There are two vital content marketing mistakes made by business owners today: they either follow outdated content marketing advice (resulting in mediocre content strategies) or they don’t update their strategy to fit current content trends.
Content marketing is moving forward in 2019, with or without you.
By the time you finish this article, you will know exactly how to map your content strategy for 2019. You will know exactly which changes you need to make to your site in order to capture (and monetize) the attention of your audience.
The changes you make to your content strategy now will determine the success of your business for years to come. In 2019, you will need to take advantage of these five SEO trends:>
- The Hottest New SEO Tools for 2019
- Voice Search Optimization
- Branding As a New Ranking Signal
- Amazon is Now “Google for Ecommerce”
Let’s take a look at how to establish a killer content marketing strategy.
Hopefully, we’ve all experimented with Code Academy’s free online coding courses for learning CSS and HTML (https://www.codecademy.com/catalog/language/html-css). An advanced understanding of both of these coding languages is important for the success in yesterday’s content marketing strategy.
But we’re here to discuss today’s content marketing strategy.
I’ll tell you.
The Hottest New SEO Tools for 2019
From “swiss army knife” growth hacking tools like Serpstat to life-changing single-task tools Clickflow, there’s no shortage of SEO tools to boost your 2019 content strategy.
The question is: which tools should you purchase to get ahead of your competition in 2019?
Because your strongest competition also has the best SEO tools in the business, the trick becomes mastering the tools themselves. Believe it or not, the SEO profession is rife with missed keyword opportunities, mediocre marketing strategies, and misused SEO tools.
A master content marketer can do more with a free tool, like Google Search Console, than a sub-par content marketer can do with SEMrush.
The top five tools that you should use for content marketing in 2019 are:
- Ahrefs (Paid)
- MarketMuse (Paid)
- Clickflow (Paid)
- Google Analytics (Free)
- Google Search Console (Free)
These five tools together can create a knowledge network that gives you the insight to quickly improve your SERP ranking.
Ahrefs: This tool is used for researching your keyword strategy by allowing you to see which keywords your competition have targeted and won. Though Ahrefs’ keyword database is arguably less robust than, say, that of SEMrush, Ahrefs has the most thorough backlink database.
Use Ahrefs to target the right keywords, pinpoint opportunities to break into the first page, and collect backlink opportunities by researching your profile and that of your competition.
MarketMuse: This tool is one that will help you create content that targets long-tail keywords and that focuses on readability. This tool can save your struggling content strategy. After all, content isn’t just about using keywords anymore.
The Googlebot and Google crawlers have become so intuitive that they understand when an article is written solely for the purpose of ranking on Google — that’s why it is important to focus on synonyms, alternative keywords, and long-tail keywords when writing content.
MarketMuse will rank your content according against the top pages ranking for any given keyword. It tells you when you aren’t using enough synonyms or when your content is too short compared to your competition.
Clickflow: Clickflow is one of my favorite SEO tools. This tool is used to create and track title tag and meta description changes. It also helps you target opportunity pages on your site that could benefit from a better title tag.
Clickflow almost gamifies your title tag testing by scoring your tests according to total clicks, CTR (click through rate), impressions, and page rank.
Google Analytics / Google Search Console: Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are free tools from Google that pretty much help you track your site’s “SEO relationship” with Google.
They show you average rankings, clicks, impressions, and CTR estimates, as well as all the keywords you’ve won.
These two tools are a must when it comes to content marketing — especially since they’re free.
Voice Search Optimization
It’s predicted that voice search could make up 30-50% of all online searches by the year 2020.
With the rise of programs such as Google Assistant, Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa, voice search is more popular now than ever before.
What is voice search? Voice search essentially allows users to speak into their device as opposed to typing keywords into a search query in order to see results. This technology utilizes speech recognition to understand what the user is saying and delivers results orally in most cases.
Voice search drastically improves the overall user experience, therefore search engines such as Google are placing a higher emphasis on voice search optimization.
According to Google’s Voice Search rater guidelines, they want voice search results that are very brief and to the point. Content that is easy to read performs better in voice search.
Here are four of the most important factors to consider in voice search optimization:
- Featured Snippets — Featured snippets appear at the top of the SERPs. Google will pull the most relevant content and place it in a box above the organic results. You can be sure that if the results contain a snippet, the voice assistant will pull its answer from there. If you want to rank in voice search results, you should put you focus on providing such quality information that Google displays it in the featured snippet.
- User Intent — When a user searches for your website, are they looking to buy something or are they looking for information? User intent tells us the reason a person typed (or spoke) their query into a search engine in the first place. Make sure to consider user intent when creating content, as this will make your page the most relevant.
- Long Tail Keywords and Questions — Keep in mind that most people use voice search as if they’re talking to a human. Most will stay away from shorter keywords, and lean towards longer phrases or questions. One of the best ways to optimize for this is to add a Frequently Asked Questions section to your website. This directly answers potential questions as if the user was speaking to a human.
- Page Speed and Structured Data — A person using voice search is likely on the go or in a hurry. Either way, page speed is a priority, and Google realizes that. By structuring the data on your site and optimizing your page speed (as well as analyzing it), you will set yourself apart when it comes to voice search and have a higher chance of ranking for a voice query.
Branding as a New Ranking Signal
You already know the destructive power of negative reviews on your bottom line. But what would you do if Google started paying attention to unlinked brand mentions? Would that change the way you think about brand reviews from customers?
Over the years, Google has been tweaking the Googlebot to pay more attention to brand mentions.
If someone even mentions your site on their site, your site will be affected either positively or negatively. Whether the mention is saying good things or disastrous things about your company, mentions can build or hurt site strength and credibility.
Mentions do not need to be backlinks, as long as they mention your company. When Google crawls their site, Google will either strengthen your SERP presence or weaken it based on these comments.
When creating a rock-solid brand, research ways to naturally add your company through guest posts or review sites. It also helps to reach out to happy customers and ensure you are responding to negative reviews.
Amazon Is Now "Google for Ecommerce"
As content marketers, the descriptor “go-to” should catch our eye. And Amazon is now the go-to ecommerce search site.
Whether it is vitamins or books, movies or music, Amazon is the platform users look to for their ecommerce needs. Even when searching for a specific brand of clothing, most individuals will first check on Amazon before checking the product company’s specific site.
With about half of the U.S. households being Amazon Prime users and spending an average of $2,486 a year according to Forbes Magazine — and the rest of households spending an average $544 — we clearly can see where the market is going.
If you are in the industry of sales, ensure that you are optimizing your Amazon content to get more traffic to your products.
You can optimize your Amazon content by:
- Having a Detailed Title Tag — You will have 500 characters to use on the title of a product. The more direct and detailed you can make the title tag the better. It is meant to have enough content that users will buy, it doesn’t need to grab attention, it needs to sell your product.
- Having Pictures and Videos Attached — Make sure these pictures and videos clearly represent how well the product works, the size of the product, and how it will be packaged.
- Properly Tag All Categories Related to your Product — The more categories you can win the better. Just like key words, your product will rank higher as you receive more traffic. Unlike Google though, Amazon cares more if someone purchases your product, and less about if someone clicks to your page. Make sure that your product is in all the categories where your clients may be, but make sure not place your product in unimportant or non related categories.
About the Author
Chad Zollinger is a Content Marketing Manager at BestCompany.com. He is also a contributor to Content Marketing Institute, The Mission, and Kivo Daily. He enjoys meeting new people, listening to decent music, and writing articles about content marketing.