Content Marketing is Becoming a Dominant Factor in SEO
In looking at major marketing trends that affect aviation and aerospace, a relatively new marketing approach called Content Marketing is having a significant impact on Search Engine Optimization – aka SEO.
Google is becoming adept at recognizing high-quality web content. It is not just about embedding keywords into page text anymore – the context behind the words and the value you provide the visitor to your website is now very important. What does this mean for you? Well-written and relevant web content is a key factor for your site to achieve high organic search rankings.
It’s Not Just About Keywords Anymore
The advice from Google’s John Mueller is that “rather than chase the latest SEO trends, it’s more important to ensure a site loads quickly, has useful links, and well-written content.”
Google rolled out a major update to its search algorithm in November 2019 called BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (whatever that means). It is designed to help Google’s search algorithms do a better job of understanding the way people naturally use language in long-tail search queries.
What Are Long-Tail Search Queries?
Long tail search queries are longer phrases with specific keywords that visitors are more likely to use when conducting an online search. Because these searches are specific in nature, people are typically close to making a purchase and the conversion rate to a sale is significantly higher.
For example, let’s presume you’re an aircraft management company that wants to promote air charter for your clients’ aircraft under management. The chances that your website will appear at the top of an organic search for a broad search phrase, such as “air charter,” is very small because there are too many websites competing for the same search query – this is especially true if you’re a smaller operator or relatively new startup business. But if your website is optimized for specific keywords such as Gulfstream – Jet – Bahamas, your website would likely achieve a high ranking for the long-tail search query: “Gulfstream Jet Charter to Nassau Island in the Bahamas.”
In general, long-tail search queries are more difficult to optimize for, but with Google’s BERT update, its algorithms are doing a better job of identifying long-tail search queries and returning your website near the top of its search results.
What is the Context Behind the Content?
We’ve learned that including valuable and relevant content is important to higher search rankings of your website. Yet another significant aspect of Content Marketing in search ranking is the word length of your pages and posts. In the past, posting frequent, shorter content was the way to go. Today, this method is not as effective as posting “long-format content.”
Data on Google’s top search results confirms that long-format content using a minimum of 1,500 words attracts the most web traffic. Long-format content allows for an in-depth explanation of a topic and comprehensive answer to a question a user may be searching for on a particular topic. This provides utility and value for the visitor. What does this mean for you? You’re right! Google rewards this and will rank your long-format content higher in its search results compared to shorter content.
To aviation and aerospace businesses, long-format content also provide the chance to establish themselves as experts in their field. The longer format also provides more opportunities to include targeted keywords – an essential factor in improved rankings in search results. An added benefit according to the Search Engine Journal is that long-format content attracts significantly more backlinks from other websites than short articles, as well as more shares on social media – these are essential for driving traffic to your website and in achieving high organic search rankings.
Do You Have a Content Marketing Strategy?
Implementing a Content Marketing campaign requires a significant investment in time and resources to research and write informative content. It is essential that your Content Marketing Strategy is aligned to your company’s goals, marketing objectives and your customer needs. Without a clear strategy, your efforts may not deliver effective results.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
Here is a 3-Step Checklist to Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
1. Establish SMART Goals
In order to create SMART objectives for your Content Marketing Strategy you need to answer the following questions:
- Specific: What exactly do you want your Content Marketing Strategy to accomplish?
- Measurable: How will you determine if your campaign is meeting your objectives?
- Attainable: Can you achieve your objectives with current internal and external resources?
- Relevant: Do your Content Marketing objectives align with your overall business goals?
- Time-bound: When do you expect to implement your Content Marketing Strategy and when do you expect to achieve your goals?
2. Know Your Audience
Once you have established your Content Marketing goals, you now need to shift your focus to your customers and understand what their needs are and how you can meet them.
- Identify Your Target Audiences: Who do you want to reach with your Content Marketing? If there is more than one customer segment, prioritize them in importance.
- What Information Do They Want: Establish what information your customers want and/or identify business issues they have? Use this to determine what information and solutions will facilitate problem resolution.
3. Keyword Optimization
You want to optimize your website for keywords that will attract customers to content on your website. There are a number of tools like Keyword Planner and SEMRush that can help you identify keywords that will be effective in optimizing your content for search engines.
When determining your keywords, keep in mind that Google uses 4 general categories:
- People want to learn something: “How do I become a pilot?”
- People want to find a website: “Avionic upgrades for Piper aircraft”
- People want to do something: “Fly private air charter to Bermuda”
- People want to find a place: “FBOs on Nassau in Bahamas”
Think about where your content fits into these categories. Then conduct research by doing actual Google searches to see what Google thinks is important content.
Long-Format Content Benefits
Below are some of the important benefits of investing in long-format content marketing:
- Increased Visitor Time – The longer the content visitors need to consume, the more time they will spend on your website.
- Decreased Bounce Rate –If visitors find what they’re looking for and value the content on your website, they won’t quickly leave to go back to a search engine and find another source.
- Backlinks and Social Media Shares – Long-format content is much more likely to attract backlinks from other websites and shares on social media platforms.
- Extended Lifetime Interest – Long-format content tends to remain relevant over time and will continue to generate interest and web traffic over a long period of time.
- High Organic Search Ranking – The combination of high word count, web traffic, social media shares and backlinks all contribute to achieving high rankings for your website in search engine.
Content Marketing versus Paid Search Marketing
The information we have provided stresses the value of Content Marketing for organic search results. However, Content Marketing stands up well in a head-to-head comparison to Paid Search Marketing, such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn Ads – these also have a important role in marketing for aviation and aerospace companies. Here is how Content Marketing stacks up against Paid Search Marketing:
- Cost Less Overall – Content Marketing costs approximately 60% less than Paid Search. After the initial investment in developing the content, there is no additional cost associated with it, while Paid Search incurs costs on an ongoing basis.
- Better Lead Generator – Website with blogs generate approximately 120% more leads than those without blogs and generates 3 times as many leads versus Paid Search.
- Longer Shelf-Life – Content Marketing provides longer-term value than Paid Search. As mentioned in the first bullet point, once the content is written and posted to your website, there is no additional cost incurred with it. Paid Search incurs a costs each time a reader clicks on your ad.
- More Impressions – Most computers and mobile devices now incorporate some form of ad blockers. This means that Paid Search is viewed by fewer people than Content Marketing because it is considered information and not advertising.
- Higher Conversion Rate – Content Marketing conversion rates are approximately 6 times higher than Paid Search Marketing. Visitors tend to value long-format content on your site found through an organic search versus a click through from a Paid Search link, thus visitors are much more likely to complete a call-to-action conversion.
Content Marketing has become a reliable, powerful way to attract new customers to your site and build relationships with them in real, quantifiable ways that delivers long-term value for your marketing.
As Google and other search engines continue to value long-format content that is well-written, useful and popular, aviation and aerospace companies are encouraged to make Content Marketing an important part of their SEO marketing strategy.
If you provide useful and relevant information on your website for pilots and aviation professionals, they’ll return to your site as a trusted source which increases the likelihood you will gain a new customer. Build it and they will come!
AND trust is priceless in the aviation marketing business, as it is an emotional trigger that reassures pilots and other aviation industry consumers that they’re dealing with people who are experts in their field and genuinely understand their needs.
BTW, in case you didn’t keep count, this article is 1,619 words.