Content is a critical element in any digital marketing strategy — understand the role it plays and you can get more out of your marketing $$$s. It’s the strong foundation of all your digital marketing and will reduce your overall marketing costs – so don’t underrate it.
The facts about SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is about meeting the needs of two audiences — your website visitors AND the search engines that bring them to you. The basic facts of SEO are:
- Search engines can’t read pictures and videos (yet). This means SEO is primarily a game of words – but not words for the sake of words.
- Search engines look “under the hood” — so it’s more complicated than just what’s visible in your content.
- Search engine algorithms change constantly as they try to find the best possible information for their users — so EVERY “tricky technique” has a limited life span (and a potential future risk).
- The Internet is growing – every day there’s more. More web sites, more social media on more platforms, spreading more ideas.
- Internet access technology is changing — with more and more different devices in use.
- The Internet reflects human interests and concerns — which change constantly.
SEO is like housework — it’s never a “done thing”. Keeping up with it on a regular basis prevents nasty surprises in your page rankings.
Quality content is critical
Without quality content visitors move on quickly. Your bounce rate is high and search engines will notice – so your rankings will be poor.
Whatever gets a visitor to your site, once they’re there it’s the quality of your content that keeps them there. Even if your business is based on referrals, your website still has to sell you. Your content has to add value, it has to showcase YOUR value — and it’s got to look good. Otherwise visitors move on — fast!
What is content, anyway?
There are three basic types of content:
- Your website’s core copy, which explains who you are and how you add value for your customers.
- Your value-adding ongoing content — the blog posts, whitepapers, videos, infographics, images and audio podcasts and that a) reinforce who you are and b) demonstrate how you add value.
- You can also use carefully selected external content to inform your customers and demonstrate your values and your style.
With good content on your web site, you’ve got a wealth of material to drive your digital marketing strategy.
The name of the game is TRUST
Fundamentally, your web presence is an ongoing multi-media production that tells the story of you, your business and your customers. Your web site is your primary web presence — and it’s there to create trust.
That trust is created in two separate audiences: you need trust from search engines AND trust from your potential customers.
- If your coding is done well, and your content is consistent, you’ll get more trust and better rankings from the search engines.
- If your content is clean, original, interesting and valuable, you’ll get more trust from potential customers.
Quality content is your best SEO insurance
If you’ve done that all-important marketing homework and have a really clear, customer focused set of value statements, you’ve built a great foundation for quality core copy.
If you’re putting genuine, valuable, original ongoing content out to your audience, your visitors will stay longer and explore further.
Good, clear, consistent core copy plus interesting, useful ongoing content is a sound SEO investment. You’re working with the system.
If you spend time and effort on specific “tricks” it may pay off in the short term, but won’t last. Once upon a time “the thing to do” was to have lots of backlinks — these days, junk backlinks to poor quality or unrelated sites will hurt your rankings instead of helping them.
What does this mean for your web site?
- Your web site has to look good (to your ideal customer) — if it looks like a dog’s breakfast, if it looks 5 years old, if it ‘breaks’ on smaller devices, you’ll lose traffic and you’ll lose potential business.
- Your content has to BE good — if it doesn’t explain your value, if it doesn’t demonstrate your value, if it doesn’t engage visitors to stop, look, listen AND take action then you’ll lose traffic and you’ll lose potential business.
Invest in your content and your message, and you’ll make the most of your SEO spend.