The term too often line up our work with unprofessional practices like link buying and web spamming for article placement. SEO needs a makeover and that, in 2014, marketers should be thinking in terms of “Optimizing Content for Discovery and Conversion.Tactics in favor of a focus on serving high-quality content that people crave. In other words: Be a publisher, not an SEO-gamer.
Publishers do still need to practice sound SEO strategies to get watches on their content. Despite claims that social media has hidden it as a traffic search still remains the primary way people find great content. Subjective studies from individual publishers have created a sense that social media is hiding search as the primary driver of referral traffic, but broader studies tell a different story.3.5 percent more traffic from Facebook than Google, Define.
So how do you optimize content for search today? It helps to first understand how search engine optimization has evolved.
Search engines haven’t stopped tweaking their procedure. The goal? Serving users the highest quality and most relevant content possible. And during that time, marketers and publishers haven’t stopped trying to game it, either.
Panda update, other search engines like Yahoo and Bing followed Google’s lead, and since then, search engines have continued to get better at delivering high-quality, contextually-relevant search results. People, too, have become more savvy about asking for what they want. Voice and conversational search queries are more common and location-based insights have honed mobile search.
Content marketers that want to keep up need to ditch stilted practices, like worrying about how to rank for long-tail keyword phrases, and take a broader view of what’s important.
Seven keys to successful SEO
At the end of the day, while it’s important to implement smart tactics to optimize your content, don’t lose sight of the big picture: “People often forget to acknowledge that the people who read our content and the searchers who find things on Google are the same people.
1. Original, engaging stories always win. Most important key to SEO. Publishing stories that people are compelled to share, link to, and write about is simply the most organic path to great SEO.
2. Keyword and audience research still matters. Keywords may be more than the sum of their phrasing, but publishers should still use the available research to help them determine optimal content themes.
Another way to gain audience insights: Ask for them. Social media can be a great, low-cost way to do this..
3. Great headlines are key. Boring headlines are poison for publishers; at the same time, racy, misleading headlines may bring short-term traffic volume — especially on the social web — but are not a sustainable practice. After the initial clicks fade away, search engines may no longer see the point in driving traffic to your content.
4. Better content . Marketers using their budgets to produce a large volume of content at the expense of quality should rethink their strategy.
5. Optimize on both the page and platform level. All those pesky details like meta tags and descriptions are more than busy work. They help search engines know what’s on your page. Failing to do so can sabotage your content.
6. Get inbound links. Even if you’re creating engaging, original content, it’s still important to find other ways to get links to your site from reputable sources. In recent years, guest blogging has been a popular way to grow inbound links.
7. Social matters to search, in more ways than one. Google and others are non-committal on the exact role social media plays in their complex set of considerations. But if considered beyond Facebook likes and links, social’s influence on search can’t be ignored.