Is Content Done Being King? What is Content Marketing?

It has been at least 10 years that I have repeatedly heard, and said, “Content is King,” when it comes to marketing your business online. Now, of course, this isn’t 100% accurate, because crappy content is still just crappy content. Maybe we can get some leverage going here with this one: “Great Content is King.” 

con·tent mar·ket·ing

noun

a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.

And, now that we have that covered, what the heck does it mean, and why or how can content help your website to rank higher for keyword searches related to your business? Great questions, all of them! 

First: Content is anything that is posted online. Some popular examples are text, in the form of website copy (blog posts, comments, etc), images, videos, audio, infographics, and more.

Why do you need content on your website?  We’re going to take a step back here and talk concepts. Your website should ideally be built with 2 audiences in mind. The first is your current client base, as well as future clients. Anyone that makes it to your website should have something to do there, right? Like when you go get an oil change and they have that cool waiting room with wi-fi and a tv? Yeah, it’s like that. When a visitor comes to your site, ultimately the goal is that they buy something, make an appointment, fill out a lead form, etc. The psychological principle of reciprocation says that if you give someone something they will feel compelled to give you something back. So, give them content! Whether it is an active blog section, some how-to videos, or anything else. Give them something!

The other audience that any quality web design firm will have in mind when designing your site is the search engines. Google can do a lot of things, really quickly, and really efficiently. But, they can not read or scan thousands of websites every time someone performs a search. For this reason most websites have the ability to enter information on the “back end” of the site that act as Cliff’s Notes, and serve to give search engines a reader’s digest version of who you are, what you do, and what your site is about.


Example: Someone does a search for “NY style pizza near me”

Website A- Title tag: Homestyle restaurant, fresh dough made daily

Website B- Title tag: NYC style pizza

All else being relatively equal, website B will get higher placement in search engines when someone searches for NY style pizza. Another important item to keep in mind is that Google views your site as a whole entity to a minimal degree, but far more often in terms of search, your website is viewed as a series of pages. What does this mean? Well, in the example above, if Website B is for a pizza restaurant that serves multiple styles of pizza, it may make sense to have a separate page for each style of pizza that they serve (assuming there is significant traffic). 

When writing for search engines, there are multiple tips, tricks, and tactics that should be utilized, and although you do not need an IT degree to edit meta tags, descriptions, and/or data, many business owners are not comfortable tinkering around in there. Without getting too far into the ditch with tech spea, there are many free seo tools that will tell you where you stand in terms of your current data, check them out and see where you stand!

Best Types of Content for SEO

   Remember in Naked Gun when Ricardo Montalban tells Drebin that the best assassin is one you’ve never heard of? Well, that has little to do with SEO but I can’t resist a Naked Gun reference. The best marketing of any kind is done by others. What do I mean? Well, let’s talk about the difference between good and bad content and I think you’ll get it pretty quickly.

Good content- Good content is relevant to your business and the industry as a whole. It is useful, informative, and educational, and/or entertaining. In a nutshell, it needs to be something that others will feel compelled to read and share. So, let’s say that you are a mechanic, and you are creating content for your website. An article about how you can tell if your A/C needs to be recharged is an example of good content. Why? It is relevant to your industry, it may show in search results if someone searches for “Does my A/C need a recharge?”, it is useful, because someone can follow your advice and maybe save a few dollars, and it is informative. So, let’s say that someone sees your article, follows your advice, and appreciates it so much that they share the content on their website and/or social media pages. You have paid to create the content once, and then others are helping to spread it for free!

Bad content- Maybe bad isn’t the right word, but I’m gonna keep it. What we’re really talking about here is content that is less likely to be shared. I use a really simple rule for this: Is this content that I would share, or that I would be interested in seeing if someone else shared it? Some things to avoid are branded content, advertising copy, and anything salesy. No one will share your advertisement on their social media. You know those dumb radio ads where the owner of the business has his/her kid read something? That’s really cute (to someone?) but I can assure you that that advertisement ends there. No one that doesn’t share your DNA will be compelled to share it with their network of friends.
In terms of rules, guidelines and such, that’s all I got! So, whether you are creating an article, a blog post, a video, or even a podcast, follow these rules, and implement the proper SEO tools and it will be easily accessible to both end users AND search engines. If this all still seems like too much, or you just want to know where your website stands in terms of SEO rankings or ability to rank, feel free to reach out for a free onsite appraisal!

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