“Content Is King” is an SEO philosophy that’s been around since before SEO was even an industry, and it still holds true today. However, the term is often misunderstood, misattributed, or misrepresented, and when applied poorly can spell disaster for your campaign and business.
The crux of the issue lies in what “content” actually is. To many companies, pushing out new blogs or writing more words on their website month after month is “content” enough to improve their rankings, trust flow, and site visibility. While this does have merit, it is just scratching the surface.
SEO in 2019 is much less about keyword seeding and blogging and more about brand building. Building a brand – whether your own or a client’s – requires a ground-up approach, with quality, relevant content at every level of a website and the company’s overarching presence online.
Content Must Be Purposeful
Good web content must do the following:
- Improve brand awareness
- Increase SERP ranking
- Drive customer engagement
- Generate leads, conversions, or outright sales
- Provide backlink potential
If your content isn’t doing at least two or three of the things in this list, what’s the point? Content has to have a purpose behind it, an endgame goal that you’re trying to achieve. However…
…People Can Tell When You’re Faking It
That’s right. I left that one off the list, because it’s important enough to deserve its own entry. It might sound saccharine to say “content comes from the heart” but that sentiment rings true. People can tell when some faceless corporation has just slapped out some branded, “relevant” content written by a freelancer to fill their monthly content quota.
Whether it’s ad copy, a new blog post, or a youtube video, when it’s been made by enthusiastic, interested influencers, producers, content creators and thought leaders, it shows. There’s something distinct about honest content. Readers recognize the passion in the author’s voice, and can empathize with the business’ positions or get excited about the business’ products that much easier. So if you’re going to craft content for your business, make sure it’s meaningful!
This also extends to Google’s algorithm when indexing your site. You could have all the keywords you want on a web page, but if the content they’re stuffed into is crap, Google will still rank you poorly. Content has to be engaging, authoritative, and legitimate in order to rank your site highly.
Types of Content:
As I established already, “content” is much more than words on a page. Content covers a broad assortment of shareable, watchable, readable, and postable multimedia that can all be used to build your brand, expand your customer base, gather useful demographic data and, most of all: sell your product or service.
Types of Content Can Include:
- Written: Blog posts, articles, white papers, press releases, and more. The written word is still an extremely valuable resource, and publishing a wide variety of these, some for free and others as part of a lead magnet or lead generation campaign will net real results as long as they’re indexable, interesting, and authoritative.
- Social: Facebook posts, tweets, LinkedIn articles and updates, Instagram photos: if it’s shareable, retweetable, repostable or rebloggable (in the parlance of Tumblr), then it’s Social! Social content generally has the most potential to reach a higher audience count if distributed properly.
- Video: YouTube or Vimeo videos can be used for a number of applications. Beyond your basic video ads, they can be great for unboxing videos, product reviews, testimonials or interviews, or just for showcasing your product in a visual, visceral way.
- Visual: Graphics go way beyond simple display ads. It’s a universal truth that people prefer to see something rather than read or hear about it. If you’re selling a product, show it off! Even if you don’t have a tangible product, and instead provide a service for clients and customers – visualize it. Turn your workflow into an infographic, showing how your work can improve their lives and business. Infographics are highly shareable and can go viral with the right eye-catching design and topic.
The moral of the story here is this: content is still king, but the definition of “content” has changed. SEO is all about getting ahead of the curve and adapting to change, so keeping abreast of new trends and keeping your content varied, unique, and thoughtful ensures you get the most out of the man-hours you put into its production.