Search engines regularly update their algorithms to answer search queries. Most of the time this helps legitimate businesses. Sometimes it doesn’t. There is a growing movement of marketers that believe Google is trying to make sure businesses need more content and more marketing to compete – more than they can afford – so that they give up and pay for Google ads instead.
It’s not something we believe at Great Leap Studios. In general, every change that search engines have made has helped our clients, since it tends to reward quality writing over cheap SEO tactics. But it does bring up an interesting question – if search engines stopped delivering webpages, and only provided ads, what would you need content writing for?
Uses of Content Writing and Content Marketing
If search engines forced people to pay for ads, the goal of content writing would change completely. Content writing would still be important – crucial, even – but the type of content that people write could change dramatically:
- Landing Pages
The main difference would be landing pages, which are pages of your website that people “land” on when they click on an ad. Landing pages are an important part of advertising. Most people use their home page, but home pages rarely convert very well. Instead, you would want a specific page on your website targeted to the keyword, answering their query and moving them down the sales funnel.
Landing pages are an extremely important part of online advertising that have simply been underused since most people prefer (rightfully) to create content rather than create ads. But in a post content marketing world, landing pages for specific keywords would improve conversions and revenue.
- Blog Posts and Social Media
You’re still always going to want to have blog posts. It’s in your best interests to have new, updating useful information for those that visit your site. Giving this information for free shows you’re an expert and gives people the impression you care. It’s extremely important for conversions.
But you’ll also want this content for your social media campaigns as well. In a post-SEO world, where search engines don’t matter, you’ll still want content that can attract social media shares and interest. Blog content gets people on your website and keeps people engaged in your social media campaigns, both of which are important for sales.
Right now, there is little reason to go over 400 to 500 words on most of your pages. It’s better to invest in three 500 word pages than one 1500 word page in many cases (though not all – it depends on the content), because getting three pages in Google is better than one.
But in a post-SEO, post content marketing world, true value is how you’ll get ahead. So one 1500 word post that provides incredible value to the reader may be more likely to generate you business than 3 smaller articles that anyone can complete, because the 1500 word post may showcase more expertise.
Everything is still going to be a case by case basis, but there is no denying that the length of your content may change dramatically.
Business Survival Without SEO and Content Marketing
If search engines truly stop delivering results from other websites, they’re eventually going to fail. Search engine “fairness” is an important part of what makes these services valuable, and if they ever truly kill SEO and make competing in search engine results impossible, then the revolt will be incredible and most people would stop using them.
But even in the event that search engines like Google do essentially make SEO and content marketing obsolete, content writing will still play a very important role in the success of your websites. It will simply change what’s written and how it’s written, as well as what you’re going to need on your site to compete.