Do Keyword Rankings Still Matter?

keyword rankings

Do keyword rankings still matter in 2016? I guess the bigger question is, will it still matter in 2017?

It is mid-2016, we faced great changes in keyword-based content marketing and adapted on great changes in establishing a strong digital brand.

SEO companies and known brands still remind us daily how keyword rankings are still an important metric to measure SEO success.

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Sites ranking on top for high-volume keywords proves to not gain any benefit because they do not meet consumer’s intent. Their bounce rates are higher than ever.

Bad consumer experience is a metric often disregarded because most business owners focus on the number of visitors. Bounce rates are important.

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To rank top on keywords does not equate the metrics for measuring the success of any marketing campaign. Rankings are superb if they can deliver efficiency in business value. Meaning:

  • lead generation
  • conversion
  • promotion
  • retention

Should you rank high for keywords but fail to deliver any of the above, it is the perfect time to reevaluate your content marketing plan. You are not aligned with success.

How far must you track keywords and how?

If you want to exhaust all your marketing budget and energy, go ahead and track all your keyword rankings. Honestly, for what reason? Why all?

An established site will probably own thousands upon thousands of pages. It’s just stupid to even try.

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and delivered the following:

  • lead generation
  • conversion
  • promotion
  • retention

Specific consumer intent is driven by long-tail keywords, which are often not what most businesses want to rank for.

But long-tail keywords have higher performance rate of lead generation and conversion than high volume short-tail keywords.

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Any keyword that diverted traffic at a striking distance from your branded keywords must be tracked and watched. These are the keywords that will propel you to succeed in marketing.

How are you going to do analytics when Google no longer offer it? Manual checks may be done by your SEO team, if not research using third-party tools. Moz.com and buzzsumo.com are good platforms to begin with. There are more but I would write a post about that some other time.

Are on-page keywords still necessary to achieve good page ranking?

Authority websites with high-quality inbound links can forget about on-page keywords. They will rank on keywords that might not at all be in the content they publish. Relevance of the published material is weighed by search engines, especially Google, in a different way now compared to how it was a few years back.

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Relevance of search terms are now engaged in automated query expansion. Synonymous terms are now weighed within individual search terms and are not confined to what was typed by the user.

In short, you can rank on other terms that you are not tracking. Your page may be appearing on search terms that you are not aware of.

User search history and query chains influence results

Because google now uses user search history and query chains, it can be a little tricky tracking keyword rankings.

There is so much personalization involved between the user and Google search.

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If the user often search for “orange” the telecommunications company. Google understands that the next searches using “orange” does not mean the fruit and will not instead show orange plant or fruit.

This query chains are greatly influencing search results, so if you are aiming for high volume keywords versus consumer specific keywords, your content marketing campaign this 2016 is likely to fail, even more when we advance to 2017.

The point

patbaganologobannerSearch engine rankings are information for further marketing analysis. The competition on keywords should align your marketing goals and conversion goals.

Winning the competition among keywords that do not deliver ROI is an indicator that it is of no value to your business. Keyword rankings matter only if they deliver performance in your business.   

10 Ultimate Business Blogging Benefits

business blogging benefits

Business blogging benefits your customer service the same way it does your marketing and sales.

When I get a chance to sit with family, I love to educate my nieces and nephews on the importance of internet marketing. Their growing interest on blogging and website design is impressing me.

Last night, some very good important questions were raised as I teach one of them in setting up a blog which inspired me to write this post.

The recent years proved that if we want to secure our brand, be it personal or business. The best way is to establish a website. But a static website is not favored by content consumers and search engine robots.

To be found and be loved, there needs to a regular activity on your website. Offering new relevant content able to provide answers to common business questions, if not, to simply entertain content consumers.

Business blogging benefits is a topic so important for business owners who wish not only to establish a strong online presence but bridge plenty of their marketing struggles and dilemma.

Before we continue with the 10 ultimate business blogging benefits, I first would like to emphasize a point.

