Alexander Santo

Strategy is everything in content marketing. You need to understand what your customers are searching for, what they want to know and how they prefer to consume content. But just when you think you’ve created a strategy that leaves nothing to chance, something new arises.

If your strategy doesn’t account for new technologies or the latest search trends, you may need to play catch up. Read on to see if your marketing plan is missing any of these key tactics.

Here’s what you need to know about image optimization for SEO

Roughly a year ago, Google made a small tweak to its image search results pages that has had a big impact on content visibility and site visits. Previously, when users clicked on an image, they were presented with a “view image” button that would open the picture in a larger frame. Now, users see a “visit” button that leads them to the page where the image is hosted.

According to Search Engine Land contributor Romain Damery, this move has lead to an increase in sessions driven from image search. In other words, your SEO strategy needs an image component.

A simple way to optimize your site’s images is to place keywords in the file name. Google’s machine learning capabilities may be able to identify common objects, but you’re still better off telling Google what’s in your images. If you’re running an ecommerce site, consider adding SKUs or model numbers to the alt attribute of the image’s HTML tag. You’ll also want to include an accurate description in the title attribute.

For more image optimization best practices, read the full article.

A safe way to succeed with guest articles

Links are one of Google’s top ranking factors, but it’s notoriously hard to determine how the search engine values individual links. Google has a sophisticated algorithm designed to spot spam networks, but even this technology can make misidentify some article links. So how do you build links with guest articles without getting mistakenly flagged as spam?

Search Engine Journal contributor Roger Montti noted that link building always involves a little risk because you can never know exactly what Google is doing behind the scenes. Rather than avoiding the tactic altogether, try to build guest blogs into your strategy with care.

If there’s one rule you should remember, it’s this: Link building shouldn’t be your main priority. Instead, your goal should be to create valuable content for your readers. Guest articles can add authority to your site simply by delivering actionable and insightful information. Don’t fill these articles with tons of links; and avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. Reader engagement should always be your top priority.

To learn more about what mistakes to avoid, check out the full article.

Location-based marketing: What works and what doesn’t in a campaign

Targeting consumers based on location data from their mobile devices is an opportunity to influence purchasing decisions at a critical juncture. Retailers can gain much from geotargeting campaigns, especially when it comes to high-value purchases.

From a strategy standpoint, location-based marketing requires access to key data, which itself may be hard to come by. As noted by Marketing Land contributor Brian Handly, it can be difficult to target the right shoppers when they’re in a crowded location such as a mall. Likewise, geotargeting may not make sense for brands that sell products ubiquitous to many locations, like soft drinks.

On the other hand, sellers of big-ticket items like vehicles can benefit greatly from location-based tactics. Vehicles have a long buying cycle, so it can be advantageous to reach out to shoppers when they’re in the right place: the dealership.

Geotargeting is still a fledgling technology in the marketer’s toolkit, but it could prove valuable to your campaigns.

Read the full story here.

Why you shouldn’t ignore search intent optimization

Whether you’re a B2C or B2B marketer, you must think about search intent when you craft any piece of content. Today, users are searching the web from their desktops, mobile devices and with the help of digital assistants. The faster your content can answer questions and provide insight, the better it will perform. The challenge then is to provide better answers and offer more value than your competitors.

Content Marketing Institute contributor Ann Smarty noted that it takes a combination of imagination and research to accurately identify user search intent. On one hand, you should know your target audience members well enough to imagine what they are searching for. On the other hand, you can leverage keyword tools and site analytics to confirm your theories.

In general, you can optimize content for search intent by putting the most useful data into easy-to-read bullet points and by offering clear takeaways. Offer a succinct answer for users in a hurry, then dive into the details for users who want to learn more.

Read the whole article here.

There’s no substitute for a good plan. Your content marketing strategy needs to take into account the myriad ways your target audience can interact with your brand. Be prepared to meet your target readers halfway, and you’ll be ready to engage them when the opportunity arises.