Content has always been essential for SEO, but in today’s marketing world, providing useful, meaningful content has become key to lead generation and lead nurturing. Search provides a way to drive new leads by making that valuable content visible. Furthermore, with recent algorithm updates, Google has noticeably placed renewed emphasis on unique, relevant, and timely content. Clearly there’s a marriage between SEO and content marketing.
But how can you effectively enhance the SEO and content relationship? Here are some of my tips for content marketing optimization for SEO.
Content Behind a Registration Wall
As a B2B marketer myself, I’ve struggled with which content should require user registration and which should not. As a marketer, you typically want to receive information in exchange for valuable content, but the wall that protects content from unregistered visitors also often blocks the content from search engine indexing robots.
To solution to this issue is actually rather simple. Wherever your code confirms a registered user, use a conditional statement to allow the bots there, as if they were registered visitors. A user-agent detection for a search engine bot will allow your website to identify the bot and let it pass through the registration wall to index content. The user-agent detection method, however, should be used sparingly – only when really necessary. Google and other engines only want the robots to see what visitors will see, so if you try to serve content only to search engines and not to visitors using the user-agent method, it may be a negative red flag for the engines.
Video content is all the rage. But unlike written content, video content isn’t as readable by search engine robots. The bots just can’t watch a video like a human and decipher its message. Be sure to host each video on its own page, if possible, and provide some written content on that page that describes the video content. You can also provide a transcript of the video on the page, which gives the bots lots of related text to read.
In addition to optimizing the pages, be sure to create a video XML Sitemap. I’ve literally seen videos that had not been ranked shoot up to the top 10 overnight using a video XML Sitemap -- truly amazing results. So help search engines find your video by implementing a video Sitemap and registering it with both Google and Bing.
Infographics are also a highly popular content tool. But like videos, graphics are not easily understood by search engines. Because Google Images is far less searched than Google web results, ideally you want your Infographic to rank in the web results first. To optimize the infographic:
1. Put each infographic on its own web page, complete with navigation.
2. Add content to the page, such as the infographic title, description and some content about what is contained in the infographic.
3. You can also link to a larger version. Use a smaller version on the web page, but then link to a larger version of the same image that is stand-alone.
Here are more tips from Google on image optimization.
There’s been a lot of debate about the SEO value of Pinterest lately. One benefit of Pinterest, however, is that it does seem to rank well in Google Images – not quite the same as ranking your own image in Google Images, but still Pinterest is merely one more link to get to the original content on your website. To me, that’s just more added visibility for my content.
Fortunately, PDF documents are indexable by search engine robots! However, there are several steps to take to help boost the content’s SEO value, because, unlike Web pages, PDFs don’t allow us the ability to edit certain tags or portions of the code. First and foremost, make sure your keywords appear in your PDF copy, just as you would add keywords to your Web page copy.
Also, be sure to add links inside your PDF. The greatest challenge I find with optimizing PDFs is that, unlike their Web page counterparts, PDFs don’t have a global navigation. So if a visitor (or bot) is reading your PDF, how can it continue back to your website? Links within the document are key for this. For more PDF optimization tips, check out this article.