Going all-in on SEO marketing? Don’t gamble with shoddy content

Mustard MD, Lucy Davison recently wrote a piece for Quirks on the importance of good, honest and interesting content.

As spring dawns, we see a lot of crystal ball-gazing in the trade media about what’s coming up for this year. Will we all be replaced by robots and algorithms? Has big-little data had its day? One consistent comment has been that the future of research must be in integrating different data sources to get a genuine picture of what is going on. This strikes a chord with me if only because I have long been trumpeting the case for marketing integration. Here are a few examples.

Several years ago we worked with a research supplier that wanted (and needed) to rebrand and reposition itself. We devised a new positioning and strategy for the client which we developed into a unique brand design, messaging strategy and a website. The company started blogging but the project stopped there. The client did not want to invest any money in getting new messages out to the world, thinking the new brand and Web site were enough and that the business would start flooding in. The client was surprised when it didn’t.

More recently we came across a client who was putting all his eggs in the SEO basket. His entire budget for marketing was based with his SEO agency (which of course makes a content and brand marketing agency very cross!). But the client had no content to feed that SEO machine and had not even thought through his strategy as to what he really wanted to stand for. People landed on his site but were not engaged and he wasted his time dealing with the wrong enquiries.

The point is that content is now SEO. You can’t just fiddle around with tags and links. The content you present on the Internet is what drives your SEO success. Google and the other search engines are more and more capricious and constantly changing what works for search. For example, in the past, a site built with lots of inbound links and heavy use of keywords would move up in rank. Then the goalposts moved and links and keywords were not what mattered any more. Now if the text doesn’t reflect true and valid content which is refreshed and updated on a regular basis, Google will be less interested in your site and your SEO will be poor.

In B2B marketing, there are simply no easy tricks to the game. The best possible way to improve your ranking is with good, honest and interesting content that really reflects your business and is original and authentic. And to get that content you either need to generate it yourself or you need to use an agency that can help you articulate your strategy and positioning in a way that directly reflects and supports your business and its values.

So, here’s my plea: Unless you’re a B2C e-commerce site, don’t get hung up on SEO! You need to have good messaging and a Web site that works well within your marketing mix. You must focus on interacting with the people on your database and joining in with the social media and media conversations. If you are keeping your head in the maelstrom of Internet marketing and getting a consistent and visible message out to your audience, SEO will be working. And yours is the earth. (Apologies to Kipling.)

You can read the piece on Quirks here.