topics and keywords that are performing well at this time. Users have the freedom to plug in keywords of their choice and display their level of influence through the juxtaposition of line graphs.  

Wordtracker Scout is another really valuable keyword resource. This Chrome plug-in makes it easy for users to analyze particular webpages in order to uncover and identify keyword opportunities. It calls upon specific word clouds to bring to light the potential keywords that are used on the page of your choosing. 

Keywords aside, Google Authorship also works to help bloggers improve their search engine visibility. After signing up and receiving approval, Authorship will create a biography page link to posts that contain your byline. Additionally, when your articles appear on a SERP they'll be accompanied by a thumbnail profile picture which ultimately makes them stand out compared to the others on the page. If you don't already have it, here's a play by play on how to get started.

Build & Earn Links

Link building is still huge. Consistently posting quality content to your business blog is a great way to build credible links for your business on a regular basis. Once you've posted something, releasing it on social media will open it up to an even wider audience where ideally your followers will respond to it, or reshare it. 

While a recent blog article from Google's head of webspam Matt Cutts left some people with a bad taste in their mouth in terms of guest blogging, it's still a great way to build links. The trouble is that low-quality websites have been picking up this technique as a way to pump up their link-building strategies, but that doesn't mean credible bloggers have to be guilty by association. 

Guest posts from credible bloggers on credible websites will result in growth, strengthened relationships, and authority. 

Beyond building links, putting forth consistent, high-quality content will help to position your business to earn links from other industry websites. People like to get behind business that they believe in. Businesses that are committed to delivering content that exceeds the status quo. If your focus in on creating truly remarkable content, you'l in turn encourage others to share your content.

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Content Marketing
Published on February 28, 2014

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