Content: The Driver of Digital Presence, ahem, I mean SEO

Content is a key driver of SEO and leads for your business

The Term “SEO” or Search Engine Optimization has become digital marketing jargon that, in my opinion, has come to mean so many things to so many different people that it really doesn’t mean anything.

At Digiarks, we prefer the term “Digital Presence” to SEO because our experience is that when people say SEO, they really mean they want to be found digitally. Yes, optimizing your site for the search engines (Google) is core to that, but we think creating a digital presence is more descriptive to what we are trying to accomplish.

And Content is at the center of the ecosystem that is going to help you be found digitally. As a bonus, it will have the byproduct of making you a brand that people actually want to listen to because you are giving quality information rather than just a constant sales pitch.

And to be clear content is not just written content. Video is a key diversification to any strategy.

Yes, there are technical strategies involved with SEO. You want to have a fast site on desktop and mobile. You NEED to have a secure site. You want to have optimized, unique meta descriptions and titles for every page on your site.  You should also be paying attention to the consistency of your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) on all the digital listings. Maybe think about creating some Schema code behind the content on your site. There are other technical things that can impact your Authority, Relevancy, and Trust according to Google.

But at the core - Google wants to know you are producing valuable, relevant content that will answer the questions that people are asking. This is also an area many small and medium businesses avoid because of a lack of resources.

A Few Thoughts on How to Create Content Effectively and Attainably, For Your Business

  • Develop a “blog” section of your website, if you don’t have one already
    • A simple implementation for most web developers. Set yourself up so you have an easy way to add content to your site. Bonus points if you develop the ability to tag your posts so they can be found more easily by topic later.
  • Invest time in producing an attainable content calendar
    • This is where a lot of businesses go wrong. They bite off way more than they can chew. When you are motivated in the beginning, one or two articles a week may seem realistic. My experience is that when it is too much and you get too busy, writing content will be the first thing to go. I suggest starting with one per week, and if that is too much, do twice per month. Heck, even once per month will build up content over time. The more content the more potential questions you are answering, and the more likely you will be found organically.
    • Think about any topics that you spend time explaining to your customers and prospects. Don’t view it as “giving away the goods”, think of it as showing how much of a thought leader you are. People will always have more questions for people they think are smart.
    • Mix in Written and Video content. More on that in a minute.
  • It can take time for search engines to catch up, so don’t give up.
  • Think about content from a multi-platform perspective
    • When building out your content calendar, think about the content that is best for certain platforms. Certainly building up written and video content on your website is an excellent long-term SEO strategy, but there is also a place for content on the social channels that make sense for you. And definitely share your blogs on your social pages.
    • Don’t forget email. If you are collecting email addresses, then make your content part of your email strategy. Limit the “specials” and talk about useful tips for your customers and prospects.
  • Be on your toes for opportunities to speak to your audience outside of your calendar
    • Sometimes opportunities come up in the news or from your other connections that will be interesting and relevant to your audience. Especially on social media.  Sharing content and adding your own thoughts on that content is important.
  • You Don’t need to write a term paper every time
    • I suggest having your written content be at least 600 words. Hubspot did a study recently which said the limit on users desire to read quality relevant content was 7 minutes, which translates to about 2100 words. So you can feel comfortable writing longer form content if that is what the topic demands. On the short end, try to get in at least 600 words to fully explain your thought and give the Search Engines enough to figure out your relevancy and context.
  • Relevant Phrases and topics are important but you DON’T have to be a slave to keywords
    • This might be controversial with some people that specialize in SEO, but you no longer need to be a slave to popular keywords. You would be wise to research popular keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business and use those keywords and a directional tool for deciding which topics you write about.  Google and its advanced algorithm can read more than keywords. It can also read your context.  So don’t feel like you need to fill your piece with keywords that don’t fit into your writing style. Just focus on readable content.
    • While on that same thought - same with geographical terms. You don’t need to write your content with the name of the geographical area you serve peppered throughout the entire article. If you have your address in your footer (which I suggest if you limit your service to a geo) then Google does know where your business is and that will help you appear in searches to users near you. You can also mention your geo when it makes sense. You just don’t need to be repetitive about it.  his is also a personal pet-peeve, so I’ll jump off the soap box now.
  • Create a YouTube Channel and Mix in Video
    • Producing video that is embedded on your website, shared on social, and hosted on YouTube is another strategy for driving organic users to your business. And it doesn’t have to have expensive production. A newer smartphone or a good web cam can be all you need.
    • Video topics could be how-tos, or a first person shot quickly talking about a topic. The quick video could also be paired with a written blog to maximize that topic’s value.
  • Think about “montage” video.
    • Montage video is one that is professionally produced, but does not involve live shooting, so the expense is dramatically reduced. They still are very professional and even can include video you may have shot previously (like drone footage) or relevant stock video. Add in pictures that you provide (or more stock images), a professional script and voice-over, and you’ve got professional video that will be competitive with what a large budget organization would produce.
  • Partner with an agency
    • Partnering with an agency (shameless Digiarks plug) may be much more cost efficient than you think. We’ll discuss topics with you, research popular keywords to drive the strategy, and produce the content, all for a reasonable monthly cost. We have professional writers and video producers with experience in multiple content areas to produce high quality content that will impress your audience. We don’t take days off and we won’t quit on you, so you’ll never have to worry about the consistency of your effort.

The Bottom Line

I believe an effective marketing strategy starts with how you are presenting yourself, your brand, and how you are speaking to your customers. By producing written and video content, you can decide what type of tone that you want to use that is consistent with the strategy of your brand.  And you can provide content that people will actually want to consume. And if you produce enough good content, your audience will be more likely to put up with hearing an advertising message from you when you mix it in.

And most importantly, Google loves fresh, relevant content. If you consistently produce, relevant organic users will follow and so will the leads and phone calls.

And finally, with a stable of good content, you'll open yourself up to an additional very effective form of advertising - Content Marketing.  More on that in a future post!

As always, if you want to speak about this or any other topic, we'd love to hear from you!

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