Despite large scale algorithm changes by Google over the past two years one tactic has remained steady to winning on search engines and that is smothering a topic with rich content. Content marketing is an ideal strategy for marketing teams who have low budgets and a large bandwidth of patience and time to diligently exhaust a topic on their website. This post will reflect on the success of two small travel sites and how they are leveraging content marketing as a solution to higher website traffic. The lessons learned through these sites might surprise those of us who believe social media and links are the make or break factors for rising in Google.
The hotel industry is filled big names and large well know booking sites we see on TV. Each of the booking sites in fundamentally similar. They regurgitate content from a large database and try to be all things to all people. Beating these brands and creating a website to outrank these large brands on Google is no small task. But, two websites HotelsNearDCMetro.com which focuses on hotels near Washington DC’s metro system and the new up and coming HotelsNearBart.com which focuses on San Francisco’s BART system demonstrate the framework to succeeding on Google is a focus on content over all other strategies. This framework is repeatable in any niche on the web.
Key Lessons Learned on Content Marketing
- Each site carters to Google’s algorithm by setting a limitation on the topics the website will cover. No page or blog post drifts outside of the main topic. This allows Google to scan the site and clearly understand the intent without distractions from other topics.
- Both of the websites are only supported by a handful of links and have no social presence on any social platform. This shows engaging on Facebook and Twitter are not necessary to win on Google. Furthermore it demonstrates Google’s algorithm will rank websites higher who cater to a highly defined niche even despite their competitors having thousands of more links and brand mentions across the web.
- The user experience is clearly focused on helping someone solve a specific problem. This gives the website a clear purpose, and helps define limitations for the marketing team to work with. It also encourages search engine friendly markup and infrastructure and discourages other team members to set their own agenda with the website content. It forces the team to work together toward a central goal.
- The site’s blog mulls over even the most mundane details in order to fully support all aspects of the core topic. While it might seem simple to write up a post about the best hotels near the Metro or Bart stations there is so much more depth to the problem. Fully encompassing the depth of all potential sub topics across many pages is clearly a method preferred by Google.
Marketing teams frustrated by larger competitors should take note and focus their efforts on defining why they want to be the default best resource for XYZ on the web. Doing so will deliver improved behavior within a team, a better experience for your website visitors, and allow your website to move past big competitors one niche at a time.