Why is Content Marketing Critical for Search Engine Optimization?

We said it: Successful SEO campaigns are no longer built around link building. In the near future, every business that successfully gains rank online will achieve organic ranking success with well-written, relevant and creative content. Sustainable, long-term SEO campaigns that work will not be the result of SEO short-cuts – at least not anymore.

Even will this year’s heavy-handed search engine penalties, many business owners’ and even SEO companies’ approaches to online marketing are completely backwards. First they decide that they want to dominate search engine rankings. Then they decide what keywords. Then they start creating and publishing spammy content and backlinks. This content is often very poorly written and used more as a platform for shameless advertising and mass-link building. There are still some companies here in Kansas City that continue to use this dangerous approach, but they are finding that their natural rankings are falling. Some that may still have some organic rank will likely get hit during Google’s next Penguin or Panda update. SEO agencies that were successful using this tactic will find it to be increasingly difficult as search engines continue their assault on webspam. Even content that is well written but key-word centric can be problematic if not deployed as part of an overall content marketing strategy. The best recipe for online marketing success is to start with a holistic marketing plan, including all of your online and offline marketing objectives. Then you should attempt to weave your corporate marketing plan into your website and online marketing tactics. When approached in this manner your overall marketing goals and objectives will be in sync with your total online presence.

OK, so we basically said that link building is dead. Not really. Backlinks are really powerful if they come from highly relevant, high authority websites. Particularly after Google’s Penguin 2.1, highly selective link building paired with and effective content marketing strategy has become the winning combination for organic SEO. This strategy for link building is predicated on content marketing – you do not necessarily have to spend time online advertising your business if you can effectively market your content. People are far more likely to be engaged in a controversial, thoughtful or humorous article which ties you to your customers than some obnoxious advertising campaign. Further, social signals are growing in value to the search algorithms and are viral, provided your content base is strong. A successful SEO campaign will leverage content to create links and sharing, which will in turn boost your rank.

Regardless of your niche, geographic market, business size or experience, there is and always will be a sure-fire way to generate interest and a presence online. It’s not always easy, nor are there any quick fixes, and Google is getting faster and more aggressive at plugging short-cut loop holes. The long term solution is content marketing. By focusing on great content and marketing through your social channels, the links and sharing will come to you. We should start see a lot less webspam out on the Internet and more quality content for users – everybody wins!