As more and more people are wising up to the idea of researching before purchasing, the role of content as a primary online marketing tool is growing. A couple of years ago, content was no more than a means to higher traffic and a “web master”‘s selling point to business owners reaching for a top spot on Google’s ranking.
Today, both the web master and the business owner know better. More importantly, Google’s getting closer and closer to zero tolerance when it comes to that old spam ideology that reigned in the early 2000s.
Google has become a noble entity, bent on saving innocent browsers from that tragic transition from triumph to disappointment as they encounter yet another spam page. In the aftermath of this evolution, web masters everywhere are tossing their black hats and clamoring instead for high-quality content, a find that pays in valuable inbound links, credibility, a nice loyal audience base, and real, actual profit.
While we respect your hesitation on the man bun, content marketing the right way, is definitely a trend you want to follow. So what’s that thing they’re doing different that’s making all the difference? Well- there are a few things:
Commitment is the virtue of online marketing. For the love of your brand, stop spreading your content around and find an audience you can commit to and deliver. Not only is this practice valuable to the integrity of your brand, but practical for creating profit.
Google’s algorithm updates have evolved to meet the readers needs and your content needs to reflect that. Today, it’s all about relativity- not shameless backlinking and the buffet-style keyword spread. That might get you in the door, but it will also get you flagged and then blocked for good measure. Look- we get that your marketing team is hell bent on getting you that prized, first-page spot, but please be classy- quality over quantity. Always.
Research and actively aim to provide solutions to your audience’s problems. Tweak and mold your products and/or services to meet your audience’s needs. Keep some buzzwords around, but keep them relevant and tasteful. Knowing your audience and creating consistent high-quality content that appeals to their needs will fulfill yours- it’s called a functional relationship.
Don’t Be a Poser
The factor that characterizes a search engine as sophisticated is its ability to behave according to natural patterns. Likewise, your content should be crafted to read in a natural tone. Google’s algorithm, like a living breathing real person, prefers language that is clear, descriptive, and talkative. Craft content that is easy to read and interact with- people prefer an answer if it feels like it’s coming from a real person- and if it’s coming from a real person, Google won’t flag it as spam.
Co-occurrence, Not Keywords
Invest in more long-form content with lots of detail and natural phrase flow. Instead of playing Keyword Chubby Bunny, write posts with high-integrity- the relevant phrases will occur naturally. Co-occurrence.
Long-form content is a sophisticated (and effective) upgrade from keyword stuffing. Instead of coming off as redundant and cheap, long-form content delivers relevant results effortlessly. It also produces results that readers are more likely to seek out, which is why this style is favored by search engines.
Note: Something to beware of when using long-form content is relying on fillers or straying. This is why we always recommend writing about what you already know- and enjoy.
Resources and References
If I’m interested in a topic, chances are, yours is not the only site I’m checking out for information- and that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s best to provide what you know exquisitely and leave the rest to someone else. That last move doesn’t mean your content is less than- you can actually have an authority site simply by following that one simple rule, as long as the reader finds your website more useful than the competition.
… and how do you make sure your site is more useful? Provide resources. Aside from your own content, provide access and leads to other content by making your posts rich with case study references, white papers, and additional references.
Providing resources and references is not only good for building an authority website, but also for ranking. Google’s algorithm uses these outside links to create context, something that allows it to cater more accurately to readers and understand your content intention.