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content-marketing-coffee

People often ask how can I rank higher in Google? The answer I usually give is to pose another question; “Say you want to know how to make a great cup of coffee so decide to Google ‘How to make great coffee’, what sites would you hope would rank highly?”  Most people answer the one’s which have the best instructions, that will enable me to make the best cup of coffee, that I can trust as an authority on coffee making and that I will enjoy reading & learning from.

I bet you fancy a cuppa now! 

The good news is that Google wants the same thing (I mean quality sites at the top not a cup of coffee) and usually gets pretty close to presenting the best results. If it didn’t we would all stop using Google pretty quickly. 

So there you have your answer. If we want to rank highly then we need to create the best quality content, build a brand that can be recognised as an authority in its field and provide a great experience for our website visitors. Sure there are things we can do like making our content relevant to our target keywords, but we should aim to create content that readers will love then google will love us too. Conversely hastily put up poor quality content can adversely affect your whole site.

Readers like quality content = Google likes quality content. 

Marketing our business via quality content is known as Content Marketing and is the most effective and reliable means of reaching more people through consistant high rankings. But it’s more than that.

The Content Marketing Difference

I’ve ‘borrowed’ this graphic that explains quite well the facts and figures of what Content Marketing can do, it does major on blogging, but that is not the only type of content that can be marketed. It’s the numbers here that I want to stress that show why it is being adopted by a growing number of successful businesses :

The anatomy of content marketing - the heart of online success

 

So there are a lot of benefits to be had, but of course it requires commitment to the approach. Lets take a closer look at what’s involved. 

What Is Content Marketing?

Content, Content, Content

It starts with the content, producing something that is worthy of some recognition. The obvious and easiest place to publish the content is on our own website. This could be simply in the form of blog posts. But I don’t want you to think that this is all about blogging. Great content may be that chart that Fred produced that everyone refers to or a PDF showing how we make or do what we do. It could be a graphic like the one above.

Spend some time on making your content the best that it can be, in fact try to make it remarkable. Keep in mind the reader. Aim for content that stands out as different, incredibly useful, engaging, entertaining, a go to resource that is remarkable. I use the word remarkable deliberately, my dictionary defines the word as meaning ‘worthy of attention’. 

remarkable-content-stamp

image courtesy of Denis Dervisevic

When we have people’s attention then they are not only more likely to buy from us, but also more likely to remark upon & reference our content, in social media, bookmark sites or on their own website. In fact that is exactly what has happened with the graphic that I borrowed. The company Content+ have now been referenced by me and if you were to click on the graphic you would be taken via a link to their website. (I’m sure the cheque is in the post ;-) )

 

The more we can strengthen the relationship with people the more likely they are to keep us in mind when talking and recommending products and services to others.

Would your content get the remarkable stamp from your readers?

Location, Location,Location

We can publish our remarkable content on our own site, but unless we already have a significant amount of traffic then we will need to give it a helping hand & promote it a little. I explain a little more about this in a content marketing case study where one of my clients achieved high rankings and significant traffic from just one piece of quality content that repurposed something they already had. 

But what might happen if we created some quality content that another related site wanted to publish.

The search for the right home to publish our content can take a little effort but is worth it in the end. As Kirstie Allsopp might say it’s all about matching up requirements with a great location, the perfect home in the perfect location. And just like Kirstie, we love a happy ending too.

Getting our content published elsewhere can take time, and some perseverance. Most of all it takes producing the right content for the site where we hope to publish. That means doing our research so that we are able to come up with something that the readers of that site will love. It’s much easier to approach a site when we have something to offer that will enhance their user experience or bring a fresh viewpoint. I wrote about this in my post on guest blogging, pain to gain including some tips on how to easily find some great locations.

So instead of keeping our content to ourselves by posting on our own site, publishing on another relevant site gains us recognition elsewhere on the web. We are doing a number of things, not just building higher rankings.

  • Building our brand
  • Promoting our content
  • Gaining credibility & trust
  • Making relationships
  • Attracting referral visitors to our site
  • Building our reputation with Google
  • Getting a link, (“but don’t just think of it in that way…” Matt Cutts (Google))

people get focused on the wrong things. It leads them to think about links as the end goal. It’s important to think about producing something excellent first. If you have an outstanding product, world class content, or something else that sets you apart, then you can step back and start thinking about how to promote it. Matt Cutts (Google)

You may need a bit of help in finding that excellent content and the ‘how to promote it’ part. That’s what I’m here for. You can get the help you need if you give me a call to join or be your team with you. 

We will look at how Google knows whether readers love our content in part 2 and how to encourage readers to promote it for us.

coffee image courtesy of Jurgen Lisson

About the author: Pete Stevens: I work with businesses to get the best out of their website; maximise visitors and maximise sales. I live with my wife and 2 teenage children near Bradford & Leeds in Yorkshire UK. I enjoy golf, football and curry mmm!

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