6 Content Marketing Myths
In today’s age of digital marketing, content is king. However, as you probably know, not just any content can rule the search engine results pages (SERPs)—content marketing involves a very specific way of writing that takes the “rules” of SEO into consideration while still prioritizing the reader. Unfortunately, these “rules” aren’t always very clear, which can lead to some common misconceptions. Here are some of the biggest content marketing myths:
Myth #1: Duplicate Content Is Okay
Officially, Google has stated that certain instances of duplicate content might not be grounds for negative action—however, since these instances are determined based on what Google decides the intent of the content is, it’s generally best to err on the side of caution and avoid dupe altogether.
In a nutshell, duplicate content is written content that has been reused verbatim (or in a manner extremely similar to the original) across multiple pages and/or sites. So what’s the big deal? This type of behavior is often utilized as a way to manipulate search engine results and/or deceive readers, so when websites are found guilty of it, Google tends to hide them from results.
But what if you want to include information about a product you offer at your practice, so you simply “borrow” some content from the product’s official website and publish it on yours? Seems harmless; but unfortunately, Google might not see it that way. Consider this: if your website features original, quality content that helps you rise to the top of the SERPs, another site may decide to steal your content in an effort to boost their own position. Not cool, right? Google often agrees, which is why you shouldn’t “borrow” content, either—even if it’s your own. Whenever duplicate content of this nature is discovered, pages can potentially be hidden from search results, so it is crucial to remedy this as soon as possible.
Myth #2: Social Media Isn’t Important If You Have a Website
Some doctors and dentists may feel that social media serves the same purpose as a website, and therefore believe you either need one or the other. However, a successful social media presence can provide an exceptional complement to (or even megaphone for) your content marketing efforts. On that note, having a strong presence on social media also does not negate the significance of an informational website.
The importance of a strong social media strategy cannot be understated—there are plenty of reasons why your practice needs social media marketing. Even if you have a detailed, educational website that is constantly updated with fresh, up-to-date information, getting the word out to your current and potential patients is crucial. Media buying is a great way to accomplish this, and including social media as part of that plan is incredibly important. Balancing promoted posts with non-promoted posts can also help you build a following and engage with your audience more successfully—ultimately expanding your net of exposure and potentially attracting a greater number of patients to your practice.
Myth #3: Good Content Doesn’t Need to Be Updated
A robust, informative website is never truly complete. Revising and expanding your existing website content (as well as adding new pages) with beneficial, sought-after information is not only helpful for the reader—it can also improve your SERP position.
Although it may seem like a well-written website doesn’t need to be changed, there are several benefits to regularly updating your content. SEO best practices are constantly changing, so making tweaks to your content accordingly is one way to stay ahead of the curve. Furthermore, when educational content is consistently added to your site, it becomes more of a resource within your industry and is more likely to attract visitors, as a result. Fresh content also triggers Google and other search engines to re-crawl the page, which can potentially improve your SERP position. In fact, a 2020 Google algorithm update reinforces the importance of fresh, quality content. Remember, though—always write for the reader when updating pages.
Myth #4: Quantity Is More Important Than Quality
While it is smart to consistently update your site with content, the amount of new content being added is less important than the type of content you choose to incorporate.
Adding valuable, original content to your website is something you should be doing regularly, as noted above. However, adding useless content to a page (or adding unnecessary pages) just for the sake of incorporating new content isn’t going to win you any points in the SERPs. The best way to stay on top of this is to establish a carefully crafted editorial calendar that ensures you are strategically selecting content to update with relevant information, and that you are staying on top of a regular schedule.
Myth #5: Visual Content Does Not Matter
A common misconception about content marketing is that it’s all about the written content and that website pages should be text-filled. While search engines can crawl text more easily and may rank those pages higher, that does not mean that visuals should be forgotten.
Visuals such as images, videos, and infographics are incredibly important and essential in content marketing. It encourages higher user engagement and readers may be more likely to remember information in a visual form. Additionally, by breaking up long sections of text with imagery, the page can be easier for the reader to digest and is more compelling to look at. For doctors and dentists, this can often be accomplished with before-and-after photo galleries and procedural graphics. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Myth #6: More Keyword Usage = Better SEO
Although forcing locations and keywords into your content was a common practice in the past, this method of content marketing is outdated (and potentially even harmful to your rankings).
While keywords are important to consider when writing content for your website, writing in a way that flows naturally and is beneficial to the reader is more important (Google agrees). Stuffing your content full of locations and keywords can quickly begin to sound unnatural and awkward, but there’s no harm in including them when and where they make sense. For example, when planning blog topics for your site, thinking about what your target audience is searching for can help you identify which keywords should be used (and why). Additionally, you may wish to employ this technique to optimize your content for voice search, considering its popularity.
Let Us MythBust for You!
It’s hard to keep up with all the changes to SEO best practices, but here at Rosemont Media, it’s our specialty! Our knowledgeable consultants can lead you down the right path (and debunk any other myths along the way) so you can stay ahead of the competition. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your digital marketing efforts.
Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on May 30, 2018.