Website Content and SEO Strategy
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away…well, a very milky galaxy… the method of stuffing as many gooey, delicious, search-engine-satisfying keywords into the content of your website, no matter how relevant, paid off. Your website could get ranked and be discovered by potential customers based on a grocery list of keywords. Things were straight-forward.
Those days are over.
For more than a decade, you can’t mention Search Engine Optimization (SEO) without mentioning another word: Google. They have created their own empire based on the best search technology this galaxy has ever seen. We all must abide by their rules in order to be in the game at all. In February of 2011, Google turned Search Engine Marketing upside down with the implementation of what they call PANDA. In short, this was a much more intelligent system (algorithm) for Google to be able to find “real” search results for their users and allow them to cut through the muck created by companies’ tricks and “black hat” tactics to boost their own rankings. These cheap methods and irrelevant keywords could now even cause penalties and be detrimental to a website’s rankings. Now, Google even identifies thin or weak content on a page and ranks it accordingly. The game has officially changed.
Today, one may say that “content is king,” and that is true… sort of. However, be wary of targeting that theory completely and making it a cornerstone of your web strategy. Unfortunately, you may not get the results you really want by simply leaning on great content. Just as much as with robust content, Google ranks based on how helpful actual users find your content in reality. Writing an in-depth blog post full of boring scientific findings, hard facts, and methodology that can be found on encyclopedia.com will probably not be the best way to engage the majority your audience. Though it may satisfy one or two highly technical readers out there with the patience and the time to read every word, you’ll probably send most of your audience clicking the other way.
Based on Moz’s 2015 Ranking Factors Survey: Usage, engagement, and clickstream data score a 6.55 out of 10 in factoring how high you rank. This is 20% MORE than factors of keywords and content length! Based on a continuation of that same survey, user-based features will continue to rise as a factor for Google rankings, over traditional features. Therefore, how useful readers find your content should be just as important as the quality of the content itself.
Change is inevitable and if you want to stay afloat in the ever-changing world of Search Engine Marketing, your strategy will need to change with it.
Below are some tips on how to re-think your online communication in efforts to drive more traffic and get higher-quality leads:
Be sure your content is helpful to your target audience.
Offering free information or help to similar products may seem like you’re hurting yourself, but in the long run you become a useful resource for those viewers. This, in-turn, increases the likelihood that they will return to your company in the future, share your site or posts with others, and recommend you on social media channels.
Incorporate not only unique content, but offer unique value.
Yes, it sounds confusing, so here’s more: Having unique content means that there is technically no other place on the interwebs with those exact words in that order. Content with unique value means that the information or guidance that you’re offering is unique and can be useful resource to your costumers and potential customers. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers and try to offer something that is so unique that it stands out and cannot be found on other pages or competitors’ sites.
Use relevant, and common sense keyword placement.
Even further, you may want to review your content for even having the appearance of keyword stuffing. Watch out for repetitive mentions, not only within the same page, but within your site as a whole. Within a single page or post, normally, you should have a 2 – 5% keyword placement rate.
Placement over frequency.
Let’s face it, when writing content for new website design, keywords are not completely useless. Google and Bing still have to use them to find results after all. However, for the keywords that are used in your content, correct placement means more than how frequently you use them. For example: Having the appropriate keyword in the title tag and/or heading of your page or post could mean more than using that keyword five times in the actual body of the content.