Guest Post - Our host is Jenny Rasmussen, who looks at Blogging and SEO in the wake of the Google Penguin algorithm change.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
With the “Penguin” update that launched on April 22, Google changed the search engine optimization (or “SEO”) game more significantly than ever before. Originally announced as a means to penalize webmasters who had over-optimized their webpages and link building efforts, the Penguin filter is now here to stay and ignoring its effects could cause your blog and website to plummet in Google’s search results.
So – what is the answer? How can a blogger continue to rank highly on Google and Bing without resorting to the SEO tactics of yesteryear? Let’s take a look at content – in the form of images, videos or written pieces – and how it can greatly improve your inbound traffic and where you show up in the search results.
Mission #1: Creating Compelling Content
The first – and most challenging – pieces of designing and executing on a content marketing plan are figuring out what kind of content to produce and then creating it. As you can see by browsing around the web, there are all sorts of different kinds of content, each with its own pros and cons. Blog posts like this one are informative and easy to read, but lack the kind of “wow” factor and media that can attract users on sites like Pinterest or YouTube. Video content is excellent, but since it has no appreciable text it cannot be combed over by search engines to be given a place in the rankings.
The best way to go about content development is to sit down (either by yourself, or with other bloggers or friends) and brainstorm what sort of materials that potential visitors in your blog’s niche would like to see. If you blog about jewelry, they’ll most likely want to see pictures of various jewelry pieces; however, if you write about legal briefings it’s highly likely that well-written text pieces by an industry expert will be the best kind of content. Listen to your users, figure out what to create, and then either create it in-house or outsource it to another blogger or a guest post.
Now, Get the Word Out There
Once you have a number of great content pieces to share it’s time to start tracking down websites, bloggers and other influencers in your niche who can help you spread your material and will link back to your site. If you have created something like an infographic that can be emailed or tweeted around, start building a contact list of the most important social media folks in your industry and start contacting them. If you created a series of guest posts or articles that can be placed on other blogs, contact blog owners to determine if they are open to having guest posts and to find out exactly what the requirements are for them to host your great content piece.
Remember that content marketing is all about three things: attracting and arousing interest in the reader or viewer, building relationships with bloggers or other webmasters, and drawing in attention to your own website through new backlinks and social shares. Penguin won’t cause you any grief if your webpages are being linked to naturally by influencers from across the internet. In fact, Penguin will probably help your cause by keeping SEOs ranking a bit lower.
Reap the Rewards of a Job Well Done !
Now that you’ve invested in creating real, compelling content that bloggers and social media users would be happy to share and you’ve put in the work to get it out there, it’s time to sit back and reap the rewards. Every single time your content is blogged about, tweeted about, liked on Facebook or pinned on Pinterest you will earn additional “street cred” in the eyes of Google and Bing and over time, your rankings will increase.
Remember: SEO is no longer about spamming countless thousands of links at a single webpage hoping that it will move up the rankings. Develop a formalized inbound marketing plan which focuses on providing excellent content and your SEO will take care of itself!