Sunday, January 19, 2014

The #1 SEO Goal for 2014: Create Easily-Discoverable and Easily-Shared Content

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you won't be surprised to hear: we believe the top SEO marketing trend of 2014 will be content. Google's new algorithm is changing the way browsers discover content. If you're not aware of the changes, and you do not improve your content to meet the algorithm's new demands, you might find your once-popular site slipping in the rankings. So what do you need to know to keep your content up-to-date?

In the past, many SEO specialists and online marketing firms focused on keywords and link building to drive traffic to their client's sites. With the emergence of social media in the past few years, however, this paradigm has shifted. And now with Google's latest algorithm, the new content rules are clear: to attract an audience you must create engaging content that is both easily discovered and easily shared across the web.

This means that your work does not stop once you've posted your content online; indeed, this is when the work begins! In the new paradigm, sharing your work on social media and inspiring others to share your work is the key to an elevated search rankings.

Hopefully you already share. By now, sharing content on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ is a mandatory part of any successful marketing campaign. But sharing alone is not enough. How do you ensure that people actually click on your link? And how do you ensure that, once-discovered, your site "hooks" visitors.

In order to attract the audience you deserve, we suggest that you focus on three important tasks:

1. Create Great Content

We've said this before, again and again: quality content is the key to SEO. This is the number one, eternal rule of content. If you do not follow this rule, now more than ever, you will be totally hosed.

To create quality content, you must first ensure that your language is mistake and error free. No one wants to read an article riddled with language and/or grammar mistakes. Errors turn readers away from the very beginning.

Second, you must create unique content. Ask yourself: What am I adding to the conversation? If you're not saying something interesting, or new, or worse, if you're simply duplicating content, you're simply populating the web with needless words. We all have a unique perspective: every writer; every business. Speak from your unique perspective and you will attract an audience.

Third, remember, quality always trumps quantity. It is much better to create one well-written article of blog post than three slapdash pieces. Take your time to artfully craft each piece of writing. Compose a rough draft. Then rewrite. Then edit it for language and grammar mistakes. You might revise your work at least three times before posting.

2. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

There is so much well-written content on the web that you have to work beyond the writing to truly attract an audience. Social media provides the perfect venue for sharing and promoting your writing. But you must remember, the number one characteristic of social media: it's social!

As much as possible, participate in the conversation. Read and share other people's content. Talk to your followers. Don't just pop in to post a link then pop out. That's selfish! When you're truly a part of the community, people will be much more likely to click and share your links.

On the other hand, do not annoy your followers with too many posts. Just like content, quality always trumps quantity. Do not offer more than one link to your own brand per day. Quite frankly, too much, "look at my stuff" posting gets annoying. It's far better to spend most of your time interacting with other people's posts. If you do so, you will be surprised by the attention afforded your posts.

3. Optimize Your Posts for Conversion

Attracting an audience is great, but you want to make sure that you're also converting visitors. Conversion is the key to a successful online marketing campaign. Whether you write a blog or sell welding alloys, the difference between your visitors and converted visitors will define the success of your online enterprise.

As we wrote before in our post "How to Convert Website Visitors into Customers," conversion is the "percentage of visitors who browse a site and perform a desired action."

This desired action is different for different venues. For a blog like The Organic SEO Blog, for example, the desired action might simply be clicking on multiple posts, writing comments, or following a link to our sponsor: the best-in-the-business organic website optimization company, Stepmans PC. For an online business, the desired action might be the purchase of a product or service. For Facebook, the desired action might be a like, comment, or share.

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As we move into the New Year, the atmosphere of renewal presents the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your online marketing strategy. Of all the tools at your disposal one reigns supreme: content! Follow the three important tasks above and you'll be on your way to a wildly successful 2014. 

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