The old way of SEO is dead
No longer is the health of your website dependent on how many keywords you can stuff into one website. Automated tactics used by hackers are weeded out and punished by Google’s algorithm. The right way to SEO is methodical, heavily-targeted and takes more of a holistic approach to digital marketing. While all the old ways have slowly been phased out by Google’s constant algorithm updates, there is one SEO strategy in particular that has with stood the test of time.
That one, very important SEO strategy is called content marketing. No matter how many updates that have come out content still rules in the search engine optimization world. In a sense, content marketing has become exactly what Google wanted when they started their own search engine. It is the purest and most effective way of search engine optimization and has a lot of hidden value on top of the SEO aspects.
To understand why Content still reigns supreme and is vital for the success of your digital marketing plan lets breakdown what the point of a search engine is.
Did you know Google came up with the name from googol, which is 1 to the 100th or the digit 1 with 100 zero’s after it? It is used to describe the number of subatomic particles in the visible Universe or the number of possible chess moves. So what’s the significance of that number? It’s a massive number bigger than even what initial estimates are of the size of the entire universe! Our universe is estimated to be 1 to the 60th or the digit 1.0 with 60 zero’s after it.
Google is the common spelling of googol and reflects the goal of building a very large-scale search engine when Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page first started.
And large scale it has become!
In November 1997, the biggest search engines claimed to index anywhere from 2 million to 100 million web pages. There are now an estimated 450 billion web pages and counting!
Alta vista had roughly 20 million searches per day in November 1997. Google now processes over 40,000 searches every second and 3.5 billion searches per day. That results in 1.2 trillion searches per year around the world.
What makes it all the more incredible is that Google has found a way to pull the most relevant results in seconds. When you type in a string of words Google pulls the best possible result for that moment in time for that specific area.
There is a rather large demand for a search engine that can provide you with a solution to your question or burning desire. Maybe your burning desire is to buy a new song from Taylor Swift or Kanye West. Maybe it’s to learn about the Viking warlord Hardold Hardrada and how he died in an arrogant and tragic way. Whatever it is, the answer and solution are at your fingertips and has to be just seconds away.
This search engine also needs to do so quickly and efficiently, and in a way that is useful for the person looking for that solution. That search engine is Google and in some cases Bing as well.
Everyone uses Google to interact with the world around them. Whether it’s on their phone, tablet, desktop or laptop we turn to Google and other search engines to guide us to make a decision. Whether we’re looking for a family doctor, dentist, food, club, clothes, toys, movies or any other everyday wants and needs, we use search.
So how does that fit into an SEO and digital marketing plan for your business? Your business is a problem solving entity as is a search engine. For people to find you among 450 billion web pages you need a way for them to find you. The best way to reach people and get them to convert on your website is content. Content is the link between when someone enters a string of words in a search bar to someone finding your business and engaging you.
Without content or content marketing there is no way anyone could find you. What is content? Content can be an article, video, picture, podcast or song about your business. It’s a way for people to find your business and learn about how you can be the solution to their problem or question.
Content can be just about anything
Most of us have been introduced to content in the form of an article. The first search engines were primarily a place for academic research. It didn’t become a place of entertainment or commerce until later on in it’s life cycle.
That original theme of research carries on to this day but people use research for more than just science experiments. They use research to make informed buying decisions. They use research to see if you’re worth doing business with. People now place their trust in the content they read before making what they believe is a more informed buying decision.
Keeping people in the dark was a common marketing tactic used by advertisers for a very long time. The less information you could give someone the better off it was. The more information the more hurdles a sales team would have to overcome to make a deal.
Now it’s flipped. It’s better to give more information and let people come to a decision themselves. Sales tactics are now a turnoff and so is in your face advertising. It’s more about transperancy than anything else. Putting out content allows your customers to get to know you better and begin to form a relationship. It also answers common questions they may have. Instead of taking up valuable time explaining the basics your customers will come in more informed and more ready to make a purchase.
Content marketing and SEO are now intertwined. They go hand in hand and the SEO company that you hire should have the option of implementing a content marketing plan for your business.
The life force of the internet and search engine optimization is links and link building. Content creates links back to your website. It creates a link that people may even want to share with their friends and family which is a form of word of mouth advertising.
There are rules that must be used when creating content for your customers. Lets break them down so you can apply them to your own business or if you hire an SEO company to know what to look for.
Understand The Buyers Journey
You can create content that speaks to your customer base at different points in the buyers journey. The reason loud, in your face advertising doesn’t work anymore is because it’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
If you were walking down the street looking for the best coffee shop would you want 30 barista’s screaming at you to buy their coffee because it’s better than someone elses? That isn’t even a believable story that the worlds best coffee is on the street you’re walking down in 30 different coffee shops!
When the thought of going to a coffee shop enters your mind it’s not as if you have to drop everything you’re doing or you’ll die! Some people may want to take the time to ask Google, others are trying to decide between coffee or a red bull, some may want a doughnut with their coffee so they need to find a coffee shop with a doughnut. The point is that it’s not as black and white as “Hey I Want Coffee and I Want it NOW! There is a research and consideration stage and it will be different lengths of time for different people.
So as a coffee shop your content marketing plan could include multiple articles on the benefits of drinking coffee. It could also be a list of reasons why you love coffee or a video of people drinking your coffee and giving a testimonial afterwards.
It could also be a podcast about the history of coffee and how people first were introduced to it. All of this content creates a relationship with your customer base while also creating links back to your website. These links are all shareable and when people share them it makes it easier for other people to find you. It also sends signals to Google and other search engines that you know about coffee which makes it all teh more likely it will show up for a search query.
A steady flow of content also lets Google know what kind of website you are. If you send repetitive signals to Google in the form of useful information it will increase your page rank, which will generate more traffic back to your website.
Google ranks pages using E-A-T which means expertise, authority and trustworthiness
If you have a steady flow of useful, coffee-related content that people like to read and share it will increase your E-A-T, which will then boost your ranking.
There are also factors on the back end of a website you can optimize through these articles that can help you outrank your competitors. Content marketing is a white hat technique. When searching for a digital marketing firm with a strong SEO team it’s important to see if they can implement a strong content marketing plan for your business.
Content marketing often takes time and consistency to implement effectively. If you hire the wrong team of SEO experts who generate bad content it can actually hurt your website.
When you implement content marketing to go along with other aspects of your digital marketing plan it can boost your rank. It can also help you dominate your sales in your own backyard.
If you’re interested in implementing a full content marketing plan or would like a complimentary SEO analysis click the link below.