Content marketing is considered the best SEO tactic, and companies that overcome challenges associated with this approach will win better marketing results.

Seven out of 10 marketers agree: Content creation is the most effective approach to search engine optimization.

For the SEO Survey Summary report, Ascend2 asked nearly 300 marketing and sales professionals about their best search strategies and found content is the winner by a large margin.

Companies are evidently gravitating toward content marketing as an SEO approach because this was an increase over 2014 numbers, when 57 percent said relevant content was the most effective search strategy.

Why is content marketing so effective?

As the web becomes a more sophisticated medium, Google is looking at content to evaluate whether a site is relevant, useful and authoritative before showing it in search results. The richer the content and the deeper the archive, the stronger the signals that a site is a valuable resource for web searchers.

Written, visual and social content all count when Google and other search engines are determining whether a given site is THE BEST place where people can find answers.

Here are just a couple examples of how content contributes to a stronger search presence:

  • A blog content strategy helped this software company increase its search visibility 18% through higher keyword rankings. (Check out the full success story)

  • A payment processing company got 204% more organic traffic after it started ranking for long-tail keywords that were included in its blog content. (See more about this strategy here)

Effective content isn’t easy to produce

Unfortunately, content creation also one of the most difficult to get right – and something marketers continue to struggle with over time. This year, 45 percent of marketers reported they find it challenging to execute high-quality content marketing strategies, down slightly from 47 percent last year.  

Even though businesses’ content creation skills are improving, they’re still struggling to keep up with its potential. Brafton recently reported that most companies struggle to manage content marketing processes from start to finish and lose money in the process.

However, businesses can overcome content marketing challenges by:

  • Investing in reliable content writers

  • Creating a documented strategy

  • Setting goals for topic selection and measureable results

There is no good way to fake content creation. Brands must approach it as an editorial endeavor if they want to reap the rewards. Google’s Panda algorithm detects duplicate and thin content to keep spam out of search results. The only way to win with this approach is to create relevant content with clear value for users on a consistent basis.

With rumors of a new Panda update on the horizon, it’s a good time for marketers to evaluate the content on their websites and identify opportunities to improve their approaches. For a quick refresher, check out our free eBook on Content for SEO.  

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.