Are you selling or educating your customers?

It's hard to go a day in the marketing industry without hearing about search engine optimization (SEO) and how it can improve lead generation marketing. When you take the time to create informative articles for your company's website or blog, you're presenting your valued customers with data that can help them make educated purchasing decisions. This is the type of content search engines like Google prefer – the company wants brands and their customers to be more engaging toward one another, and it's hard to argue that increased interactions aren't beneficial to each party.

However, between Google Panda and Penguin, you might be worried that the content you're creating is harming your online presence. It's important that you understand what constitutes quality writing for the web, and how to incorporate your articles into the marketing mix.

Articles that will rank highly on Google have an even balance of sales and information. When you craft an overly commercial post, the writing isn't very useful to the reader, as it's an obvious bias piece. As a business owner, you need to realize that engaging with your audience can be effective enough in converting leads to sales if the content you're providing is worthwhile. Begin by covering broad industry topics, including current events. If you operate in the inbound marketing sector, don't be afraid to report on the latest trends or updates to popular services. This type of writing shows you're engaged in your industry and that you've put time into educating your audience.

After you've begun to form your tone of voice and writing style, you need to make sure your content marketing efforts align with the rest of your promotional campaigns.

Determine your content marketing goals. Are you trying to lead readers to make instantaneous purchases on your ecommerce site, or do you want to build brand recognition? Many business owners are under the impression that the only way to measure success in online marketing is with dollars and cents, which couldn't be further from the truth. Marketing online can help create a marketing persona for your promotional segments, and you can utilize that information across all platforms and in all verticals.

Content creation is an important part of branding your business today, so become the authority in your field by educating, rather than selling to your readers.