The All Mighty Search Engine
In my last post, I talked some about the importance of content marketing in business. When you create interesting content you help your company stand out. Your content gets visibility through your own sharing, on social media sites, and through search engines like Google and Bing.
There are several ways people find your website. The first is called organic, meaning people know your web address and type it in. This usually accounts for the largest percentage of traffic on the average website. The second is refferal, someone sees your link on a different website and clicks on it. Searching for a need or service specifically, makes up a third category of website traffic, with links in marketing campaigns (email, etc.) taking fourth place. So why are search engines still the critical part of content marketing?
Simplicity, meaning it’s easier to type in a word or a sentence into, insert search engine here, and find what you are looking for. This goes for everyone and everything. Prospects will see your business on social media sites, especially if you connect and share your content. Yet, if someone is actively searching for a product or service, they’re most likely going to search the web. You’ve got to be visible there.
I said a little about who uses search engines in the above paragraph, but to embolden it, everyone uses search engines. It’s second nature now, when we want to know or find something, we Google it.
The algorithm is the how, what and backbone of any and all search engines. It’s what translates the sentence, “boots that won’t wear out” into 17,000,000 pages in .17 seconds. The algorithm is the maker or breaker of a web sites traffic.
Lines of computer code decide whether or not the content on your website is worthy of the top rank. Google’s current algorithm, which has been in practice for a few months now, is called Hummingbird. There are several changes that came with this new algorithm, but its impact on content marketing is the main focus.
Hummingbird has the capability now to handle much more complex search queries, making it easier for the user to find the closest match to what they typed. This means keywords, the words typed in to the search bar, that found web sites before have less impact. Google looks at the whole sentence now, which means keywords are no longer enough.
Before, pages could be loaded with keywords and they would be rewarded with higher placement. Hummingbird doesn’t like that, in fact it penalizes a website with too many keywords as not being engaging or original enough.
Being engaging and original is what content marketing is all about. Remember the goal is to inform or entertain. This encourages users to revisit your site and keeps you on the top of their mind. It also positions you and your staff as experts in your field. Now with Google’s Hummingbird update, creating engaging, original content can also help your search marketing efforts.
While search engines are important, and some could say the most important traffic driver, that does not mean you can forget your visibility on social media. You must balance both to build your image and your traffic.
Make it easy for people to find you, build your network, share great content and visits will follow.
About Nick Clark
Nick is recent graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College where he received a bachelor’s degree in English. As a Content Creator for Crowd Hydrant, he works with businesses to understand their needs and goals and then, writes engaging content for their blogs and websites. Nick also enjoys writing short stories and poetry. For more about Nick, connect with him on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter.