People across the web have been claiming content to be all kinds of royalty for some time now, and content marketing is one of the newer buzzwords in the digital space.
But if you have a website that has largely static content, and no-one in your company has the time, talent or inclination to write new content every week, what exactly should you be doing – and why is it so important all of a sudden?
We can start by allocating much of the responsibility for the surge in content marketing and the importance placed on fresh, high quality, original content to our friends at Google.
Reason #1: In the beginning …
Google pretty much created the system of ranking search results we all know and often love to hate. No, they weren’t the first search engine on the block, but they evolved the complex series of constantly updated algorithms that calculate which search results to deliver up to each person who uses their platform.
In the process of doing so, they also inadvertently created a few other things.
Reason #2: Optimisation – black hat and white hat
Once the more savvy web developers and marketers realised there was some rhyme and reason to the way Google presented search results, they started looking for ways to “game” the outcomes, by ensuring their websites would show up higher in the rankings. In the early days this was a fairly easy thing to do, as it was not difficult to guess which factors Google’s engineers were paying the most attention to. Link-building was massively important (link exchanges thrived), dropping loads of keywords into metadata still had value, and on-page optimisation and page rank sculpting still worked to help feed your “link juice” through to lower ranking pages.
Reason #3 Welcome the spam masters
Trouble is, all those techniques delivered results, and created a business opportunity for people who didn’t really have a business, products or services, but could see there was money to be made online anyway.
Reason #4 Google again
And it was Google itself that delivered the mechanism for the spam merchants – and themselves, to make money from sites that really had no other purpose being online. In a word: Adsense. The Adsense platform enables websites to carry advertising on behalf of Google’s advertisers, and get paid for each and every click those ads receive.
And the outcome?
Rather than removing the ability of these “non-sites” to carry Adsense ads, and thus remove their reason for existing (and by doing so cut off an important revenue stream), Google has come up with a series of ever more complex algorithm updates to penalise those content thin sites, and aim to deliver the real business websites in their search results.
In order to identify the “real” from the “spam”, the latest algorithm changes Panda and Penguin, have penalised sites that carry unoriginal content, sites that “keyword stuff”, participate in dodgy link exchange and link buying schemes, and sites that don’t update regularly with fresh, unique content.
Google’s explanation is that they want good quality sites to rank most highly, thus providing their users with satisfying search results. At the same time they are actively changing what is presented on a search results page, making it increasingly personalised, influenced by customer reviews, and connected to the searcher’s social media networks.
So what now?
Our recommendation is to make your site as attractive, readable, interesting and relevant to users/searchers as possible. That means regularly generating fresh content, and putting in place a content strategy so that you know what content needs to be created, who is going to do it, and when it will happen.
Your fresh content also needs to be promoted through social media channels to help attract visitors to your website, at which point you can also direct them to your products and services, or whatever other offerings your site was created to present.
We can help you not only develop a content strategy, but also provide writing talent to work with you in generating relevant, optimised content for your site that your visitors will enjoy reading. Just give us a call to find out what we have to offer.