In short, one must be the authority in one’s field. By continually posting content that answers searcher’s queries, a company establishes its authority and wins the following it needs in it’s business niche.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, once remarked that information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. “I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other,” Gates said.
The shift from marketing via traditional media to marketing via digital media has been just one more manifestation of the phenomenon that Gates cited. For marketers today, “information technology” is not just some tactic that is used only by Fortune 500 companies. Information technology—whether it is thought of as the online marketing funnel, as web analytics, as content marketing, or as some other online function—is the tool, and the obligation, of the seller/marketer.
Online search affords one example. Just as it is true today that every business of any size has a website, or ought to have a website, so is it true that every website, if it is to achieve competitive page rank, must put forth active effort in the arena that we call internet search.
A Blessing, A Challenge
That’s because the world has changed, and the marketing game has changed with it. With the advent of online, inbound marketing, marketers have been given a blessing—direct connections with their customers. No longer must sellers message their prospects virtually indiscriminately through the third party of a newspaper, magazine, or broadcast medium. Today, seller and buyer connect directly, online. But the challenge there is that audiences are not mustered for a seller as they were by a newspaper, with its thousands of subscribers, or a television show, with its huge following.
We Must Muster
No, online sellers today are obliged to muster their own audiences. That’s done largely in the world of online search.
Search queries conducted on search engines bring back search results, and that’s how internet searchers find out about products and services, among other answers they’re seeking. But only the websites that achieve high page rank really get found by consumers.
So it is the task of online marketers to rank well, and that is done by being a good, reliable dispenser of information. Not just information about one’s own products or services, but information about product categories in general, about the proper uses of products, about how to solve problems that shoppers might have, and other such more-generalized subject matter.
How does page rank happen, exactly?
Search engines constantly analyze websites and it is from their analysis that page rank emerges. The websites that consistently get high marks from search engines for quantity of information, freshness of information, relevance of information, and satisfaction—these websites’ information is what appears on the first page of search results. And these websites, then, are the ones that get the traffic.
Be in the Content Creation Business (Too)
So competing today for customers is more than a matter of getting one’s product offerings posted on one’s website. It is a matter of being “in the hunt” to answer searcher’s queries, and to do that, one must be a “publisher” of sorts, just as the old-time newspaper was a publisher of information, or just as the radio program was a source of entertainment and information that attracted listeners.
It’s not enough to be the authority in your business niche, but you have to visibly be the authority in your niche.
It might help to starting thinking of your website as a source of information—with constantly refreshed information that puts you on the map with the all-important search engines. There are digital agencies that can help you in this quest. Some have teams of writers who generate relevant content for clients of all kinds. But whether you hire a third party or produce the content yourself, you’ll always have a high-functioning website if you put yourself in the content creation business.