Back in 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article with the title ‘Content is King’. The opening sentence was “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” So, is this mantra still true or has content been usurped? Interestingly, the buzz phrase within the digital marketing arena during the past year has been ’Content is King’, so it looks like things have come full circle and nothing has changed! In fact content is even more important nowadays because it is the basis for all online marketing and that includes social media, blogging, websites, video or any other digital based campaign. SEO (search engine optimization) came to the fore in the ‘noughties’ when a high page ranking on Google was obtained by using keywords. However, all this has changed and SEO alone no longer works without high-quality content.
Small businesses looking to market themselves online that previously relied solely on SEO must now reconsider their approach and realise that it is now mostly about content. Because SEO is constantly changing you must realise that the optimisation techniques that used to work well one day can be considered history the next, after yet another algorithm update from Google.
Google ‘spiders’ can now tell if a site is badly written, with spelling and grammatical errors, lots of ads and bad quality links. The “freshness” of copy has now become more important to Google than inbound links. This means including things such as trending topics or recurring events. Unique and original content is, of course, incredibly important so copying and pasting is definitely not acceptable.
The goal of every business is to obtain prospective clients. Content generates traffic to your website or blog, therefore it makes sense that the more quality content a site has the more chances for it to rank in search results and the more likely it will be to have that content shared through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These shares will in turn generate additional visibility, and the more people that see a piece of content, the more will link to it (from their own websites), and the better the site will rank in search engines.
Placing yourself as an expert in your niche is a good way to get noticed. Write about developments within your industry; convey useful information and offer opinions and insights. Post white papers or research reports, instructional videos and Infographics. Publish quality content but make it easy to understand. Don’t forget that your website or blog is your shop window and it may well be the first impression that someone will get of your business. Instil confidence in your readers by making what you publish both knowledgeable and approachable. Don’t try to sell with every blog post but use them to build engagement and trust. It can often be a good idea to use outside writers to provide content to freshen up your blog and provide a new perspective.
It’s true that creating compelling content takes time and resources, but in the present economy it is something that you can’t afford not to do. If you want your business to rank in search engine results then constant and plentiful high quality, unique content is imperative. Once again it looks as though Bill Gates was correct and his adage ‘Content is King’ is one that will only grow in importance in the future.
If you need compelling content creation – contact me here.
Extracts from this article appeared in Gibraltar’s InTouch magazine, the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses (GFSB) publication