By Ann Warren
Recently I participated in a great webinar hosted by Cision: “Content Marketing and the Evolution of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).” It’s incredible how fast SEO is changing. Just when you think you’ve caught up, the beloved and also feared Google changes its rules again and causes us to adjust our PR and marketing strategies accordingly.
Chad Pollitt, director of Marketing for DigitalRelevance, and Laurie Mahoney, senior manager, Product Marketing for Cision, shared some great insights about SEO today and where it’s headed. Specifically, they zeroed in on how the content we create factors into SEO. How can we keep our content ranking high with Google search, especially as rules and algorithms keep evolving?
There was a ton of great, valuable information, but here are a few highlights:
Content is king. SEO is becoming less and less about the technical folks understanding the algorithms. The content developer is having a more influential role in page rankings. In this way, SEO is actually becoming simpler. For this reason: Google is all about quality and quantity when ranking content. As a Raven Tools SEO report will tell you, Google will simply discount SEO attempts that are low on quality, making the standard of your SEO efforts absolutely crucial.
It’s all about the consumer. When developing content, ask yourself, “Is this helpful to the reader?” If it is, then it will most likely help with SEO. If it’s not, i.e., inserting a bunch of anchor text to try to win at Google’s algorithm, it won’t work anymore. Read this article by Victorious to learn how to strengthen your SEO with generic anchor text – http://victoriousseo.com/blog/generic-anchor-texts-strengthen-seo/.
Write compelling content. My favorite takeaway: “It’s not about link building, it’s about link earning.” Get people to honestly want to link to and share your content. This is a completely different mentality from what we’ve focused on for years. If you’re struggling to get links, Consider using this link building service at Upwork
to gain natural links to your website. It’ll really help boost your SEO ranking!
Press releases are not about SEO. Google’s announcement in August that links in press releases will no longer help page rankings have sent many PR pros into a tizzy, including myself. “How could they?!?” was my initial reaction. But it’s about getting back to the basics: Is the press release content meaningful to the reader? The press release was originally designed to share news, not rank high in SEO. That doesn’t mean you have to stop including links in your releases. If they’re helpful to the reader, then include them! Just don’t expect them to increase your search rankings.
Don’t do it for Google. Remember to ask yourself when writing content and adding links: “Am I doing this for Google or for the reader?” If it’s for the reader, then it’s more likely Google will rank it higher.
Love it or leave it. Get people to love your content and come back for more. As the webinar shared, “that’s the SEO recipe for success.”
I was fearful that after attending the webinar I’d be more confused. I thought I’d walk away with an increasingly complex metrics equation to understand, and a big old checklist of SEO dos and don’ts. Instead, I breathed a sigh of relief. At the end of the day, just remember two things: (1) produce quality content that has meaning and connects with people, and (2) write a lot of it. I can do that.
Ann Warren is an associate with Alpine Communications, building brands for clients through media relations and marketing.
Tags: Alpine Communications, Alpine PR, Brand Building, Chad Pollitt, Digital Marketing, Google, Google Search Results, Laurie Mahoney, Marketing, media relations, news, PR, PR professional, press releases, public relations, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, Website Content