In 1992, Bill Clinton swept into office partly on the strength of his campaign strategist James Carville’s belief that what people cared about most was “the economy, stupid!” The phrase was meant to keep the staffers focused on the message, and a modified version entered the popular lexicon. Today, for marketers online, it’s the content, stupid! You can have the flashiest apps, the most up-to-date website and the most engaging ad campaign, but if you aren’t giving your customers valuable content, none of that will matter.
What is meant by good content? The answer to that question is really another question. Who is your audience? Your audience is the customers you are trying to target and Google.
Google is part of the audience because the company determines how many people see your site. With Google search algorithms changing to trawl the web for content of a higher quality, it is important to understand how to ensure that your site is as highly ranked as possible. This emphasis on high quality means an end to keyword stuffing but not to keywords.
Choosing the right keywords depends on research, and research will teach you about your customers. You need to know what type of content your customers are interested in as well as what your customers will do to find that content. For example, if your site is about solving various computer issues and you want to appeal to people who do not have a technical background, you need to use the type of language people doing a search will use and not the vocabulary an IT professional would have.
However, beyond SEO, how do you create good content? A blog remains one of the best ways to deliver content because it allows enough space to deliver more substantial information and insert keywords naturally into text. You can also post regularly to the blog to keep content fresh.
Some people don’t want to read blog posts though. In fact, many people prefer video to text, and you could include both on your blog. Infographics are another way to deliver information in a compelling and visually pleasing manner.
Content can be a number of different things. You can curate links from around the web, review new products, post industry news or opinion pieces, get posts from guest bloggers and offer tips and how-to columns.
These days, good content means a blend of interesting material and SEO best practices. You will want to measure whether your content engages visitors; do they stay on the page? Do they post comments? An effective content management system will bring together all of these aspects while measuring return on investment and mapping the most effective content strategy for your business.