Your blog must be hosted on your domain.

If you already have a business website, it is impossible that you cannot have your blog installed on the same domain directory. Even if your website is hardcoded or running on a platform that does not support blogging.

A quick and easy installation of WordPress will benefit you greatly. Ask your web designer or hosting company.

Your blog installed as a subdomain, ex., http://blog.yourdomain.com or in a different directory, ex., http://yourdomain.com/blog will serve you best compared to free services.

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I have mentioned WordPress because it is the best open source content management system compared to the rest.

Please do not confuse me with WordPress.com, while both are the same to some, they actually are not. Creating your blog in WordPress.com will have your blog “live” online as (yourblogname).wordpress.com.

Especially if you already have a domain name, it will be better to have it hosted independently.

As we go through the list, you will see that you can only achieve the full business blogging benefits if you are hosting it in your primary domain name.

1. Serious search engine traffic

Blogging is a way to get more “real and interested” consumers of your content directly to your website. This brings us back to the important point I was discussing earlier. Imagine if you were hosting your blog as a subdomain on wordpress.com, Tumblr.com or Weebly.com?

The traffic is not directly diverted to your website right? You might have links pointing to your primary domain name, but what are the chances they would click on that?

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Furthermore, business blogging benefits your primary domain name because every content you add, meaning every blog post, are additional pages indexed by search engines.

You are definitely adding to you organic search visibility and increasing search engine traffic.

Every new published post is another door you open to your target audience to enter your website. Each relevant interesting post with rich keywords will definitely make your page rank higher on results.

2. Adds personality to your brand

Even the best “about page” published in your website is nothing compared to a blog. While static pages perform their important functions well. A blog gives your brand a personality that can tackle various business issues.

It allows you to show your customers and target audience another aspect of your business. It is your company’s voice to speak about other matters of the business that you cannot simply publish on stationary pages of your website.

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If your business consistently provide content to build a better personality for your brand, your likeability will definitely increase.

3. Aligns with social media marketing

It is virtually impossible to maintain a consistent effective social media presence without access to high-quality content relevant to your business.

While sharing, liking, commenting and tweeting on other people’s content proves you are active, it still doesn’t divert traffic to your website.

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The reason a blog is a wonderful avenue to be active in social media with direct impact to your website traffic and lead generation is because you can easily share your blog posts.

Creating captivating content will increase shares and likes, and guarantees traffic.

Additionally, blog posts can be directly converted as an email content that can be sent directly to your subscribers. This highlights your email marketing efforts without having to write additional copies.

4. Becoming market authority

Business blogging benefits you greatly in a way of establishing you as an authority figure in your industry. It is a great platform for you to share related industry information and your opinions.

You have the opportunity to breed trust among your peers as well as consumers.

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As you become more respected your conversion rates will naturally increase because it is a known fact that customers love to buy from experts.

5. Improves sales conversion

Your business blogging activities signals not only the search engine robots that you are in business and swinging, but it also gives the same signal to your consumers.

It is very important that you have a consistent blog publication.

Do not setup a blog and then stop. This not only ceases the business blogging benefits but may also come across to your consumers as no longer in business.

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Commit to blogging long term.

Hubspot claims that their data shows that those business blogging are most likely to increase their ROI compared to those not prioritizing content marketing.

6. Best way to generate inbound links

High-quality inbound links is a pillar of effective SEO. A blog is a way to acquire these inbound links that will catapult your ranking to the top.

Content providing relevant information as an active resource for other bloggers and publishing platforms will provide links to your page.

Inbound Links

This inbound links will generate traffic back to your website and is rewarded by search engines because it proves your authority as an information source.

7. Ranking for long-tail searches

Among other business blogging benefits, ranking in long-tail searches is an indispensable strength of blogging. Consumers use search engines for specific searches and often using long-tail keywords.

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Long-tail keywords allow your business to tap into a stream of consumers who are specifically looking for your type of business.

