[WATCH] Why content makes or breaks your SEO strategy – AGS Europe
In an AGS Europe 2021 panel which was held in Malta, the moderator Oliver de Bono, CEO at WikiBet, and the panelists Glenn Debattista, Head of Product at Web International Services Ltd, and Carlotta Carucci, Communication Strategist at Vanilla Marketing discuss “Why content makes or breaks your SEO strategy”.
Our panel meets today to discuss content strategies. De Bono starts by saying his motto, i.e., “content is king”. De Bono says that nowadays “the game’s changed; we have new rules on plagiarism and monopoly”.
De Bono asks Debattista what and how they do their SEO strategy. Debattista says that without a clear content strategy, your SEO cannot be successful; “content is basically the cornerstone of SEO strategy”. The content needs to focus on the user and needs to be of quality; quality that is appreciated by the user. Debattista says that quality content is fed to the search engines, it is then indexed into the search engines which will help you rank; ranking brings you traffic and traffic brings you conversions.
De Bono asks Carucci to give us an insight into their current status. Carucci says that they have “adopted the emotional marketing approach” strategy. In their SEO strategies, they are very technical; however, they “embrace the human first approach”. When they write their content, they always think about their target user. She says that content is not only text, it is also videos and pictures. She says that “good quality content means the content that is able to express your mission, your vision as a brand to create a relationship with your people on the other side of the screen”. Content is in the middle between the brand and the target users. Good quality content allows the brand to have trustful and long-lasting relationships.
De Bono says that there is also another content strategy which is the content written purely for ranking and not to be read. You have content for the target user and you have content generated to rank and to drive traffic. He adds that there are many different variations of content strategies. A recent hype is the FAQ style content, which is already saturated. De Bono asks Debattista where’s the new direction of their content writers going.
Debattista says that there are two types of strategies here: one for the content strategy and another for the SEO strategy. He adds that in order to get the best out of both worlds, it is ideal to integrate them both together. He says that with content strategy he means the type of content they want to write about, be it evergreen or trending. Once you have the topic, you need to employ the SEO strategy to find the main keywords and key phrases, analyze them, and find the ones that are trending and bring the most traffic. Quality content means that you’re giving the users exactly what they are searching for.
Follow the whole panel discussion here:
De Bono asks Debattista whether they want the users who landed on their page to read all of their content, for how long do they want them to review their content before going to the paying merchant, and whether they have a word limit. Their ultimate goal, being affiliates, is to convert those users by sending them to the paying merchants; if they remain on their page, they do not generate any revenue.
Debattista says that there are different types of content and what De Bono just mentions are reviews. In Debattista’s opinion, if users land on a review page, it means that they are just one step away from converting and if they read the review, it means that they want to convert and they are looking for the best option. He adds that reviews cannot be stuffed with CTAs or keywords as otherwise the users reading them will have a poor experience and will not register with that operator. He adds that it’s important to have bullet points and summaries because users tend to skim through the content.
De Bono says that it all comes down to balance. He then asks Carucci how much content do they write and for how long do they want that user to remain on that particular page. Carucci says that the length of the content is connected to the keyword, to the phrase that someone is looking for. She adds that there is no golden rule and the length does not matter; however, it is good practice to add videos since they increase the time on the page. The important thing is to give something valuable to the users. Then you can ask the user to do something, such as subscribing.
Debattista says that it is better to have one big content rather than smaller ones, otherwise you end up having keyword cannibalization which will limit your ranking on the Google pages. It’s best to have larger content which includes the same topic rather than separate topics, which are basically from the same thing.
De Bono says that even though content is going to make or break your strategy, ultimately, the aim is to deliver traffic. Therefore, that content needs something else to compliment it. He adds that “when you have a good rank page, you’re going to compliment it with some solid backlinks and those backlinks have to have their own content and their own strategies”. De Bono asks Debattista how closely these content pieces need to interact with each other (external linking).
Debattista says that it needs to be very specific. If you are writing a review, it has to be just about the review and you need to focus specifically on that part. Carucci agrees and adds that there are two different kinds of content strategies. There is the brand content strategy, which is inside, and the off-site strategy, which is around the site, and this involves link building. The latter is more technical and more focused on the rank goal because you do not need to think about your brand, your mission, your vision, your style of writing, or the type of picture that you choose. De Bono agrees that technical strategies are as important as the content ones. He adds that a very important model to use today is to create a brand voice where you have your own styles which Google will begin to recognize.
Carucci adds that it is also good to remember that nowadays, we cannot split SEO from social media because even though it does not directly affect the ranking position, it helps to increase the traffic since social media users will click on your links. Communication needs to be done in a very holistic way. To achieve a digital identity, it is important that all parties involved know what is happening in the company. Debattista adds that it is a matter of synergy, of unified ideas, and of having long-term strategies. De Bono agrees that strategy is everything and that it is important to identify your brand and your goals.
De Bono asks Debattista what’s his experience with using spin bots or AI to create artificial fluff content to which Debattista says that he is not really keen about them because he prefers the human touch. De Bono said that they did run actual AIs, spun them, translated them, and put them into GEOs, and they generated a huge amount of traffic.
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