There’s a big debate going on about the near-term future of SEO and what it means for content marketing, in light of the way Google and other major search engines have redesigned layouts to emphasize shopping and paid content links like ads and features.
At the same time, the inclusion of highlights and short but fast answers to related questions have increased the opportunities to be discovered. While the importance of the organic search for your company’s visibility might be changing, content marketing is about more than just organic rankings. In fact, in today’s social media atmosphere, search rankings are often a minor part of the traffic they generate, so changes to the visibility of organic search results might not cause the big changes to your traffic that you’re worried about.
1. Build On-Site Resources
It’s still going to be important to keep your website content writer busy with rewrites to existing pages on a rotating schedule because there’s still an audience to reach through organic search even if it is a shrinking audience. Pivoting to less frequent rewrites to existing landing page copy in favor of a deeper investment in new content is probably a good idea, though. On-site resources provide you with high-quality information readers can really use to solve problems and identify new opportunities, and educating your customers means they are better able to identify when your goods or services will solve a problem they have.
Include rich visual information like embedded video or infographics to make the most of your display space, and make sure to adjust your social media strategy to promote new resources as they are posted, in addition to your usual rotation of news and blog posts. That way, you can build long-term traffic through social sharing, getting more eyes to your website, and building your social media following at the same time.
2. Develop More Audiovisual Content
The two most popular forms of content online are audiovisual presentations and long-form written content, but for the last several years it’s been a video that’s dominated, especially with younger people. The good news? You can usually rely on the same great content writers you hire for website content and blog posts when you need a video script. Let them work up the text, then use your own people to make a video that puts your best face forward. It’s a great way to build content for online platforms like Tik Tok, where video is the only commonly shared content.
3. Emphasize Long Tail Keywords in Content
The most common search terms are the ones that tend to display the most sponsored content before organic searches. That means your keyword-optimized content needs to chase the terms that still show organic results first, with your AdWords budget going toward the common keywords that put sponsored content in front of organic links. That way, you’re more likely to optimize the cost efficiency of your keyword-tuned content. It’s also important to keep those keywords natural in the copy, so complex keyword phrases need the right support words to feel natural with the syntax of each sentence.
4. Change Up Your Goals
Each marketing campaign you launch needs a specific goal you can measure for success, but those goals can change from one campaign to the next, and they should. Pursuing the same goals with the same strategies for too long means letting the competition catch up to you when you could be moving ahead. If you’re currently using content marketing for lead generation or sales conversions, consider pivoting to a support strategy like customer education or building brand awareness. This gives you the chance to build leads from a new pool of sources while enriching your relationship with existing customers and encouraging repeat business.
Content Marketing Trends for 2021
No matter what happens to organic search and SEO, content marketing will continue to be incredibly important to a balanced online marketing plan because it is already primarily spread through social media and word of mouth recommendations. What will need to change is your emphasis on how the content is structured because with keywords becoming less important to the success of a piece, originality and quality become even more important than it ever was before. That’s the important takeaway as you plan digital marketing efforts for Q1 2021.