Everyone is investing a lot of resources in content marketing these days. Many of them are doing so because they want to boost their organic search rankings with Google in an affordable way, and there's nothing more cost effective than content marketing. Unfortunately, these brands are putting the cart before the horse, because they didn’t build a strong brand first.
There are a number of important reasons to use content marketing for branding rather than SEO. Check them out below.
Content Marketing for Branding Improves SEO
Your SERPs will be higher over the long-term if your content marketing strategy is focused on branding rather than SEO. Do you remember Suit101? It was basically a content farm with articles written by freelancers. These freelance writers got paid a percentage of the advertising revenue their articles generated.
Most of these freelancers took a very heavy-handed approach to SEO. They would always include multiple keywords on every article to try to generate as much organic search traffic as possible. For a while, Suite101 was one of the most profitable sites on the Internet. Then it got penalized for keyword spam and was forced to shut down.
Black hat and grey hat strategies like this may work for short periods of time, but they are ultimately destined to fail. Your SEO strategy will ultimately be much more sustainable if you focus on using content to build your brand instead of boosting your SERPs. Google will believe your site is more natural and be less likely to penalize it.
Also, a brand focused content marketing strategy will be more likely to draw attention from other website owners. They will link to your content, which help improve your SEO as well.
Content Marketing Helps a Brand Build Momentum
Neil Patel has always insisted that content marketing is a key component of digital marketing. He claims that it helps brands grow on their own. Content marketing helps a good brand take a form of its own. Jayson Demers states that it acts as sort of a blueprint for your business.
After your followers are exposed to your content, they become de facto ambassadors of your brand. They begin sharing your content and core message on social media. Your most loyal followers will strengthen your brand more than anything.
Your Brand Is More Valuable than SEO
Dominating the front page of Google is nice, but it isn’t nearly as valuable as having a strong brand. Your brand is your company’s single most valuable asset. According to market research company Millward Brown, brands account for over 30% of the equity value of companies listed on the S&P 500.
Brands are arguably even more important for smaller companies. Small businesses tend to have many more competitors and often have trouble differentiating themselves.
Bad SEO Style Content Can Hurt Sales
Have you ever found a website on Google with very poorly written copy? You probably didn't have much confidence in the brand. Most customers immediately hit the back button and never return.
While Google has tried to remove websites with thin copy, many of them still make it to the front page. Of course, few customers want to do business with companies that care more about writing content for search engine crawlers than them.