Content Marketing: Not Ranked, Not Found, Not Read

Competing for eyeballs gets tougher as more and more content gets published. And no content is worth the effort for a brand, if it does not generate traffic. Not just generate traffic, but also engage the target group. Traditionally, search engines such as Google have played the market maker in directing traffic to a post. Which meant,  if Google ranked you higher around sought after keywords, your post content could do wonders. If it ranked you poorly, it is like setting a party at South Pole!  In other words, all brand managers would want content that is ranked higher compared to competition by referring posts such as Google, who in turn would direct higher traffic to the site, after which, hopefully, the content would take over and engage the customer.  In other words, the key is to be found by the target group. Such an approach has traditionally been called the organic traffic. The other way(‘inorganic’) is to guide the traffic to your content using intelligent advertising led funnel. Nothing wrong with this approach, other than the fact that it costs money! And plenty of money!!

The best thing to happen to your content is, therefore, it being discovered by the target group at the earliest. For that to occur, few things should be carefully aligned:

  1. As content publishers get smarter, so do Google’s algorithms. A decade or so back, short descriptions of content contained in invisible html code called meta tags ruled the content game. Not so much anymore, as search engines developed capability to parse your entire content and make their own opinion of it! Yet, do not ignore it completely. For instance, if you click here  , you would notice the description of the content as stored by Google. If you do not provide and meta tag, a search engine would pick up some text, usually from the beginning of text, and store it.
  2. Build a healthy ecosystem of referral sources. One way to do so is to get mutual link backs. So be generous in citing examples from other sources.  It is not about passing traffic to others, but about generating credibility in the content consumer that you really know what is happening in the ecosystem and hence know what you are talking about!
  3. Keywords aren’t dead. However, one must define keywords. Does everything become a keyword? Keywords are those words, which are likely to be used for searching, either by themselves, or in combination with other keywords. An example, “quadratic”, “equation”, “solving” & “one” and “step” may not be heavyweight by themselves, but when combined together, they almost resemble a possible search query – “solving quadratic equations in one step”. To get a hang of it, you can also use a keyword density tool such as this.
  4. The title: People take only fraction of a second to decide whether to further spend time on a content. If your content has substance, the title has to be clever.For example, as in this post, touching upon pain areas really help in getting users to spend more time on your content.
  5. Submit a sitemap: The search engines crawl the web at their own cycles. A good practice to have your content getting picked up fast is to have an automatically generated XML sitemap. Here’s how to do that.

The larger point behind all the above recommendations is that as a brand your content may to totally fail you not because of creative reasons, but because these good practices for the medium are not adhered to . In other words, it is important to make all the above integral to the content creation and publishing process.

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