Content optimization – the most important discipline in online marketing
Content marketing has become a key aspect of every business’ marketing strategy. In a recent study of the current state of content marketing in Germany, over 70% of respondents said that they had been able to gain new contacts and customers via their content marketing. Search, find, convince! These are the secrets to success in modern online marketing. Classic search engine optimization (SEO) alone is no longer enough. Why is that? Because modern search engines love what people love. And people love relevant content which is quick and easy to understand. Overwhelmingly, the most popular content remains textual.
“The most successful marketing combo is Content Optimization + SEO + UX Optimization. In other words, texts which win over both man and machine. And the XOVI Suite provides all the necessary tools for success.”
1. Why keyword optimization alone is no longer enough
There was once a time when the internet was a playground reserved exclusively for IT boffins – but not anymore. In 2016, the web is deeply rooted in our everyday lives, so deep that it’s no longer enough to simply have a nice website and hope that your target audience can find it when they need it. No, today you need to do everything in your power to get found and win over visitors with relevant and interesting content. And yet few businesses seem to really understand what that means, let alone know how to go about it. Many marketing managers are still reliant on classic on-page and off-page optimization.
Tick the right boxes and get found!
Recent years have seen the search engine market in a constant state of flux. Only one fact has remained the same: Google dominates with 88% of the global market share, and sets the rules by which the great SEO game is played out.
What used to be a case of simply placing a few keywords in a suitable place on a website in order to get found has now developed into something of a science. Google evaluates a huge range of criteria which are stored in its index. Evaluation of competitor data, a focus on shop articles, and integration of geo-data – it all makes the calculation and interpretation of results a highly complex process. But failure to master this process is dangerous and costs money. Businesses which don’t understand how to implement a serious, long-term optimization strategy in order to get found will quickly find themselves invisible, and invisible businesses don’t have customers and don’t make profit.
Hello algorithm – goodbye visitors
As complex as each individual aspect of the process might be, the basics of evaluation are actually relatively simple: search engines love what people love – good content. Good rankings are therefore dependent on good content on the relevant (landing) pages. This means convincing visitors the moment they land on your website from the search results page. Your primary task is to get their attention, reel them in and guide them along. This is only possible with the right content and the right tone. Good text is therefore the secret to successful content marketing – we call it “content boosting.”
No success without good content marketing. No good content marketing without good copy
Google is increasingly tuned in to the wishes of its customers, and this is the key. Good sites which load quickly and encourage visitors to hang around are listed higher and have better rankings, making them more visible and more successful. In April 2016, Google announced that mobile optimized sites would be further prioritized in mobile search – an announcement that has wide-reaching consequences for contemporary SEO strategies. Businesses which only focus on fulfilling the classic ranking criteria for a desktop website are throwing away potential.
Getting found however is the only the start. Attracting, convincing and permanently hooking visitors is the real aim, regardless of how they end up on your page or what device they are using. Google evaluates your “authority” as a website provider overall. This is why a combination of search engine optimized and appropriate content for all devices is so important – today more than ever! When it comes to creating and recognizing targeted content, tools like XOVI provide all the tools you need.
2. Turning Google criteria into added value for users
Google is unique in its domination of the search engine market. Businesses who want to rank higher in Google need to play by its rules. So Google’s ranking criteria are of the utmost importance.
The biggest change in Google’s approach in recent years has been the move away from the pure, mechanical ranking of keywords to a more semantic evaluation process. Search is constantly changing and one-word-searches are becoming less common.
Internet users nowadays are more likely to search in phrases or even whole sentences, so it is important to understand and interpret search terminology accurately and deliver suitable search results. After all, this is Google’s main aim – to deliver optimal results. And those results depend on the content we offer on our webpages and how we structure it.
SEO provides the keywords, your content provides the context
Keywords are still a central pillar of on-page optimization. But it’s no longer enough to simply place important words and phrases randomly all over a page. The context of keywords and the words and phrases which surround them are also analyzed and evaluated closely. The simpler and more relevant the text, the higher it will be valued.
As the search algorithm is developed further and further through suggestions made by Google users as they use the search engine, semantic search is gaining the upper hand. Conversely, generic single word keywords are becoming less important, so it’s no longer enough just to optimize based on single keywords. The emphasis is now on content which convinces and animates both users and Google. In other words, positive user experience (UX) and maximal SEO combined. Get that right and you’ll see some real conversion acceleration.
Content-Boosting setzt Ihnen die Content-Brille auf
Good content, bad content? Good text, bad text? Like all sorts of content, the quality of texts can depend very much on taste. But when it comes to creating successful, content-optimized text, there’s no room for subjectivity. Measurable criteria exist by which we can clearly define whether content is simple and catchy or difficult and impenetrable.
How to convince both man and machine
When it comes to the content production line there are four key criteria for good content: intelligibility, vividness, personal attraction and impulse. All can be individually calculated and thus offer brands and businesses the chance to do something which is indispensable in this age of content marketing: the establishment of structured quality management for texts and content. Professional SEOs make use of all relevant keyword sectors and a whole vocabulary of content boosting terms and phrases in order to bring man and machine together as one.
Both text optimization and content boosting share some common aims:
- Top placements in search engines
- Significantly more traffic on target pages
- Significantly higher conversion rates
- Visitors who feel welcome, comfortable and well-informed
These are not just fictional scenarios. All can be achieved with consistency and harmony in SEO and content. Keyword frequencies, WDF/IDF analyses, intelligibility, vividness, impulse. Do your homework and you will be rewarded by Google and, more importantly, your customers.
Short and sweet! What to take away…
- 75% of all purchase and investment decisions are informed via online search …
- … so search engine optimization (SEO) is a must for every business.
- Classic SEO is a thing of the past – optimization for single keywords is no longer enough.
- Why? Because Google is increasingly taking context and user behaviour into account.
- You might manage to trick the search engine into higher rankings but users will see straight through you. You won’t stay up there for long.
- Today’s holy trinity is therefore: search – find – convince!
- This requires integrated search engine optimization (SEO) and text optimization (TEO) under one roof …
- … because Google loves what people love – and people love texts which they can understand and content which is relevant.
- We can scientifically measure what people understand, what they like, what moves them.
- XOVI uses this data to analyze text and content clearly and precisely …
- … and generate a basis for informative and functioning quality management …
- … and content marketing which converts searchers into window shoppers and window shoppers into paying customers.
From the authors: Wolfgang Jung & Jörn Winter
“SEO and content optimization is no longer a matter of taste – it’s about measurable success.”
Jörn Winter is a text and dialogue marketing specialist
“SEO was yesterday. The successful brands of tomorrow understand their customers and offer optimal content – both online and off.”
Wolfgang Jung is a search engine optimization (SEO) expert specializing in building user-orientated websites.
*“Content-Marketing in Deutschland. Was bringt es wirklich?” [Content Marketing in Germany. What are the real benefits?] by Kamman Rossi, School for Communication and Management.