February 18, 2014: Many of the industry leaders I follow have conflicting opinions about what online marketing trends will take place in 2014. While some believe SEO will become increasingly important, others say that SEO is dying, fearful of new Google algorithms updates and the demise of guest posting. My not-so-bold prediction for 2014 is that content creation will continue to be one of the best ways to earn links and drive traffic to websites.
B2B marketers should always be looking for new ways to add fresh and engaging content to their site, and one of the easiest and most effective ways to do so is by taking a look at what’s already there. That’s why I’ve put together the following list of three ways for marketers to create new content by maximizing the existing content on their websites.
A recent KoMarketing client had some great video case studies that were buried deep in a “video gallery” section of their website. The video gallery lacked descriptive content and looked empty aside from some video thumbnails (shown below).
These videos had some incredible value, but users were hardly enticed to click on them. Even worse, Google had no idea what the videos were about and so the gallery pages had little visibility in Google search results.
To help solve these problems, KoMarketing created separate landing pages for each video which included video transcriptions and links to featured products. This both incentivized people to watch the videos and helped search engines crawl the content of the page.
Optimizing video content has a profound impact on organic traffic, as videos are 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of search results. After updating the existing content, we saw almost immediate results; pages that received little to no organic traffic before were now appearing on the first page of search results.
- For a great example of how to leverage video content by using transcriptions, I recommend looking at the Whiteboard Friday Videos on the Moz blog (they have some incredible content on there too!)
Change in the SEO industry is inevitable. We saw that first-hand when Google changed the way they showed image results, resulting in an 75% decrease in image search traffic for the fashion and entertainment industries. But even though image optimization has become less of a priority for many digital marketers, some valuable opportunities still exist.
Similar to video galleries, photo collections are often hard to locate on B2B websites. They are also commonly displayed in a carousel form (a search marketer’s worst nightmare).
The problem with image carousels, flash galleries, and other forms of pop-up photo collections is that the images can’t be crawled or recognized by search engines.
To borrow a quote from Dave Davies, “A picture might be worth 1,000 words, but only if it gets seen and only if it will benefit your business for image search.” While carousels may look appealing, they don’t offer any additional product information to prospective buyers.
When KoMarketing noticed that one of our clients was using a pop-up carousel similar to the one pictured above, we immediately worked with their web developers to change the format of the gallery pages. This was important because, for the industrial manufacturing industry specifically, images are often show up as the #1 search result and still play an important role in driving organic traffic.
Once we had new pages set up for the image galleries, we wrote brief descriptions for each photo that described:
- What was happening in the picture
- Where and when it was taken
- Additional product features/benefits
This both provided customers with a better understanding of our client’s core products, and helped search engines identify what the pictures were about. We also optimized the images with SEO best practices, which you can learn more about here.
The result? The following month, Google Webmaster Tools showed one of our revamped image galleries as a top 5 landing page for both organic impressions and clicks.
Another effective way for B2B marketers to maximize existing content is by adding an “industry news” section to their website. Unlike blog posts, news articles are typically short, unbiased, and more formal pieces which cover industry news and trends.
Publishing industry news articles can be an effective way to newsjack, or capitalize on the popularity of a breaking news story. Newsjacking allows marketers to leverage breaking news content to drive traffic, earn links, and generate engagement. It’s also an excellent way to be seen as an industry leader and bring repeat visitors to your blog.
News articles are especially successful if they are published shortly after the information is announced, because they can be featured in Google news searches, which have high search visibility. The following is an example of a timely KoMarketing news piece that became the #1 news result for “b2b content marketing.”
To help aggregate important news information, I recommend using free tools such as Google Alerts and Feedly. These tools will help to efficiently monitor news publications and make it easier to come up with new article ideas. Also, after your news articles are published, be sure to share them on Google+. This will ensure they are quickly indexed by Google and show up immediately in search results.
The SEO world changed drastically in 2013 with the introduction of Hummingbird, encrypted searches, and Google Authorship, among other shifts in the industry. While nobody knows for sure what 2014 will bring, I think it’s safe to say that content creation will remain an effective strategy for improving search visibility and creating leads.
To help supplement your current content initiatives, I recommend looking at your existing content for some low hanging opportunities. You might find that building out content for an old photo gallery can be just as valuable, if not more valuable, than writing an additional blog post.
How do you maximize your existing content? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to tweet me @DemiCohen.
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