If you only had time to do one thing to improve your company’s online presence in a way that generates more sales, leads, and higher search engine ranking, what would it be? Two words: Content Marketing.
Today, nothing moves your site faster up the Google ranking ladder than Content Marketing. And nothing converts all that new visitor traffic into customers more than content marketing. In this video, Eric Spellmann shows you how to turn your “billboard” website into a customer-generating machine.
Yes, this video is longer than his others, but trust us, if increasing leads, sales, and your Google ranking are important to you, it will be time very well spent.
Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice!
Hey I am Eric Spellmann. And today’s topic is a good one. One of my favorites, one of my best if you ask me. What is Content Marketing? Now, keep in mind this video is gonna be a little longer than my other videos but I promise, I promise, I promise it will be worth it. So stick with me. What we’re gonna be talking about is improving your ranking, increasing traffic, increasing engagement of the people who come to your website (getting them to stay longer and to do more and to click more and to go deeper and to learn more about you), increase leads and of course increase sales.
Now, you must be saying Eric my time is valuable. If I’m gonna watch this entire video show me proof, show me proof that this works. Well that’s very easy to do. All you have to do is to go to Google! All you have to do is pull up Google and do some searches and you’ll see that my company benefits from this very technique!
A good example. And I’ve told you this one before. Go to Google and type in “how to rank well on Google” and you’ll see that I come at the top! Same goes for “how to get my business online”. You may not have seen that one before but I get tonnes of leads from that. And you’ll be surprised how many people type that in! “how to generate leads with my website”
This is another huge one and we are at the top! And it’s because of the techniques I’m about to show you. “how to close the sale using my website”, “how to sell advertising on my website”, ”a retailer’s guide to online marketing”.
I mean I could go on and on and on and on. So yeah go and pause this video. Pull up Google, do those searches and you’ll see I’m not just blowing smoke. This actually works! And it can work for you too! But, you have to understand how it works first, in order to do it correctly.
So, step number 1 is you’ve got to understand how searchers behave. In other words, people on the internet who are searching for things, what are they doing? Why are they there? Well, once again and you’ve heard me say this a million times.
Everyone on the internet has ADD and they’re lazy. That’s right. You are too! In other words, when you go on the internet you’re in a hurry. “I don’t have time, I got to get this done”. But, what happens is you’ll start searching for something else. And then 2 hours later you’ll go “What was I searching for?” Everyone on the internet has ADD and they’re lazy. Now, to another degree the way to look at that is that when they click on a website, let’s say Google gives them your website and they’re looking at it. They’re not gonna read everything, they will scan it from top-left to bottom-right and if they don’t see anything that jumps out and says You’re in the right place, they will hit the back button and go to the next guy. Probably your competitor!
So, understand the mentality of those people looking at your website, of those people searching for what you do. They want answers and solutions. You see a lot of times people say it is about keywords, people are typing in keywords etc. Not anymore! You see they want answers and solutions, not a listing of products and services. A lot of people don’t even know what product they need, they don’t even know what service they need! All they know is they have a problem. So, let’s take this a step further.
In Google what we’ve discovered over time when we’ve watched what people have typed in Google. And Google also says the same. You can look it up. Google says that more and more people are treating Google like it’s a human! You know asking it full on questions, not just typing in keywords! They ask it questions like “how do i do this?” “what do i” etc etc. People are looking for answers, not ways to spend more money. In some cases it would be people who are looking for a company who does something.
But the vast majority of the people who go to Google are looking for answers. They think they can do it themselves. And so a lot of times they want free help. And you’ve got to take advantage of that fact, you’ve got to remember that!
I mean think about it. Heck that’s why you’re watching this video now, for that very very reason. So, understand you’ve got to define your content. Now, when I say content it means text. You’ve got to ask yourself this question. “What problem is my company the solution to?” “What question am I the answer to?” Now I know that sounds all deep. No no no no nothing of that sort.
What I’m saying here is you’ve got to ask yourself what problem am I the solution to? What problem is my product the solution to? What problem is my service the solution to? Think about the problem. Quit focusing on your product, quit focusing on your service and think more about the problem that caused people to need you in the first place! What question people are asking, are you the answer to? Start with “how do i?” The majority of people going to Google are typing that in “how do i”. They’re typing in “who fixes”. You follow me.
