The internet has come a long way since LiveJournal and Blogger. But in the early 2000s, these sites brought blogging to the mainstream. Back then, the idea was simple: to share an online journal with interested readers. And the internet was interested. By 2006, there were 50 million blogs on the internet. And while the desire to connect with individual readers still motivates bloggers today, blogging has evolved into something much greater than that.
The Early Days of Blogging for Business
Very quickly, businesses realized that they could use content like blogs to build their brand and attract new customers. Content marketing is not a new concept. America was introduced to it back in the 1700s when Benjamin Franklin published “Poor Richard’s Almanack” as a way of promoting his printing business. But by the 21st century, we had computers. Even more than that, we had Google.
As Google grew to become the gatekeeper of the internet, users were given a way to search for—and find—specific content. Today, we have a slew of content available at our fingertips which we rely on for news, information, and entertainment. But with so much content available to us, how can brands stand out from the crowd?
In the early days of digital content marketing, the answer was simple: keywords. Until the late 2000s, Google’s algorithms for indexing the internet were heavily based on keywords. By including these keywords — or specific search phrases — in your content, your website could rank on the top results pages for those keywords. But soon, everyone and their mother was keyword stuffing their content to beat the system, and Google had to crack down.
Today, Content Marketing is All About Quality
These days, SEO (search engine optimization) is much more complex. Yes, keywords are still important. But Google relies on numerous other factors to rank content on the web. Their goal is to bring quality content to readers and consumers, not to please marketers. They grade web content based on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (coined as E-A-T in a Google algorithm update released in August 2018). Now, in order to be rewarded with a #1 ranking on Google, marketers must nurture their online presence to be seen by both Google and their readers as representative of these three characteristics.
How do we do this as marketers? It goes beyond just a blog post. We are now challenged to produce valuable content and robust digital footprints for our clients to portray their brands in the best light possible. With so much digital content available—and so much of it clickbait—the only way to cut through the noise is to post content that educates, entertains, or otherwise provides the reader with real value. This is one of the reasons TrustWorkz is shifting our clients’ blog strategies to lengthier, higher-quality blog posts and finding ways to produce meaningful content that our clients’ customers will value and trust (such as FAQ pages, testimonials, and case studies).
It’s important for marketers to remember the root of content marketing, which is connecting with our audience. Readers are looking for unique, personalized content that stands out from the crowd. For local businesses, this means creating content that is hyper-local and taps into what’s important to their community. If we remember these core concepts and produce content that our readers truly value, ranking #1 on Google will come more naturally.
If your website is not showing up on the first page of Google for important keywords, contact us. We’ll develop a personalized strategy for your business to improve its digital footprint and increase both website traffic and foot traffic.