Content marketing has changed drastically in the past few years.
Gone are the days of writing hundreds of very short articles just to attract search engine traffic for as many keywords as possible.
That used to work. 250-300 word articles were all you needed because the whole point was just to get as much search engine traffic as quickly as possible and send it off to some sort of offer or get them to opt into your email list.
But these days, content marketing has to be a lot more sophisticated.
Those old tactics no longer work.
Search engines realized their users were complaining about all the low-quality content they indexed, so they made a lot of changes that made those tactics nearly impossible.
Let’s say you wanted information on how to knit a baby blanket.
You visited several links from the first two pages of Google that claimed to teach you “how to knit a baby blanket”,
But everything you found was just basic information that said to get yarn, knitting needles, and a pattern and follow the pattern.
You could have done that on your own, right?
But you wanted specific information that would teach you exactly how to knit a baby blanket!
That’s the kind of thing search engines were battling, and it was making people not want to visit sites like Google and Bing because they weren’t finding quality information.
Google responded especially strongly
Coming down on sites so hard that many lost their rankings overnight and some were even banned.
Even major sites like HubPages, Squidoo, and most of the article directories lost nearly all their search engine traffic overnight.
Google’s algorithm now looks for things like word count, the age of the site, and many other factors to determine the ranking, and content must be of higher quality than ever in order to have a chance of ranking.
Of course, you don’t have to get any traffic from search engines to do well with content marketing,
However, since search engine traffic is widely known to be some of the highest quality given the fact that users searched for something specific when they land on your site, it’s obviously a good idea to try to get all of it you can.
Since it’s no longer a good idea to focus mainly on search engine traffic, we’ll take a look at ways to create content that can get you traffic not only from search engines but also viral/social traffic and other sources.
There are three main types of content that you should be sure to include in your content marketing plan.
These are very broad categories of content, not referring to specific types like articles, videos, etc.
It’s very important to have a good mix of the three types of content if you want to get the most traffic possible.
Each type of content serves a different, specific purpose as far as generating traffic and converting it.
Let’s take a look at the three content types, and what each one is used for.
Is the foundation for almost any type of content marketing plan.
It’s the type of content that gets searched for, the type that really converts readers into subscribers or buyers, and the type that will keep people coming back to your site.
If you want to get search engine traffic, educational content should be the cornerstone of your overall content marketing plan.
It’s also the type of content most likely to help you establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
Content that is based on breaking news, trends, current events, etc. – will get you traffic from people who may already know a significant amount of info about your niche, but are looking out for new things.
For example, maybe they already know how to knit and follow a knitting pattern, but they might be interested in reading about a new type of stitch someone invented, or a new type of knitting needle that makes knitting easier.
Finally, there’s viral content, which is the type of content that is entertaining, or exciting, or shocking.
Viral content is obviously the most likely content to be shared via social media because people like to share content they think will surprise their friends and family, and they like to be the first to do it.
Not all websites need all three types of content.
For example, some sites focus specifically on news or viral content like celebrity news or cute animals.
Those sites might not need educational content.
But MOST websites do need a good mix of all three types.