​What is content marketing? It's whatever you make of it, but new studies remind marketers to keep content for SEO in mind to increase visibility.

​What is content marketing? To some brands, content is merely a sales tool, and their blogs focus on their products’ best characteristics. However, for many other companies, custom content plays the role of storyteller. Blogs and news articles build a branded narrative that adds value to the web experience. In a new eMarketer report, “B2B Content Marketing: Best Practices for 2013,” content marketing is defined as, “using content that is not, at its core, promotional material, but which is interesting or valuable for its own sake.”

Content marketing is defined as, “using content that is not, at its core, promotional material, but which is interesting or valuable for its own sake.”

Admittedly, this definition does not explain much to the business professional who does not already conduct some form of content production and distribution. More, changing Google algorithms make understanding the SEO aspect of content creation even harder, but BusinessBolts.com’s latest study looks to bring some lagging SMBs up to speed.

The BusinessBolts.com 2013 SEO study examined backlinks, content metrics and social signals to understand the trends behind search engine ranking systems. The source evaluated more than 100 random key phrases, and put together a sample of approximately 500 web pages. BusinessBolts.com also looked at on-site factors like full URL, title tag, headline, body copy word count, images, video content and subhead characteristics in published articles. Some key findings are listed below:

  • Backlinks increased five times per position in Google SERPs.
  • High-ranking pages had body copy that averaged 900 words.
  • Only one out of every 10 pages included video content.
  • The most prominent web pages used few keywords.
  • Internal web pages comprised the top ranked listings in SERPs.
  • BusinessBolts.com noted a correlation between social signals and pages with the highest visibility in search results.

Content marketing might mean different things to businesses based on their goals, but these SEO signals indicate that certain steps must be taken by each brand to earn higher PageRank in search results. Whether using custom content to promote products or as educational resources, companies must keep SEO in mind throughout the writing process, and build strategies that spread awareness via search engines.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.