Business development content marketing SEO

4 reasons content matters for growing your business online in 2021

In 2021 quality content looks set to take on even greater importance for SEO and the performance of your business online.

Google wants to rank the sites at the top that users love the most, and in 2021 plans to roll out a major algorithm update that focuses on page experience.

What is page experience? Some aspects are technical, such as site speed and broken links. But others are all about content – the extent to which you, or your competitors, are delighting the people searching for answers in your niche.

Google tracks how long people spend on your website, what they do, and the pages they visit. And these factors contribute to Google’s understanding of whether your website is providing a good user experience.

Here’s four ways quality content can help your business grow, and help to improve your search engine rankings, right now:

1. Good content helps to generate leads

When visitors like the content on your website, and it provides what they are looking for, there’s a good chance they will explore more pages on the site, and subscribe to your newsletter or otherwise leave their contact details.

They may subscribe in the hope and expectation of getting more useful content, and/or to learn more about a particular product.

2. And increase reach and brand recognition

High-quality content will generally engage, directly or indirectly, with current or evergreen issues that are also in circulation on social media.

Appearance in a relevant context on social media will help any company increase visibility, as well as reaching a wider audience and potential new customers.

3. Good content helps to establish authority and trust

By creating and posting high quality, timely content, you can help to establish your company as a thought leader and trusted source of information and opinion in your field.

This helps to increase your visibility in your niche or industry and attract more engaged readers to your website.

4. And build relationships

In addition, content marketing helps you develop relationships with customers.

When your content helps readers, when readers find your content useful and valuable, they will likely return to your website and, in time, are more likely to become customers. And not only customers – but fans who feel confident in recommending you, and your products or services, to their friends or followers.

Good content will get you noticed, draw visitors to your site, and help you establish an ongoing relationship so that, in time, your readers can become your customers.

For SEO, and for visitor conversion, good content matters

By posting helpful, quality content, you can begin to create brand awareness, loyalty and, most importantly, trust. And as readers begin to comment on your content, you can gradually build a tightly connected community, loyal to your products or services.

The most important job of SEO is to get good ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). And for this, good content matters: it’s a long time since search engines ranked websites based on keywords alone.

Quality content that is unique, well-structured, and focused on the needs of your target audience will deliver a great page experience for your visitors – and, in turn, help to gain a better ranking for your page in search engine results.

Like to talk about content for your business? Just hit me up, right here.

Business development Music

The St James Infirmary Blues

Folk songs, memes, and going viral

It’s been a long road down but I hope I’m finally and decisively on the way back up and I won’t be playing the pneumonia blues no more.

However I have been playing the St James Infirmary Blues and what a great song it is. You can play it quietly as a lamentation, fiercely as a howl of rage against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or any combination in an extended improv.

Credited as ‘traditional’, it has been taken up and reinterpreted through the generations, moving across time and space.

The song is based on an 18th century English folksong ‘The Unfortunate Rake’, which recounted the story of the untimely death of a soldier from venereal disease after frequenting too many prostitutes.

The St James Infirmary of the title is often claimed to be the St James leprosy hospital in London; however since this hospital closed in the 1530s when Henry VIII acquired the land to build St James’s Palace , this is questionable.

When the song emerges in the USA in the early 20th century, somewhere along its transatlantic journey the subject has become a young woman, and the cause of her downfall is drinking and gambling.

There are countless variations in the lyrics, and of course in the playing, but the version recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1928 begins

I went down to St. James Infirmary,
Saw my baby there,
Stretched out on a long white table,
So sweet, so cold, so bare.

Going viral

It strikes me that folk songs are an early form of going viral, or of memes threading their way through different cultures.

They also provide a perfect example of content with soul – that is, content produced by people who are passionate about their mission and their audience.

(That is, if describing folk songs as content is helpful in any way.)

I have a feeling content marketing may give content a bad name. Endless stuff produced with ever decreasing effect because it is transparently marketing as opposed to a genuine and meaningful value exchange (see digitaltonto for an interesting post on this).

But if we take the richness of experience of the St James Infirmary Blues as a guide then maybe, just maybe, our content (and even our content marketing) may have the impact we hope for. And staying power.

In the meantime, play it one more time. From the top…