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Content marketing is something of a survivor. Despite the various changes in the world of search, the emergence of social media and exponential growth of the internet, content has remained a valuable part of any online marketing strategy.
Google, the world’s largest and Australia’s favourite search engine, has said repeatedly that the best way to rank for your target keywords is to produce fresh, relevant and unique content on your website and elsewhere on the internet. Just recently, Google tightened up its anti-spam measures to further promote sites that produce original content over sites that rely on syndicated, scraped or low quality alternatives.
While content marketing done well can drive traffic to your website and help you convert more visitors, publishing just about anything will have the opposite effect. Some of the keyword-stuffing, black hat SEO tactics of yesteryear are now likely to get your site pushed down the rankings or even barred from Google’s index altogether.
Websites of all descriptions need to find a sustainable means of producing regular, original content that will give Google something worth indexing and attract inbound links from third party sites. If you’re producing fresh, unique content you open up a range of different content marketing options from growing your own site to publishing in article directories and on social media.
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Google tries to reward sites that have something new and timely to contribute with an element of its algorithm referred to as QDF (Query Deserves Freshness). This is why you will often see news stories or blog posts displayed prominently on first page of results for universal searches. Thanks to QDF, websites that publish a custom news feed or an authoritative blog can find natural links popping up in otherwise unwinnable search results while topics are trending.
News content has the added advantage of qualifying for Google news, Google’s index of news sources that requires your site to pass a manual assessment. Google news can provide another route to your site for potential visitors and will enable you to compete in the news index against a much smaller number of rival sites.
A good content marketing strategy needs to look beyond your own website. If you publish quality, relevant articles, you have a great opportunity to get actively involved on leading social media platforms and make use of article marketing websites.
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can be great places to build brand affinity and engage your target audience. But one of the problems organisations often encounter is having the time and resources to manage a social media presence. If you are already investing in original content you can steal a march on your competitors by pushing it out on to your Twitter feed or Facebook page. As well as adding value for your followers and fans, you can drive traffic back to your website.
When it comes to article marketing, a regular flow of fresh, unique articles allows you to publish in full beyond your own website. Article directories and industry-specific blogs can provide valuable in-bounds links that will improve how your site performs in search and send you quality traffic.
Content marketing can take many forms and there’s a lot to consider as you formulate your strategy. Here are our general pointers for making the most of fresh, original content.
Be original. Syndicated content has no SEO value and will harm how your site performs in search. Publishing original, unique content, on the other hand, will make for a richer user experience and encourage more favourable Google rankings.
Don’t stuff it up. Keyword stuffing will damage your site’s reputation and is firmly in Google’s sites when it comes to clamping down on spammy sites with low quality content.
No niche too niche. Don’t let your industry put you off investing in content marketing. There are always ways to generate fresh, relevant articles that support your broader online marketing objectives.
Support it. A good content marketing strategy will complement your other marketing activities. If you invest in quality content, support it with some best practice, white hat SEO.
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