The best way to signal that that you offer such services or products is ensuring that relevant long-tail keywords appear in your website.

There is no other way for them to be pointed on your direction without a blog talking about it. The dynamic content of a blog does this naturally as you publish business specific content.

8. Lead generation

An effective blog post must contain elements that will help your lead generation efforts. Strategically placing call-to-action boxes that captures email and contact information generates high-quality leads.

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Businesses with dynamic content of over 500 pages are likely to generate more leads than those with less than 100.

The more you publish, the greater net you cast among the sea of consumers interested in business like yours.

9. Collaboration tool with your customers

Business blogging benefits your customer service the same way it does your marketing and sales.

Blogs allowing comments signals collaboration. Meaning you want to hear about their concerns.

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Learning more about what your customers think about you is important not only in marketing to prospects but retention of your current consumers.

10. Achieve being dynamic

Google loves fresh content, and it really does reward websites with higher rankings for making effort to publish regular fresh content on their website.

The more your blog gets involved in trending industry topics the greater your chances of being ranked higher than your competition in search results.

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Moreover, more content allows you to create a dynamic activity of internal links among your local pages.

Opening multiple gateways for search engine crawlers to discover pages on your website.

patbaganologobannerBlogging is important in keeping your brand differentiated from your competitors. It proves to be a natural way to increase your search engine traffic without having to spend thousands upon thousands of advertising dollars.

Business blogging benefits not only your marketing efforts but bridges plenty of gaps in providing customer service to your customers.

Real Reasons Why You Should Blog

Why you should blog

Why you should blog, you ask? Well, if you are an entrepreneur or even a simple individual who want to establish your personal brand, you should be blogging. If you aren’t ready yet, maybe the following reasons why you should blog inspire you.

  1. Blog as a resume.

You will be surprised how many recruiters out there base their decision from reading a blog. We are no longer trapped in the world of 1 to 2 pages resume. A blog is a great way for you to be known for what you do. Employers see a blog as your personal brand, it speaks greater volume than listing your accomplishments and experience.

should you put your blog on your cv

  1. Networking

Blogs bring together people of common interests. Meaning everyone commenting, sharing or liking a blog is a particular group of people sharing the same interests. It only means that blogging is a great way to build a network of new friends and correspondences across networks that matter to you.

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  1. Mapping Ideas

You should blog if you are like me who have plenty of ideas but clueless how to express them in writing. Well, I mean express them in writing the neat way. Blogs offer a way to express thoughts on a particular topic without spilling thoughts and ideas everywhere. Each blog post is a filtered written material talking about one particular topic. Much similar to a chapter in a book. Neat right? You can easily go back to a topic or make it a series, it’s up to you.

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  1. Reflections and Planning

Blogging is like a journal, but in a neater way. Every blog post is a documentation of your thoughts on a particular time frame. I am not just talking about relationships and personal blogs. Even your business ideas, you may have a different view on business matters today than you did in the past. Another reason why you should blog is if you are starting a business. It’s almost like a business planning tool with endless marketing perks. Another reason why you should blog is if you are starting a business.

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  1. Mindfulness

In today’s busy world, our minds easily travel in so many directions even while we sit. Most people have a hard time to find that moment to focus. Especially when you start with your day. I for example have multiple tabs and email accounts that needs checking. Also I need to catch up on my twitter feed. It gets overwhelming sometimes and writing a blog post gets my focus back on what is important. It is not just a distraction, but a tool to bring me back to being mindful. You might be surprised of how many lightbulb moments you may encounter while you write a single post

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  1. Best PR ever

In every project you work on, your blog serves as the best place to talk about it. It helps polish your views on what matters most while engaging with your readership. You should blog for this reason especially if you are an entrepreneur who wish to get messages to your audience in a timely manner. Your blog will remain in your website and not pushed down in a timeline of a social media. You might miss on great opportunities if you only rely on social media posting.

