You might say I should have better things to do with my life, but for the last few years I’ve been blogging about why content is king. It’s been the mantra of we SEO copywriters and content marketers for ages now, despite the intermittent prophecies that the content bubble is about to burst (it might, by the way, but I think we’re safe for now). But is it still true that content is king?
It’s really easy to keep trundling along, doing the same old thing, without ever questioning if what you’re doing is still the right approach. But here at GrowTraffic, we pride ourselves on making sure that what we’re doing is actually beneficial to our customers. Unlike a lot of other SEO agencies, we don’t just apply a one-size-fits-all approach, nor do we do things that won’t get our clients any ROI.
Instead, we constantly review our procedures to make sure they’re still relevant and worth doing, which is why we’re asking this question today.
And fortunately, we’ve got the answer too. It’s yes. Content is most definitely still king, and for a multitude of reasons. That’s why we’re still advising our clients, be they big or small, to get involved in content marketing in 2018. And here are the top 3 reasons why.
Content Is An SEO Ranking Factor
Now it may be true that the inner workings of the world’s largest search engine (if that’s not playing down the role of Google in our modern world) are a complete mystery to anyone outside the organisation itself; even those of us who follow their updates and developments are, most of the time, only giving it our best shot.
But, to give them their due, the ultimate goal of Google is actually quite straightforward; they just want to make sure that, when they return a list of search results to someone, that list will contain some pretty decent websites.
In particular, Google wants those websites in the top ranking slots of the search engine results pages (SERPs) to be bang up-to-date and chock full of information that will answer every question the searcher has (and not just the question they have just asked, but the questions they’re going to ask next too! Yes, Google knows this. Google knows everything.) plus be written by an expert who clearly knows what they’re talking about and can thus provide good quality, in-depth advice on the subject in question. Simples.
So how does Google judge whether or not a website meets all of these criteria? Through content of course. OK, there are a few (million) other ranking factors, but this is basically the most obvious one, as well as being the most consistently effective one.
If you can get on board with content marketing and start producing content for your website, say, at least once a week, I can virtually guarantee that you will see dividends. Maybe not immediately, but get your approach right, target your audience correctly, pick the right keywords, stick at it and you’ll see your rankings improve and your traffic grow eventually, I promise.
Whether you choose to write a blog – by far the easiest way of doing regular content marketing – or do it via additional web pages or specific landing pages etc., regularly adding new, targeted content to your website will always help and never hinder.
It proves to Google that your website is up-up-date, because it’s being updated every few days. It shows that you are an expert in your field who keeps abreast of all the latest developments and regulations, because you’re explaining them and expanding upon issues to do with your business sector. It proves that you care about your customers, because you’re taking the time out to share your knowledge with them and help them improve. It proves that you can answer your customers’ questions, whatever they ask you. But, most importantly, it proves to Google that you can do all of that better than your immediate competitors, and because of that, Google will reward you.
Admittedly, it might take you months, if not years, to build up an actual readership for your blog, but a blog post is never wasted, because every single one you publish on your website will help your site’s SEO and benefit your business in the long run.
Content Helps You Grow Your Online Profile
In addition to helping you improve your rankings though, getting involved with producing good quality content can also help you to grow your online profile much more generally, mainly because it gives you plenty of stuff to share with your customers.
One key element of growing your online profile and getting your name recognised is to make the best use of social media that you can. Again, social media is not going to be a quick fix and it takes a bit of strategic thinking, but if you do it right, social media marketing can be a very effective branch of your overall online marketing campaign.
For one thing, posting on social media is a great way of finding your audience and starting a conversation with them, at a time and place where they’re much more inclined to engage with your business, but it’s also a key way of getting more traffic to your website. In fact, social is one of the primary channels that Google measures your traffic acquisition from, so if you’re not doing any social media marketing, you really are missing a trick.
If you’ve got a good blog or other type of content (such as an infographic, eBook, webinar, white paper – whatever) you’ve got something to share on your social media platforms that not only shows you’ve put in a bit of effort, but is also much more likely to peak your audience’s interest, plus it provides a link that takes them directly to your website; it’s win-win all round.
And, of course, it’s not just on social media that you can share your exceptional content, you can use it in email newsletters to make them more useful to your recipients, have it on your website as a hook to collect email addresses and grow your contact database, or even create an eBook. In fact, there are about a million ways to repurpose your content and share it in new ways to new audiences, and every single one of them will help boost your online profile and get more traffic to your website.
Content Helps You Speak To Your Customers
In addition to helping you boost your website’s traffic and rankings, content marketing also serves a much more fundamental purpose; it helps you speak directly to your customers. And, more importantly, your potential customers.
One of the biggest benefits of content is that, let’s be frank, it gives you the ideal opportunity to show off. After all, you are naturally an expert in your business; you know your company and industry inside out. You keep up-to-date with all the latest technological and regulatory developments. You read the industry publications, you attend the trade shows, you speak to your industry leaders. But who do you get to share all of that with? Your other half doesn’t listen, your kids couldn’t care less and your colleagues have heard you drone on about it a million times before.
So why not write a blog and share all of that with your customers instead? They want to know that you know what you’re talking about and creating content that shows off your knowledge is the perfect way of doing it. Plus, you get to pass judgement and express your opinion on everything that’s going on – personally, I think it’s worth it just for that.
Another benefit of content is that it can genuinely help you to genuinely help your customers. Are you fed up of always being asked the same questions by your potential customers? Send them the eBook that explains all the answers. Been asked to set up that new process for the umpteenth time this week? Point them in the direction of the infographic that explains it, step by step. Good content can help you in a myriad of ways to streamline your processes yet still give your customers the service they’re looking for by answering all their questions. Great for algorithms, even better for people.
Possibly the best thing about content though is that it is a proven method of growing your bottom line. In test after test, it’s been shown time and again that customers prefer to receive helpful content than an upfront sales pitch or advert. It makes sense; you’re giving them something useful to them – which we’re inclined to accept – as opposed to something about how they should give you their money – which we’re inclined to switch off from.
So, forget trying to just bombard your audience with sales messages; give, rather than take, and you’ll be remembered for it.
What’s even better is that this approach also engenders much more loyalty from your audience; it creates a personal connection, a dialogue, between you and the recipient, breaking down the inevitable barrier that an impersonal website imposes and generating trust in your message and your company.
The result; more customers, more sales and a much improved bottom line.
Get In Touch
If you’d like to find out more about just how much content could help your website and thus your business, then please do get in touch with GrowTraffic today.
We’ve helped hundreds of businesses to harness the power of content to improve their rankings, traffic and online profile, so can show you just how to do it.
Use the contact form on the website, drop us an email at [email protected] or give us a bell on 0161 706 0012 and we’ll get you started.