CONTENT IS STILL KING
Everyone knows what search is and why it's important to your business. Everyone knows what social media is and why that's important. But what exactly is content marketing?
Content Marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. (Wikipedia)
Content Marketing means creating, publishing and sharing valuable content on a regular basis through various social channels to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers of your product or service. The type of content you share should be closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. The ultimate goal - that content is then processed using up to 22 different processes, tools and techniques to be indexed by Google so that in a moment of need during a Google search, your business can benefit. (Web It 101)
Strong, SEO optimized written copy is the most critical part of any content marketing initiative.
But before the first sentence, meta-description or headline are written, Web It 101 dives into the heart of search optimization by identifying those important keywords and long-tail key phrases your target audience is likely to use when searching.
Case in Point. Are customers looking for “Career Counselors in Tulsa”, or are they typing in “Tulsa Career Counselors?” Because you’ll get a totally different list of search returns for each of those long-tail phrases.
This is for your website, articles, blog entries or other content initiatives, as well as for individual pages or specific pieces of content within a website such as blog/news/updates pages. These are the words and phrases searchers use, these are words and long-tail searches your potential customers use.
The first step in the keyword research process is simply to brainstorm a list of the words and phrases a searcher might use to discover your business. Thankfully, there are Google and third party tools for this.
It’s not just content that reigns supreme in SEO — it’s quality content. Google’s own published guidelines on the topic say in essence that anyone hoping to rank well in search should write for their website visitors and not for the search engines themselves. But Why? Because Google is putting its algorithms solidly behind this recommendation. Per Google: “One of the most important steps in improving your site's ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content. However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly in this manner.”
In recent years we’ve also seen “content farms,” websites that churn out mountains of garbage content to game the search engines and rise to the top of organic search results, plummet, and in most cases even disappear completely from search rankings.
There are plenty of good reasons to keep content interesting, informative, entertaining, engaging, witty, useful, well-written and well-presented, as well as pertinent to the initial search engine inquiry. There are dozens of reasons to have a strong taxonomy, descriptive and compelling headlines, tags, titles and other organizational attributes within your website, all following Google Best Practices.
In the early days of the web, businesses took their brochures, yellow page ads, business cards – mashed them all together and made webpages from them.
Then social media came along, allowing all of us to connect with friends, celebrities and businesses. That was followed by smartphones, which emerged with enough power to deliver all the content of the Internet in an instant and the web became instantly untethered from the desk.
Content Marketing and Social Media and Web Search go hand-in-hand, and all three paths arriving at the same destination, working together in a synergy no other marketing effort can offer.
The Two Benefits of Content Marketing by Web It 101
On social media, that first sentence or two of your engaging content (referred to as a “snippet”), as well as a mobile-optimized, business-branded image, is the "money shot" that drives traffic from that social site your business has a presence on, back to your site where a user can read and digest the content and can re-share from your site to their preferred social networks providing even more links and exposure to a new group of consumers or even a new social network you may have had no presence on until that very moment.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). This is where content marketing shines. Google calls it Micro-Moments. It’s Optimized Content Marketing. This gives life to your online presence by using Google Best Practices for SEO and Local SEO on every webpage and on every content post, on every image and every file, for every keyword and every long-tail phrase. The ultimate goal is to vastly increase your web presence across the search engines when businesses and consumers are looking for your products or services.