As marketing and communications practitioners, we have been repeatedly told that Google will reward you for high-quality content. But to date, too many brands have only offered cursory opportunities to keep their site content refreshed.
SEO is evolving. Nearly a decade ago, Google released its updated Hummingbird algorithm, with the promise of their search engine using a new formula to better match user search queries with more quality results. Simply put, your content has to be more relevant than it was before.
This was Google’s way of letting the world know that there would be no easy way that it wouldn’t be as easy to get on the ever-valuable homepage, and more effort would be required to ensure the queries people were searching for matching with the results brands offered on their pages.
Indeed, a smarter content marketing strategy was required to succeed as a marketer. Flash forward to 2022, and the fundamentals of what Google asks of marketers are clear as day. Three examples of what Google encourages:
Use words that people would use to look for your content, and place those words in prominent locations on the page, such as the title and main heading of a page, and other descriptive locations, such as alt text and link text.
The above three guidelines provided by Google show that the company wants to ensure that content is: (1) helpful and useful for people, (2) reflects the words and phrases people use when searching, and (3) is easy for Google to understand.
To follow these guidelines, your content marketing strategy needs to focus on creating quality, people-first content. Here are five content marketing tips to help you create helpful, reliable, people-first content:
1. Write for your audience, not for search engines.
When crafting content, it is important to remember that you are writing for your audience and not for search engines. Write content that is interesting, useful, and engaging for your audience, and the search engine algorithms will follow. If you find yourself stuck and in need of inspiration? Tools like Lex are available to make suggestions using machine learning and AI.
2. Do your research.
Before you start writing, take the time to do your research. Understand who your audience is and what they are looking for. One tool I find indispensable for keyword insights on how people search for a topic is SEM Rush. Another tool that I use occasionally is Ink. Ink is an AI-based content word editor that can help increase the likelihood of your content being seen based on what you’re typing in real time.
3. Create evergreen content.
Evergreen content is content that is relevant and useful for an extended period of time. This type of content is more likely to be shared and generates organic traffic over time. For example, my company, Telemetry, a strategic communications agency, is focused on the automotive industry. We offer brand publishing services to companies seeking ways to reach automotive shoppers across the funnel. On any given month, we publish hundreds of stories for our clients.
4. Keep your content updated.
Outdated content is one of the quickest ways to turn off your audience. Make sure to keep your content updated and relevant. Understanding how content within your industry is being consumed is a key factor in keeping things updated. Google does not penalize for updates; in fact, it’s safe to say they expect it.
5. Promote your content.
Don’t forget to promote your content once it is published. Share it on social media, in email newsletters, and on other relevant websites.
Content marketing takes rigor and discipline. It also requires an alchemy of tools to perform well - but those tools are both affordable and accessible to anyone today to best improve your website’s visibility and, ultimately, offer content that your audience deems valuable. And last but not least, to complete this article, I used every tool I mentioned above!
About the Author
Craig Daitch is the founder and president of Telemetry, a strategic communications agency based in Detroit, Michigan. Throughout his 20+ year career in advertising, marketing, and public relations, Craig Daitch has found himself at the center of the innovation, creativity, and strategy Venn diagram on more than one occasion. Thankfully, this is where he’s thrived.
Having the advantage of working for the agency, client, and publishing sides of the industry, Craig has won Cannes Lion for his work on Discovery Communications, associate produced a film on Autonomous cars that premiered at SXSW, and even received worldwide attention for taking a 1.0-liter engine in his luggage on his way to LA Autoshow while working for Ford Motor Company.
An innovator by conviction, and emerging media visionary by choice, Craig leverages a strong entrepreneurial background, having previously co-founded two successful startups in the emerging media space before launching his own agency.