Twenty-twelve. Two thousand and twelve. 2012.
Seeing something dated ‘2012’ makes it look ancient – especially when it comes to discussing technology. Yet, Michael DuDell’s words in his 2012 Huffington Post article on Content Marketing resonate louder today than they did in ye olden days: “In the digital age, every business is in the publishing industry.”That’s the power of great content. Done right, what you create today will be referenced – with reverence – years later.
It turns out being in the publishing industry is a serious challenge for most businesses. Creating content is difficult. Understanding why and how you’re creating it and how to leverage it, is even more difficult.
When you develop a content marketing plan and start producing quality content, the next obstacle becomes: making sure people can navigate it. The strength of the aforementioned Huffington Post article (aside from how enduring it is) is how easily it was found on Google.
A content marketing plan can change your business for the better.
According to DuDell, “Building a platform of compelling and authentic content can have a slew of positive effects on your business. It can help build brand loyalty, develop thought leadership (the real kind), increase sales, create a better culture, gain valuable permission assets, and the list goes on and on.”
For your content to deliver those benefits, its audience has to be able to pull it up on command and those searching at random need to see it early in the page results. Optimizing your content so that it can be found on search engines needs to be an integral part of your content strategy. Don’t neglect mobile, either. If your content is broken or unsearchable on your site’s mobile version, Google won’t like it and that’s a problem.
Be sure that your native search functionality works intuitively and gives desired results without much tinkering. When looking for a particular piece of content on a site, few things are more exasperating than a search yielding nonsensical results (like outdated content first, irrelevant results, etc). Test out your search functionality and ensures that it gives the expected (and most recent) results.
Remember, your content isn’t effective if no one sees it. Create great content and create a navigation experience to match.