Why content is crucial in digital marketing

Following on from our recent post on how the new Google Algorithm will impact SEO, here's our thoughts on why online content should be your number one priority in business.

The changes Google is rolling out in the coming weeks and months will mean content will become the single most important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Content will be crucial if you want to be ranked highly in the search engine results pages to get noticed, attract customers and be an authority on the web.

When it comes to SEO, you should think 'content, content, content'. Quality content is what Google loves.

Of course, we've known for a long time that sifting out great, original content from poor quality drivel was the sole aim of Google. It quite naturally has always wanted to provide its users with the best web pages above those that are of low quality. So it makes complete sense to grade content accordingly and reward websites, blogs or e-zines that are publishing quality, original content for their specific target audiences.

Interesting to read Bill Gates' thoughts on the subject back in 1996 when he wrote his own take on why 'Content is King' on the Internet. Even back then, Bill predicted where the Internet would end up, and that's with a huge focus on content.

So when I say 'content', what do I mean? Well, you have to provide original content or information, original research, reporting or analysis - and when I say 'original', I mean it shouldn't appear anywhere else on the web. Content also has to have immaculate grammar and spelling. Content should also provide a comprehensive coverage of the topic in question. And finally, content should be something you really want to share, bookmark or even recommend to others.

And where does this content come from? Your website's own blog... Articles written for other websites, communities or e-zines... News stories published online... Content can be everywhere but it often starts with your own blog.

But that's just the SEO side of things... what about real people? Well, content is still king because people use the web to find answers to their questions. They want information, they want to learn, they want to research... and your business has the perfect opportunity to help satisfy their needs.

People also want to see the 'human' side behind your business. The digital era has encouraged a whole new expectation of transparency and people want to have emotional connections with your company. They want to know who the people are behind your logo. This is where content becomes ever more powerful. Especially when you consider that many new customers now come via company blogs.

And one final point lies with the social side of content. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest - they all play a part in boosting your company website and where it stands in the search engine results pages. This means the more social signals you achieve on certain content, the more Google loves you. It's certainly a factor in their algorithms.

So our advice is to get writing as soon as possible. Build up quality, interesting and relevant copy for your blog. Get people sharing and talking about your content. Get people commenting on your content. Get people coming back for more. Do all of these things and keep content at the very heart of your digital marketing strategy and you will go very far indeed. 

Katy Cowan

Manchester, England,