Most marketers know that content marketing is among the best ways to engage your target audience, generate and nurture leads and boost conversions. They know, for example, that content marketing on average generates about 3X as many leads as traditional marketing tactics, and for about 60% the cost.
Fewer fully comprehend the myriad ways in which quality content improves a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine rankings. But the concept is a relatively simple one. The job of a search engine (like Google) is to give internet searchers the most relevant and accurate answers to their questions. Increasingly, that relevance and usefulness have become the hallmark of a powerful and effective SEO strategy.
WHAT IS HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT, AND HOW CAN IT BOOST SEO?
The simple answer is quality content is whatever Google says it is. But let’s break that down a bit.
High-quality content is content consumers want because it helps answer their questions and solve their protracted problems. Google’s job is to deliver the most relevant content to answer every internet searcher’s queries.
For this reason, high-quality content is among the most important on page SEO ranking factors used by Google and other search engines. As Crazy Egg correctly points out,
“Google has worked against the SEO community for years. Their removal of the keyword tool was a doozy. Even Moz hasn’t found a perfect solution for this one. But…the message is clear: Focus on content, not keywords. Panda and Penguin already had emphasized quality content as a deciding factor for ranking well. And Google’s quality guidelines clearly spell out what they’re looking for.”
WHY IS HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT IMPORTANT?
If that sounds overly simplistic, consider these revealing SEO metrics from OptinMonster:
- Almost 3 of every 4 marketers says the creation of relevant, useful content is their most important SEO tactic
- High-quality content (as defined above) increases website traffic by on average 2,000%
- Content that’s “topically relevant” substantially outperforms less detailed (and less useful) content in boosting SEO
- On average, today’s consumers need 3 to 5 pieces of quality content before they’re ready to talk with a member of your sales team
ARE THERE RULES FOR CREATING SEO-BOOSTING CONTENT?
Every business is different, with different customers and different marketing challenges. But the rules for the creation of valuable content that measurably adds to your white hat SEO strategy are similar for all businesses and include the following 4:
1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Quality content is in the mind of the beholder. What one prospective customer considers useful is meaningless to another. And that means you need to define quality content from your customer’s point of view.
There are many ways to understand what information your target audience wants. You can, for example, carefully review your analytics reports to see what content they download and read most, or which eBook grabs their attention. Alternately, you can simply survey your customers: what are their top-of-mind questions? What problems do they have that your blogs might solve. Remember, your goal is to give consumers what they want, and to do it better than your top competitors.
2. OUR BEST CONTENT ISN’T ABOUT YOU
It’s important to recognize that most consumers know little about your business, or about the products and services you sell. Your first job is not to convince them of the strengths of your business: it’s to show them that you have the talent, expertise and relevance to help them make informed buying decisions.
The blogs, eBooks, white papers, videos, case studies and podcasts you create need to be customer-centric. Always write your content from your customer’s unique point of view. It’s acceptable to include information about your company, but only to the extent it adds to the value of the customer answers and solutions you create.
3. QUALITY CONTENT ISN’T JUST FOR LEAD GENERATION
Most businesses are, understandably, laser focused on generating enough new leads to fill the top of their sales funnel. But that doesn’t mean those leads are ready to buy your products and services.
Quality content needs to be developed for every stage of the buyer’s journey. Even the most effective lead-generating blog needs proactive follow-up content that pulls consumers ever closer to that all-important first sale. Equally important, the first sale is just the beginning of quality content creation. Your goal, in other words, is not a single sale, but a lifetime customer who will return to your site again and again to consume your content.
4. THE BEST CONTENT WILL DELIGHT AND SURPRISE YOUR CUSTOMERS
Effective content creation doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Remember that piece of content you publish will be read in the context of the content your chief competitors are creating.
That means, among other things, you need to stay on top of what the competition is up to. For example, if yours is a landscaping business and a competitor publishes a blog about winterizing your garden, you could write one on caring for your flowers and plants throughout the year. The point is, the most valuable content is the content that raises the bar, going further in providing your audience value than anyone else. That’s the kind of content that will push your website to the top of search results.
The inbound marketing mantra, “content is king,” has never been more true that it is today. The future of SEO, said differently, will be a battle royal over which businesses create the most valuable content, the kind that helps prospective customers more than anyone else. That’s where we can help.
Your business can trust the experts at VIP Marketing to make sure your SEO strategy is providing the benefits your audience is looking for—the useful, valuable and relevant information that builds trust and credibility for your business. To learn more about the ways our digital marketing and advertising services will help put your business at the top of searches for the products and services you sell, contact us today.