21st Century Renaissance Man

Aug 14, 2013

Content is King

Originally for my companies blog.

I get asked everyday "What will it take to get my site on the first page of Google?" and most of the time I confidently answer with "content is king".  I stand by that answer emphatically. The implementation of the answer is where people usually get bogged down. We often find ourselves creating what I call "filler content": blog posts, social drips, and wordy product descriptions in the hope that Google will identify our site as relevant enough for the coveted page one spots.

Once we have all this content, we set out to find back links in an effort to entice Google to ordain our site an authority on the subject and rank us higher in its algorithm.

Sounds simple right?

The part missing in the above statements is this: Google is constantly trying to make their search engine think like a human.  They want the search results users get to be relevant to not only the keyword, but also the essence of what the user is actually looking for.  Furthermore, they are taking it even further by trying to make results relevant to each specific user.  They take into account the device you search from (mobile or desktop), the location the search originates from (geographical data), user specific data (previous searches and other collected data) and then combine it with the sites PageRank, keyword relevancy, back links and I am sure that a chicken gets sacrificed along the way before finally displaying your results.

This system is not perfect, at least not yet, but as thousands of young engineers work diligently to refine this complicated, one-day-sentient behemoth of a creature we call the Google Algorithm one thing stands out in my mind as the key to successful Internet marketing: "Content is King".

The creation of content produced with humans in mind is paramount. As in any marketing effort, you have to start with the question "How do we engage our target audience?". What are the hopes, fears and desires of our future customers, and how can you tap into those feelings and, with a little creativity, convince them your product will help make their life better?

I call it "soul marketing" but it is more commonly known as Brand Recognition.  You must identify who buys your product and produce content that will be relevant to them, and not just when they are looking to buy!  To be successful in marketing you must insert your company name into the ethos of your product or services industry.  Subconsciously you want potential clients to associate their keyword search with your specific brand.

Most of us will never substitute our brand for a common term (search/Google, tissue/Kleenex, drink mix/Kool-Aid) but we can associate our brand so closely to the term that it becomes associated closely with it.  For instance, when I say "Let's get coffee sometime," I am really thinking, "Let's meet at Starbucks."

Online, this can actually work for a small business or niche company if you work diligently to insert yourself into the industry.  If you can create meaningful content that is shared or highly interacted with as people search for a product you sell, they will keep bumping into you as they do their pre-buying research.

The more places your content appears, whether explicitly placed or through being shared, the more your company will become known as an authority to the actual user or potential client.  Google is trying to make a search engine that thinks like a human (in particular the actual human performing the search) so it will display results that make the end user say, "that is exactly what I was looking for".

Just like when I say, "Let's get coffee," and then search my iPhone for the nearest Starbucks, Google wants their algorithm to know what you want even when you are not specifically saying it.  And when they cannot identify your customized exact result, they will choose the next best thing: sites with a history of being the useful to others looking for the same. They will determine this the same way we as actual humans would: who else is buying, what is being said about it (what do our peers say about it), where is the company located, how does it compare to similar products (reviews), what is the reputation of the company and when can I get it.

The adage remains true: "If you build it, they will come."  Create an online presence (or brand) that is unique, helpful and creative (hopefully just like your company) and you will accomplish what the question "How do I get on the first page of Google" is really asking: "How do I make my company relevant to potential customers?"

Ultimately these two are the same thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment