For years the search economy built by Google (and others) allowed many people to make decent money by simply executing on certain SEO tactics more efficiently than their competition — even if they didn’t necessarily know the business they were writing about.
This led to poor quality web sites that ranked highly for valuable search terms, with the need to deliver quality products or services coming in a distant second.
Now that Google is making great progress in their effort to marginalize questionable SEO tactics, this approach to producing online content is finally going extinct.
The next 2 years will see an even more dramatic shakeout, and all forms of marketing on the Internet will be affected. What’s the best way to survive this continuing transformation?
Here are twenty-one reasons why this is a critical pursuit:
- Search engines are making a clear shift in favor of quality — The changes are (and will continue to be) big, but they’re going in a consistent direction — that of better quality content. Search engines will continue to improve the quality game, and only high quality content will win.
- No one cares what you think if you aren’t an expert — I know that sounds harsh, but I’m not talking about your friends or social conversations here.
- You will understand your business better — Knowing the subject matter of your business cold is the first step in creating a business that runs efficiently. Of course, other skills are needed, but it starts here.
- Creating great content is much easier (you will actually know something!) — The key to great content is sharing information or perspectives that are new to the reader. If you know far more than the reader, this becomes relatively easy.
Experts generate more ideas
- Building a lean content marketing team is easier — An expert perspective on the subject matter will help you understand what help you need.
- Determining the scope of your content marketing opportunity is easier too, because you know the market so well.
- You can predict upcoming changes to your market better — With expertise comes more knowledge of the major players in your industry, and the things they’re likely to do. No, you can’t predict everything, but expertise can help you get ready for change.
- Communities will form around you — This one’s simple. Genuine experts attract attention.
People want to meet experts
- People trust experts — People are more likely to believe your opinion when you know more.
- People will want to work for you — Being known as an expert tends to attract the smart, motivated employees who can make a tremendous difference in your business.
- People will want to buy from you — A deep understanding of your topic makes you more trustworthy, and that makes you the more inviting choice when it comes time to purchase a product or service. This is particularly true if you combine being an expert with a strong sense of ethics.
- The media will want to interview you — Both traditional and new media depend on experts to flesh out stories. Being a visible expert on your topic makes you an attractive person for the media to interview.
- Other media will want you to write for them — Looking for guest posting opportunities on major sites? This is so much easier when you’re recognized for being exceptionally well-informed in your topic.
- Other experts will want to meet you — Experts are drawn to other experts. And that can open out to an introduction to their audience.
- Other experts will want to collaborate with you — No expert is looking for a collaboration with a publisher of thin, weakly researched content.
- Growing a social media following is easier — This eventually happens, even if you don’t work at it. People will figure out where your social profiles are and want to connect with you. Of course, this goes much faster if you do work at it.
- Your posts will get more comments — People will want to share their thoughts with you and develop a connection with you.
Influence drives your sharing rate
- Your articles will draw more links — No matter what anyone may tell you, incoming links are still the key driver in SEO rankings. Attracting high-quality natural links more easily is pure gold.
- The distribution of your content on social networks will grow exponentially. More tweets, plus ones, and likes will spread your message further every day.
- Your conference presentations will draw more people — Doing presentations is one of the most underestimated parts of a content marketing strategy.
- Experts make more money — For a business owner, this is the bottom line. People will pay more for your products or services if you are a recognized authority in your topic.
Go expert or go home …
Know your subject cold. Learn how to teach it better than anyone else. Learn how to help others better than anyone else. You can also be the “behind the scenes” business partner to a powerful authority in your topic.
Stop wasting time trying to pretend you know what you’re talking about. Develop the real expertise that creates trust, that benefits your audience, and that builds a profitable business.
What’s your favorite benefit of gaining real expertise in your topic? Let us know in the comments below …
About the Author: Eric Enge is President of Stone Temple Consulting, a digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) firm. He is also a speaker at industry conferences about SEO and Social Media. Get more from Eric on his blog, Twitter, or Google+.