You’ve all heard it by now: in SEO, content is King. Taken at face value, many interpret this to mean “I need more content.” While that is probably true in part, if you think that the relationship between content and SEO is simply “more is better,” you’re majorly missing the point.
Ample content is important, yes. If you don’t have enough of it, the search engines won’t have enough information to figure out what your business is all about and what, if anything, they should rank you for. But beyond quantity, here are some important things to keep in mind when developing your website content and an ongoing content marketing and SEO strategy:
1. Be organized.
Think about it: have you ever visited a website where the content was so poorly organized that you had trouble finding what you were looking for? Chances are, you have, and you probably ended up leaving that website for a better-organized competitor out of sheer frustration.
Now take a look at your own website, as objectively as possible. (Or, better yet, ask a friend to do this). As a fresh new visitor, how easy and fast is it for you to find your product(s) or service(s)? What is the main objective of your site, and how does your content support that objective and guide your visitor to take the next step? Think about navigation drop downs, home page calls to action and placement, and accessibility of informative posts and personalizing details. If you’re putting the effort into creating fresh, engaging blog posts but it takes the visitor 3 clicks to get there, or your blog is not easily searchable by tag or category, you’re missing out on engagement.
2. Lose the jargon.
This is a big one for B2B sites, but really all businesses should keep this in mind when writing website content. Tell your visitor who you are and what you do in plain English. This is something that both the search engines and your visitor will appreciate.
Here’s a fun little exercise. Go here to create some really lovely examples of corporate BS jargon. Have a good giggle. Now take a hard look at your own content. Are you using any of this crap in there? If so, get rid of it. Your rankings will benefit, and your visitor will (gasp) actually know at-a-glance what you’re all about. Plus, you know what happens when people think you’re all fluff and no substance? They don’t trust you. Trust is huge.
3. Be fresh.
So you have a blog, and you’re updating regularly. Who cares? No, really, who actually cares about your blog posts? Does Google care? Maybe, but Google really wants to see that others care. So how do you get people to care? How do you create content that is engaging and just begs to be shared, retweeted, linked to, and shouted from the proverbial online rooftops?
Engagement is of course a complex animal, but start by asking yourself these questions: 1. Is it topical, 2. Is it original, and 3. Is it valuable?
If your content is topical, it’s more likely to be searched for, shared, and found, because it’s something that is on people’s minds.
If it’s original, you’re not only setting yourself apart as a leader in your industry by giving your reader something they haven’t heard before; you’re also giving your reader the opportunity to look like a rockstar/trendsetter/smarty-pants by sharing your content first.
How do you know if it’s valuable? Originality and topical relevancy play a part in value for sure. But it’s also about knowing your target market, and adjusting to its needs and demands. Learn what matters to your demographic, outside of your specific product or service. Offer tips that are industry-relevant but not necessarily promotional of your product or service. Look at long-tail search questions that pertain to your industry and address them. Valuable content is content that enriches the reader’s experience in some way. Do this, and you’re not just creating content that the search engines can index – you are building trust in your brand.
If content is King, your reader is your queen, knight, and subject all in one. A king without supporters is no king at all, and if your visitor isn’t happy or engaged, Google won’t be either.
What have been your biggest content challenges? Any tips you’d like to add? We’d love to hear from you!
Blog by Webhead Interactive