By Janet Dodrill
Search Engine Strategies, the topic of The Web Association‘s presentation 2/28/12 informed a packed room on relevant content strategies for search engines to improve organic rankings.
Moderator Ryan Morgan, ERC prefaced the meeting by pointing out facts like Google now has 62.2% of search engine market share, while Bing has 15.2% and Yahoo 14.1%. He outlined that the two biggest factors to search engine results are page content, and number of links to that page. Inbound diverse and quality links across many pages is desirable.
He stated that page level keyword usage accounts for 15% of results, and that domain level keyword usage only accounts for 11%. Rising trends are relevance and value (to user). Decreasing trends are domain name keywords and the effectiveness of paid links.
Eric Pryor of Rosetta stressed the three tiers of a successful site were components 1.) Technical (crawlable, built-well with everything working, and loads fast), 2.) On-site Optimization (content), and 3.) Off-site Promotion (relevant, authoritative, significant linking to site).
Co-presenter, Dave Skorepa of Aztek made the point of how important the content of a site is, and the best designed site will not look good if it lacks content. The customer is responsible for content when approaching a web design firm. Content strategy should come first, before the web site design.
He used Smashing Magazine as an example of a well-executed site, both in content, and in design and the visual experience. He shared that the best sites have relevant, current information; attract the target audience; retain visitors; create and maintain customers; establish credibility; further business goals; make connections; foster communication; and create a community.
It was recommend to create other kinds of content for your web site, like: blogs, forums, quizzes, podcasts, FAQs, and surveys, to name a few. Content consists of traditional on-site methods (i.e. page titles, META tags, images and alt tags, text content, video) plus use of off-site content (news releases, articles, blogs, images, videos, etc.).
This year’s content strategy for Coca-Cola was mentioned (Google it!), that consists of 70% low risk (already works), 20% expansion of that (pushing what already works), and 10% new ideas (take chances, makes some mistakes, fail fast).
Dave presented a ‘Content Cycle’ (and suggested to repeat this often) of segments: Research; content creation; content optimization; content promotion; content distribution; link building; measure results; strategy development.
It is beneficial to create ‘Purpose Pages’ defined with goals that can be used as templates for other pages in site, that could, i.e. be a product details landing page, demo, solution, or case study.
A good discipline would be to create a calendar for your business, in order to schedule when and what you post. Develop content for the year to better prepare for your busy times, planned promotions or holiday themes.
Research the topic more. In Google type in “content strategy” or “content marketing” to learn more. The rules and standards change fast.
Dave Skorepa’s slides: www.slideshare.net/AztekWeb/seo-andcontentstrategy
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