The Future of SEO: Content Marketing Is More Effective than Link Building

| 5 minutes read

Many businesses and site owners who relied on link building as their primary search engine strategy started scrambling after the last two Google algorithm changes as their sites dropped in the rankings. On the other hand, sites featuring high quality content, including frequently updated blogs with respected, authoritative information, rose to the top of the search rankings overnight. As Google and the other major search engines, as well as consumers, become increasingly knowledgeable about black hat SEO strategies, such as selling back links, link building is losing favor as an SEO strategy. Here are some of the advantages of using content marketing instead of link building.

It is easier to determine the return on investment with content marking than with link building

When a website has great content informing readers about a product or service, it is fairly easy to determine whehter the content has brought in more customers and an increase in sales for the particular service or product. With an investment in link building, the only thing a business or site owner can tell is whether the website has increased in the search engine rankings. It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine how links convert into sales.

Great content generates a buzz that drives traffic to your website

The pinnacle of success for internet marketing is to have content on a website go viral, translating into hundreds of thousands of pages views, obviously much more traffic than even the most aggressive link building campaign can generate. When a site has great content with relevant topical information, other bloggers and websites will reference the content. Not only will this give your website more traffic and expose more people to your products and services, but also it will establish the website as an authoritative source of information. The major search engines are starting to consider the value of the content on websites in their search engine page rankings, so quality authoritative content will do much more to raise the ranking of a website than random links to the site, which might have been bought by the site owner or placed by friends of the site owner.

Great content writers tend to charge less than professional link builders

Many professional writers started to work on a freelance basis after facing layoffs and reduced hiring opportunities as magazines, newspapers, and advertising firms transitioned from print media to the internet. As a result, there is a high level of competition for writing work, even between highly skilled writers, which is driving down the rates these writers charge. The average salary of freelance internet content writers in the United States is approximately $ 42,000 per year, whereas the average salary for link builders is $ 68,000.

Fewer human resources risks are involved with content marketing as opposed to link building

In order to have an effective link building strategy, a business or website owner needs to invest valuable capital in hiring experienced link builders, which may or not be effective in increasing the search engine page rankings of the website. Another approach that some webmasters try is to train link builders, but it can take as long as a year to gain all the skills they need so they are effective, and there is no guarantee that the link builders will stay with the company. When the experienced link builders leave the business that trained them, the business not only loses the investment made in training but also incurs the cost of training new link builders.

When a business or website owner hires a content writer, the writing samples of the content writer give a snapshot of the writer’s abilities. Additionally, most web content writers have training so they are ready to start producing content immediately. Furthermore, it is possible to integrate the skills of content writers with those of video producers, graphic designers, and community moderators to maximize the likelihood of content going viral.

Web pages with high-quality content have a lower risk of having their search engine page rank affected by algorithm updates.

As Google and the other major search engines increase the frequency with which they change their algorithms, sites that depend on link building find that they can lose their favorable search engine page ranks quickly. The recent Google algorithm change appears to favor websites associated with a brand. A website that has created a buzz with high quality content is able to establish itself as a brand, whereas link building does little to nothing to help with branding.

Well-written website content is not only effective in establishing brand recognition but also in acting to establish a relationship with potential customers. When a customer or client has a positive relationship with a particular website or product, they are likely to share the link with their friends, especially on social media, creating both a buzz and legitimate link backs to the website.

Content that conveys expertise and establishes relationships is the future of internet marketing

During the past couple of years, the prominence of social media marketing has exploded, as shown by the increased number of “Tweet This” and “Share this on Facebook” buttons on websites. Users of social media quickly notice “spam” links to websites with content having little value and the users alert their friends to report the links as spam, leading to the social media sites blocking both the links and the user who posted them.

Savvy webmasters know that bloggers who exclude authority in a certain area or who have a following of readers organically generate links to their work. Additionally, social media, by its very nature, is all about relationship building, and great content forms a relationship with those who read it. Furthermore, with the launch of Google+ Authorship, it appears that Google is shifting its focus to the people of a business and their reputation as opposed to just what is on the website of the business.

Managing content is more enjoyable than managing links

Most people have more fun reading great content than reviewing spreadsheets full of links and numbers. A great writer will engage even the boss with the content he or she writes. Additionally, it is much easier to see the results of a content-focused campaign in terms of increased page views and profits as compared to a link building campaign.

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