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Content Marketing Tactics That Work

I am a big fan of the Panda and Penguin updates from Google. While these updates can be devastating to some websites, it is my opinion that those websites (most) were not competing in good faith. This has placed tremendous pressure on your ability to execute content marketing tactics that work. Increasingly there is an even more level playing field for websites to compete in organic search. However, this new level has a very high barrier of entry.

Let's review these Google updates quickly, then review some great content marketing tactics.

Be sure to contact me directly if your team needs training or coaching on any of these concepts.  561.602.2835 

Panda forced websites to take a hard look at the content quality. Since February of 2011, Google has become confident in their ability to determine if your content is of good quality. Panda is more of a search quality update rather than a penalty. Which is why I like it so much. Now, the great content we create is being rewarded even more than before.

We know from some recent patents granted to Google (Website Quality Signal Generation) that there are certain criteria they use to identify high quality content.  These include viewing appeal (broad or niche), click rate, blog subscription rate and Page Rank.  For a search engine, judging grammar, spelling and sentence structure is easier criteria to measure.

Penguin updates require close scrutiny of backlinks and how links are earned.  We have known for many years that the relevance, quality, quantity and context of links matters.  What has changed is Google's confidence in determining these factors within the algorithm.

New tools like the ability to "disavow" links can help but that is not enough.  Many times, disavowing does not bring an immediate fix to websites that received a Penguin penalty.  For those who work in this SEO industry, we know that along with possibly disavowing links, you also need to earn great links to overcome the existing competition.

Here is an infographic that depicts the general idea. Below are more details.

So, within that context, here are a several content marketing tactics that work.

1.  Coordinate your promotion efforts

If you have a PR department, social media team and content development team then you are lucky.  Now you just need to coordinate these efforts.  Representatives from all three of these teams must agree that the content is worthy a coordinated effort.  Upon publish, you should have media pick-up, bloggers linking to your content and your audience sharing and "liking" it with their friends.

2. Create great content that has a chance to win

You might be asking yourself how this basic item made the list.  Well, its because we still see many websites, big and small that struggle with this.  Many writers just want to write whatever feels good.  They might think of seemingly great ideas but don't consider the competition.

Writing another 600 word article about a topic that already has been explored by 45 million other websites is probably not going to penetrate organic search or get shared in social media.  You must spend more time on the topic and review the competition to see if your effort will have a chance to be great.  If you don't believe so, then you must make the hard decision to not create that content.

When you make great content, the world will let you know.  Google will rank your post or article for the topic, people will share your content and others will reference your work and link to you.

3. Build your community

Easier said than done.  You must create systems and a schedule to keep your efforts fruitful.  I advise our clients to spend at least 1-2 hours a day on "outreach".  We train our clients to use Google operators like:

inurl:blog keyword phrase

This command in Google will return results that contain your keyword phrase from only URLs that use the word "blog" in them.  Now you can quickly go through the list to find bloggers that are covering your topic.  You can also just grab all the URLs in this search result and upload them into a tool like Buzzstream or Trackur to quickly identify the blogs that have a strong social media presence.

Gather a good list of prospects and begin your outreach in a genuine fashion.

4.  Make local media relationships

Along with bloggers and social media efforts, being able to "pitch" your content to regional journalists and TV station websites is valuable.  Start creating online relationships with these media types and offer them your great content.  This is especially effective if you perform great research and offer data that relates to their local region.

5.  Create relationships with universities and colleges

This is similar to #4.  Start to make contact with colleges and universities by asking for sources.  If you can get a professor to be a source in your content, you may also be able to get the university website to link to your content.  This is a great marketing tactic and will bring some wonderful link attribution to your domain.

I hope this was helpful for you to see that these efforts are essential in this new SEO landscape since February 2011.  Be sure to contact me directly if your team needs training or coaching on any of these concepts.  561-602-2835

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