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What is all this content marketing talk about anyway? It’s definitely the new buzzword around Internet marketing circles. Why should you care?

Because high-quality, valuable content attracts attention.

It’s what your customers are after, and it’s the window into your business, and your website.  Creating awesome content comes down to a shift in mindset. There’s one idea that you have to learn to accept as a content creator if you really want to take your online presence (and by default your business) to the next level.

Are you ready?

 

You’re Not Smarter Than Google

I know it comes as a shock to a lot of SEO-minded companies and people. But here’s the thing: Google’s got the smartest minds in the industry evaluating ways to find the best results for any given search.

The keyword bomb you unleashed on them may no longer be enough to earn new business. Once you stop trying to trick this multi-billion dollar company where the smartest Internet wizards go to work, you’re free to do a few things that might actually – gulp – help your readers.

 

You Can Start By Teaming With Google Instead

Google is on the side of your potential customer, and you should be too. They understand that it’s valuable content your potential customers are after. That’s why they’ve developed the author rank system, designed to help the creators who are doing things the right way.

Instead of being a “Plumber who sells his plumbing services near Chicago to people who need plumbing services,” you’re free to really express yourself. This should serve as a load off your shoulders.

Stringing a sentence together like the one above is an insult to the intelligence of your customers, as well as an affront to the English language. For a given period of time, sentences like the aforementioned may bring an increased amount of traffic into your website, but don’t take it personally if Google adjusts its algorithm to weed you off the results page eventually.

In the meantime, if your content is of the spammy variety, have you given any thought to retaining those customers once they’re there? If all of your copy is written with keywords instead of pronouns, it’s going to be garbled and unintelligible to your audience. That’s what I’d call search engine trickery.

Your readers will land on your site and have an “OK now what?” moment. Real, valuable content keeps them reading on. Search engine trickery sends them for the little “x” on the browser tab. They know the difference. Once you determine that you want to partner with Google, instead of tricking them, you can:

  • Provide real value to your readers.
  • Blog and produce the type of content that your audience demands.
  • Focus your business on relationships (turning readers into customers) rather than solely traffic.

Actionable methods for creating real content:

  • Use your blog to answer common industry questions. Someone is searching them online.
  • Spend time on your headlines, Tweets and posts. These are the invitations you’re sending out to your little corner of the Internet.
  • Show your readers the value within your industry and how you can fix their problem. Then create a powerful call to action. Content marketing focuses on the story, but it’s still marketing.
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Written by Matt Brennan
Matt Brennan offers corporate writing services to businesses and organizations. He’s been telling stories for more than 10 years.