The world of search Engines is constantly being updated, so in order to remain ahead of the competition, you need to know what will be the future of the strategy you are using right?
2015 is almost dead, and as 2016 nears I thought of listing some of the strategies that would work for sure for your Content marketing strategy in 2016.
If you are thinking keyword research, stuffing or backlinking is all you are gong to need to rank and actually make an impact, you’re doomed. Why? Keyword relevancy matters least right now, stuffing penalizes you, and backlinks? They’re a story of yesterday .
Although, it’d be wrong to say that the above strategies are dead, but still there’s a difference between the blog that ranks #1 , and the blog that’s somewhere on the 10th page of Google Search results right?
And you probably are aware of the saying that ” If you want to hide a dead body, the best place for it is, the second page of Google search results” right? So unless you have the “best” strategy, tactics and tools, you won’t ever be ranking anywhere near the first 10 search results for any keyword.
So here are the 5 tactics that, if implemented in the right way are sure to boost your SERP in 2016.
Remember the point I was talking about keyword stuffing being dead? This is why it actually is so.
Google no longer looks for a particular keyword for the search results. And as a result, you stuffing your posts with “My keyword” “my important keyword” “rank this keyword” won’t really work, infact it’ll harm your SERP rather than increasing it.
Google adopted the “natural search” algorithm around a year back. Didn’t get me?
All of you have probably used Microsoft word for sure, right? Ever seen MS -word self correct words? Or the red underline, implicating that there’s something wrong? How does it know that? Because it knows what’s natural and what is not.
I search a very lame term, without any real meaning on Google, “Method SERP 2015”.
See the results? And you might find it strange, that those TOP results, dont even have the #1 keyword- METHOD in them, and still they are ranking #1, why?
Because Google knows that ” CTR rates” ( #1 result ) is a method to increase SERP even if the keyword is not present in the search result.
So I’m probably clear on what naturalization is right?
So instead of targeting “keywords” , you should try to provide real value to the user, the overall content is understood by Google bots, and they are advanced enough to detect the total subject matter of the content, and so that’s how your content is judged.
But, totally ditching keyword research is also not advised. Infact it’s still a major source of Organic traffic.
- Keyword stuffing penalizes you.
- You don’t need to over use the focus keyword.
- Natural writing, and including the keyword wherever necessary is great.
- Write, as if you are talking to your readers, and not as a magazine writer or a bot.
What is Direct-Writing?
Direct writing is a form of writing where you address the user’s query directly, in a formulated way with the intention to provide the best of knowledge, in the simplest of words.
I’m not including this as a separate point, because this can be included with naturalization. This is a form of natural writing , where your writing style is supposed to be like a Q & A. There’s a question, and there’s an answer simple as that.
Why direct writing is helpful?
Because, instead of searching for ” Direct Writing” , most people search as ” What is Direct writing” . And infact, Google has a beautifully coded snippet to display the best results separately, above all the results, and trust me that is a traffic gold mine.
See? The answers from Wikipedia are often consist direct naturalization, and so they dominate that position for most keywords. If you are thinking you can’t compete with Wikipedia, well you probably can’t, but it’s not about Wikipedia.
There are lot’s of terms that don’t have such direct answers , so targeting those keywords and writing a detailed post with their Q&A is without doubt a SERP booster for you.
Targeting Related Traffic:
What is TRT?
Targeting Related Traffic is targeting a group of phrases, instead of just a particular keyword, in order to tell the search engines about topics that are relevant to your topic or post as a whole, and not just the keyword.
While with keyword targeting, you target only one or two keywords or phrases, it’s no more relevant right? As I said, keywords don’t matter as much as they did in the early days, now your topic as a whole matters, so you need to target phrases related to your topic that are linked to your topic.
For eg. if ” How to rank on Google” is a high competition phrase, it’s better to target ” Get more traffic from Google” is it’s low competition. Technically, getting more traffic = higher rankings on Google, but still the competition volume can greatly increase your chances of being noticed.
Also, whenever someone searches for “How to rank on Google”, your phrase “Get more traffic from Google” will be a possible option that Google displays in the search results.
How to find related terms and phrases?
One of the best tools, or better to say, ways I’ve found to look for low-competition, broader phrases is Google itself. You must have noticed, whenever your search on Google for a term, say – New year 2016, you get a list of something like the below screenshot, right?
Trust me, this is collection of some of the best keywords, with heavy potential of organic traffic, as well as related traffic to you.
I’m sure you might have heard of using this section of Google before this, but my point in highlighting this was:
- You have a greater exposure, as targeting these phrases will get you related traffic. So users searching for “new year 2016” , “New year 2016 wallpapers” or just any number of different terms will land on your blog.
What the hell is Rank brain, right?
Well, it’s a new algorithm update, by Google. To measure the “happiness” or “satisfaction” of users from a page.
The “back button” trend was already popular right? I mean, if a user clicked on the “back” button from your blog , to go back to the search result, that counted as a negative metric for your SERP, right?
Well this is something similar, but a lot more sophisticated and advanced.
From a recent post on SEL, it’s confirmed that Rankbrain is working, and effective:
So how does Google measure your site’s effectiveness in terms of a user right?
Ask yourself, what’s the one thing that will increase, on a page, if you like the article on the page? Shares? ( No, as not all the people who like the article share it ). Comments? ( No, same reason as for Shares ). Then what is it?
Time on the page: No matter how reluctant you are to the blog, you might not share or comment on it, but if the article is worth your time, you surely are going to read it, and so the “page on time” metric for the page is no doubt going to increase, right?
So your attempt should be to keep the users on your page for a longer time. How to do that ?
- Writing style: It matters a lot, trust me. I’ve seen people pay up to $1000 for good quality articles. Your style should not be too extended, meaning while talking about “earth” , there’s no point in telling someone that you bought a car last night, right?
- Paragraphs : If you have noticed, the paragraphs on this article are as short as 2-3 lines right? That way, the user isn’t bored to death, and there’s a sense of ” there might be something new in the next paragraph” and so he keeps on reading and that’s exactly what you need.
- Formatting: There’s the “bold” and “italic” option available right? Make use of them, also make sure to use “h2″ tags in the article, as they’re good for your On-PAGE SEO, and are in most cases bolded automatically.
- Images and videos: I’m sure I’m beating a dead horse here, you already know why you should be using images right? Colours, photographs, and data can be best represented through images, and so they are surely a good factor that should increase your time on site.
For eg. here’s an infographic on the use of images / Infographics, and how they boost your audience engagement.
No matter what strategy you’re using, or how many bucks you’ve paid to some SEO company. The one thing, that was, is and will remain the king is “content”.
As I’ve said, Google is evolving, and it works almost like an A.I ( Artificial intelligence ) now, so instead of trying to trick is using keywords again and again, or building paid backlinks or any such thing, the best option is to really spend some time researching, creating and formulating posts.
Because at the end of the day, the Naturalization tactic, the Direct- targeting, or the “Related targeting strategy”, all come to an end at the same platform- CONTENT.
How to create high quality content:
- There are thousands of articles on it, but the best advice is, to create content on something that really has a search volume, and creating it really long and deep, so that there’s not a single query or question that the reader might still have, even after reading your content.
- Content Length: It’s a direct ranking metric now, so creating content less than 1000 words really has no value, unless you’re Brian Dean .
- Authority: Not everyone can be an expert of what he does, not at the starting point atleast, or even if you are, you might still need a bit of “back-end” support to show your expertise. So it’s a good practice to use and cite links from authoritative sources, As I’ve done in the Rankbrain section, citing the link to search engine land, because at this point SEL is one of the most creditable SEO platforms no doubt.
There’s no definite road to success if you are a digital marketer, what doesn’t work for anybody else, might work for you. Or the other way around, but still the above points are the most common, logical and formulated strategies for a successful Content Marketing Strategy for the coming year.
Is there some other major update or tactic I missed? Let me know in the comments, It’s always a pleasure to learn from you guys, I’ll include the points here with proper credits to you 🙂