So far we have outlined the basics of SEO and how to improve your listings on Google+ and the necessity of it. Now it is time for the inside stuff – CONTENT!
You have heard more than once that ‘Content is King’. There is a reason for this – if you don’t have excellent content that is going to be worth reading and sharing, your website is not going to get valuable hits that you need. Not so long ago web designers were just adding any content to their sites (relevant or not) and using loads of keywords to attract the search engines. Google cottoned onto this and has changed how they rank websites. Your content is now analysed to see if it is appropriate, well written and, of course, useful to the reader, but Most importantly does it provide you with an answer to your search query!
How to create good content
Write for the reader, not the search engines. There are real people reading your articles every day, not just Google’s robots (also known as ‘spiders’) that crawl the internet analysing your website. At any one time these spiders can crawl over 100 pages per second and analyse data at about 600 kilobytes each second.
The Google spiders look at the words within the page and where these words originate from. They also look at titles, sub-titles and meta tags on the page. They track the words in the title, sub-headings and links, which should all be relevant to the topic. A scan of the 100 most frequently used words on the page is also detected and each word that shows up in the first 20 lines of text.
As you can already see, writing good content for a website means that you can’t just daydream your way through an article – you really have to put your best foot (finger!) forward.
Below are a few ways to ensure you are creating the best content:
- Most importantly engage your visitors with unique, interesting content that is relevant to your company and relevant to their search query!
- Do not copy content from other sites and use it on yours. Google will penalise you for the same or even similar content. They can cut your traffic by up to 50%!
- Fill your pages with content. If you have a page that is light on content rather merge it with another page or add more information. This will increase the amount of time a reader spends on your website thus alerting Google to the value of your content. A decent page should consist of at least 500 words but preferably 1,000 words or more.
- Make sure you have authorship for each page. i.e. link your Google+ account to the article. In this way your rankings and click-through-rate will improve. Having an image of the author gives the article a personal touch as well as authority.
- Create a few videos and use them on your website. Images are highly effective as a marketing tool as the brain can remember images better than content. It will also increase your viewing time indicating to Google that your site should be ranked higher. But don’t forget to TAG those images or videos so that search engines can understand what they are about and how the relate to your content.
- Charts, graphs and infographics are also more effective and can have a quick powerful impact on the reader. Often if these are well designed they will be shared, thus increasing your exposure on the World Wide Web.
- Write lots of content, build on it and most importantly, update it regularly. Let Google know you are an active, viable company. But just a word of warning! Lots of content does not equal good content, rather write less but more quality.
- Make sure your website has a Blog that is linked to social media, such as a Facebook page. You can then easily post loads of articles onto your Blog which can then filter through to the social media sites and create more awareness.
- Remember if you provide great content other websites will want to link to yours, increasing your exposure.
- Make sure you don’t write pure marketing content. In other words balance the way you write with what you want to get across, but don’t overwhelm the reader with marketing jargon. Remember write is such a way that the reader can easily understand what it is you are trying to tell or sell him or her. As they say keep it simple stupid!
- Break your content up into sections with punchy headings that will catch their eye. Use good quality unique images that will draw readers into wanting to read your article.
- Make use of Google’s Keyword Tool that will provide you with high ranking keywords that users are searching for.
- Stick to the topic you are writing about and use keywords that are relevant to the topic. In this way search engines can easily categorise your content and rank you.
It is a good idea to hire writers that know about SEO, and are good at the English language and proofreading. There is nothing worse than reading an article that is poorly written with loads of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The reader will immediately stop reading and have a negative perception of your company. That is business lost in a blink of an eye!
Investing time and effort into good content is one of the best ways to take a lowly website from the life of a peasant to the life of royalty!