Google wants content.
You want customers.
Customers come through Google.
What does that tell you about content?
Not great in your eyes but great (aka valuable) in the eyes of your prospective and current customers. Google can’t ask each of your customers what they think about your offerings so instead it looks at things it can measure like:
- Page shares
- Time on page
- Number of pages visited on site and many other super-secret things it won’t share with us
Google has even told us content is important. Check out its advice on creating quality content.
The simplest way to understand the importance of quality content comes from Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, in an article he wrote for the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content quality is important because Google thinks it’s important.”
If you’re not creating quality content, or content that others value, you won’t get found. If you cut off this way of attracting potential customers, here’s what you’re losing:
Often by the time people find your business, they’ve done a little internet exploring (techie pun intended) on their own. They are aware of what they want and what’s out there. This saves time in your sales process.
If you can attract customers who have already done their homework they’re further down the sales funnel, which means a quicker conversion and less drain on your sales resources. If you’re not placing your business in their buying path, you’re losing out.
Organic Referrals from Google
If you refuse to provide what Google says it takes to be successful, you’re cutting off a major revenue stream. For many businesses Google referrals make up between 60-70% of the organic referral traffic. That’s a lot of missed conversions.
Cheap Paid Referrals
In an ironic twist, Google gives preferred pricing for its paid campaigns to companies that rank highly in its organic rankings. If you create inferior content, or no content at all, you’ll rank in the bottom of their organic referrals.
Some companies figure they’ll just pay to place. That’s a fine strategy except Google will penalize you and your costs will be much higher than those who play according to Google’s suggestions of providing good content. Plus, very few people trust paid placements the way they do organic listings.
Without content, you lack shares. Very few people will share your web copy, even if it’s brilliant, because it’s about you, not something a vast majority of their followers will find valuable. Face it. That’s why people share, to be of value to others – to make them laugh, to inspire them, to educate them, or get them to see their viewpoint. Viewers want to share content to their tribe so they can feel important and get their own likes. The chance of your web copy doing that is very slim. Your blog, on the other hand, could be a perfect source for shares as could entertaining, inspirational, and education social posts.
Often businesses attract customers through the tone and culture of their business that is shared through content. People do business with people, not entities. Content is a way to connect with your potential customers. People fast-forward commercials, ignore ads, and listen to their own playlists sans interruption. You can no longer get in front of them on your terms. It must be on theirs. Creating interesting content is an effective way to do that.
Cheap Research and Development
If you ever thought about launching a new product or service and you reached out to a firm that handles polling or public opinion, you know how expensive that can be. If you’ve taken the time to build a community of followers through good content, you can ask them their opinion directly on anything from new branding to a new product line.
You get free advice from people who are already following you (and hopefully, buying from you) because they like your brand. They also feel more engaged because you are taking the time to ask their opinion. People feel invested in what they helped create.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking content takes time you don’t have or can’t afford. Can you afford to go without the things mentioned above? Only if your pockets run deep. And even that will only get you so far in the referral economy.