TF-IDF: SEO and Content Marketing Rolled Into One
Content marketing is a time-consuming process. Keeping a site consistently up to date with fresh articles and compelling copy takes time and skill. To add to your mountain of to-dos, you have to get that copy into the hands of people that want to read it with content marketing strategies.
Search engine optimization, outreach, backlinking, networking, cross-promotion, advertising, inbound marketing strategies – it’s a full-time job and a half. So what happens when those efforts fall flat, and you still don’t have the traffic coming in that you need?
You’ve wasted hours, days, weeks of your valuable time on a strategy that isn’t producing results. You’ve allocated your resources to getting this stuff out there, but people aren’t finding you. It’s a maddening situation to be in. You’ve put other things on the back burner for the long game with content marketing strategy implementation, things that could have made you immediate money, and now you’re coming up empty.
There are a few different approaches to content marketing that can help bring in more traffic, with less manual input from you, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of growing your business.
SEO and Inbound Marketing
SEO is a tricky beast. It starts off being simple – put this keyword here this number of times, get those stop words outta there, keep your pages spam-free… The truth is though, there is no single SEO strategy that is going to shoot your content to the top of the SERPs – Google’s made sure you have to try harder than that.
Though it might not always seem to be the case, we’ve officially entered the age of authenticity selling. Information-rich content that’s original and actionable is what is going to market your site for you, and draw traffic in with no marketing expertise required.
What is TF-IDF?
TF-IDF is just a fancy technical term for our keyword software here at Text Tools. Here’s what it stands for:
If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s okay, don’t panic – it’s not as technical as it sounds. Basically, this is a keyword program that looks at a single term within a document to determine its importance, based on the frequency of its use, compared to the frequency of words that are less relevant.
The more a term gets mentioned on a page, the higher TF-IDF judges its weight to be, and the more important the software determines it is.
How Does TF-IDF Help With Content Marketing and SEO?
TF-IDF doesn’t just provide you with information about term frequency. The Text Tools program has a feature called ‘Semantic Analysis’. Based on the term you enter in the software, once the program calculates the weight of the term, it quickly scans the web for other pages that have this term listed at a high weight.
When Text Tools does this, you’re given a detailed graph that essentially lines out the top competing pages for that term on the web on a graph. Digging deeper though, Text Tools also gives you a list of semantically related keywords. Here’s what that means:
Semantics: of, relating to, or arising from the different meanings of words
Basically, semantically related keywords fall into a category of words that have something to do with each other but aren’t necessarily a part of the same topic.
When you do a semantic analysis with Text Tools, you get several words that are also showing up commonly on the pages with high weights for your target keyword. In this graph, you’ll see the URLs that are referenced, as well as the weight of those terms on each page.
How to Use TF-IDF for SEO and Content Marketing
So how does TF-IDF tie in with content marketing? Essentially what it comes down to is pretty simple: giving the people what they want. Using semantic keyword analysis, you can evaluate the target market and get a feel for what they’re reading, and what the sites they’re reading on are also writing about.
Take your findings from Text Tools and use them to create an entire content creation strategy, so that you can create a targeted approach to leading your readers on to other topics. It not only opens the door to fresh eyes, but it keeps your content from getting stale and repetitive.
As you continue to create organic content, your website becomes richer and richer, with naturally key term dense articles and pages that start showing up in the SERPs more and more. As you build that content, you link back and forth between related articles, and the Google crawler starts indexing even more of your site, making you easier to find.
Why SEO Isn’t the Answer to Everything
The problem with building content around an SEO-based strategy is that it sets you up to create content that is artificial and not free-flowing. You wind up with robotic text that is unpleasant to read, and obviously engineered, and Google picks up on that.
Google’s Panda algorithm is smarter than ever, and can smell engineered content a mile away. When too many sentences are starting with the same word, and a word appears in more than 2-3% of the text, Google senses that the content is being written for the search engine, not the reader.
The result is essentially a penalty, and Google punishes the page for bad behavior, not ranking it well, and generally treating the link like spam that it doesn’t want its searchers to see.
Cost/Benefit of Link Building
Building backlinks is a great way to boost a target page’s rank and drive traffic to your site. You get your name out there, network with other blogs, and there’s the SEO benefit of getting a link on a site with a substantial domain authority.
Link building is the long game for SEO and content marketing, but it’s a tremendous way to expand the reach of your audience, without spamming in the comments sections of other blogs (don’t be that guy).
The problem with link building that most sites – particularly those fresh out of the gate – run into is that it takes time, money, and plenty of outreach, most of which tiny budgets don’t allow for. The result is a lot of time spent for little gain for a site that’s still in its infantile stages.
The bottom line is, you need to build your rapport with your audience first. You can spend all of that time and money driving people to your domain, but ultimately that progress will be short-lived and unsustainable if the content you have on your own site isn’t engaging and continually growing.
Social Media Marketing Won’t Work by Itself
Social media marketing is another area where content creators and digital marketers place a ton of effort and strategy, and often get frustrated by the lack of results. The engagement doesn’t yield clicks, and all of that time and money invested only serves to build a social media presence that isn’t building sales or an email list.
The bottom line is, you can’t just count on social media marketing to build your audience and grow your business. In every scenario and with every strategy, it always starts with content. You have to give your readers a reason to do more than like your Facebook page.
Ask yourself, what is really drawing people to your email list from your social media accounts? What incentive is there for your audience to go further and commit to a relationship with you?
A Match Made in Heaven: TF-IDF and Inbound Marketing
The bottom line is as it always was – content is king, and there is no substitute. You have to be willing to give your readers something of value if you want to grow your base of readers, and it really is that simple.
TF-IDF is like the ultimate market analyzation tool, helping you create content that’s relevant to your audience, but will also help your site rank better. It’s not keyword stuffing – it’s not even just packing that list of Keyword Tool generated related keywords into a page.
TF-IDF is taking the natural interests of your readership and giving the information you need to dig deeper and diversify your content based on that data. With this information, you can create content that brings in organic traffic, and builds your subscriber list based on the diversity of your information.
Why TF-IDF is the First Thing You Should Try
Your ideas are grand, and your ambitions have the power to take your online business places, but ultimately you cannot forget about your readers. If you want to see your hard work pay off, you have to put in the time with your content – there are no sustainable shortcuts.
Use TF-IDF to break through your writer’s block and stimulate the flow of fresh ideas and new content that’s relevant to your readership.