Remember last century, the days before the internet? Remember when communication was mainly done through the written or spoken word? Yeah, me too. It wasn’t that long ago but back then all successful marketers and salespeople knew that the quality and value of their words was vital to their business success.
Bill gates coined the much quoted phrase “Content if King” and that was back in 1996 . Today top SEO and web marketing experts still agree say that “content is king.” Why is this the case? How is it that no matter what the century, no matter the medium, great content is still the heart of great marketing?
Content Builds Customer Loyalty
Successful businesses aren’t built on the back of first-time visitors. Publishers like News International don’t make most of their money from people picking up their newspapers for the first time and buying one copy. They make money from people who’ve read their content and then decided it was good enough that they either wanted to purchase again / subscribe to a subscription or place a standing order with their newsagent.
If businesses had to get a new customer every time in order to get paid, they’d all have gone under by now.
Yet many online publications approach their business that way. Instead of focusing on repeat visitors, they focus on optimising for search engines so they get more new customers. Encourage people to subscribe and stay in touch. And if you’d like to stay in touch with me, my subscription box is in the sidebar to the right.
Famous and successful websites and blogs, like Huffington Post or TechCrunch and even my own Birds on the Blog, still get most of their traffic from repeat visitors. Yes, search engines love us – but the sites would be a fraction of what they are today if they didn’t have great content.
Content Quality Impacts Search Engine Results
Okay this is a tough one, but bloggers and marketers are not the ideal customers that Google wants. Google and other search engines want to satisfy the person search not the person creating! For many years Google and other search engines have worked towards making their search results serve up better, more accurate results, faster.
Search engines want people who search to find the best content possible in relation to what they’re looking for. They want their customer to keep coming back and the customer will only return when they get the best results.
As search engines get smarter, small business marketers who focus primarily on marketing tactics rather than actual content will die a slow, and sometimes financially painful, death. Google has proven this repeatedly with adjustments such as Panda and Penguin. By continually downgrading the importance of low-quality links and upgrading the importance social metrics and other key performance indicators to actually work out the content value your blog or website.
If you build your business blog around great content while having a decent understanding of basic SEO, your site will flourish. If you put all your attention on SEO and don’t pay much attention to your content, you’ll always be trying to stay one step ahead of the search engines.
Great Content Can Sell High Value Items
A low quality content website might be able to sell 0.20 clicks via AdSense. A high quality website could sell £1500 online training courses by the hundreds. Which would you prefer?
Having great quality content allows you to connect with your readers and build a relationship. That relationship allows you to sell any number of things to your readers – it starts with sharing content, grows into comments and email conversations and then perhaps if the fit is right, you’ll sell products . From high end items to recurring memberships to one on one coaching, it all starts from having high quality content that your readers find and value.
Content that just fills the page and doesn’t provide value for readers is likely to get downgraded more and affect your search rankings as time passes. It doesn’t take a lot to make your content work for you – only content that really helps people is going to succeed, because that’s the content people are looking for.
What do you think?
Featured photo credit: stefanomaggi
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