Remember I said it’s all about questions now, it’s not about keywords. Well keep in mind people are usually starting these out with those questions. Heck you may have even started that out when you landed on this video or how you found this video!
So, understand how Google works. Google wants to show the most relevant results first. Understand that. If Google doesn’t do that, bing wins. If Google doesn’t do that, YAHOO! wins. Google wants all your searches. And in fact they’ve pretty much got it. I mean they say 96% of all searches are on Google! And the remaining 4% are kind of split between bing, YAHOO! and AOL.
So, Google has it and they want to keep it. But to do that Google has got to make sure that someone does a search like “how do i” or “how do i fix” etc, that they give the most relevant result first. Google wants to give answers, not results. Remember that. Google can only judge your website, Google can only judge a webpage by the content on it. And like I said this before.
Google doesn’t look at your pictures, Google doesn’t look at how pretty your website is. All Google can do to say if your website is worthy of being shown in the results is the text you have on the website. The actual text! That’s it. And too many people focus more on making sure their website is pretty, but not functional. Now, am I saying you got to have an ugly website just full of text? NO NO NO!
Because people will not engage with that. People will not connect with that. So your website has to be national quality BUT it’s got to have enough content on it for Google to consider you more relevant than anyone else out there.
So, here are my requirements. And if you’ve been watching my videos very long, you know I’m fairly egotistical and fairly over-confident. And to that end, I have an attitude. And so I made an anagram to help you remember the content requirements. And of course it’s tied to me.
So your content needs to meet 4 requirements. It’s got to be exclusive, it’s got to be readable, it’s got to be interesting and it’s got to be cumulative. And yes I know it spells Eric! And yes I did that on purpose. But that’s the point. Your content, if you’ll do those 4 things which I’m about to explain in great detail. If you’ll do those 4 things, you will rank well on Google. Your content marketing efforts will WORK! So, let’s start.
Exclusive! In other words your content must be exclusive. What do I mean by that? In other words, it must be unique, it can’t exist anywhere else on Planet Earth. In other words if you copied some text from somewhere else even with permission and put it on your website, you get NO ranking benefit from Google! Your content must be unique. It must be written from scratch.
You must be wondering if you can change one word here and one there. NO! Google looks at it like the software that they check college reports with. You know when a student writes a Thesis, and the college runs it through a system to see if they’ve copied it from the internet.
Well Google does the same thing. And from what we can tell, they almost use the same criteria which basically is this. Google looks at the number of 4 word phrases that match between your paragraph and another one out there. And if there are too many matches of 4 word phrases, Google flags you as duplicate content and guess what happens to your ranking? That’s right!
Your content must be unique. You must write it from scratch. And if you’re going to use someone else’s research, you still got to write it from scratch whatever goes on your website. Now some of you must be wondering what happens if someone else copies your content? It was your original content but someone copied from your website and put it on theirs.
Will that hurt you? YES! Because Google will say you’re not the only one who has that now. Now, based on our research, Google will kind of give you “first” benefit, as you were the author of it. But, between you and me, you’re gonna hate this. If you find out if somebody has copied your content, you need to go rewrite your content so that it’s unique gain. You’re gonna say “But that wasn’t my fault. They copied me. Can I sue them?” Yeah you can but good luck. I think in this case it’s just easier if you rewrite it.
Trust me we’ve seen that. You know my company writes content for a lot of customers. And every once in a while we will see a situation where someone copies what we wrote for them. And yeah we have to rewrite it, that’s just part of the business.
If you want to know whether your website has a lot of copied content on it, as maybe you don’t know somebody else built your website for you. My favorite site to do that is copyscape.com. And you can go there and put in pages and it will tell you if it found any other pages similar to that using that 4 word phrase duplication formula I gave you earlier. So, check it out.
So, what did I just say? Your content must be exclusive. It must be unique. All the content on your website must not exist anywhere else on Planet Earth.
