Google uses hundreds of different factors to determine which page to show to your customers when they search for the goods and services you’re offering. Some of the factors are easily quantified — is your content too brief? is your website responsive? do you have grammatical errors in your text? do you have complete contact information? — but a lot of what Google wants to show searchers is not the kind of thing robots can recognize easily.
Useful content, for example. A usable website with clear and simple navigation. Well-written answers to people’s questions.
Because Google knows that its spiders can’t make human judgements on subjective questions, Google continues to use links to your website as a factor in its algorithm. Having lots of high quality links to your website shows that human beings consider your information useful and worth visiting.
One of the best ways to get quality links is to have great content. Our lab site naturally gets links from .edu and .gov sites because there’s a good deal of useful stuff there for teachers.
But content, even linkbait content, isn’t content marketing unless it includes some marketing.
Your infographic on Star Wars interpreted through pastry might get lots of pins and shares, but if it doesn’t bring people back to your website to buy something, it’s not marketing. And if it doesn’t lead to links from high quality, relevant websites, it’s not really linkbuilding, either. It might be a publicity stunt.
Linkbuilding is about getting links from quality, relevant websites to your web pages. So if you own a medical spa, you can identify high quality websites that publish lists of businesses like yours, and ask to be included on those lists. You can craft excellent listings on business directories. You can add links to your website to your social media accounts and professional membership listings. That’s linkbuilding.
Those links will make it clear to Google that your business is legit, and reinforce what your website says about what you offer and where your office is.
Now add a highly informative page about diamond dermabrasion, and reach out to beauty bloggers to share the information. Make sure that there is a clear path to purchase for visitors to your page, and make your invitations to the bloggers enticing. When they write about the subject and link to your page, they’re providing value to their readers, and also spreading the word about your services. That’s content marketing.
Those links count as links from the point of view of the search engines, provided you’re not actually paying for the posts (then they’re ads), and they will also probably send traffic.
Content marketing can also include articles in local papers or guest posts on websites your target audience uses. These articles may not include links to your website (though you should always ask), but might instead serve to increase brand awareness.
All these tactics can be effective parts of your overall online marketing strategy.