Blogs concept on blackboard
Blogs concept on blackboard
  1. Develop your writing skills

A blog is an ideal place to practice your writing. Blogging can get those creative juices squeezed. Not only that, it is a great platform to develop content writing while learning SEO. Some things you learn on your own in blogging cannot be taught or learned in classrooms.

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  1. Producing your own content

Whether you own a small business or its personal blogging, it is a great platform to produce and create your own content. Just a little tweak on SEO and you can bring so much good for your business or personal brand. As you continue to assert yourself as a content producer instead of consumer you are bound to reap huge payoffs in the future.

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If you are convinced now of these reasons why you should blog and want to start, I would suggest that you look into WordPress.com. There is a huge library of themes and plugins to customize your blog look, feel and functionality.

Otherwise, if you like, go ahead and get a full featured basic web hosting plan and a domain name.

Benefits of Blogging for Small Business Marketing

blogging for small business

I always get asked how blogging for small business can increase sales, not because any of my blogs now (and, or, then) ever made a lot of money. Simply because people think I know a lot about this stuff because I am quite techie.

Hmmm. So you may be having an impression that I am not an authority on this matter, blogging for small business.

Well, I may have not made thousands upon thousands of dollars by blogging using my personal brand.

But I can tell you that I made some brands stand out by ghost blogging for them, and yes, they are those who made lots of money.

It may be a wrong move, but I enjoyed it that time. Had I focused on my own brand, I could’ve made good amount of money.

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It is never too late, isn’t it?

So why did my clients, from back in 2008 until recently considered outsourcing their business blogging to me and many others?

It’s a proven success that I am also trying to pattern my marketing strategies now.

So here are the reasons why blogging of small business is important:

 

Traffic

Everybody hates to be stuck in traffic. That’ if you are on the road.

But for your website? Nom nom nom nom, I can skip 1 meal every day and spend hours on my computer as long as I can have more website visitors.

How is your website found in the internet?

  • They can type your web address directly on their browser, but those are probably people you already know. That doesn’t get you any more than what you already have.

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  • Buy the traffic! Buy an email list and hope people open them after blasting them marketing campaign that they did not opt in. Not only is that expensive, it’s very unethical and can even fracture your brand’s credibility BADLY.

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  • Paid banner advertisements to be displayed on websites that your target consumers are frequenting. But relying on clicks, given they have not yet installed an ad blocker, is an expensive move. You need to upsize your marketing budget about 200% if you are considering this long term.

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Well your next options would be blogging, social media and SEO. These three are actually related to each other already so that’s an added bonus.

I am pretty sure that your websites have quite a few pages, like:

  • About
  • Contact
  • Products
  • Services

Can you update them, say, every day? That would be crazy right? They are static pages and their function is to be stationary. I googled it for you, see below.

static page meaning snip

In terms of updating your website and making your pages more dynamic, blogging for small business solves this issue.

Every post is another indexed page on your website, that’s another page for your customers to know about you.

That’s another page for search engines to index and rank.

Meaning the more blog posts you have with great multiple varied keywords you are adding more signals to search engines to divert traffic.

Making your website active signals search engines to crawl more often on your pages. This directly influence your website ranking greatly.

Active websites get more hits and higher rankings.

Shareable content makes you socially active. Blogs can be shared among friends, through their news feeds, timelines or messages.

This takes you to a different ball game, now taking a more popular name as social media marketing. Social media is a major key player in diverting traffic.

blogging for small business
blogging for small business

Blog “share” and “like” buttons easily makes you social.

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Being social is an important step in marketing, there is no other way to drive more traffic to your website today than with the help of social media.

I hope you find the infographic I made below to be descriptive

***It is not guaranteed to convert 100% of readership into leads. Set your benchmark realistically. Just keep your calls-to-action on every blog post and keep blogging.

Makes You an Authority

One of the perks of having a blog is that your customers and visitors will consider you as an authority in your market.

