One Thing You Should Know About Internet Marketing … Content is [still] King

Turning the pages of my Flipboard social magazine, I was a little surprised by how many articles now carry the similar style of headline “XX Number of Things You Should Know About …”

Yes, it’s in the handbook of “How To Get Your PR Read in 2012” but only if it stands out from the crowd. And, if everyone follows a similar style, it can go into the bucket with the headline “One Good Way Not To Get Your Article Read”.

However, the plethora of articles on every subject under the sun acts as a strong reminder that, no matter how the channels change and the technology advances … content is king!

At Purple Imp, we have been successfully providing Internet Marketing services since 1995 (in various forms). During this time, the nature of our services has evolved to meet the challenges presented by new opportunities.

Fundamentally, however, one element has remained constant … content matters most if positive results are to be achieved.

Quality content has always played a key part in our provision of services from Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), to Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Email Marketing and, of course, Web Copywriting.

Journalists, copywriters and designers play a pivotal role in our team, supported by a strong on-demand group of content professionals covering a range of creative and technical skills and disciplines.

And, in 2012, content has taken on even greater significance, not least due to changes being made by Google, apparently (or some might say allegedly, due to unconvincing outcomes so far) in an effort to improve the quality of its search results.

The search giant is seeking to reward on-site content which is valuable to the searcher and site user.

It is looking for signals of relevance including the depth and breadth of associated content (phrase families / clusters). The freshness of content ticks another important box, too.

And Google is becoming ever-increasingly better at identifying good, well-written copy.

While it may be true that the outcome to date is far from convincing, and many search results are being seen to be frustratingly fluctuating, any failure to invest in quality content today is likely to have a longer-term detrimental effect.

On the search engine optimisation front and prior to the more recent Google changes, many campaigns tended to focus on a narrow range of “primary” phrases. Greater diversity is now required using the phrase clusters referred to above and brand references, too.

This is true of both on-site and off-site activity, the latter continuing to have significant influence due to the undiminished power of in-bound links and references.

However, link building just became even more sophisticated as the quality and diversity of the referring content and the link sources are subject to even greater scrutiny and other factors, including social media signals, begin to become more important.

None of us should be surprised as it all makes perfect common sense … if people are investing in good on-site content to support their products or services and off-site references and reinforcements are of a similar standard, along with social referrals and sharing, it would strongly suggest they are committed to delivering a strong customer experience which is win-win for the search engine and the user.

Of course, content does not solely refer to the written word and it is equally important to utilise other material in your “content marketing” activity, including graphics, images multi-media and interactive elements.

Indeed, Content Marketing has now gained capital letters as it is increasingly recognised as encapsulating much of Internet Marketing.

As mentioned, this includes Social Media, a must-have in the Internet Marketing tool-box for any business wishing to gain the benefits it has to offer from brand building, to direct traffic delivery and enhanced search engine visibility.

As well as covering, if required, the initial building blocks of establishing a customised presence within the key, relevant channels, an effective Social Media strategy should focus strongly on content.

For example, have you considered how images posted on Pinterest (11 million new visitors a month) can boost your business?

Then there’s Google+, with more than 170 million members, all of whom have the potential to boost your search engine reputation, especially if you have the correct categorisations, content and circles, not to mention your Hangout and Huddles!

Of course, Twitter offers great benefits, too, boasting more than 500 million members. But you have to be on the content ball to effectively manage the potential of your presence in the Twit-osphere.

Plus, let’s not forget your company blog, with the latest news and comments, and the fantastic features of Facebook, primed to break the one billion member barrier this year, which many have already found to be an even stronger traffic source than the search engines.

And each channel can be boosted by what some now describe as “more traditional” email marketing; again showing the inter-linking aspects of a more rounded Internet Marketing strategy.

For anyone who is currently focused on single elements of Internet Marketing, including SEO, there are powerful and persuasive reasons for you to broaden the scope, particularly utilising Content Marketing, while also introducing additional measures of success, including share of voice compared to competitors, brand awareness, multi-channel traffic acquisition and social reach and growth.

And, while you ponder the opportunities and business benefits on offer, it is again worth remembering the “One Thing You Should Know About Internet Marketing”… content is [still] king if positive results are to be achieved …