Earlier this year I laid out the three key strategies I felt were most important to sales success in 2013. On that list I had content marketing. A good content marketing strategy will play a huge role in achieving 2013 quota for those companies who choose to commit to creating one.
In spite of my emphatic belief that every sales organization needs a strong content marketing strategy, I’m still finding organizations focused on SEO and their static, “let us tell you how great we are” website. Times have changed and accepting that no one wants to read how great you are or what you have to offer until you give them a good reason is critical. That “good reason” is good, no, great content.
This quote by Rachel Richardson on the Silver Square Blog nailed it:
If you’re thinking you need SEO today, you actually want to be talking about content.
The days of traditional keyword stuffing and SEO companies claiming “they” can improve your SEO are over. Anyone telling you they can get you on the first page of Goole or Bing without a robust content marketing strategy is full of shit and poised to take your money.
Google’s goal is to help people find the best information on the web. And the two most prevalent ways in which Google determines what the best information is via;
1) Site and page quality – Site and page quality is determined using a set of signals to determine how trustworthy, reputable, or authoritative a source is. (One of these signals is PageRank, one of Google’s first algorithms, which looks at links between pages to determine their relevance.) Links are at the core of PageRank and static, self-promoting webpages will struggle to gain links and social media shares.
2) Freshness – Shows the latest news and information. This includes gathering timely results when you’re searching specific dates. Similar to links, freshness is hard to maintain with a static, self-promotional website. The content rarely changes. No changes in information and the information becomes stale. This doesn’t provide visitors with a reason to come back. One and done websites are a waste of time.
Here is a killer interactive infographic put out by Google on how their algorithm works.
The key to improving your SEO and driving organic visitors to your site IS content; quality, relevant, authoritative, fresh content. Yes, understanding your keywords is important, as is meta descriptions and the proper construction of your site to be optimized, but this part of SEO pales in comparison to the continuous, on going development of good, quality content.
Getting served up on the first page of a search requires making a deal with Google. The deal is simple. You produce lots of good content people want to read, share, link to, and becomes the authority in it’s space, Google will put you on the first page. It’s not complicated.
Don’t wast time and more importantly money on slimy SEO companies promising you first page rankings. Like any other sale, put your customer or prospect first. Find out what’s important to them. Identify what questions they are trying to answer. Create content that answers their questions, gives them the information they are looking for and they will come. I promise.
If you are with me and are having a hard time geetting your organization or boss to see the value in content marketing, here is a great post by SEOMoz on how to get your boss to care about content marketing.
It’s not too late. So get started, because every minute you’re not creating new, killer content someone else is and their search traffic is crushing yours.