Why Content is the Beating Heart of Search

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Content: noun

  • The things that are held or included in something

Content has been around since the start of search marketing. Even back in the days when SEO was based around spamming keywords and directories, content was always there, being churned and spun.

The difference between now and then is that search marketing is no longer about the quantity of content that you can get onto the web to promote your keywords and anchor text, but the quality of your content and making sure that it positively represents your brand. Did you know that 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day?

One of the things I love about writing content is how often feel like I learned something new. As a content writer, if you don’t enjoy reading what you have written, who else will?

Provide New & Helpful Information

Before you start writing content, it is crucial to make sure that you are not writing it just for the sake of placing keywords and getting links, but to offer new information or get them involved in your campaign and engaging with your brand.

Websites used to easily enhance their SEO by gaining links on poor quality sites using bad quality content. Recently though, content marketing has taken over as 9 out of 10 companies use content within their marketing strategy and with Panda raising its ugly head, high quality content is now more important than ever. High quality content doesn’t necessarily mean a fancy infographic or fully interactive HTML5 hub site, it’s high quality because it’s useful/innovative/engaging enough that someone actually wants to talk about it.

There is almost no scenario now in the world of SEO where content is not at the forefront of rankings, whether it be for building natural links or placing keywords on onsite blog posts. It most certainly should not be ignored.

A fantastic example of content marketing is OpenForum set up by American Express. The site hosts a fantastic array of engaging and insightful content about all the different parts of running a business. It’s a mash up of advertising, content and guest blogging which has generated a budding community for anyone interested in the ins and outs of running a business.

Open Forum

Be Engaging

Every tweet and Facebook status is a piece of content, albeit a very small snippet. With such a small amount of text, it is crucial that you get your message across and post something that your fans and followers actually want to hear.

With social media users now so instantly accessible, brands are creating content specifically for this audience, as interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons that people follow brands on social media. Furthermore, tweets or updates by themselves aren’t enough, if you want to engage with a niche community you need to have the ammunition to go out there and make an impact. Content – whether created or curated – provides your Social Media persona with more depth and influence. It’s not just about creating good content, it’s about demonstrating yourself to be a reputable source, as people will be more likely to share your content, this is the key to making your content viral, as once your content has been shared, then 90% of users on the internet will listen to recommendations shared with them by a friend.

EA found that user-generated content easily drove the most impressions and interactions on their Facebook page due to the fact their fans loved showing off how good they were at Fifa. They proceeded to create a “Goals of the Week” app that allowed users to upload their best goals each week, with the most “liked” being displayed on a “Goals of the Week” reel.

EA

Be a Thought Leader

Of course, blogging is the main source of content. Every month 329 million people read blogs, so there is no excuse not to have one. There are tons of different types of content that you can place on a blog, whether its an information piece, a “how to” guide, a top 10 list, or an opinion piece.

However, it’s not about simply creating content and “hoping for the best”. Effective content marketers consider their audience and produce content that has the right tone and provides additional value to the blog. Blog owners ultimately want to know that the audience they have painstakingly built over the past few years is always getting a supply of original and useful content. So, suddenly having a blog about the top 10 places to buy a life insurance plan probably won’t go down well.

Blogs have been found to give your site 434% more indexed pages as well as 97% more indexed links and companies that blog more than 15 times a day have been proven to receive five times the amount of traffic than those that do not blog.

The Social Slurp blog is a social media watchdog that every week brings you case studies on brands that have had great success with their social media campaigns and those that have suffered a social media crisis. This helps them to stand out as thought leaders in the world of social media and provides a platform to share information and advice as well as generating fans and followers.

Social Slurp

Summary

Where would the world be without content? Every day we read the news and scan through our social feeds to see what our friends are talking about. High quality, relevant content is likely to be the most important part of any digital campaign, so it is important to get it right. You can do this by producing interesting and shareable content. But most importantly,  make sure it is something the target audience wants to read – too often brands create content that suits their agenda, not their audience.

Content is the backbone of almost every part of search marketing, without it there is nothing to bait links, engage with users, or promote the thought leadership of a brand. So maybe it’s time to make sure that the content you write is something you are proud to put your name to.

Anna Francis

Anna Francis

Content Manager at Search Laboratory
Anna is the Content Manager at Search Laboratory. She has worked in the digital industry for 5 years as a copywriter and content specialist. She... Read Full Bio
Anna Francis
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