“A Shakespeare quote is not yet a play” – opportunities and developments in content marketing
Content marketing is currently on everyone’s mind. But what exactly does it mean and how does good content help in terms of search engine optimization (SEO)? 1&1 SEO expert Torben Henke discusses what makes a difference with good content and why a Shakespeare quote is not yet a play.
Torben, you work in the field of search engine optimization. Why is SEO also important for you internally at 1&1?
Torben Henke: “Many colleagues have touch points in their work with SEO, consciously or unconsciously. Especially for the hosting area of 1&1, we want to help our customers be successful with their own websites. SEO is a crucial tool for this and therefore plays an important role in product management. The SEO team supports their colleagues with their knowledge and promotes an active exchange.”
Which role does “content marketing” have in this context?
Torben Henke: “Content marketing is currently a trending topic. Therefore, the following question arises: Is there really something to it, or is it just hype? How do we deal with the topic and what do we actually do in content marketing?
The fact is, almost everyone produces content, whether it is product texts for the website, news reports or specialist articles. All these content “snippets” influence search engine optimization. That is why this topic is so exciting for us. Since 2016, we are also active in content marketing. Our ‘Digital Guide’ offers numerous tips and tricks, background information and instructions for private users and small businesses about the topic of ‘being successful online’. This includes, among others, topics such as websites, hosting and IT security, but also domains, e-mail and online marketing. Of course, we also explain how to properly achieve search engine optimization.”
How do you define content marketing?
Torben Henke: “In short, content marketing is the support of customers with meaningful content. For example, gyms help to support their customers’ fitness goals by providing them with content around exercise regiments and healthy eating and lifestyle tips. This is a very good example. But the subject of content is broad: from magazine content to product descriptions, from image videos to blogs – everything we communicate to the outside is content.”
How are content marketing and search engine optimization related?
Torben Henke: “I see it this way: When I stand alone in the forest and recite Shakespeare, it is not yet a play. To be a play, a stage and spectators are needed. In this example, the stage is the technology in which our content is presented optimally, and the spectators are the traffic on our websites. We ‘SEOs’ take care of both: we pay attention to technical solutions that make our content available and, above all, easy to find. Through good visibility, we bring readers to the content so that the fire that has been put into the creation does not burn out. If no one is aware of the content, it does not help anyone.
Also from a sales point of view, good content is becoming increasingly important for SEO. Take a look at Google’s quality approach: If you are a strong brand and offer high quality products, this must also be reflected in the quality of the content. Doing so, you clearly differentiate from spammers and improve your Google ranking.”
Speaking of Google: What developments are currently being discussed in the SEO scene?
Torben Henke: “Google is increasingly focused on good content. Recently these have been highlighted on the search results pages. Matches that respond well to a search request will be displayed significantly larger and higher than the other search hits. You can also see a longer text excerpt and often a picture. Google calls these highlighted results ‘featured snippets’. In the SEO scene, the term ‘place 0’ has also been established because the hit is displayed above the first regular search result.
This development is being highly discussed and is controversial. On the one hand, the opportunity to receive a lot of attention is offered due to the large representation. On the other hand, some questions are answered directly in the text excerpt so that a visit to the website becomes unnecessary.”
What do you have to keep in mind if you want to get started with content marketing?
Torben Henke: “Many people and companies are now well versed in content, yet some experts are already talking about saturation. Only very few, however, make properly good content. Content works when its quality and the technology behind it are both good. To stand out of the crowd, you should make something extraordinary – an original idea or an unconventional implementation. The goal should be “10X content”, which means that the content must be ten times better than anything else on the subject.
In addition, the content must match the seeker’s intention. If the search request is a question, for example “What is webhosting?”, it makes no sense to direct the searcher directly to hard-hitting sales offers. Instead, a neutral and detailed explanation can provide a positive first contact with the brand. At the other extreme, a customer who is looking for “cheap” does not want to read 2,000 words on the history of the internet. In this case, a list of savings makes significantly more sense.
In short: create good content that is to the readers’ liking and spread it!”