The web is abuzz with Google’s latest algorithm update with much focus on the direction of Google search and the ramifications it holds for SEO and digital marketers. Penguin 2.0 is one more example of what digital marketing experts have been preaching for years; delivering a positive user experience through quality content and quality web assets creates a quality outcome. And, this is what Google wants to reward.
Google’s on-going quest appears to be to filter out the attempted nonsense by some marketers so that the user search experience produces valuable results. Poor search marketing and editorial practices are disenfranchised to this objective. Audiences are demanding it. As a marketer, failure to deliver valuable content will ensure that Google and your audience will tune you out or worse, turn you off.
Good content delivers a relevant connection that invokes a response through humor, shock, mystery, emotion and/or just plain valuable knowledge. My favorite article on quality content was written by Brad Shore with the Content Marketing Institute. He identifies quality content as being “jargon-free, written in an appropriate voice and style, stimulates a response and is properly structured.” More importantly, he identifies the business value of quality content by emphasizing that it:
- Elevates the brand
- Increase brand awareness
- Helps generate leads and referrals
- Increases customer loyalty
- Differentiates your business in a powerful way
Almost every business, regardless of size, has subject matter experts, people within the company that are passionate about what they know and what they do. Tap into your internal resources. If necessary, use writing experts to ensure the content is well structured and tells a great story resulting in a terrific user experience. And, of course make it easy to share. Position yourself to build organic link backs through the quality of your content. Penguin 2.0 rewards quality content while seeking to penalize artificial link back tactics through non-organic content distribution.
While having an engaging website with rich images and relevant content is a pre-requisite to a good user experience, back-end SEO through the architectural structure of your website, is also critical. Routinely conduct an architectural audit and correct all technical issues that may impede how search engines index your website. Continually assess the navigation and user experience. Treat your web assets as you treat your car, keeping it tuned up and running at peak performance at all times.
We have all experienced commercials we love and those we would prefer to never be subjected to again. If you focus on great content with the goal of delivering a good experience, the probability of your audience responding positively to you, your products and company is much higher.
Take the time to do a persona analysis of your target audiences. Identify what is important to each audience segment and identify how your offerings meet their needs. Become less self-centered and more customer-centered with your content. Delight your audience and they will reward you with loyalty and positive word of mouth. If you disenchant your audience, they can easily tune you out, unfriend, unsubscribe or quickly bounce away. If your messaging is me, me, me; you will be gone, gone, gone…