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article imageWhy 2014 is the year of content marketing

By Alyssa Sellors     Jan 13, 2014 in Business
It is no surprise to anyone in marketing that keywords and multiple back links are all but extinct, but late in 2013 Google took further measures to fight against these antiquated marketing practices with their new search engine algorithm, Hummingbird.
Hummingbird affects internet marketing in a variety of ways, and anyone who has a company website should really be familiar with these changes. For one, Google now penalizes websites for using multiple backlinks. Instead of taking your readers in circles of links to keep them on the page, it is a better idea to keep readers on your page through the use of infographics or images. You will not be penalized for doing this and readers will actually spend quality time on your website increasing the likelihood that they will revisit your site in the future. Hashtags are another change. Many people think hashtags are only useful for social media but did you know that if you hashtag a phrase on your website, Google’s search engine will pick up that phrase first? For example, if you have “New York Library” or “#NewYorkLibrary,” the search engine picks up the “hashtagged” version first. The next challenge is to try to seamlessly enter these hashtags without annoying your reader. In addition to adding “hashtagged” phrases, internet marketers should also focus on answering common questions within the text of their site. While Google still uses page rank as a factor, there is renewed emphasis on more “natural search queries” as more of us are searching entire phrases, not just key words, so it is also helpful to include question and answer type posts. A major plus is that most of these changes are quite beneficial to those in content marketing.
In a recent article in The Washington Times entitled “Google’s Hummingbird can be marketer’s best friend,” the author refers to this “conversational search” as more contextual and natural. This shift has caused waves with a few but many in the field of content marketing have been following these changes for a while now and find that for companies, content marketing is a “key element that can be gracefully integrated into their overall marketing strategy to help drive sales.” Content marketing and SEO are not the same things as many people may think. Basically, the goals of SEO practices are to increase traffic and rankings on search engines whereas the goal of content marketing is to “create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage” a defined and understood target audience. While both methods are intended to drive profitable customer action, content marketing focuses on niche markets and quality content, versus attracting as many people as possible from wherever you can find them.
All of these changes affect not only how consumers receive information but also how companies present their content to consumers. Companies need to make consumers aware and show them just how unique and different they are from anyone else in their field. While this is nothing new as we are always trying to set ourselves apart in business, the relationship between content creators and customers has never been so close, an ideal environment for those in content marketing. Many in the field of content marketing are actually finding these new search practices helpful for data collection. By showing “other results” or suggestions when you search a word or phrase on Google, marketers can evaluate what people are searching to better determine what kind of queries are searched the most. By knowing this information, companies can create content strategies that give consumers what they actually want: valuable content.
More about content marketing, Seo, Google Search, Marketing
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