- An outsourced copywriter cannot produce authentic, in-depth content
- Make the transition to organic growth to unlock the unique value of your business
Organic search results are unpaid – the kind everyone craves – and organic SEO means the practice of gaining rank in the natural search results. But today I am suggesting that there is a deeper meaning to organic SEO that is much closer to organic growth – growth from within the organization that results in more productivity and sales.
Effective SEO and digital marketing takes place when the people within the organization take ownership of marketing.
I have a hunch you’ve heard of company’s who create the culture that every employee is involved in sales, and to do that every employee has to understand their role in the sales process.
Here’s the Big Idea:
Organic SEO and digital marketing is way more effective when the people in the organization understand their role to present an authentic, attractive representation of their business.
“But, how do we do that?”
(warning: history of the Web lesson ahead)
It used to be easy to produce content that resulted in a good ranking in Google. Create lots of content about your topic, it didn’t matter whether people liked it or not as long as G indexed it because the purpose of the content was to get the site to rank high. In 2011 Google rolled out its famous Panda update and changed all of that.
Panda rids the search results of low quality content: duplicate, scraped, copied and thin content (content that doesn’t help people much), and rewards high quality content: researched, in-depth and satisfying content.
Google’s Panda update was a massive, all consuming, never gonna be the same statement that forced most businesses to change the way they produced content for search and SEO.
Since Panda, Google has been focused on quality search results and a positive user experience. Why? In short, because it directly impacts their Google Ads business.
To give you a taste of how serious Google is about this, there have been numerous Panda updates. I used to look at the effects of Panda on client’s traffic from Google on these dates, compiled by Moz:
- February 23, 2011
- April 11, 2011
- May 9, 2011
- June 21, 2011
- July 23, 2011
- August 12, 2011
- September 28, 2011
- October 5, 2011
- November 18, 2011
- January 18, 2012
- February 27, 2012
- March 23, 2012
- April 19, 2012
- April 27, 2012
- June 8, 2012
- June 25, 2012
- July 24, 2012
- August 20, 2012
- September 18, 2012
- September 27, 2012
- November 5, 2012
- November 21, 2012
- December 21, 2012
- January 22, 2013
- March 14, 2013
- June 11, 2013
- July 18, 2013
- May 20, 2014
- September 23, 2014
- July 17, 2015
- September 23, 2016
- September 27, 2016
Whew! That’s a lot of Panda updates.
In addition to Panda, Google began using outsourced evaluators to rate the usefulness of the search results for a given set of queries based on Google’s search quality guidelines.
Evaluators (real people) are looking at web pages and asking questions:
- Does this web page have an expert opinion on this topic?
- Do customers like this business?
- Does the quality of this page ring true and clear?
- Is this a high quality site or average for this topic?
- Is this a Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) site?
In short, this is Google E-A-T for expertise, authoritative and trustworthy content. And that’s Google’s goal, in a nutshell, with every machine learning, AI algorithm tweak for every search result.
99% of the time the real value of a business is an internal expert, process, mission or team. Essentially this is what makes a business unique and attractive to customers – it is the core reason why the business is making money.
Sometimes the content that is created by an outsourced copywriter does little to reveal the true value of the business, and so people who visit the site fail to come away with clear, unique messages that won’t soon be forgotten.
Find a way to bring your most valuable internal people into the digital marketing creative process so that marketers and subsequently prospects completely get what makes the business unique and great!
Sometimes an outsourced copywriter does better by being a copy editor with one-on-one communication with the internal people about the content before it is published.
Or, find a copywriter who has a background in your industry.
Or, bring someone in who has a deep understanding of your business and is a good communicator, perhaps a loyal customer or a business partner and give them the task of critiquing your communication and identifying your uniqueness in the marketplace.
A client making the transition to organic SEO learned that one of his loyal customers who happens to be a great communicator was available. The CEO reached out and asked if he would write up a piece on what makes the business unique. What he got in return was truly outstanding and opened the door to a new positioning statement.
Now the existing content will be upgraded to better reflect the unique value of the business from the perspective of an ideal customer. And it feels like a breath of fresh air has just swept over the organization!
The uniqueness of the business has always been there, but never communicated so clearly as expressed by this loyal customer!
Step 1 in the transition to organic growth: lean less on outsourced copywriters and seek out those individuals within your organization who know your business well and are good at communication.
In part 2 of this series, I’ll be discussing another challenge: organic link building is about building key relationships, not lots of links.