According to e-commerce giant Oberlo, 70 percent of marketers actively invest in content marketing. But is that a wise thing to do? After all, it’s been over two decades since billionaire businessman Bill Gates declared that “content is king.” Is this statement still accurate?
There’s no point in burying the lede — the answer is an unequivocal yes. In fact, further statistics from Oberlo show that:
- 62 percent of marketers outsource at least some of their content marketing
- 84 percent of marketers pay for content distribution
- 25 percent or more of a brand’s marketing budget is spent on content marketing
As you can see, content still makes the world wide web go round, and some solid reasoning explains why this is the case.
Table of Contents
Why Content Marketing Still Works
These numbers may seem high, but marketers aren’t flippant in their methods — content is vital to a brand’s growth and sustainability. There are two reasons businesses spend a significant amount of time and money on content: Search engines love it, and it’s great for building trust with users who are hungry for it.
Search Engines Think Content Is King
Oberlo’s studies show that 72 percent of marketers say content marketing boosts engagement and leads. Eighty-eight percent say that content marketing has helped them achieve their goal of building brand awareness and credibility. Companies can accomplish this because search engines and social media platforms show users their content.
A recent study concluded that Google’s top rankings tend to be full of long-form content. When it comes to the web, the more content your business puts out, the more visible you are to the people who need your offerings.
Users Still Want Content
Consumers want and expect content from businesses. In fact, 90 percent of users expect brands to provide content, according to Oberlo.
Other studies revealed 80 percent said they genuinely enjoy learning about a company through content. Seventy percent prefer learning about your company through content instead of ads. With most people skipping TV advertisements and declining to engage with direct email marketing, content has become an indispensable digital marketing tool for business owners.
Quality Content Is the Name of the Game
So yes, content is still king. But there’s more to it than just churning out endless blog posts. When it comes to content, focusing on quality instead of quantity is essential. For example, writing one high-quality long-form content may be better than delivering five 200-word salesy, keyword-stuffed blog posts that do nothing to answer people’s questions. It’s disappointing when you land on a dry article with no substance – Google thinks so too.
In fact, comprehensive content with higher word counts tends to fill the search engine’s top 10 results spots. High-quality content also resonates better with visitors, making them more likely to buy from your brand. Most high-quality content comes from a person with a copywriting background.
If you want to start creating quality content, there are four main elements you’ll need to incorporate into your digital marketing strategy.
Element 1: Consistency
Google’s algorithms tend to favor recently published or updated pages. In some cases, the search engine will even show the date the page was last edited in its search results. Publishing consistently also helps you expand your website and grow your authority, leading to higher rankings and more traffic.
Element 2: Originality
Google and other search engines tend to punish duplicative or derivative content. Users want to learn new things, gain fresh insights, or analyze their problems from different angles. Showing the same information repeatedly doesn’t meet this need, so duplicate content serves no purpose to the search engine or the end user. Therefore, it usually doesn’t make it very far up the rankings.
Element 3: Variety
Having variety in your written content means focusing on more than one main keyword. After all, a focused website is excellent, but Google rewards comprehensive content. Therefore, you’ll want to incorporate content around the related and long-tail keywords to diversify your content.
While words are important, it’s also vital to remember that creating and marketing great content is about more than just writing landing pages and blog posts. You can also focus on the following:
- Long- and short-form videos
- Images (including infographics)
- Audio (such as podcasts and books)
- Social media posts (especially those with informative captions)
Don’t neglect the power of images and videos. Adding a multimedia flair makes your content more valuable (which also helps with search engine rankings). Multimedia also allows additional SEO opportunities, including image alt tags and backlinks from other websites when people share content.
Element 4: Usefulness
Quality content also means useful content. When users have questions, your content should directly answer them. This isn’t just for your users — helpful content that answers a user’s most pressing question is more likely to be included in Google’s featured snippets. This tool is an extension of Google’s search results that appears at the top of the page and shows information relevant to a user’s keyword or question phrase. This is gold because you come across as a thought leader.
The good news is that your website doesn’t even have to be top-ranking in the first place to become a featured snippet. Some tips to make your content valuable enough to make it into this section of the search results include:
- Include more images and other multimedia content
- Add transcripts to your videos
- Use headers in your content
- Keep answers concise
- Break up lists and paragraphs
- Use keyword research to answer a variety of questions
Google will reward your content marketing efforts when your content helps users get what they want.
Even if Google isn’t the content creator, it focuses on providing its users with the most relevant results. To everyone who uses the internet, they aim to create the best possible user experience.
The User Experience Is King
It’s important to not just stop at making your content searchable. In fact, the reason for Google’s algorithm updates is to ensure that the content it recommends only enhances the user experience. The company’s self-proclaimed mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
When Google develops its ranking algorithms, the words “accessible” and “useful” are a top priority because they enhance the user experience in the Google search engine and on your website. After all, people (not robots) use the internet.
There’s no way to get around needing to create content that works for real users. But the good news is that when you make quality content that meets the needs of your users, you also satisfy the search engines — everyone wins.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you optimize your content for users.
Google has unveiled a new concept they call E-E-A-T, which stands for
Experience. Expertise. Authoritativeness. Trustworthiness.
The inclusion of “experience” suggests that the author’s level of expertise in the subject matter is another criterion against which content quality can be judged.
Google’s new definition of E-E-A-T emphasizes the importance of “trust” as the “most important member of the E-E-A-T family.”
Google also offers many other illustrative instances of crucial ideas, including:
- Assessing the trustworthiness of online resources and their authors.
- How significant E-E-A-T is, and what weight it should be given in assessments.
- To what extent may information do harm?
Page Experience Matters
When it comes to defining page experience, Google uses the following criteria:
- Does the website provide a secure experience for visitors?
- Is the site optimized for viewing on mobile devices?
- Do ads interfere with the main content on the page?
- Are there intrusive elements that obstruct users’ view of the content?
- How easily can users find the main content on the page?
- Can people easily distinguish the main content from other content?
Google also focuses on what they refer to as Core Web Vitals (CLV). This category includes three critical issues:
- How long it takes your site to react to user input
- How long it takes pages to load
- How predictable your site is (for example, no random pop-ups or page shifting)
These may seem like common sense aspects that every designer should consider, but sometimes you may do things in the name of promotion that goes against the principles of good design. To rank well, you need to optimize your content for your user, making it high quality and featuring it front and center.
The Well-Designed Website’s Place in SEO
You’ve seen that search engines are not just about delivering great content. They care about providing a great experience, of which content is just one part. With that said, if you want high rankings, it’s important to have an expertly crafted website like the ones created at Mighty Fine. After all, who will care that your content is well-written if your site is ugly, hard to navigate, loads slowly, or has elements obstructing the very content your user is there to see?
Not only does a high-quality, user-friendly website help Google look good and accomplish its goal, but it also helps your business look good and brings you closer to your goals of increasing brand awareness and boosting your bottom line.
Your Content Marketing Partner Means Everything
You can see why we think content is king. Scoring top search engine rankings requires more than just throwing a few words together and publishing them to your website or blog. Instead, content is successful when it creates memorable experiences.
That’s why having the right partner is key to success in content marketing. There’s a reason why most brands spend more than a quarter of their marketing budget partnering with a digital marketing agency. When you are building authority in your industry, you need help from marketers who are the best in theirs as well.
From building the foundations of your business through branding and web design to helping your ideal customers find you through marketing and advertising, Mighty Fine can help you achieve your goals.
Contact us today to discover how we can work together to create a strategic digital advertising campaign that gives you peace of mind about your marketing so you can focus on doing more of what you love.