Content Marketing

with Neil Patel

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The free perks of SEO

Neil Patel

Entrepreneur, Influencer, Investor & Advisor

Lessons Learned

The way to shine as a content marketer: write the best stuff in your space.

Spend money on design. Infographics are fantastic assets.

The ROI of content marketing is long term. It is difficult to measure, but it is worth your time.


Lesson: Content Marketing with Neil Patel

Step #3 SEO: The free perks of SEO

The reason I focus on SEO more than SEM is SEO is a free channel. When I started it off we didn't have a ton of money, so SEO was the only way that I could go and get traffic, because I couldn’t spend to acquire a visitor, I had to learn how to spend my time, create value whether it’s a product, a service, or content or building links or striking partnerships, which all helps with SEO.

That is all I had left as an option. And at that time when I started there wasn't really social media. Myspace wasn't out. Twitter wasn't even out. Facebook didn't exist. So there is two channels if you want to market your business, SEO and SEM. And it was actually a third, and fourth if you include email. The other one was banner ads, and banner ads as we know don't convert too well.

So content marketing has been evolving over the last few years, in which is becoming more and more popular. It can be used by almost any business that is trying to attract customers online. It works extremely well on B2B category, it works somehow well on B2C category. In the B2C category most people that are doing it tend to be ones that are just informational sites. Examples are Upworthy, BuzzFeed, etc.

But with content marketing in general, if you can educate your customers and the education provides some sort of value and helps you build that brand and eventually it will cause some of those people to convert into your customers, it's worth doing. On the flipside, if your customers don't need any education or any advice or help, content marketing won't be too effective.

As the years have gone on there is become more noise because there are way more bloggers, and the way I see it is, if you can write higher quality content than everyone else, 90% of the time, you don’t even have to do it 100% because it is impossible. Some blog posts will be a hit. Some won’t. Some posts titles suck even if you wrote like five-hour blog post, and no one reads it because your title wasn't done right or you actually misspelled something, and people don't click on it, and it is too late to fix it.

The way you actually shine in the content marketing arena it is just write better content than everyone else in your space and it keeps taking more and more time, because everyone steps up their game, so you have to be willing to do the same, plus you have to spend money on design. And that is what most people don't do. From infographics, to custom images for your posts, whatever it may be, design in great content are the key to a good content marketing solution.

So in content marketing there is a thin line between how hard you are pushing your marketing to how clean and pretty things look where it keeps people happy. What most people don't realize is the average reader isn't a sophisticated. The average person who reads a blog in San Francisco is the not the average person who reads it outside the San Francisco, so people in San Francisco are more sensitive to things like pop ups and design. Outside of San Francisco there is very little sensitivity and you can get away with a lot. Does it mean you should be pushing the boundaries? Not necessarily and it's up to you as a business owner.

But the key that I found is, if you forget the pop ups, the design, if your content is better than everyone else’s, you’ll still do pretty well.

So the way I see content marketing and the amount of time you put into it versus the ROI, it is just something you are doing long term. It's hard to measure. Just like a good will from doing good support, you may not see the benefits in reducing your churn or happy customers that keep telling other people how great your company is, but eventually it does add up.

I am the same believer with content marketing and funny enough we don't do measurements on it. In a long run we’ll say, all right, is this a profitable channel? But the first year we just commit to creating the content and trying to help the community, and we are big believers that if you create the best information on a subject and it benefits people, eventually you will build an audience and a following, the one that's loyal enough, that will pay for products and services.

One thing that has a surprised my expectation when it comes to traffic building is infographics, and they have been along for a long time, and most people are like, “Yeah, you can do them and they drive traffic.” But how many people actually do them on a consistent basis? Very few bloggers do. And it works so well that I produce one a week, and it is just streamlined, but it generates so many back links and visitors that my ratings have shot up through the roof. I rank for things like growth hacking to content marketing, to almost any term that I want within the marketing niche do-do the infographics.

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