Recently, my friend and colleague Kathleen wrote a blog arguing, “Content is No Longer King.” What you should know is Kathleen and I frequently talk about this topic and our strategies for different clients. And to an extent, I agree with her. There is a surplus of content out there, and just churning out more isn’t an effective strategy for any goals you might have.
But here’s the thing. You need people to find your site, right? Unless you have a brand everyone knows and goes directly to (like Amazon, Etsy, Twitch, etc), you need a way to get them to your site. You can do this through advertising, but that is only as effective as the amount of money you have to continually run those ads. When you stop paying, the ads stop running, and people stop seeing your name. Will they remember you? Maybe…
Kathleen mentions a great customer experience. And I totally agree that’s necessary, or your visitors won’t be back! But again, you have to GET them there to begin with. And that’s where content comes into play.
What Is Content?
Content—written, visual, auditory— is how you get the attention of a potential user.
I’m on Instagram and I see an image. I’m on Facebook and I see and hear a video playing. I’m Googling the most family friendly beaches on the SC coast and see a great FAQ in the results. And I click on those things and engage with them. I find the answer to my question or the solution to my problem. That’s the role of content.
How Can I Be Sure I Have the Right Content?
First, you need to find out what your audience wants to know or do. This will be different based on where they are in the sales funnel. At the top, they’re looking to learn. In the middle, they’re deciding between options. At the bottom, they’re ready to act.
So, for users at the top, consider FAQs, How-Tos, and other educational content.
For users in the middle, consider lists, charts, and LOTS of details for that user who just needs to narrow down his or her options. This hotel is only half a mile from the train station (Notice I was specific; I didn’t say “a short distance” because that’s too vague!) Perfect for a visitor on the go!
For users ready to act, make it straightforward. Maybe offer a discount or a perk, and then provide a seamless way to complete the purchase or get to a destination. If a user is simply being educated (think medical content), then provide a seamless transition to the next logical topic: If the page is about diagnosis of a condition, the next logical step is to read about treatments and therapies.
Ok, But How Will a User Find My Content?
Ah yes, that’s the trick! And this is where expert experience can help.
There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle:
- On-page SEO elements
- A good user experience
- Clear navigation
- The strength and authority of your domain
- The quality/quantity of backlinks to your site
All those things (which could all be considered elements of SEO!) are going to determine how visible your content is in organic search results.
In addition to that, you will need to consider how you plan to promote the content in newsletters, on social media, and via other outreach methods.
So you can see that just publishing content, whether it’s written content, video, images, or something else, isn’t the whole answer. But without content, it’s going to be really hard to get people to your site in the first place. All this to say, yes, content is still King!
If you’d like help with a content audit, creating and implementing a content strategy, or SEO, let us know!
Laura Lee—SEO Director and Account Manager