A website blog with regularly posted original content is a must for any business these days. But just putting out any old content in the name of doing content marketing is not going to yield the kind of results that justifies the effort involved.

Google wants the most relevant content that can be delivered to searchers and which can effectively answer the question or questions they may have about a product or service. If your business happens to be the one providing the right kind of information for searchers then your website is going to rank higher than one that isn’t.

However, for content marketing to yield returns for your business ideally your content is about getting the reader to do something with the information provided. That thing could be further research, requesting a download that you have available, phoning to find out more, thinking about what they need to consider in their purchase and then seeking out more information – some action that moves the reader along the journey towards becoming your customer.  

For example, say you are a customer researching what headphones to get. Perhaps you read an article about the latest beats headphones. A follow on from that could be a download for a checklist of the key attributes to consider when purchasing. Or it could be an online quiz that guides you to the best headphones for what you need, taking into account price, usage, size, availability.

Usually people want a quick easy answer, and this goal determines their experience with your content. Google did a study a few years back called ZMOT or Zero Moment of Truth. The Zero Moment of Truth refers to the research that consumers now do before they are ready to make a purchase decision, particularly significant decisions but sometimes for smaller decisions too, like what type of wine is best with the lamb roast they are serving at a dinner party next week.   

So take a look at the content you’re posting and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is it useful to your target audience?

2. Are you answering common questions your audience has?

3. Does it make them want to learn more about your business and engage them to start a real conversation i.e they pick up the phone, make a booking to find out more, send an email, reach out on social media?

4. Does it engage them to start a virtual conversation i.e. they visit your website and read more articles, click on a download or enter an email address to receive an ebook or newsletter?

5. Is it naturally progressing them along the path from being a cold prospect, to a customer that ultimately purchases?

The aim of content marketing is to draw your prospective visitors into spending the time to get to know you. It needs to be engaging enough for them to do something about it, to react and take action.

As Google’s algorithms become more advanced, the weight put on engagement signals will increase. Content will need to have depth and quality otherwise it will ultimately be short lived, and not a long term sustainable strategy that continues to deliver qualified leads to your website.