For several years we’ve been talking about how “Content is King” when it comes to making the most of your online presence. We’ve repeatedly urged businesses to make sure that they are putting lots of high quality content on their websites so that their customers will be able to find them.
Why that’s important, of course, is that when potential customers are searching for whatever it is you do, they are more likely to find you if you have lots of good content out there. The word searching is emphasized here for a reason. The lion’s share of online searches continues to go through Google—and Google has once again made some changes to the algorithm they use to rank the relevance of web content.
Now algorithms may not get you all hot and bothered, but some people get all excited because this algorithm is what determines what gets ranked highest when someone does a search on Google. And if you don’t rank highly—you don’t get found online.
In the past, some businesses have tried to outsmart Google by loading their content with keywords. Let’s say your business is kitchen remodeling. You could try to use the phrase “kitchen remodeling” as many times as possible in your online content—thinking that this is what people are searching for. But the folks at Google are smarter than that. They actually penalize businesses that do that—pushing their content down in the rankings. Why?
Google knows that people aren’t looking for the company that can say, “kitchen remodeling” the most. They’re looking for companies that have the most to say about kitchen remodeling. They’re looking for helpful information that will enable them to make a good decision about their remodeling project.
On top of that, Google’s new algorithm (called “Hummingbird”—yep, that’s the little bird I’m talking about) is also geared to do searches that are more in line with the way people actually talk. Why is that? Well, for one thing, more and more searches are being done on smart phones—and they are voice generated. Guess what? People speak differently than they type.
So what does all of this mean for you when you create content for your website? Don’t try to “outsmart” Google. They’re too smart for that—and that’s not the right approach anyway. Instead, focus on your customers’ real interests, questions, and problems. Know your audience and give them the information they want.
What this really boils down to is the difference between conventional marketing techniques and marketing that works today—the difference between outbound and inbound marketing.
Content is still king. But you have to make sure your content addresses what your audience really wants to know—and helps establish you as an expert. That’s how you get found and win business.
How do I know? A little bird told me!