It’s not a tale as old as time, as the popular Disney’s teapot would have you sing along, but it is one of the longer running debates in the digital circles. It was also the topic of a pretty sweet lecture that spouses Jennifer (Real Posh Mom) and Jeffrey (Real Geek Dad) Buxton held at Spark.me conference.
Jennifer is actively involved in the community of mom-bloggers who write about food, fashion, lifestyle and travel and her family now lives in Montenegro and runs a web page dedicated to travel, Meanderbug.com.
Her husband Jeffrey is an engineer, so it’s a pretty safe guess on who’s on the SEO and who’s on the content side of the debate. But the truth is, as this couple noted in their lecture, that you need both.
Facts tell but stories sell
Content is any material you post to attract users and keep them, and it should comprise three characteristics: it should hold value for the user, be consistent and relevant.
To illustrate this, Jennifer used the example of Coca-Cola – it does not sell the drink, but happiness. That was the main idea behind putting the names of users on cans and bottles. You need emotions and a story to sell, she stressed.
What is the story behind what you do as a brand should be at the center of all the content you create. Go to the Internet and listen to what people say about you and join in on the conversation so you learn what the said value is for your customers.
So where does SEO fit into all of this?
Jeff shared his experience of flying a plane to illustrate his point. His pilot friend had at one point left him in charge, and Jeff was constantly looking at the instruments and the pilot stopped him, saying:
You can not fly by instruments. You have to keep an eye on hrem, but fly toward the horizon. When SEO is the same thing, it is just an instrument. Use it, but don’t rely solely on it.
SEO helps to remove barriers, so it’s easier for people to find your story, but it’s not enough. Here are some of the tips you can use to make your story searchable:
- Use keywords and define your focus.
- Know your target audience. Customize the content for it.
- What is your specialty, your advantage? Think about that.
- “Visit your Google Zoo (Panda, a hummingbird, a penguin …), but do not build a nest there.”
- Own your own domain! It will give you legitimacy and stability.
- Social networks – be there, be friends with your audience, be honest.
- Solve the basics. Make sure you don’t have faulty links. Use keywords on hyperlinks. Use keywords in each post. Check how long it takes the page to load. Use webmaster tools.
Tell your story, the Buxtons advise – optimized so that you can find interested.