Yes, it’s another year and we thought we’d kick off our first post this year with a look back at some of the big changes that affect web copywriting, SEO and online content marketing in general.

What happened with search in 2012?

The big theme here is that changes in the way Google and other big search engines display search results has completely rewritten the rules on what businesses need to undertake to do well in search.

The search giants now actively reward content of high quality and actively remove low value content. This has given birth to a new way of thinking about how we market businesses online:

Content marketing.

Yes, it might be a buzz word, but it’s one that everyone is paying attention to. Essentially, publishing (and marketing!) user-centric content of high quality that gets shared and linked to widely greatly increases the chances that you’ll move up the search listings.

Not to mention that people (read: our customers) love relevant, thoughtfully written and informative content in a variety of media (webpage, blog, infographic, video and podcast).

Being open, transparent, useful and helpful to people in the market for our products and services is what this is all about.

We’re all publishers now

As professional copywriters, we have always believed in providing high quality content. That’s nothing new for us, but it is a new way of thinking for many industries and markets that may have never considered writing user-centric content as a way of generating new business.

Take the legal sector, for instance. It wasn’t too long ago that law firms were the only game in town. But today, with the ease of online communications, those same firms are having to compete with low(er)-cost online firms – ones that use email marketing, guides, expert ‘how to’ articles and very easily accessible content to attract and retain an online clientèle.

The savvy firms quickly saw the advantage and have already moved to providing the kind of content their prospects and customers are seeking online. The ones that haven’t yet grasped the idea that we need to become our own media outlets are struggling with declining customer bases and fewer enquiries.

This same story is being repeated across markets and industries with large stakes consequences for those keeping their heads in the sand.

What you can do this year to get going with content marketing

Many of our regular clients are finding continued success with the content marketing programmes they began last year: publishing blogs, articles, email and thoughtful guides to their clients and prospective customers.

The challenge for everyone this year will be finding enough time to publish at the rate that it seems the search engines – and, indeed, the searchers themselves – demand from businesses.

Rather than just pump out content across a number of channels, we recommend creating targeted a strategy that puts effort behind a few well-performing channels.

There are opportunities to turn out additional content from these strategic content programmes – we closed out last year writing about how to do this in our how to series on content marketing.

We’ll keep writing about this topic throughout the coming year and we always look forward to your thoughts and contributions too.

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