Back in 2004 and at that time, Google AdWords had just started taking over Yahoo Search Marketing! Ironically enough my first boss and mentor was the CTO at Overture when they first built the PPC or Pay Per Click Model which was then bought over by Yahoo! (and then flushed down the drain by Yahoo!)
Having said that, even at that time Google AdWords was far more superior than Yahoo!’s and things were easy and simple. You research keywords, stuff your website Meta Data with them, write small ad copies, throw in a big BUY NOW button on your landing page and oh… let’s do not forget to include them in the ad copy as well and chachingggggg!!!
Plus the only deciding factor at that time was how high you could bid or rather how much you could afford to bid, which also was called bid jamming back in the day i.e. hijacking your competitor accounts by setting bids so high they’d be force to bid more than you… but that isn’t the point of this article. Point being, at that time your keywords, landing page, and ad copy were just expected to be kind of relevant, and your bid determined how much traffic and subsequent conversions you received…
Fast forward to 2008, just 4 years on, and Google AdWords had progressed far beyond what it was in 2004, with the launch of Quality Score. Meaning, your keyword, ad copy, and a landing page copy had to be in sync with each other and that determined how expensive or how cheap would your clicks be. This is to say, content had started gaining traction, but none the less the landing pages were still short, sharp, sweet, and within your face BUY NOW slapped all over.
Fast forward to 2016, and whilst the Quality Score still remains as the deciding factor, the teams over at Google, Bing, and Yahoo! seem to have completely lost the plot. People want more information now, they want more than just a buy now in your face approach. They read, they research, they question, they analyse, they get references before they buy – and they do this all through one thing and one thing only… CONTENT! Now going back to the comment, “folks at the 3 search engines have lost the plot” is because a recently set up PPC campaign for a client and it was a typical long ended sales letter, with page having more than enough keyword density, relevancy scores were off the charts, and the ad copy plus keywords couldn’t be any more relevant – and the response from the engines? PRICELESS! “Your landing page is too long, shorten it to 1-2 lines please…”
Now we aren’t not here to discuss how the search engines train their teams but rather discuss the topic of content. At the end of the day, I know whether I am trying to sell shoes, or chocolate, or diamonds, or even a cheap candle, my target audience will need content. This isn’t to say that the content has to be a long ended sales letter but it is content nonetheless. And depending on the type of product or service the content will vary both in terms of its length and approach.
• PPC has always depended on content given the information I have shared above, and will continue too.
• SEO no longer is good enough with keyword stuffing and backlinks, your site needs to have content and new, fresh, usable content.
• Social Media likes, shares and comments all depend on the quality of the content.
• Online PR depends on content i.e. news outlets will not pick up your newsworthy piece if the content is not good.
• Email marketing is content, your existing customers, and prospects will not buy or engage if the emails you send them does not contain good, relevant and usable content!
• Banner ads need good ad copy on them but the subsequent page will not yield conversions if it does not have content.
• Referrals – everyone now asks for referrals or goes based on Social Media Reviews – that is where your likes, comments, and shares play a role – what is that? Content!
Is the article helpful for you? Please share your feedback below