The Shift from Traditional SEO to Content Marketing

The rules of the game are changing and 2013 will be remembered as the year of content marketing for efficient SEO. Google launched a massive campaign against poor quality content and spam in 2012, killing many websites that used to thrive in the past.

Have you made the shift from traditional SEO to content marketing? If you are still hesitant about abandoning the traditional optimization techniques, the time is right to start embracing the new dynamics. Understand the fact that a small SEO mistake or the excessive reliance on a quick fix can lead to a disaster. Content marketing requires a strategy and long-term planning. Familiarizing yourself with the new rules of the game will give you an opportunity to start enjoying the benefits fast.

Shift from Traditional SEO to Content Marketing: What do You Need?
Not so long ago, there was a vast difference between the content that people wanted to read and the content that search engines required for the good positioning of pages among search engine results. In 2012, Google tried to bridge the gap through the infamous Google Panda and Google Penguin.

Content can impact your web-based business. This is why you need to have a content marketing strategy. Some of the elements to consider include:
– Social networking and the smart use of social signals.
– Regular blogging.
– Guest posting.
– Syndication.
– The creation of PR materials.
– The upload of infographics, case studies and white papers.
– Reliance on multimedia and vide content.
– The simplification of design for fast loading pages.

Writing interesting, fun and witty pieces of website content is no longer sufficient to guarantee you good search engine positioning. You have to think about popularizing texts, creating a community and providing website visitors with added value. Google examines all of these aspects of the process carefully.

Basic Rules for Content Creation
Start writing for your audience rather than for search engines. The fact that people are willing to spend several minutes on your texts means that search engines will be happy with your efforts, as well.

Some SEO experts say that keywords are dead. On the contrary! Keywords are very important, though keyword stuffing is dead. Choose your keywords carefully so that you are not wasting time on content that nobody wants to read.

New SEO techniques provide amazing opportunities. For example, you can coin phrases and keywords that you can optimize your content for. This way, you will become a pioneer and you will get leading market positions because of your creativity.

Keep in mind that quality is now much more important than quantity. Instead of producing five mediocre articles, focus your efforts and write one stellar piece. Old-school techniques will get you penalized, even if you are skeptical about the transition. Google is very serious about its new rules and the sooner you get used to them, the better.

Social Networking and Google+ for Content Marketing
Content marketing starts with the right website texts but it relies heavily on social networking, as well. Active participation in websites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter will contribute to your innovative optimization strategy.

It was clear from the start that Google+ will be a major part of the shift towards content marketing. It introduced a number of important new concepts like local optimization and authorship.

Google+ authorship links content published on a website or a blog to a particular Google+ profile. Authorship is an important part of reputation establishment. In search results, articles will appear with a photo and a byline of the author. Such listings are more attractive, increasing the chance of people following the link. Additionally, Google users can easily get a list of articles by the same author, establishing reputation and increasing the content exploration potential of a website.

Authorship is a relatively new concept that is expected to become even more prominent in the future. Linking your website to your Google+ profile is a very simple task and you should complete the steps as soon as possible.

Local optimization is another major content marketing trend for 2013. The number of people who search for a particular keyword that is combined with a geographical term is increasing. Google Local will benefit all websites that provide services in a particular city or neighborhood. Adding a geographically relevant keyword to your content is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of local optimization. Setting up a Google Places profile is the second important step.

The shift from traditional SEO to content marketing is already a fact. The SEO community experienced tremendous shock in 2012 but it managed to pull itself together and survive the drastic changes. In 2013, you have to think about content uniqueness, usefulness and the importance of social signals. All of these components will affect your content marketing efforts and the popularity of your website.