Remember, consumers want to buy from experts. If you are consistent with providing content that is helpful for the majority of your target customers, they will keep on coming back wanting to learn more.

Keep on answering their common questions, this is the most what makes blogging for small business the best marketing strategy.

Just imagine how you impact consumer behavior by educating them about confusing areas of your product or business.

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Unfortunately, there is no easy metric to measure “market authority” through blogging. It is more like a fact laid out for every content marketer to follow.

Authority enables target conversion to leads and strengthens the possibility of sales and retention.

Continuous Lead Generation

Blogging for small business drives continuous results. It is an effective lead generation solution.

Meaning you are able to generate leads 24/7/365.

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Your blog post, no matter how old, will show up in search results.

Results in search engines show up because of the relevance of the keywords you used in creating the content. Older posts are indexed and ranked higher than new posts actually.

An old post may still be able to convert 10 – 100 leads monthly even if it is a year old.

Those mentioned above are top 3 reasons why business must incorporate blogging into their marketing tactics.

patbaganologobannerOther reasons blogging for small business can increase marketing productivity is that blogs are great outlet for public relation
s type information.

Further, testing information release to better understand your consumer persona’s reaction before any major investment are better done in blogs.

The Fundamentals of Effective Content Marketing

effective content marketing

Defining strategies to align effective content marketing with your SEO.

It is easier for content marketers to track the efficiency of their combined efforts as search engines become more open to sharing their user engagement data.

Tracking to align valuable content to a particular demographic of readership can easily be done today by any business.

Nonetheless, there are fundamentals that has to be covered for an effective content marketing campaign. Before deciding to start with content marketing and enhance your SEO, best to review the following:

  1. Conceptualize using keywords

Keyword is still an important aspect of content marketing. Nonetheless, the strength of keyword driven content is now reduced compared to 5 years ago.

It is important to conceptualize around a keyword phrase. Leave behind the idea of fixed keyword phrases, as urged by most experts.

You can be flexible with your keywords while retaining their essence in your material.

As you work with your content, base the form of the piece from a core keyword from your research and work on variations as you go along. Think about how others might search for a particular phrase.

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If for example writing about why Apple is better than HP, you would probably choose most search phrases using Google Trends of Buzzsumo.com and might end up with:

  • Advantages of Apple Computer
  • Disadvantages of HP Laptop
  • HP vs Mac
  • Great reviews about Macbook Pro

If you force these keyword phrases into your material you will end up with a rather odd content.

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Remember that the best way to optimize for search engines is to first optimize your content for your readers.

Humans before robots.

As long as you have created an outline and write naturally. You will eventually incorporate variations of the keyword phrases into your content.

  1. The right audience

Effective content marketing ensures promotion of the content to the right audience. Reaching out to websites that play as micro-influencers will help divert traffic on your content through backlinks.

While the importance of backlinks for an effective content marketing is now questionable in terms of SEO ranking, diverting organic visitors to your content is always a good thing.

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Your social media activity scores are becoming more important now. This is an area that was not given much attention in the past.

Content marketers are learning that LinkedIn and Facebook promotion is able to reach a wider audience of interested consumers.

 

  1. Pay attention to internal links

Scattering links within your content that points to other pages of your website is a good thing. Do not go overboard more than 2, for content not reaching over 800 words.

Internal-links

Pointing to related blog posts, videos or pages will help search engines crawl better on your site.

More than that, you are actually truly helping your consumers with the information they need.

  1. Right Title

With whatever CMS you are using to power your website content. You probably already know that all your webpage title is generated from the title tag.

Title tags will help people remember the page they are on. Yoast on WordPress allows you to easily change this.

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Modifying your title tag to bear one keyword will help not only help search engines but people to find you.

Title tags function as headlines in search engine results. Use it well.

  1. Use meta description tags

Meta tags act as the page description that is being used by search engines to give a two-line description of the whole article.

