Saturday, October 22, 2016

The True Purpose of Content and Technical SEO

To optimize a business website, you must perform two distinct, but equally important, roles: content marketing and technical SEO. Most online business owners and marketing professionals presume to know the purpose of content.

However, when we ask our SEO customers the question--"What is the purpose of content?"--we often hear vague answers that miss the point.

"To promote my brand." "To share my message." "To advertise our products."

Of course, in a simple sense, all of these answers are viable. Yet the true purpose of content for an online business must be more specific.

The Purpose of Content

Simply put, the purpose of content must be to create conversions. You're running a business, after all, so your content must achieve a specific goal, and that goal must be focused on not merely attracting customers, but making customers.

This is why promotion, sharing, and advertising miss the point. These definitions focus on attracting customers, but not necessarily making customers.

So how do you create content that inspires conversions?

Our experience has taught us a valuable lesson about content marketing: There is no magic bullet for creating content that inspires conversions. This is why we write so extensively about content. We try to present content marketing from different perspectives.

You might create content that inspires emotions. We've reported, for example, on the work of Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski, who writing for The Harvard Business Review, reviewed 30 of the top 100 images from "to understand the best emotional drivers" of viral content.

The pair offered a valuable insight: "Think carefully about how your company, product or service is related to a topic or topics that taps into deep-seated human emotions within your target demographic."

Read: "Like Attracts Like: SEO and The Power of Emotions."

Or you might create content that answers a specific question or adds a new element to our existing understanding of a product or service.

Read: "Two Simple Questions to Inspire New Content"

Whatever strategy you assume, though, your purpose must be the same: to create a conversion. After all, this is the only purpose that speaks to the elemental purpose of your online business: to make money.

Customers at a drug store. The purpose of business has always been the same: to make customers. This must be the purpose of your content, too.

The Purpose of Technical SEO

If many business owners and marketing professionals presume to know the purpose of content, many more presume not to know the purpose of technical SEO. Most website owners, for example, admit total confusion when confronted by the technobabble of the SEO community.

"What is structured data?" "What is a gateway page?" "What is keyword density?"

In one sense, these questions are beside the point. If you're working with an SEO company, for example, you really do not need to understand technical SEO--unless, of course, you have the time and need to understand a variety a different language. In our view, however, website owners only need to understand the simple purpose of technical SEO.

Simply put, the purpose of technical SEO is to lay the foundation for a successful content marketing campaign. In the past, technical SEO played a more direct role in online success. As Neil Patel writes: "With some solid pages, good structure, keyword-stuffed page titles, and heavy keyword saturation on your main navigational pages, you were set for SEO success."

This is not the case anymore. Today's technical SEO is about following the careful requirements of search engine algorithms. Technical SEO is about adapting to algorithm changes. Technical SEO is, simply, about compliance.

In this way, many--but not most--websites have successfully optimized for technical SEO. Many websites play on a relatively level playing field.

So what differentiates one website from another? Content, of course.

The problem is that too many website owners, fearing technical SEO, have completely avoided optimization in favor of content creation. Without technical SEO, though, even the best content will fail to fulfill its purpose. As we've noted before:

"Do not fear the code. And do not fear SEO. Far more fearsome is your competition--how the top sites use content to craft exquisite, attractive titles, descriptions, and headers that attract audiences...When you fear the technical aspects of SEO, you distract yourself from the true work of optimization: crafting precise content. All else is techno-babble."

Read: "Do Not Fear the Code"

Some Simple Advice

Our advice for any new website owner is two-fold:

1. If you feel you cannot optimize the technical aspects of your site, partner with an SEO firm.

2. Once you have optimized the technical aspects of your site, create content that inspires conversions. Again, if you feel you cannot create purpose-driven content, partner with a content marketing firm.

Technical SEO and Content Marketing with Stepmans PC 

If you're looking for an SEO company that understands how to effectively perform technical SEO and content creation, we suggest contacting our sponsor, Stepmans PC: 215-900-9398. 

Stepmans PC combines traditional marketing methods and organic SEO--with an emphasis on natural website optimization--to design thoughtful, inspiring, and effective content marketing campaigns.