Website Content, what is it and why does it matter?
“Content is king.” Bill Gates uttered those three little words all the way back in 1996, and they’ve ruled the marketing industry ever since. Seth Godin took the premise to new extremes when he said, “Content marketing is the only marketing left.” It’s a dramatic opinion to assert, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Today’s buyers are suspicious of obvious attempts to advertise, so it’s unsurprising that 90% of marketers have a content marketing strategy. Advertising has lost much of its power, both over Google and consumers. If you want brand exposure, the single-most potent way to get it is by creating trustworthy, entertaining content that ranks. Let’s take a closer look.
Redefining Website Content
The marketing world defines content a little differently than most. If you represent a business, content is defined as any online material that “doesn’t explicitly promote a brand.” You could say it’s advertising’s sneakier cousin. Rather than expounding on the glistening assets of your brand, content marketing educates and entertains before it tries to sell. It’s perched all the way at the top of the marketing funnel, and you don’t get to flow past it until you’ve gained the rapt attention of your audience. Of course, content is just as imperative if you want to appeal to Google algorithms, too. A balanced, diversified collection of content includes everything from TikTok and YouTube clips to blog articles and social media posts.
Formal advertising is an expensive prospect. The average company spends up to $120,000 on it every year. Content marketing is a far cheaper date. It costs a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing, and its rewards are substantial. Brands on first-page search results earn half of all click-through traffic. Organic website content is the most valuable and effective way to climb the PageRank ladder. It’ll also grab the interest of potential buyers. Unlike advertising, it offers something useful to consumers, so its marketing chops have real force. It’s become impossible to market without exceptional content, which lays the foundation for all your SEO, social media marketing, and PR. Better yet, you can create a meme or blog post before your lunch gets cold, so if you’re a tiny startup with no capital, you can still run an effective content marketing campaign.
Appealing to Google
Google is evolved enough to tell the difference between spammy, shallow content and strong white hat marketing. Its algorithms are always on the hunt for in-depth, high-quality material that’s as useful as it is relevant. To win against your rivals, the PageRank algorithm assesses your content’s:
- Lack of duplicate material
- Page age
- Grammar and spelling
- Quality links
- Authority and trust level.
Don’t skip over the point about page age. Content ages and rots with the passage of time, and it loses its rank along the way. Fresh content will sustain your position and build a returning audience. Blogging and social media formats allow you to push up your freshness scores while staying connected with your audience. In fact, businesses that publish over 16 blog posts a month earn over three times more traffic than those who post less than four.
A Place for SEO
Without website content, Google can’t index your pages or award rank. The search giant ranks your pages according to three pillars of search engine optimization: expertise, authority, and trust (EAT score). It’s your video and written material that appeals to those pillars so, in a sense, content defines the difference between white and black hat marketing. It’s the anchor for your SEO strategy, and if you handle it well, your optimization tools will fit naturally into your site. High-quality content:
- Offers high click through rates and better ranking
- Helps you to earn good backlinks from authoritative sites
- Anchors your keywords
- Offers your audience an improved user experience
SEO simply can’t achieve your goals in isolation.
Finding Your Niche
DropBox was an expensive startup failure until Drew Houston sat down to define his niche and purpose. With those seemingly-minor factors on his side, he could at last make his first million. Great content can help you to achieve the same effect by carving out the perfect niche for your business and forcing you to define your target market. In that sense, it still draws on the marketing of the past. Some things never change, and brands will always need to understand their niche and demographics.
How to Create Great Website Content
Seth Godin once said, “Telling an authentic story means living an authentic life. In the new marketing world, you can’t fake it, so you have no choice but to be real.” 20th-century advertising specialised in deception and coercion. Content marketing lives by bigger ethics. It can only succeed if it’s based on integrity.
The modern business must connect with its buyers. The better you flesh out your identity, the bigger your brand will become. To achieve that growth, you need to free your passions and values. Content is the vessel that carries those qualities to your buyers. It is, quite simply, the most important marketing work you will ever do.