Jan 28, 201411:29 AMIt's All About Content
with Thomas Marks
Why businesses need to content market starting today
(page 1 of 2)
In the past year or so, four seismic marketing events occurred that will forever reshape how companies and organizations develop new business and sustain it. There’s no secret about event number one — it’s Google’s highly publicized reformulation of its secret algorithm, which I have written about extensively. The second event was a new study from Cornell University about the importance of search rank, and how businesses search other businesses and consumers search companies.
The third occurrence was the release of a report from the Nielsen Norman Group that pretty much threw any longwinded, rambling Web writers off the cliff. And finally, a new article in Forbes titled “The 2014 Content Marketing Imperative,” which brought content marketing to the forefront by extolling what most of us had known for years.
If these four occurrences don’t provide the impetus to fuel your content marketing strategies, I suppose nothing will. This is the way businesses need to bring their products and services to market, and because of the nature of these seismic events, corporations are left with few, if any, alternatives.
Now, let me explain. As you undoubtedly know by now, Google upped the percentage of relevancy by which content plays a role in your search ranking. In part, it did this to eliminate Web spam, which is non-relevant content, but at the same time, it did it to reward businesses, of any type and size, that populate their websites with fresh, engaging content on a consistent basis. A significant wrinkle within the algorithm is that fresh content means original content — no longer does canned content qualify as original content. In short, if you want to be rewarded by Google, update your website’s content weekly. If you don’t, Google might penalize you with a descending search rank.
But why is search rank so important? Here’s where the report from Cornell University helps us understand how people use Google — and for businesses, it’s downright frightening. For starters, more than 90% of all organic website traffic comes from sites that appear on page one of a search engine results page.
Consequently, more than 90% of the content consumed (and you need to be part of that 90%) comes from page one. So if you’re not on the first page of a search, you’re basically out of sight and out of mind. But here’s where it gets mindboggling. Fifty-six percent of Web users never make it past the top three listings on Google’s first page. So why is content marketing so important? Because content is one of the only ways to be on page one without paying for it.