Marketing SEO

SEO Strategy Now Includes Content Marketing at 45 Percent of Companies

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The time for content marketing has come. This is old news to many, of course, but it’s refreshing when major studies back up the idea. Forty-five percent of all companies now integrate content marketing into their SEO strategy, more than any other digital marketing focus, according to the State of Search Marketing Report 2013 from Econsultancy and SEMPO.

The study followed over 400 respondents from companies and agencies in November 2013 to see how they used various digital marketing channels. Content marketing garnered nearly half of respondents’ attention, with the next “highly integrated” area — paid search marketing — bringing in just 24 percent. Mobile marketing trailed at 16 percent.

According to the Econsultancy study, “content marketing is often seen as an umbrella discipline within digital that encompasses many areas, with one of the main ones being SEO.” It is precisely this line of thinking that has made SEO and content inextricably linked. While SEO strategy previously emphasized keyword optimization and blatant promotional tactics, the shift toward relying on content marketing shows companies are becoming more genuinely interested in helping customers. Businesses can do this by providing high-quality content that is informative, entertaining or both.

While keyword selection is still important, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to make themselves relevant to their target customer. The creation of high-quality, engaging content is one of the best ways to do this because it attracts customers rather than blatantly pushing products or services. It is a battle between inbound versus outbound, and inbound marketing is clearly winning.

The study further shows that banner ads are not performing as well as they once did, and many companies are shifting their advertising dollars away from this space. An Infolinks study recently showed that 60 percent of consumers can’t even remember the last display ad they saw, which is a real problem for brands trying to encourage a click. A much more suitable alternative is the rising trend of native advertising, or sponsored ads that look like regular content.

More companies are accepting and implementing content marketing as an essential component of their overall SEO strategies. That means content has never been more important or relevant for getting the branded word out.

Photo credit: morgueFile

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