A New Type of Strategy: Owned, Paid, and Earned Content Strategy

SEO on blackboardIn the rapidly and ever-evolving field of search engine optimization (SEO), the strategies of the past are giving way to the new: that of the owned, paid, and earned content development. This new strategy can now power your SEO instead of the typical semantic or keyword search world. Why you ask? One of the key changes in the game is that there is no such thing as the standard first page display for each and every user anymore. Although still useful in understanding rank or areas to improve upon, the gauge of success is on the move.

The new strategy has stepped in as relevant due to Google’s frequent algorithm changes where a foundational knowledge of semantic searching is important in order to build. In any semantic/word search, search engines no longer return a hierarchical list of guesses but instead discern context and user intent to provide more specific and definitive answers to the searcher.

For the three media types: owned, paid, and earned, its crucial to use all three in integration in order to create a successful content scenario.

  • Owned
    When media is owned, this means that it is published information, material on your website, or any other material that has been produced by you. It belongs to your company and helps narrate the story you want to present to your customers and clients.
  • Paid
    Typically copy written, paid content is content produced for the internet such as information, texts or graphics, and collateral downloadable material. Oftentimes paid content includes native advertising or pay-per-click campaigns.
  • Earned
    With the implosion of social media, earned content relies heaving on publicity gained through editorial influence. Instead of word-of-mouth advertising, earned content relies upon gaining shares, likes, re-tweets, posts and other medias that utilize crowd/product/company interaction.

The best strategy to employ is a combination of these media types. If time and budget allow, start with owned media and build a strong online presence utilizing content that belongs to you before expanding out. As you make gains, it’s important to understand how your content functions in order to maximize efficiency across available media areas. When examining your data, there are four main areas to help you understand what to do with your SEO and content marketing strategies (as referenced by David Amerland in his book, Google Semantic Search): 

  • Volume – The amount of content you prepare, produce, and present enables potential customers and the Internet to understand your company/product/service.
  • Velocity – Or speed, the faster you produce and move content, the quicker its indexed and presented to potential customers.
  • Variety – It’s important to produce material for a variety of sources instead of just singular presentations. With the creation of multiple, unique material types, you can gain the advantage of getting better positioning in front of your customers.
  • Veracity – By lending truth and authentic value to your content, Google, understands better how your content is perceived and should be presented.

Observable Metrics

Monitoring content is a key step in following your search engine results. It can help shape how you shift your content efforts by enabling you to figure out what’s working for you and what should be continued and what isn’t contributing to your bigger SEO picture. By using a content strategy that includes a combination of owned, earned, and paid media you can attain your goal of improving your rankings in the semantic search world. As always, it’s a game that frequently changes pace and right now, this unique combination allows you to stay focused and drive results.