Matt Cutts: If you can’t explain with content, you don’t understand it

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by Brafton Editorial
When it comes to using jargon in your content marketing, you should only use as much as you need to.

Creating content isn’t supposed to be a chore. To be sure, it requires time, resources, effort and expertise, but content marketing isn’t about figuring out ways to trick customers. Every Google algorithm update and search ranking change are about making the most useful information available to users. So don’t struggle too much trying to appeal to everyone on the web – instead, speak to your intended audience.

This is easier said than done, especially when companies operate in specialized industries. Language that’s too simple will alienate niche experts and make you look uninformed, but will overly complex jargon confuse Google? This is a content marketing Catch-22.

Teach it to learn it

Matt Cutts was asked this question in his latest Webmaster Help Channel video and he provided an answer that borrowed wise words from physicist Richard Feynman, who once famously said that if you can’t explain a concept to someone, you don’t understand it yourself. Essentially, this is a call for marketers to possess both expertise and confidence when they write on the internet.

If you actually know what you’re talking about and can express yourself easily on a complex subject, it will come through in your content. Conversely, if a topic is outside of your wheelhouse, your content will be obviously less valuable to readers. This is at the heart of what Cutts and the Webspam team are trying to accomplish: Make the internet a place for people to ask complicated questions and find actionable answers.

If a topic is outside of your wheelhouse, your content will be obviously less valuable to readers.

It also highlights the importance of useful and valuable information to content marketing. Businesses large and small don’t really need to be attracting every single internet user – only those who are the most likely to be interested in their products and services (and therefore more likely to convert). Stick to the topics you know, and write about them with as much jargon as it takes to express your ideas, but don’t overreach. Otherwise, customers won’t see your resources as valuable, your leads will decrease and Google will come to suspect that your pages don’t provide anything of value. 

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