At Distilled's SearchLove in October of this year, SEOMoz CEO Rand Fishkin channeled his inner Beatles fan with a presentation called "Can't Buy Me Love." Of course, unlike Paul, George, John, and Ringo, Rand isn't talking about the "love" of a lady, but instead he's referring to the love of your audience.

To be completely honest, I never really understood search marketing. If I'm searching for something in Google, odds are I'm probably going to click on the search result for what I was actually looking for, rather than an ad that [may or may not be] related to what I typed in. I'm not saying that search marketing does't work, but I do like to think that there are better (and cheaper) ways to get people to click on your website.

That said, it's not surprising that I'm a pretty big advocate of content marketing - creating content that, while it may be optimized for keywords, is actually valuable to your readers and gets clicks because it's interesting and relevant.

I know I'm not the only one to say that content is going to rule 2013. To me, it already ruled 2012, but now it seems that it's becoming more commonplace for those who were unsure of it last year. We're seeing an increasing amount of "brand journalists" and "brand-as-a-publisher" mentalities, and I have a feeling this isn't going to stop any time soon.

True Love

When it comes down to it, what's the point of all this search engine marketing anyway? You don't want to pay for people to click on your site, get to it just because it's there, and then find no value in it. What you want is for readers to view your content as relevant and helpful to a problem they're trying to solve. You want to earn true love. In his presentation, Rand Fishkin provides two ultimate truths about true love: 

     1. It lasts.
     2. It can't be bought.

How did he come to this conclusion? With a little research, marketers have found that only 18% of clicks actually go to the ads at the top and side of the Google search page. On top of that, only 2% of clicks go to Facebook ads, and less than 1% to promoted Tweets.

So, what are we spending all this money for? Search engines are increasingly favoring honest, quality content over paid content, and readers are too. The more companies embrace content in 2013, the less return your paid content is going to see.

Spend half the money, earn 100 times the love. Seems pretty simple. What are you doing to jumpstart your content marketing efforts in 2013?

For tips and tricks on getting into content marketing, head here.

10/20/2013 11:34:04 am

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