You Ask, I Answer: SEO And Content Marketing?

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You Ask, I Answer: SEO And Content Marketing?

Ann asks, “Given all the “instant” answers Google delivers in search results, does SEO still matter for content marketing?”

You Ask, I Answer: SEO And Content Marketing?

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Christopher Penn 0:13

In today’s episode and asks, given all the instant answers Google delivers in search results, does SEO still matter for content marketing? Yes.

SEO still matters.

what Google is doing is identifying easy answers and providing the answer to the person without having to force them to go to another website.

Right? That is a good user experience.

So the question is, is all of your content, a bunch of easy answers? If it is, then you’re going to feel substantial increased pressure from Google and other search engines, as he tried to improve the user experience and send you less and less traffic? If on the other hand, you are providing answers that require complexity and nuance, then Google will may show a snippet of your content, but then they will send people to that content so that they can consume it and get the rest of the answer.


There’s a big difference between when is the Boston martial arts center open, right, that’s something that can be displayed super easily.

Compare that with a question like, What are the differences in the Togakure Ryu lineage versus the Code42? Lineage? That’s a long answer.

Right? That’s got that’s like a doctoral dissertation answer.

And so Google is not going to summarize that.

Google is not going to come up with an answer to answer that, because there’s a lot of things in life that are not instant answers.

So the real question for you and your content marketing strategy is, are you creating content? That’s all bunch of easy answers that Google will interpret and that, frankly, don’t necessarily add a ton of value.

Right? If a user goes to your website, do they get more value out of the answers you have there? versus Google? If the answer is Google, then you need to update up your content marketing strategy.

Now for some things, you want Google giving people an easy answer, like when is my store open? How do I get driving directions to my store? And those are things that you definitely want Google handling, and driving audiences to you.

But there are other things we’re like, yeah, you know, Google, let’s, let’s create some content.

That is about stuff.

It’s not easy to summarize.

And creating content in multiple formats, tons of different formats video on YouTube, right, which is the second largest search engine in the world of audio in podcasts.

And by the way, Google has a Google podcasts platform.

Text interactives, virtual reality, you name it, there’s so many different types of content.

SEO is evolving.

It’s no longer just how do I get my page to show up and Google? It is more appropriately? How do I get Google to display my brand? And emphasize the value my brand provides? Right? Because Google is providing instant answers on a topic.

There’s still attribution on it.

And if it’s about you specifically, then you want to know that right? For example, if someone’s searching for driving directions to the Boston Martial Arts Center, and they never come to the Boston Martial Arts Center website.

That’s still information I would like to have if I was running the Boston martial arts website, I would want to know how many people are asking for driving directions.

And is that a leading indicator that indicates we have brand presence, we have brand strength.

I don’t need people to come to the website, I need people to come to the martial arts school and try a free class.

Right? The website is a repository for information, but it’s not the only one out there.

What we want to do is we want to make sure the best correct information is getting to our audiences.

That ideally leads them to us, which means your SEO strategy is about being found.


But more importantly, you need to have two things working for you.

In parallel, one, you need a brand, a strong one as strong as you can make it.

If people remember who you are, they can Google for you.

If people have no idea who you are, they’re not going to Google for you.

And the second thing you need to do his community, you need a, an audience of people that you engage with, that you have conversations with, that you interact with.

So that

Christopher Penn 5:12

when there are things like algorithm changes in search engines, you’re not as affected.

Because you have this community, you have this base of people who are making word of mouth referrals, who are telling other people about you who are posting reviews, who are sharing, having conversations on social media and recommending you.

And when the CEO says, Draw me up a shortlist of vendors that do X, you can say, Here’s my number one recommendation.

That’s how you use community community is a reinforcing mechanism for search.

Right community is a reinforcing mechanism for brand because if your brand is strong, then your community can help reinforce it and make it even stronger.

Right, that brand, that community builds that brand.

So does SEO still matter? Yes, it is.

In the middle layer, there is brand.

There’s SEO, and then there’s community and you need all three.

You can’t have just one of them.

We shouldn’t have just one that you really want to have all three.

Good question, important question.

If you’re not focusing on brand and community, you are increasingly at the whim of artificial intelligence algorithms that you have no control over and may not understand.

That’s a very risky place to be a very risky place to be build that brand.

Build your audience, build your community, so that you have those as insurance policies, and then SEO can come and go as it’s needed.

Good question.

Thanks for asking.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


2 responses to “You Ask, I Answer: SEO And Content Marketing?”

  1. […] want an insurance policy against Google, and that policy contains two things: brand and community. Build both, and SEO will work for you, but more importantly, your marketing will work without SEO. – […]

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