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Content Is King February 24, 2012

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An article was published earlier this week that discussed how content “is king” within an successful SEO campaign. With social media strategies being used as a preferred method of promotion, along with link building and other off-page optimization tactics, sometimes content development can be overlooked or completely forgotten over time.

Google updated their algorithm for the purposes of filtering quality sites in the SERPs from sites that have thin content, duplicate content, or content that doesn’t answer the users question based on the query entered. The Panda update put a much higher emphasis on content quality, content uniqueness, and the amount of content used.

Many affiliates, agencies, and businesses that rely on the traffic generated from organic searches are worried about their sites dropping in rankings from the Panda update a year ago or have experienced drops in ranking detrimental to being able to remain competitive from a business perspective.

It’s important to properly adapt your content strategies if you’re still struggling to climb back to where you were in terms of rankings.

As stated in a previous blog post on content, critical factors of most SEO content initiatives are:

• Creating unique, relevant, and valuable content for users
• Content depth
• Frequency in which content is delivered

Fresh and interesting content is not only valuable to users, but also valuable to search engines for indexing and categorization purposes.

Quality Over Quantity

We’re not saying spend a few months creating one piece of content! As stated above, the frequency of content delivery is also a critical factor. Websites should be updated on an “as needed” basis to maintain rankings or increase rankings. Always try to meet and exceed what your competition within the niche is delivering to their audience in terms of content frequency.

Nowadays, when content is created it is also tweeted, linked on Facebook pages as well as personal walls, and bookmarked. Think of it this way: if the quality of content is valuable to users, the more users will be inclined to link to it and share it with others through social channels.

Keep in mind that on-page SEO tactics will only go so far without building links. If content is king, then links are queen, and without them it is almost impossible for content to be distributed to your audience.

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Address your Audience

The definition of content quality is subjective and undefined. If you want your sales copy to convert, or if you want your website to be shared with others, understand what your target audience finds to be “quality writing” and create content toward those requirements.

Whether you’re creating content or a social media campaign, knowing how to generate trust and reach multiple broad audiences is necessary. Keep in mind these basic types of readers when writing content for a broad audience.

Type of Learner

Your readers are one of two types of learners: visual or auditory. Copywriting skills are crucial for visual learners, as Melissa Fach wrote in her SEJ article, whereas auditory learners react better to videos. You need both types of content to appeal to both types of learners if you’re looking to get your message across to more people and with less resistance.

Level of Education

We don’t mean whether or not your audience went to college, but how educated they are on the topic you’re writing about. You need to write for those who are just learning about the topic as well as the expert.

Create this type of writing by making sure your headline and lead-in sentences show you know what you’re talking about (for the expert) by including facts, statistics, or undeniable statements. You also need to make the content clear for the novice and answer questions whenever possible. Answer questions anyone would have, from a novice to an expert, and make sure your details are clear, factual, and offer valid points that all audiences would find interesting enough to share with others.

Attitude

This comes into play when optimists or pessimists read your content. Pessimists love to find mistakes and flaws, so don’t make any – period. They also love to argue so try to keep your personal opinions out of your content, especially if it is sales copy.

The optimist is usually happy to read your content and tends to trust easily, so pointing out potential pit falls and challenges the audience might encounter can help them provoke thought and stay happy.

Content can either make or break a website, given how it is created and how it is distributed. If you update your website with quality content (interesting, share-worthy, and well written) then you should be in a strong position to remain competitive in the SERPs after off-page SEO strategies are applied.

Nick Cuttonaro

Nicholas Cuttonaro is an Internet Marketing professional specializing in search engine optimization, lead generation, and online reputation management.

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