So what is an Optimized Content Strategy?
An Optimized Content Strategy is the art of deliberately producing content, based on keyword phrases that are driving organic search traffic and conversions, that demonstrates an understanding of your target customer’s knowledge acquisition at various stages in their buying cycle. Then delivering that “optimized” content to them in a relevant and compelling way to grow your business by socializing the content through your organization’s social networks. In this context, content can consist of: website content, blogs, press releases, case studies, white papers, how-to guides, emails, news and events, videos – whatever it is your prospects and customers want to consume, in the format they will best be able to consume it, and on the various platforms on the web they may be receptive to consuming the content.
Search Rankings: Optimized Content Strategy
Here are a few reasons why producing and distributing fresh, relevant, optimized content must be part of your marketing strategy, if you want to rank in organic search and be relevant in the social networks.
1. Social Signals
December 2010: both Google and Bing announced that they factor social signals into their organic search algorithms. According to Google, social media and social networking are about relationships and relationships prove relevance and relevance is at the core of organic search. Social signals are the new back links. It is becoming apparent that social signals will continue to rise in importance as the lines between social media and search continue to thin.
Optimized Content Strategy Approach: Distribute your optimized content strategy to your social networks and give your website visitors and content consumers every opportunity to socialize your content including: tweets, re-tweets, Google +1’s, Facebook Likes and Shares, YouTube views and LinkedIn Shares. Of course, you need to build out your social networks too – not just more followers, but each platform offers different content formats and offers an opportunity to spin your message.
2. Google’s Panda
March 2011: Google starts penalizing sites for manufactured back links.
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Optimized Content Strategy Approach: For long-term success with your SEO and social media strategies build out your back links by producing and distributing relevant fresh content such as optimized press releases and blog posts. Optimize your content for the keywords you know your prospects are using to find you and that they are converting on. Point back links in the press release, blog post or case study to your website, or better yet, a conversion page. Then socialize the content through your social networks including: Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
3. The Freshness Updates
November 2011: Google launched an algorithm change called the Freshness Update that gives priority to fresh, timely content such as press releases, blogs, news and events.
Optimized Content Strategy Approach: Give Google, and your customers, fresh, relevant, timely optimized content.
So while the fundamentals of organic SEO remain important – such as ensuring you have a strong technical website with keyword optimized pages, good site architecture, and building local search and industry-specific directories for back linking purposes – a real shift is taking place in the on-going approach to traditional SEO. That shift is the creation, publishing and distribution of an optimized content marketing strategy. This is only possible after the base is built – your website – but the conceptual aspects of a content strategy are actually the foundation for your entire Internet Marketing Strategy. And developing the conversations with customers is an ongoing process….