Google’s new Panda Update is yet another confirmation that online marketing is moving in an inbound direction. This new rollout has been the largest of its kind since 2013. As always, there were winners and losers from and organic ranking perspective.
Google’s goal is to always serve the most relevant and high quality content to its users. The purpose of these algorithm updates is to reward websites that have been creating content that adds value to the Internet. They are also used to filter out websites that have used low quality tactics.
If you are reading this, you probably know a thing or two about inbound marketing. Hopefully, you have been focusing on creating valuable content for your community rather than just trying to manipulate the search engines. If so, you probably saw a pretty nice organic bump with this new update.
History of The Google Panda Updates
The Panda Update was first added to Google’s ranking algorithm in February of 2011. Since then, there have been over 20 changes to the legendary piece of code.
The Panda Update is different from Google’s other, major filters. Where the Penguin Updates focus more on a domain’s linking profile, the Panda Update is all about the quality of content. If your company has decided to take an inbound approach with its online marketing, it will always stay away from trouble from either filter.
What is Inbound Marketing and How Does it Protect My Website?
There are several different tactics that make up a successful inbound strategy. However, I think everyone will agree that content marketing is the backbone to this form of marketing.
Content marketing can take many forms. However, the most common platform for these kinds of efforts is a website’s blog. Blogging used to just be something stay at home mothers would use to stay caught up on friends and families. Now, it has turned into one of the most powerful ways to build a brand’s online presence.
Having an inbound marketing strategy is the best way to protect your website and domain from Google algorithm updates. When you create great content, your website is going to naturally generate links. This takes away the need to participate in sketchy link building tactics that can cause significant problems
There has always been a strong correlation with the size of a website and its organic footprint. Getting serious with your content marketing efforts gives you a fantastic way to build quality, unique pages. This is going to build out the index of your site, thus increasing its ability to rank.
Now that we have talked about how content marketing is the best way to protect your domain from getting hit by Google penalties, lets discuss how to get started with a successful blogging campaign.
Steps to Starting a Successful Content Marketing Campaign
There is a significant amount of research and thought that needs to be done before you can be successful with your content marketing efforts. After you go through these steps, you should be ready to get started on your campaign.
1. Identify The Buyer Persona for Your Business
Identifying the buyer personas for your content marketing campaign is one of the most important steps to the whole process. We need to have an in-depth understanding of whom we are trying to reach with each post. Do people that fit in these groups have certain jargon they use when discussing the product or service.
We recommend breaking the buyer personas into a few different groups. Below are a few questions you would want to answer about each persona.
– Why would this persona group be looking for my product or service?
– Does this persona group communicate in a unique manner?
– How can we help solve their problem?
– What is the education level of this persona?
– What is the age of this persona group?
– What are questions this persona would have about my product or service?
– What are promotions this persona would find valuable?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a much better understanding of the target demographic.
2. Develop a Detailed Keyword List
It is extremely important to come up with long-tail search phrases you can target with the campaign. One of the huge value adds that comes from content marketing is getting your website to rank for a large number of keywords.
These long-tail search phrases are going to have a lot less search volume than the big root ones. With less searches comes lower competition. That means you should be able to get your website to rank highly in the SERPs in much less time than traditional keywords.
One of the best ways to start developing your long-tail keyword list is to think of questions the different persona groups would have about your product or service.
Answering these community questions with a targeted blog post is really the backbone of content marketing.
Another easy way to come up with potential topics is to use a tool called Quora. All you do is visit www.quora.com. There is a search bar where you can list any of your root terms. After you hit search, you will see a bunch of topics people have been discussing about that root keyword. Look for long-tail search you think users might use when looking for your product or service.
3. Compile The Headlines for The Posts
Having a great headline is one of the most important things you can do for driving traffic to your blog posts. This is really an art, and takes a lot of practice. If you are like me and aren’t a natural writer, it helps to have some guidance. I highly recommend checking out a document called Headline Hacks. This is a great little PDF that helps you build powerful headlines.
The starting point for creating the headline bank for the campaign is to look at the long-tail keyword research list you put together in step 2. You are going to then look for possible options to use from Headline Hacks. It should be pretty easy to build your first batch of headlines.
4. Write Up The Full 6 Month Roadmap
After you have built a large list of headlines, you are going to add them to your 6-month calendar. This is where you will outline all of the posts you are going to write for the next two quarters. Outlining several months gives you the ability to step back and be very strategic about the content you are going to create. One post should lead to the next in a methodical fashion.
We highly recommend having a posting schedule for your blogging campaign. Pick at least one day each when you can consistently add new posts. We highly recommend starting with at least one post a week. Once you start to see significant value from these efforts, you may want to double or triple up your posting schedule.
The important thing here is consistency. Your readership wants to see you have a live blog. When they see a new posts gets added to the site on the same day each week, they will be much more interested in revisiting your blog.
5. Outline The Content for Each Post
Now that you have come up with the target demographic for your project, developed a full list of important search phrases, compiled several possible headlines, and set the posting schedule for the blog its time to get started.
We recommend outlining each of your blog posts before you get started on the actual writing. This is going to give you a chance to logically step back and craft this piece of content.
You are going to want to make sure the post has a natural progression that will easily take the reader from one point to the next. Breaking the content out into small little blocks makes it much easier than trying to sit down and aimlessly scribble down sentence after sentence.
6. Plan Out distribution Channels for Content
What good is your content if no one sees it? Having the right kind of distribution for your blog posts can make a massive difference to the value it adds to your website and brand.
Social media has become an extremely powerful way to share content. We highly recommend getting started in Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your personas, you would also want to select either LinkedIn or Pinterest
After you finish your blog post, make sure to share it in the different social networks. Adding great content to your profiles gives people a reason to follow your brand.
Creating remarkable content is by far the most important part of an inbound marketing campaign. Once people land on your site, we want to make a great impression. This is the chance to build trust with the user, and show you are truly an industry expert. These efforts are truly the catalyst for all of your organic efforts.
There is no question inbound marketing is your best defense from getting hit by any of the Google updates or filters. The one guarantee you have with online marketing is it will always be in a state of evolution.
We highly recommend you get started with a high quality content marketing campaign. This will ensure you create sustainable organic results that are here to stay.
Digital Flavor is all about inbound marketing. We would love the chance to show you how we can help protect your domain and take your brand to the next level. Please visit this link for a free website analysis.
If you aren’t quite ready for the free website analysis, you can read more about our content marketing product by visiting our Content Catalyst page.