People search for random phrases during the holiday season. Here's one such random, and very specific search:
"18 karat gold double sided St Christopher medal with a car on one side"
"2 or 3 strand 14k gold bracelets with a center gemstone"
Google is trying to entice everyone to search using more natural questions rather than "search speak," and every month I'm tracking more than 1000 random search phrases just like those two above.
Getting your website to rank for long search phrases like that has nothing to do with the number of times you use "St Christopher" on a page, or "gold bracelets." Google knows there's more to it and they are doing their best to look at your entire online identity to figure out if you should be shown to the customer looking for the St. Christopher medal or that gold bracelet.
Your online identity includes all the stuff you publish online, including, but not limited to:
1. Whatever you write on your website
2. The videos posted to YouTube
3. The things you share to your fans on Facebook
4. The quippy tweets sent to Twitter
5. The quality posts you share to Google+
6. The PDF eBook you write about the 4C's of Diamonds
7. The reviews and testimonials in Yelp and Google+ reviews
8. The webinar you held to show off your latest styles of jewelry
Everything else you want to throw out there into the internet will help build your online identity. You see the stories in the news, you hear your friends talking about it, and the experts leading the seminars at the trade shows are telling you that you have to get involved with all of this somehow. All this stuff is known as "Content Marketing."
I've seen a transition in how people perceive content marketing from when they first learn about it to when they realize how much work it will take. I've spoken to many retail jewelers who would rather pay someone to manage their content marketing than get involved. This is usually the wrong approach.
Perhaps the most common wrong approach is when you hire an agency to manage your Facebook page so you don't have to do it. Most of the agency work I've seen is really simple posts of ring photos with simple questions, without any specific longterm marketing or content direction.
As this year comes to a close, I want you to start thinking about all the different ways you could publish online content. From now on, you should think about your online content as something that can help you achieve your business goals. If you want to sell more custom made rings then you need to build an entire content strategy plan around that.
Your content plan is closely related to your marketing plan, but they are not the same. "Content" is all that information you publish in great detail. "Marketing" is what you do to attract someone's attention so they are willing to read that detailed content.
You'd be wasting a lot of advertising money if you create a marketing plan without a content plan. On the other hand, if you build a lot of content then you can't expect people will see it or read it unless you tell them about it, i.e. advertising.
Building content takes a lot of time and money. In tomorrow's Daily Golden Nugget, I'll explain some of those costs and how they can be viewed as a long term return on investments.