Thursday, April 24, 2014

SEO Falls in Love with Content Marketing at BrightonSEO April 2014

Hot off the press, my regular round up of the main themes to emerge from the latest BrightonSEO conference, the place where SEO’s go to seek inspiration.

SEO has reignited its love affair with content marketing according to the buzz at the industry’s latest meet up.

The carefully crafted programme at BrightonSEO featured the topic of Content over and over, again and in many forms.

To clarify, I don’t mean ‘placing’ content across the internet – the practice of buying guest blog posts to gain links was conspicuous by it’s absence, ditched like a past infatuation in that typical way SEO’s have of falling in and out of love with attractive new techniques.

No, the current infatuation is content marketing, a discipline which has been around in SEO for a few years but usually as one of many different techniques, used when time and budget allowed (creating great content involves sweat).

So here are some of the specific ideas, recommendations and techniques around content generation which I heard today:
  • Content on your site needs to be awesome – the best out there for that subject or topic. That way it will naturally get linked to and shared (with a little initial nudge of course).
  • Your new awesome content needs to be flagged up to key influencers online using outreach to encourage sharing. Sometimes this outreach can be surprisingly low tech; use of a little black book and picking up the phone for example.
  • Great content needs to be well presented, maybe enlisting the assistance of designers.
  • Content doesn’t have to be text based, we could be talking images for sharing or awesome videos (if the cost of video production ever comes down enough of course).
  • Use paid search to help boost and amplify your newly created content, especially on low cost social PPC channels.
  • Providing great content is also a valuable opportunity for brands to answer their customer’s questions and build brand equity. Content can also help reinforce brand values and provide a positive brand experience.
  • Better content on your site will keep visitors there for longer, reduce bounce rates and potentially help provide an overall lift in SEO performance.

So how does this new need for content impact the SEO industry, agencies in particular?

I feel that those agencies with a more technical approach to their work may struggle with the new demands for creativity, just as some SEO’s struggled to embrace social media a couple of years ago when social signals first emerged (after all some SEO people are by nature pretty anti social!)

How will agencies cope with creative brainstorming of ideas for stunning content designed to appeal to a specific audience? After all it’s a long way from optimising meta data, especially if they don’t have content people in house. I foresee new job opportunities for creative thinkers, writers and designers.

Personally I’m just pleased that my earlier working life was in marketing and particularly working with and within creative agencies. That experience might just be about to come in handy.

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