Google has seriously been shaking up the world of search engine marketing, but 2012 is bound to get even crazier. Since the introduction of Google Panda that aimed to reward sites with rich and high-quality content rather than those stuffed with keywords, the updates to the Caffeine ranking algorithm that was said to impact 35% of searches to produce more up-to-date and relevant results, and the new SSL rules in Google Analytics that doesn’t allow the entrance keyword to be captured if the user is logged in to his or her account, web marketers have had to find better ways to capture data, measure results, and refine their strategies. However, if Google keeps smacking us upside the head with changes that blow our tried and tested methodologies out of the water, at least we can count on one thing to increase our chances of success: good quality content.
According to Kuno Creative, it is hard to maximize organic search visibility without good quality content. No more are the days in which websites can be stuffed with keywords or links to bump up their Google rank and claim the prize of being the top result on the search results page. Since the introduction of Panda, bloated websites like this don’t stand a chance. Website owners must consistently update their websites with fresh content to “keep the Panda happy” and to maintain their prime real estate. For many web marketers, this opened doors to yet another opportunity to optimize: content marketing.
Content marketing, in a nutshell, is one of the most important strategies to have in place right now. Along with social media, it is what keeps your content relevant in Google’s ranking index and increases organic traffic. To maximize results, establish a plan to update certain content areas of your website on a weekly or monthly basis. Whether that means dusting off your blog and utilizing your best writers to create top-notch content or keeping your portfolio up-to-date with case studies, videos of client testimonials, or digital e-books, your target audience is waiting for you to create meaningful and insightful content.
One of the most important things I have learned while creating content is that if you want to blog, you should blog because you want to. You should write genuinely and honestly to your target audience. Remember that every word is a direct reflection of not only your brand, but yourself. By producing content that is real, it will speak to users. It will get them to act. It will inspire you to create more, and in return, it will attract more listeners. It sounds easy, doesn’t it?
To web marketers, it will always be a challenge to set the right content marketing strategy in motion. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to content marketing that guarantees a safe spot in Google’s search engine indexing system. It will be a continuous cycle of measuring and refining to find the strategy that not only works well with your overall marketing plan, but also increases your brand’s online visibility and influence.
2012 will surely be a year in which everyone can agree that content – whether it is Tweets, videos, or blog articles – truly matters. I look forward to seeing what trends and technologies will emerge in fast-paced world of web and search engine marketing this year. What do you think will be a game-changer in 2012?
In case you missed it, here are my game-changers for 2012: