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It’s sometimes easy to forget the primary purpose behind Google’s search algorithm, manual penalties, and the rest of the rigamarole we have to pay attention to when working with SEO. At the simplest level, Google wants to narrow the gap between what ranks well and what provides a good user experience. They want to make producing search-engine-optimized content as easy as producing high-quality content.
But as we’ve seen in the past, this isn’t exactly the state of affairs “on the ground.” Although Google has moved closer to this ideal, their path has been erratic. The latest focus for Google has been on content, and this emphasis has created a commodification of content.
In the same way that keyword stuffing eventually became so automated as to remove the need for human involvement, content creation is now an almost robotic endeavor. Algorithms, or humans acting suspiciously like them, create reams of keyword-rich content as a part of an SEO strategy. These pages look great to search engines, but awful to prospective consumers for your business. This is a problem.
Good Content Goes Beyond Rankings
Good content doesn’t just put your website high in the SERPs. It converts your visitors into leads. It attracts outside links. It creates social media sharing. And above all, it lasts.
Google’s algorithm changes have effected significant change in the SEO industry in a relatively short period of time. We have seen updates like Panda and Penguin make huge waves in rankings, totally upsetting the status quo. As anyone who works in SEO knows, the industry is inherently unstable, operating as it does on the whim of billionaire playboy Matt Cutts and his mercenary webspam crew.
Indeed, the only constant (besides change) is the drive to bring well-ranking and high-quality content closer together. Short-term ranking advantages can be derived from what might uncharitably be called “tricks,” but because these are tricks, you can bet that Google will target them eventually. At best, this strategy means wasted time and money. At worst, it means a manual penalty that can have dramatic effects on both rankings and revenue.
Just as you wouldn’t choose a short-term, unsustainable strategy for your business outside of the web, you shouldn’t go down that path when it comes to marketing on the web. It makes your traffic graphs look peaky, diving and rising with each shift in Google’s search algorithm. You’re constantly shifting strategies and hiring a new SEO company to clean up the shady work of the last one. Worst of all, you’re not building any long-term equity in your online presence—a solid foundation on which you can depend, regardless of the ways in which the SEO winds blow.
Are You Proud of Your Content?
The value of great content goes beyond building a sustainable online marketing strategy. Just as in any other aspect of your business, you should think about how you want your company to be represented.
Is the content on your site something you want associated with your business? You might see a website as an ancillary element of your company, more akin to a direct-mail brochure than a virtual store front. But for many customers, your website is literally the only representation of your company that they’ll ever see—from when they’re first shopping to when they leave a review on Yelp. Are you excited for them to peruse the pages your SEO company created for you?
How Blue Corona Creates Content
A good marketing company takes the time to learn about your business and what differentiates you from your competitors. They get to know your company’s voice and incorporate it into the content they create for your website. They write what you would write, but better.
At Blue Corona, getting to know the business owners we work with is one of the most important elements of our content marketing process. As a copywriter, I find that my job is easier—and my finished product better—when I can infuse it with the voice of the business owner. After all, the owner is the one who knows her or his business best.
So take a moment and look through some of the pages on your site. Try to see them as a potential customer might. Does it paint a picture of your company as you’d like to see it? If not, give me a call.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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