The way content is quantified has undergone immense changes in the past decade. The old SEO tactics of creating spam content have been rendered ineffective by smarter algorithms and more varied channels of exposure and distribution. In its place is a premium on tangible indicators of the quality of any one piece of content.
These key indicators are identified by assessing the prevalent features of digital content confirmed to be high in quality. Higher word counts, the integration of media-rich content, and more semantically relevant secondary keywords are all being accounted for in search engine algorithms, which helps build smarter search results and makes it harder for bad content to succeed.
“Over the last few years, content quality has become more and more important as search engine algorithms become more and more advanced. High-ranking URLs have more text and more media integrations than in either 2012 or 2013,” according to the report.
“Optimization is, increasingly, a holistic discipline. It’s not enough to rank for one relevant keyword—content must now be relevant to the topic and include several related terms.”
Creating this type of content isn’t easy. The good news for brands is that what doesn’t come easy comes with great ROI—at least if you ask most marketers. A recent study from Adestra and Econsultancy found that 75 percent of global marketers surveyed see either “excellent” or “good” returns on their content marketing investment. That’s the highest approval rating for any digital marketing channel.
Meanwhile, the actual “optimization” work marketers are doing takes up the smallest portion of the workday. To a large extent, this is the result of SEO being more of a byproduct than a process on its own. When quality SEO content is carefully created, the SEO work is taken care of.
So while brands find themselves devoting more and more of their resources to content creation, they should be putting less time and money into SEO-specific actions. If companies focus on creating quality content that matters to its audience, the other pieces of the puzzle will start to fall into place.
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