Including your core keyword phrase within the metatag will help in SEO but naturally making readers get more interested in your content and click.

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Do not make your metatags look like “Choose this now!”

Write a compelling metatags for your readers.

An effective content marketing campaign gives importance to search engine optimization.

But it is not the goal in its entirety. Even Google and Bing never faltered to remind writers to write for human users. They are what everything is all about.

Search engine rewards higher rankings to pages that have high click volume. Meaning you need to entice the human users.

  1. How fast is your website?

Check your website’s loading speed using Google PageSpeed Insights. Here’s why:

The loading speed of your website is a determining factor for your ranking. Consider a good talk with your web designer if you score low.

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The good thing about this free tool by Google is that it points out exactly the web scripts you need to fix to enhance loading speed.

You do not change the whole website.

  1. Be responsive across ALL devices and systems

The internet is busier now more than ever because of increasing consumers browsing using mobile devices.

Your website being responsive to whatever device means that you are likely to be rewarded by Google with higher page rankings.

Not only is Google continuously being awesome as a search engine company but they are also very good with marketers and small business owners. They provided this tool to help you score the mobile friendliness of your website.

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  1. Bounce rates must be controlled

Bounce rates are measured by your number of visitors who stayed and clicked through other pages against those who left right away.

It may seem to you that it is not important, some not-so-effective content marketing writers might present a data based on number of visits. Even if your number of visits reached 100,000 today but bounce rate of over 70%, that can penalize your site and be placed on lower rankings.

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Why so you ask? Bounce rate is a predetermining factor of inefficient websites, meaning:

  • It won’t load fast enough.
  • Irrelevant to consumer query
  • Misleading content

There are more reasons why visitors leave, but the whole point is, do leave an impression to search engines that you are an erroneous website.

  1. Website “on page” time

Often an idea outside effective content marketing. The time spent by your visitors on your web pages is a ranking factor. Use your analytics tool to define an average “on page” time for your visitors.

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Scoring low on this means you need to do something about your website content.

Fix this together with the bounce rate.

  1. Long-form content

Long-form content is favored by search engines. Content reaching over 1000 words appear to be getting higher rankings compared to others.

Nonetheless, long-form content writing have pre-requisites that may be different from your usual style. Check my post on Long-form Content to cover your basic knowledge.

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The idea remains to be the same, write high-quality, sensible content. Do not drag content that are short and fill it with nonsense just to reach 1000 words. This will cause you more bounce rates, and even bad reviews from consumers.

Writing long-form style will enable you to explain in detail other angles of the topic that is useful. You will have higher chances of being shared to a friend or a colleague.

 

  1. Share the love

Ensure that your website have a social button function that makes everything easy to share and like. The behavior of your content on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and many others are deciding factors for ranking as well.

Trends are closely watched by search engines.

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Let us just say that SEO is married Social Media.

  1. You’re filed!

Filenames are important now more than ever. If you have downloadable content, images and files. Make sure you name them properly. Ideally using keyword search terms as the filename.

The robots are now sneakier than ever! But that is to our advantage actually.

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Website whose files are named according to the keywords they are relevant too gets better ranking.

Do not ignore this idea.

  1. Tags!

All tags matter. We have discussed metatags. While it may be time consuming to add more tags to your article based on keyword search, but it is important. Why?

tags

Search engines pickup these tags. Chances that of getting indexed on a particular topic is based on tags.

  1. There is no gaming here!

Google has become all natural now. It likes organic visitors. Continue building an effective content marketing with no underground link-building schemes. This will naturally grow your visitors. Google lifts clean websites better than those spending thousands of dollars on blackhat SEO.

black-hat-seo-strategies

patbaganosmallbannerThere, hoping you made it until here means that you are really interested to build an effective content marketing campaign for your business. I am not a blackhat SEO person. In fact, I never understood the reason for website content beyond writing for the benefit of the human audience.

I love writing for humans, and thank goodness Google’s effort to enhance their search results gets better every day.