Search engine optimization has been around for some time now, but it's important to keep up with new developments. Tactics that ensure a website can be easily found online won't stay the same over time, especially with the increased focus on mobile and local search marketing.
Content marketing plays a much stronger role in modern SEO. In fact, this approach has been lauded as the best way to improve SEO results (1). However, content isn't guaranteed to turn a website around without some hard work. Blogs, news, white papers and other content need to be high quality and relevant to the target audience. Additionally, content can't always fix deeper problems with SEO. Companies can build a robust content marketing strategy and still fail because they aren't using the right keywords or getting content indexed. Developing a strong URL structure is really important for this aspect of SEO.
More content isn't always the answer
While some B2B marketing teams approach problems with SEO by adding more content, this may not have the intended results. Google is constantly becoming more sophisticated and will only offer higher rankings for high-quality content that provides value for readers. Simply creating more won't improve rankings. It needs to be done with your audience in mind.
In addition, some brands fail to account for the effect adding more content to certain pages will have on SEO (2). Content should fit into an overall marketing strategy. Outside of creating low-quality content, there are other ways it can have a negative impact on SEO. For example, some businesses create sub-domains, which can be beneficial to users but take search rankings away from other pages on the website. This is especially true when sub-domains aren't built to convert like lead generation pages on the regular website.
Tips for more successful SEO efforts
One of the major reasons for lackluster content marketing initiatives is poorly designed title tags (1). The title tag is the name of the page as displayed in the search engine results page. Some companies use content management systems that automate the creation of title tags, which may not be producing the best results (3). The meta description, the text that displays under the title tag, is equally important. Here are some tips for writing title tags and meta descriptions that inspire clicks:
- Include keywords: Keywords can be a valuable addition to title tags and meta descriptions, but it's important not to overdo it. Many Web pages focus on only one topic, so marketers can use a single exact keyword.
- Character length: Search engines won't display more than 55 characters in a title tag or more than 115 in the meta description. This doesn't give marketers a lot of space to write compelling material and include a keyword. Because of the limited space, companies need to be careful not to put keywords where they don't fit intuitively. Sticking to 115 characters can certainly be effective, but there are cases when longer meta descriptions work. Google will put an ellipsis in longer meta descriptions. If the copy is intriguing enough, the ellipsis can cause people to click.
- Search intent: This aspect of title tags and meta descriptions is really important. Marketers need to be aware of the mindset of potential leads when they enter terms into a search engine. For example, some keywords may relate to the exact product type buyers want. Knowing why potential customers are searching for something can help companies create better title tags and meta descriptions.