Written by Aaron Houghton of Boostsuite
Aaron Houghton is a co-founder and CEO at BoostSuite.com, the collaborative marketing platform for small businesses. Aaron has over 15 years experience building and selling marketing products to small businesses around the globe.
When it comes to content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), you have to make sure the content you write is timely. What does it mean to be timely? The dictionary defines “timely” as a meaning done or occurring at a favorable or useful time. These are the things the search engines look for when determining your rankings. Let’s look at an example of both a timely, and untimely blog post for right now.
Let’s say I’m a small business with an online e-commerce shop selling children’s toys. If I were to write an article about Zhu Zhu Pets, a hot holiday toy back in 2009, you’re not as likely to attract a larger audience. On the other hand, if you were to write an article about the LeapPad Ultra, one of 2013’s hottest holiday gifts, your article is more favorable to both humans and the search engines because of it’s timeliness!
Here are the three keys to keeping your SEO and content marketing timely:
1. Stay Up To Date On Industry News
One of the best ways to figure out what to write your timely content on for your SEO strategy is by staying up to date with what’s going on in your own industry. If you don’t know what’s going on, you’re out of the loop and can’t get involved.
Think for a second. Who are the thought leaders in your industry? Who do you trust to get your industry news? Write down a list then go out and install Feedly (an RSS reader) and follow each and every one of these people. Categorize them to make it easier to find the content you’re looking for.
Next step is to make sure to go follow these people and companies on social media. News is disseminated very quickly on social media so if you have a social media aggregate tool you’re using and can set up alerts for specific hashtags and keywords that are timely, then do it!
2. Curate Content From Recent Articles
Once you install Feedly and follow all these thought leaders, you’ll start reading articles regarding timely, relevant content in your industry. That’s great because you’ll then be able to curate your own content from these articles.
For example, you’ll read an article that a thought-leader has recently put out on a topic. If you find the article to be great, you can write an article on the same topic but provide a different outlook or opinion on it. Own it. Make it unique and interesting. Add the topic to your article’s page title, meta description, h1 heading, body text, and URL to optimize it properly.
Let’s say the thought leader got something wrong or you disagree with something they said. A great idea is to post a rebuttal article showing why they’re wrong or why you disagree with what they said. You could even ask the thought leader to review your article by commenting on the original one they wrote, and that gets their attention and exposes you to their engaged audience. All good things!
The quicker you do this, the timelier and more interesting it will be for your readers.
3. Write New Articles Weekly
You can’t expect to be timely with your SEO and content marketing if you’re not consistently writing. Writing an article next week on a topic that was relevant 6 months ago will do you very little good.
If you’re writing on topics that are relevant in the present and are trending topics in your industry, more people are going to see, read, and share your articles because they’re timely. With Google’s Hummingbird update, it’s more important than ever to be timely because they’re able to look at social media and website backlinks on specific topics and the fresher links coming into your site will benefit you and not your competitors
Try to write one article a week on a timely topic and be sure to post it on the same day of the week, every week. Then be sure to promote your articles via social media and your monthly newsletter. You can even ask your readers, colleagues, and friends to share your content to spread the word virally.
I hope that you’ve found my tips useful. Be sure to leverage timeliness in your content marketing and SEO strategies next year and beyond.
If you do this, you will attract a broader, more qualified audience than you would write an untimely article. Keep in mind that if you write evergreen content or content that’s always timely, you’ll ensure that people always keep coming back to your site for information because it’s always useful and relevant.
Do you have any experience writing a super-timely article for your own SEO strategy? Share your knowledge with us!