We are making digital marketing easier to understand. Part 1
There is a lot of nonsense spoken about digital marketing. Many digital marketing tactics will deliver quick short term results, and then your purchased attention fades into the ether.
You have to ask yourself if you are playing for short-term gains or playing the long game? If you are looking for some tactics to earn attention quickly, this blog is not for you. This is for those that are playing the long game. What I’m going to show you here will earn attention for years to come at no cost except for your initial time and effort.
The only digital marketing strategy that works and will keep working hard for you is content marketing. It is that simple. Google is the world’s largest search engine, and they have one objective. Google wants to deliver the best user experience to its users.
Providing people with the best possible user experience is the only way to keep their search monopoly and keep its users from moving to other search engines like Bing. This is Google’s sole objective because by being the number one search engine, they will retain advertiser’s spend and even attract more advertising spend.
Understanding Google’s key objective helps you understand how to play the game. All you need to do is provide Google with content that provides value and ideally is engaging.
Here is a list of 5 ideas that will help you play the digital marketing long game
Search engines look at the entire user experience the person has when they first land on the page.
When a person first lands on your website, the search engines are looking at a few things:
- How long does it take your page to be presented to the person? This is called the first paint. If it takes your content too long to load, the person may lose interest and leave your website before they even see the page. There are two solutions here; speed up your page or indicate that your page is loading with a loading icon.
- Is the content relevant to the person? Did the person find what they were looking for at first glance or decide that your content is not what they are looking for and left your website? There are a few things you need to do in the first few lines of your content. Set out what your blog is about, who it’s for and more importantly, who your content is not for.
- For SEO, use your keyword phrase within the first paragraph.
- Did you see that I referred to the user as a person! I want you always to remember that you are generating content for people.
Search engines closely look at the content itself, help them pair your content to relevant search queries.
Phrase your content heading as an answer or as a question. One of the easiest ways to get your content noticed is to phrase it as a question or answer a question that a person would put to Google. There are many tools available that will help you do this.
One of my favourite tools is Answer the Public. You enter the keyword phrase, and Answer the Public will return results as answers or questions.
Let’s imagine that your product is toothpaste. Answer the Public will return results such as.
- Which toothpaste is the best?
- Does toothpaste clean silver?
- What toothpaste is best for receding gums?
- How is toothpaste made?
- How toothpaste kills bacteria?
- Who discovered toothpaste?
- Are toothpaste tubes recyclable?
- Where is toothpaste on the ph scale?
- Toothpaste can remove pimples.
- Toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulphate.
- Toothpaste with baking soda.
- Toothpaste vs gel.
- Toothpaste xylitol
This tool is a search listening tool and provides vital insights into what people are searching for and how they are searching for the content. By matching your headlines to what and how people are searching, you help Google and other search engines provide people with a better user experience. Remember, by helping search engines, you are effectively helping yourself because your content will rank higher.
Search engines want to see how people engage with your content.
Google, Bing and other search engines monitor how people engage and interact with your content. There are typically two types of content, informative content and entertaining content.
If you have the ability to produce informative content that is also entertaining, then you are onto a winning formula. However, not all content is supposed to be fun. For example, if you are writing about nuclear energy, perhaps you should leave humour out of your content.
An excellent way to set your content tone is to look at your ideal customer and build a buyer persona for your content.
A buyer persona is a simple document in which you describe your ideal customer or client. In this document, you set out everything you know about your perfect customer, from marital status to education to job title to their hobbies. Once you have your buyer persona, you bring it out every time you are writing content, and you write to her or him as though you are having a one-on-one conversation with her.
Following this simple idea will help you create the correct tone and keep your content engaging and respectful. Remember that your content is there to build an engagement and trusting relationship with your ideal customer. So, please treat them with respect and respect that they are giving you their time and attention.
I can’t stress this enough! You are creating content for people, and people should be treated with love and respect. If you have a very analytical mind, as I do, you need to check yourself. I know that I’m very factual when I talk to clients, but when we are onboarding a new client, I have to remember that they may have created the content themselves and stating the content is poor performing, I may be offending my client.
I’m also not considering their feelings, and I may be very simply put “mean”. Your ideal customer is a person first and a customer second. Your content should be there to provide value to your customers and help them resolve a problem.
My rule is to add value 80 percent of the time and sell product or services 20 percent of the time. Be generous with your content.
Search engines are looking for high-quality, trustworthy content.
Google and Bing are looking for high-quality and trustworthy content. How does Google go about finding this content? People, digital marketing experts, will tell you that your heading has to have “x” many words and that the best performing blogs are 7000 words long. These tactics may deliver slightly better results than your nearest competitors, but it does not mean that your content will be highly ranked or seen as an authoritative piece of content by the search engines.
So how does Google work out what is high-quality content? This is as simple or as difficult and technical as you; the content creator wants to make it.
The approach I like to take is that I create content for people, and I let the behaviour of the consumers of my content inform search engines of the quality of my content. However, I don’t leave it all to chance; I do make use of tools that help me with:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The other approach is that Google tells you how its algorithm works. Google makes available; to everyone a 175-page manual that explains how their algorithm works, and they also provide examples in the manual for clarity.
However, are you writing for people or an algorithm? This question brings me to my last topic.
Finally, remember your content is for people, not for algorithms.
Go back through this article. You will see that I have deployed SEO tactics such as:
- Layered headings.
- A list with links to titles/headings.
- Digital Marketing is mentioned twice in the first paragraph.
- I use more lists throughout the article.
Here is what is less obvious. I used a program to analyse and measure the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) of this article’s headline. I made an emotional appeal to you and reminded you that you are still creating content for real people and not for an algorithm, even though you want search engines to discover and present your content.
Here is some simple advice, create content for your ideal customer and then adapt it with some simple changes so that machines can find it, understand it, catalogue it and present it to your ideal customer.
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