With most small businesses devoting an average of $75,000 a year to digital marketing, measuring your ROI is a must.

If you've been paying attention to trends in marketing and search engine optimization, you know that content marketing is huge this year. If you're focused on content marketing ideas to boost SEO, you're on the right track.

Search engines use a tool called "web crawlers" to look at every site on the internet, pull out keywords, rank for quality, and index them. That's how they can return so many results in a fraction of a second. If your pages use keywords organically, loads quickly, and has a simple organizational structure, you'll rank highly.

For marketers looking for content marketing ideas that lead to an SEO Shangri-La, follow these six steps to success in 2018.

1. Go Mobile First

As mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop and laptop browsing, more customers than ever will be accessing your page from a smartphone or tablet. That means that any site you design and any page layout from here on out should look good on mobile as a priority.

Sites that are designed from a mobile-first perspective typically have no problem scaling for a larger screen. When it's the other way around, challenges arise.

Search engines rank sites by how good they look on mobile devices. If there's a lot of stretching and scaling that happens or if your images fall out of whack, search engines could penalize you for this. Google provides a toolto help you check the mobile-friendliness of your site.

2. Start A Blog

If you're implementing content marketing ideas at this point without a blog, you're missing out. When customers aren't searching explicitly for products, they're looking for answers to questions. You could be answering those questions and telling potential customers about your services at the same time.

Blogging is an eternal trend of content marketing.

A blog is a great way to build your brand's reputation. As you write useful articles that get shared across the internet, people will turn to your site for valuable information about questions in your field. Over time, more customers will flock to your site for the information you have to offer.

If you link to reputable sites and reputable sites link to you, you'll use that shared momentum to create authority around all of your brands.

3. Add Optimized Video

In the next few years, video is slated to comprise 80% of all internet traffic. That means that more time will be devoted to watching videos than reading articles. That also means that if you can start pivoting your content marketing ideas toward video, you'll be ahead of the curve.

Did you know that when you run a search through a search engine, they're also searching through their array of subtitles for matches?

If you're uploading videos with subtleties, you're getting great opportunities to use your keywords organically. You're also engaging people with disabilities, expanding the audience for your videos. There are plenty of people who scroll past a video and if they don't get pulled in in the first three seconds, won't even let the sound play.

That's all the more reason to prime the pump with some subtitles.

4. Update Regularly

If you've got a blog or running a social media campaign, you need to make sure you're posting often. Search engines rank sites that post often higher than ones that don't. After a few months of inactivity, you're basically dead to search engines unless someone searches for your exact keyword phrase.

You need also to update your old posts often. Links come and go, but if your posts are connected to blogs or posts that are no longer available, you need to switch out your links. Old posts with fresh links will also rank higher than the average old post.

Refreshing your links can be tedious work, so employ the help of a broken links checker to ensure that none of your links are totally dead. Otherwise, people could be going to old posts of yours for information but having their trust damaged when they try to click a link for more.

5. Stay Local

Local keywords are huge this year. All of your content marketing ideas need to be focused on how to capture your audience closest to you.

You might have noticed by now that if you run a search for "pizza," you usually get a response with pizza shops near you. That's because browsers use your metadata and search engines grab GPS info from your phone. With this data, they're able to give you what they think is the most relevant information.

In all of your title tags and metadata, you should be using local terms and neighborhood names. This allows for people in Spokane, WA looking for a plumber to be matched with your site tagged "Spokane Plumbing Services." Otherwise, they could be right next door to you and get matched with the nearest neighbor who added "Spokane" to their page.

You can also use image information to drive this point home. For every image you take with your phone or camera, it gets named something arbitrary like "XYZ123.JPG".

Changing these file names is a breeze. Change them to something that uses your keywords like "plumbing-service-Spokane-pipes.JPG" and search engines will reward you. You'll get ranked more highly if your filenames have important terminology worked into them.

Content Marketing Ideas Must Stay Flexible

The field of content marketing is changing quickly, and the tide can turn at any instant. The most important thing for any small business owner to do is to be prepared for changes and expect nothing to be permanent. Content marketing trends change with social trends and get new ideas with every new social media tool that's released.

At Emagine, we offer web design, mobile development, and video product services to our clients. We personalize our services to meet your unique needs for optimal results and performance. If you're looking for ideas on how content marketing can generate leads for your business, you can contact us for more information.

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