Keyword research can turn into a useful ally, especially if you bear in mind that you don’t always need to target the most obvious keywords. Content marketing is about creating content that will help Google to find your site and posts and to ensure you rank highly in the search engine results pages. While this is a powerful and useful effect though, it's actually only one part of what content marketing is about. The reality is that, for many businesses, 10-20 high-quality links will lead to top rankings in short order – sustainable rankings will last for years. Besides voice search and Google’s focus on that, more is changing in and for Google. Specifically: a few new technologies and a profound new way of looking at the web.

Auditing Existing Content

The text of the link helps provide Google additional context about the topic of the linked page, i.e. what keywords that page should rank for. So links that contain keywords related to what you sell or where you’re located – and even links for your brand name – are going to help you rank. The authority of the website or webpage linking to your site is also key. A few high authority links are far more valuable then many from low quality sites. Industry-relevant links are often the easiest links for small business owners to acquire. Many of them simply involve asking your existing contacts at companies or organizations with whom you do business. Create and submit sitemaps for each country in Google Webmaster Tools. This is only necessary if you’re using subdirectories for each of your locale sites, but it is very important that Google indexes and understands all the pages on your site. The best way to do this is to submit a sitemap for each country or region you are targeting.

Benchmarking Current Indexing Status

Google is getting better and better at recognizing content that truly is useful to people. You need to become best friends with Google Search Console. Its search tools are legendary and a big help if you want to find out how your site is doing in the search results. Brand mentions and co-citations are also very important to Google, in determining the quality and usefulness of a particular web page. Google’s robots, or “spiders,” crawl the Internet by “clicking” one link after another after another. They discover new pages and websites as part of that crawl, and store the content of each of those pages in a giant database.

Duplicate content

Guest posting as a tactic has a dual benefit. First, it helps you reach the target audience of blogs who have similar audiences as yours. Second, it helps you get backlinks to your site so you can drive up your search engine rankings. If your niche is very competitive, you probably shouldn’t go after the most competitive head terms. It will be really hard to rank for those. The reputation, authority, and credibility of a website will be judged by the search engines based on the type of backlinks the site has. According to SEO Consultant, Gaz Hall: "You should always Google keywords before committing to them.because it’ll help you to understand what—in Google’s eyes—is the best result for that particular keyword. If most of the results are vastly different to the content you’re trying to rank, it probably isn’t a great keyword to target."

Google Identifies CTR and User Experience as Major Ranking Factors

Another factor in determining the value of a link is the way the link is implemented and where it is placed. For example, the text used in the link itself (i.e., the actual text that a user clicks on to go to your web page) is also a strong signal to the search engines. How do your competitors rank? Pick out a keyword for which you want to optimize your site. Check out the top 20 search results: Are your competitors somewhere in there? What is your ranking for this keyword? This information should help you to find a good niche for you and your keywords, where your competitors are not operating. It may also be that you find keywords for which it is worth joining the competition. Utilizing Social Media is a first step for many webmasters with nothing to offer, which is a reason why their young websites fail. Hitting up Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other gathering places on the Internet is something you should wait to do, at least until your website has enough meat to make a good first impression. You only get one. When deciding which keywords to go after, you could also use a tool, but simply googling your keywords will also give you insight into the difficulty to rank for a certain search term.