Content marketing is all the rage in the internet marketing and SEO circles, and for good reason. It’s been shown that inbound marketing techniques cost less and deliver higher quality leads than traditional marketing methods all while giving you easy-to-follow roadmaps to success online.
As we all know, blogging is one of the pillars of a great content marketing strategy. Let’s dive in and see just how Google blogs, and what we can learn from their efforts.
Let’s take a look at some of the strategies that Google uses to market their many online services.
Quality Over Quantity
Google uses content the same way they’re telling you to. It’s not the number of posts on your blog that reaps the SEO benefits but the quality of the posts you are putting out. Every one of Google’s major acquisitions – YouTube, Zagat, Gmail, Google+ and the main Google Blog all have blogs, and all are putting out solid content semi-regularly. The key takeaway here is that most of them aren’t posting daily. Zagat is one of the exceptions to this rule, and although it posts multiple times per day, it’s content that fills a need rather than a blog that posts for the sake of posting.
Scheduled Posting is for Suckers
Google doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason to its posting schedule. We’ve heard from our first days in the SEO world that regularly updated blogs are key and posting frequency has been discussed again and again in that time. While some believe that one post a week is sufficient, others are blogging once monthly or even multiple times daily to try to increase the number of indexed pages from their domain. What we can learn from Google here is that you post when you have something of value to add to the conversation. None of their blogs follow the same posting schedule. Some sites are posting multiple times daily, while others are updated only a few times a month. Blog when you have something of value to give your readers.
Let Links Happen
It helps if you’re a Google-sized entity on the web, but it seems that upon a quick backlinks search of some of their major web properties that they aren’t focused on getting backlinks (although they have a ton). They’re letting the quality of the content speak for itself and the backlinks are happening naturally.
On-Page Optimization Matters
Google is obviously following the blueprint they lay out for the rest of us. Each page is properly optimized using title tags, proper permalink structure, anchored links, a good number of incoming and outgoing links on each page, proper use of tags such as (nofollow, noindex, etc.), a robots.txt file to keep the www and non-www pointing at the same domain and more. Google is following their own rules, and you should too.
Headlines Sell Papers
The Zagat blog uses some of the best headlines of any blog online, and the rest of the Google blogs are no slouch either. The headlines are engaging – “Hangover Brunch: Where to Eat on New Year’s Day” – as well as informative – “Gmail and Drive – a new way to send files” – all while sticking to proven posting formats that drive people to share your content.
Speaking of proven posting formats, Google is the king of using “link-bait” type posts to drive shares as well as getting other blogs to link to their content. Bulleted posts, interviews, step-by-step guides (with images) and easily scannable content are some of the most common and popular post types. If you look at any post that achieves a great deal of viral appeal, it’s probably a post that follows one of the above formats. These are proven to win and Google – even knowing what it takes to succeed – isn’t trying to re-invent the wheel. They’re sticking with what works.
Simple Sites That Are Easy To Navigate > Fancy Sites That Leave Users Scratching Their Heads
Google is all about usability, and it shows in the way they blog. Although several sites use different custom themes there are many more that use basic Blogger themes that are available to anyone. The thing you’ll notice about all of Google’s blogs is that they’re simple. None of them have fancy features or are they in any way cutting edge. They’re clean, and they have great use of images and white space to drive home the message rather than fancy features designed to impress users while not contributing to the bottom line of the blog.
What are some things that you’ve noticed about Google and the way they blog?