Number 2, not only must it be exclusive, it must be readable! Now you’ve seen me do videos on this before. It’s got to be at the 5th grade level! It’s got to be at the 5th grade level! Your content, your text must be written so that a 5th grader can understand it, or a 6th grader, I’ll give you that. But 5th grade for sure. You must be saying Why Eric why? Because that’s what we consider conversational. In other words, the way I’m speaking to you now is 5th grade level.
I’m not speaking so that you have to think about every word I’m saying. I’m speaking so that you have instant comprehension on what I’m saying. I’m speaking to communicate, I’m speaking for you to understand instantly what I’m saying. I’m not using huge words. You know when we write, we tend to write to impress. The problem is it raises the grade level of your content and eventually Google thinks of it to be too high “falooten”.
One of my favorite places to go find out if your content needs to meet grade level is called hemingwayapp.com. It’s a website where you can take a paragraph or two from your content and paste it into this website, and it will tell you what the reading level is. It is great and I use it all the time. It is wonderful.
One of the ways that I learned about this was my transcripts. When I make a video, like this one, I post a video on a page and then I have someone who watches the video and then types it out word-for-word, I mean every word! And then I post that transcript below. Now keep in mind Google cannot watch these videos. But what Google can do is read my transcripts. That’s why I love transcripts. So if you want to do video, and I highly recommend you do, make sure that someone is gonna transcribe it for you, write it out word-for-word. And you’ll get some ranking benefit from it.
Okay. So it’s got to be exclusive, it’s got to be readable and it’s got to be interesting. Now you’re saying Eric you just came up with that because you needed an “i” in the anagram. No! This is key. Lot of people think that when you talk about content marketing, you’re writing only for Google. But what I’m saying is user engagement trumps ranking.
In other words, you’ve got to assume that a user is going to read it. And if that’s the case it’s got to be readable. There’s a lot of companies out there who will generate content, and it might be random garbage. And if an actual human tried to read it, he might go Oh my Gosh! You know people say Eric I’ve got 800 words over here, how many times must this keyword be listed and this keyword be listed? I say Oh my Gosh. No! Never ever write thinking of keyword density. Okay. Just write. Write for humans, not for Google.
The way I’m speaking to you now, I’m not speaking for Google. Yes I could say the words “content marketing” a number of times to make sure it’s in the transcript, but I’m speaking to you because I want you to understand it. You’ve got to realize that Google, if it sees you using words in an unnatural way or too many times it’s gonna go “That guy is trying to game me!” And so you will get spanked! So don’t do that.
When you write, write for a human. It’s got to be interesting, it’s got to be helpful. It’s got to have meat in it. You can’t just type teasers and say contact me if you want the real answer! When you watch my videos on my site, you know I give you the real answer. I tell you exactly how to do it. I tell people all the time either you can watch all my videos and do it yourself or pay me to do it.
There’s no secrets. I share with you exactly how to do it. So if you’re gonna make a video, if you’re gonna write an article, have meat in it. It can’t just be sales. It can’t just be a bunch of teasers. And definitely it can’t be bait and switch.
Believe it or not a lot of people will read the transcript, I’m surprised. A lot of people tell me they can’t watch the video because they’re in an office environment so they read the transcript.
So, it’s got to be engaging, it’s got to be interesting. You’ve got to offer meat to what I call the content carnivores. People go on the internet to find answers, give it to them. Don’t just tease them along. And say that if you want the answer, you’ve got to pay me. No. People want answers, give it to them.
And your content must be cumulative. So what have we got so far? It’s got to be exclusive, readable, interesting and it’s got to be cumulative, which means you got to keep doing it. It’s not a matter of writing a whole bunch of articles for your website, and then next year do it again NO NO NO NO NO NO!
Google actually looks at how often you update your website. Google looks at how often you add pages to your website. And Google is way more likely to share a website in the search results higher up in the ranking that is constantly updating itself.
What you don’t want is what we call a billboard site, one that was built by a designer 1 or 2 years ago and hasn’t been touched since. It’s a pamphlet site. Google will push those down and give push up the rankings those websites that are being updated all the time, add content all the time and are growing all the time! Yeah.
You’re saying how much should I do? How much should I do? Well in our examples and in our research, we’ve discovered that we see prime benefit from a ranking a standpoint and from a user engagement standpoint at about 2 articles a week. And those are about 800 word articles.
