Search engine optimization has traditionally been vital to online marketing efforts, but as content becomes a more popular tactic, the role of search portals has become even bigger for effectively reaching customers.

Search engine optimization has traditionally been vital to online marketing efforts, but as content becomes a more popular tactic, the role of search portals has become even bigger for effectively reaching customers. At the same time, the need for informational, in-demand content generation rises.

As a recent study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals, using search engines is one of the most popular online activities, tied with email usage for first place. Over the past decade, the number of individuals using search engines has grown from 85 to 92 percent of the United States' total internet population.

Moreover, search engines see the most usage among younger consumers who tend to have disposable incomes. Ninety-six percent of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use search engines to find information online. Additionally, 75 percent of consumers who have college degrees use search engines every day, and there is also a clear correlation between search engine activity and internet users' affluence.

Simultaneously, Pew's data shows that online news readership remains the third-leading internet activity among online Americans. More than three-quarters (76 percent) report that they get news online. As such, news content marketing might help set businesses apart in searchers' minds.

Marketers who publish branded, search engine-optimized industry news content can maximize their chances of reaching individuals who use portals to navigate the web. The online news audience also tends to be affluent, young and educated, which are all valuable characteristics of good customers.

While search engines are effective content marketing delivery methods, it's also important to leverage other platforms. For example, Brafton recently reported that publishing news and other content on Facebook at least five days per week, helps brands boost their exposure by 16 percent.