Step Aside SEO, Content Marketing Optimization Is Here

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SEO isn’t what it used to be. Once upon a time, SEO was this hallowed religion. Agencies and specialists knew the SEO bible inside out. Many used dodgy techniques – keyword stuffing, using invisible text and buying spammy links.

But the landscape is changing and you need to care about content nowadays. 90% of marketers think content will become more important in 2013, according to a report by Outbrain and Econsultancy. Content Marketing Optimization (CMO) is going to become a key part of our online marketing strategies. You need to think about CMO now.

The Great Flood

We all bow down to Google’s almighty power. He is the internet God of the 21st Century. He can bring us millions of pilgrims and many, many customers.

When he saw all these underhand techniques, he wasn’t pleased with what he saw. Many people were abusing these tactics to cheat searchers. So Google unleashed a flood of updates (Panda and Penguin) to wash these baddies away.

Those who were good had already built their content rafts

When the flood waters receded, many businesses had survived, and arrived at the top of Google. They’d made rafts of content to keep them afloat. Others quickly capitalized and they found it remarkably easy to climb the rankings, especially for long tail keywords.

Just In Time, a financial PR agency, wrote a few articles about ‘financial pr agencies’ and climbed up the rankings very quickly.

Google wants content angels, not SEO devils

Google, like any benevolent father wants to please its worshippers. His searchers, and they are crazed devotees at the altar of content. If searchers want rich, meaty content, then Google will do his best to deliver it.

Google is ranking people by who has the best content. They’re trying to put the best content at the top. Now you’re in a battle with your competitors to create the best content! There are no more underhanded tricks (and if there were Google will soon eliminate them). So you now need to create more content, and optimize that content. Be a content angel, not a SEO devil.

So what do you need to know about CMO, then?

I suspect Content Marketing Optimization will be the next big thing and ultimately step in the place of SEO. CMO is adding that extra bit of sparkle to your content, framing it in a tasty way. Adding dazzle will make both your readers and Google love you.

Longer form content and rich media

There’s a great resource here of 11 content optimization tips from Jason Acidre. If you don’t have the time to read them – here’s the most important tip.

Jason talks about longer form content. Why? And why does Google value this so highly?

It’s because, the longer an article – generally the richer it is. If it’s bursting at the seams with analysis, examples, case studies and other thoughts – it is likely to be much more useful than a simple 400 word article.

Rich media is also becoming more and more important as well. Big brands are saying that visitors want more rich media content like videos and images.

It’s a bit old-fashioned now to just have an article. We don’t always have the opportunity to add multimedia to every article because we’re not big enough. However, people expect their content to be a bit more interactive these days,” says Sharon Flaherty, Head of Content and PR at price comparison site Confused.com.

Google has become more sensible, and has wised up to the black magic that SEO agencies were practicing. In its place, you need to create fantastic rich content. So, as the years go on, I reckon we’re going to talk much more about CMO than SEO.

By Alex Clifford

Epic Fail on Nedbank on-line Mail server Homepage…. The Click through does not work.

It is not often that I would pick out or blog about something I find in the digital/on-line marketing and advertising industry.

After all I have worked for a large corporate whose social media etiquette and pages leave much to be desired (something which has given me grey hairs a few years before they should appear.) Believe me I know people have picked up on, gossiped about and used as case studies the failures on this portfolio I ran. Yes, I did as much as I could in 8 months and increased stats, but STILL nothing was up to my standard of work and what I expect from social media and on-line marketing in 2012. One person can only do so much and checking copy and click thru’s when you are busy with strategies and concepts for 30 different products and departments is left to that 25th hour…. the one that doesn’t exist. So of course agencies are hired, for social media, copy writing, media placement, design, SEO, Google Adwords et al. and yet we still have these blunders. To me it is a case the Client Director meeting the client, pitching for the account, attending a few meetings and after awhile handing over to a graduate. Well in the case of digital marketing you can have several qualifications which will help but nothing beats experience and naivety is going to be an issue.

This is all said without malice as there are agencies I have worked with and dealt with who are BRILLIANT. Prezence, MoTribe, Lighthouse Digital, Aqau Online, Puruma, Text 100 and apurimacmedia.

BUT when opening my Yahoo mail and coming across this I was shocked. All click through buttons worked besides the “Get Started” button. For me its not to hard I will explore and try click the entire page… for the non tech savvy generation whom this ad is aimed at? Money down the drain, no ROI and I would love to know the click through rate.

Anyway here is the pic… what would you do if the “Get Started” button didn’t work?

Nedbank yahoo on-line page takeover

Follow me on Twitter @RealJojoBayvel

Need help with SEO now that Google has implemented Panda Internationally read on and learn how to let Google find, index, and rank your site

Webmaster Guidelines

Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site. Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions, we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the “Quality Guidelines,” which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise penalized. If a site has been penalized, it may no longer show up in results on Google.com or on any of Google’s partner sites.

Design and content guidelines Learn more…
Technical guidelines Learn more…
Quality guidelines Learn more…

When your site is ready:

    • Submit a Sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools. Google uses your Sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages.
    •  Make sure all the sites that should know about your pages are aware your site is online.
      Design and content guidelines
        • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
        • Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map has an extremely large number of links, you may want to break the site map into multiple pages.
        • Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
        • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
        • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
        • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
        • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
        • Check for broken links and correct HTML.
        • If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a “?” character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
      Technical guidelines
        • Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as JavaScript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.
        • Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session IDs or arguments that track their path through the site. These techniques are useful for tracking individual user behavior, but the access pattern of bots is entirely different. Using these techniques may result in incomplete indexing of your site, as bots may not be able to eliminate URLs that look different but actually point to the same page.
        • Make sure your web server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. This feature allows your web server to tell Google whether your content has changed since we last crawled your site. Supporting this feature saves you bandwidth and overhead.
        • Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled. Make sure it’s current for your site so that you don’t accidentally block the Googlebot crawler. Visit http://www.robotstxt.org/faq.htmlto learn how to instruct robots when they visit your site. You can test your robots.txt file to make sure you’re using it correctly with the robots.txt analysis tool available in Google Webmaster Tools.
        • Make reasonable efforts to ensure that advertisements do not affect search engine rankings. For example, Google’s AdSense ads and DoubleClick links are blocked from being crawled by a robots.txt file.
        • If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the system creates pages and links that search engines can crawl.
        • Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.
      • Monitor your site’s performance and optimize load times. Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience. Fast sites increase user satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the web (especially for those users with slow Internet connections), and we hope that as webmasters improve their sites, the overall speed of the web will improve.Google strongly recommends that all webmasters regularly monitor site performance using Page SpeedYSlow,WebPagetest, or other tools. For more information, tools, and resources, see Let’s Make The Web Faster. In addition, the Site Performance tool in Webmaster Tools shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world.
      Quality guidelines

      These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here (e.g. tricking users by registering misspellings of well-known websites). It’s not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn’t included on this page, Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.

      If you believe that another site is abusing Google’s quality guidelines, please report that site athttps://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport. Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, so we attempt to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting. The spam reports we receive are used to create scalable algorithms that recognize and block future spam attempts.

      Quality guidelines – basic principles

        • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
        • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
        • Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
        • Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.

      Quality guidelines – specific guidelines

        • Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
        • Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.

      If you determine that your site doesn’t meet these guidelines, you can modify your site so that it does and then submit your site for reconsideration.