You know Google needs them to be a certain amount of length for it to even consider them relevant content. You can’t just write a tiny little product description of 2-3 sentences and think Google will give you any kind of value for that. It has got to be something a little meaty, and that’s why I used the carnivore thing earlier.
So what are the added benefits? I mean other than ranking, there’s a lot. Your site ends up becoming what we call a Knowledge Base, so that Google is constantly using your website as an answer to peoples’ questions. That’s how mine works. Even though my company is about Online Marketing and Content Marketing and helping people in that, Google is constantly sending me traffic from its search engine of people looking for answers to questions, solutions to problems. Your website needs to be the same.
You know people start to see you as an expert, and not as a salesman. And that’s key. People would rather buy something from an expert than a salesman! People say all the time Eric why do you give people the answers? Why do you share everything? Aren’t your competitors watching those videos? Aren’t your competitors reading those articles? Yes I know they are. And that’s fine. The key is that people have got to see that you know what you’re talking about. And once they see that you do, they’re more likely to do business with you. If you help them make a better decision, they’re more likely to do business with you.
Remember content is durable. I gave you the example that we show up well for “how to rank well on Google”. Heck you can just type in “rank well on Google” or even “rank well” and we still show up! We’ve shown up well for that for 2 years. And that was based on a video I did over 2 years ago. Once you create content, it continues to work for you, it doesn’t expire.
And so the more videos I do, the more content I create, I’m basically generating more traffic to my website, and it grows. Yes my website is getting pretty large, lots of different pages. But I’m getting lots of leads, I’m getting lots of phone calls. I’m getting lots of business!
Do it! Don’t just watch this video, do it! Yeah that’s a big thing people go online and watch a video and say Oh that’s cool but they do nothing. So do it. What I want you to do is write 2 800 word articles a week for your website. And then post them on separate pages, and give them good titles. And overtime, and it will take a little bit of time, maybe 3 to 6 months.
We’ve had customers see results within 2 weeks! But I’m saying depending on how competitive and how much content your competitors already have, it might take Google some time to start to see you as the most relevant on Planet Earth like it did us.
So, I recommend you write 2 800 word articles a week, or pay someone to do it. If you know someone in town who can write, but keep in mind they’ve got to follow my rules. It’s got to exclusive, readable (5th grade level), interesting (actually something I would read) and cumulative (you’ve got to keep doing it).
You’ve got to keep doing it. And it can’t just be a description of your products and services. It’s actually got to be something that helps people and answers their questions. Remember at the very beginning I said you’ve got to ask yourself what question am I the answer to, what problem am I the solution to. You can’t write content until you know the answer to those questions.
It works! It works! It works every single time! This is not one of those things where these tricks work for me and not for you. NO! Every single one of our customers who follows our rules or hires us to do it, has climbed in the rankings and has seen more traffic to their website and has seen more user engagement and has seen more people calling them. It works that easy.
It’s not that sounds too good to be true. NO! It’s just how Google works. Google wants to serve up the most relevant results when people search for them. All I’m saying is give it to them. I’m not talking about cheating Google, tricking Google like a lot of the other guys do. All I’m saying is give people what they want, give people what they want! They want answers to their questions about your product and your service.
So, I know this video has gone a little bit. But once again a reminder, this works! Want proof? Here they are. Do a search on any of those. And you’ll see that we come at the top. 1 or 2 or 3 somewhere up there. Usually 1. Usually 1st place organic. Okay don’t confuse us with the paid ads. And does Eric get any calls because of those searches? You bet! Because people are typing in those searches everyday. We get a tonne of our business that way.
I could had done Pay-Per-Click ads but then you’re paying for every click whether you get business or not. Since Google is showing up organic, I get 60% of the clicks on that page. And it costs me nothing! Okay. And that’s what I’m saying. Anyone from a mom and pop shop to a large corporation can do this. You just have to choose to do this. Either do it or hire someone to do it. But DO IT!
Well if you have any questions on this, because content marketing can be fairly complicated. Give us a call. There’s our number down there, or shoot me an email, or just let me know in someway, we’re more than happy to help. I’m Eric Spellmann; I’ll see you in cyberspace.