Businesses can’t generate a positive online presence and maintain higher visibility or placement on search engines with a poor Google ranking. They must publish quality content, generate encouraging testimonials and reviews, helpful information, and an easily navigated site for consumers.
Larger companies have brand recognition and loyalty from years of credible service. Some have partners, affiliates and sponsors to vouch for them. They develop an online presence that portrays quality and professionalism to encourage consumer to:
- trust what it says
- feel comfortable sharing information
- find value in the products and services
In the past, site traffic could be purchased and artificially inflated through manipulation of data. Today, the easiest way to get a good ranking is organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Following the rules that ensure a better Google ranking means keeping your website relevant, helpful, and even entertaining.
SEO is the technical aspect of your marketing strategy and includes the use of correct URLs, title, ALT tags, and sitemaps while the main content of the website has broader goals. The focus is on the quality of the material you present to attract and retain an audience first and then integrate the SEO, including keywords, in the proper places.
Content and SEO achieve similar things and both are required skills to succeed with your content marketing strategy. Content teams should understand SEO objectives and SEO teams should comprehend the goal of content creators for the best possible coordination.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO helps bring visitors to your site by explaining your site’s purpose to the Google bot crawlers. Google’s business is answering people’s questions as instinctively as possible by keeping up with how people use technology. They have specific guidelines to interpret your site’s intended use and value to visitors. SEO explains the relevancy of information in relation to your website’s target audience. It is embedded into the main content being directed at the users of the site.
If website pages are designed with the consumer in mind they will easily be seen in a positive light by the crawlers because you will have automatically complied with the rules.
- Don’t trick or deceive users just for the purpose of generating traffic.
- Offer unique and valuable information.
- Explain what makes your business or website stand out from competitors.
If you have created customized and engaging content, you then need SEO to introduce your website and its content to the search engines with a full explanation of what you do, who you are, and the benefits customers will receive from being directed to your domain.
Internal links will drive bots to other pages relating to your main page without misinterpreting any duplicated material. Content duplication invariably happens when you have several micro-sites attached to a landing page. Site owners suffer rankings and traffic losses, and search engines provide less relevant results because they can’t interpret which version of the content is primary.
External links being shared from visitors will create greater traffic and credible affiliate and sponsor links will strengthen the site reputation.
Obtaining random links off an old, static, or poorly developed site with an unsatisfactory rating will affect you site’s value. Always link to other healthy sites that mirror your own and actively add new content to their site to receive high rankings. Associations with other company websites can lead to positive recommendations and reviews to add to your reputation.
When your targeted audience arrives, they will continue to boost your ranking for you by visiting repeatedly, following, and sharing content through social media increasing your audience organically.
Part of SEO is generating the proper keywords. The consumer’s version of your industry and product terminology indicates a starting point for keywords. Use those specific words sparingly. Content plays a huge role in achieving SEO goals and jamming keywords into content destroys the attempt for an authentic flow. Bot crawlers only identify a few useful keywords in the page text and overloading the same keywords over and over will signal indications of spam instead. For the best search terms and phrases people are using, listen to your customers. Find out the questions they ask and how they ask them. It should match the queries they type into search engines.
Soovle is a good tool for keyword generation and there are plenty of other SEO tools out there listed in this article by Search Engine Watch.
Content and SEO are similar in concept and their uses overlap. Both are needed for successful websites, ranking, and consumer engagement. If Google determines your SEO to be authentically representing the purpose of your website and main content you will attract quality links and engagement metrics that will continue to rank you highly. The search engine only wants to have accurate and relevant search results for its users.
If main content is poor, it doesn’t matter what SEO skills are incorporated. Any Google crawlers or consumers attracted initially will quickly leave and result in negative rankings from crawlers unable to index the content as original or relevant to users.
The website’s message needs to be clear, using simple language without spelling and grammar errors. Information should be detailed, informative, helpful, and well formatted.
Headlines are one of the most important parts of your content. They need to be descriptive and inspire curiosity to read more. Short lists of tips or a useful how-to that contains an accurate keyword in the title works well. Headlines must be written with a knowledge of how people search for your product or service. They can’t be too long or they will be truncated making it harder for people to determine its value quickly. They should be able to fit in an email subject line and easily be shared without having to edit for sites with character limits like Twitter.
People search for information or products through consumer inquiries. These queries are words and phrases used to locate your company, services, and products in Google’s browser and drop-down menus. These carefully selected words and phrases should be used in a natural way somewhere within your main content, title, and subheadings to give the search engine browser a way to understand what your site is about and how to direct the right consumer for your industry and information. You SEO team puts a list of keywords together that should be the same as the words being used in these queries. This is an example of the overlap in concepts.
Worthy content attracts links and more influential audiences while improving the user experience. Create content that people will enjoy enough to share. Also, proper use of internal links can help consumers navigate to a specific page providing the most useful material quickly and easily. Remember, internal links also help Google crawl the site and rank it well for search terms and attracting the correct audience for your material. An SEO team can verify or provide you with evaluated selections and ensure that the content you develop achieves the visibility it deserves.
Fresh and Evergreen Content
Creating evergreen content provides readers with information that maintains its relevancy over long periods of time. It is able to be re-posted over a period of years, keeping the site active through recycling continually useful content. It increases search rankings because people are still searching for that topic.
The SEO article referenced above is also an example of evergreen content. The material was written in 2012 and is still relevant to searchers in 2016 by continuing to drive traffic.
Trendy news and information will do well in Google rankings while it’s a fresh topic, but curiosity and relevance fade in a few days, weeks, or months. The results are short-term. The amount of change on your web page plays a role in ranking by showing constant activity. It also shows the reader you are available to connect with questions or concerns and promotes the visitors to return for new topics and articles sharing new perspectives, ideas, and solutions.
If you have a bad review or content that isn’t as well received as you had hoped, your activity will be constantly rotating it to the bottom of your blog or into an archive where it is more quickly forgotten. It generally won’t reappear without an intentional search to revive it. Otherwise, it’s been replaced by something more effective that generates new, hopefully, more positive reviews or testimonials. Should your rankings dip, it will be a temporary situation you can quickly repair with prepared responses and content replacement.
Another way to refresh information on your page is to make changes to important areas that signal crawlers to take a new look. Content located ‘above the fold’ or top half of the page is considered more important than below. Old content that exists simply to generate page views for a short period has little value and should be removed from the web. Outdated content drives consumers to hit the back button and search for another more exciting URL.
High Ranking Reputations Take Time
If you expect to rank in Google in 2016 and beyond, you’d better have a quality offering backed up with a pleasant site experience. It takes time and commitment to build a reputation of trust with your audience using social proof and merit. Loyal customers respect transparency and honesty. While weak content created to dupe bot crawlers may have worked to boost rankings a few years ago, it has the opposite effect now. Reputation is not built on manipulation and parlor tricks.
Creating high-quality content around applicable keywords is an ongoing process. Your blog post, web page, and website are always being resubmitted to search engines to share with searchers to answer real questions in real time. Readers want to learn, shop, and be entertained. They want to be updated on events and news, experience stories, and find insightful quotes worthy of sharing.
Both content and SEO are important in defining what quality means for your brand. Quality is synonymous with trust. Standing out from your competitors requires delivering content that is different than others. This can involve some risk to attract and connect with your ideal customers. To understand which new ideas work versus those that don’t, you need to monitor content through SEO goals on a regular basis. Track your changes in ranking and make needed corrections to get the results you want.
Metrics like bounce rates, page views, and length of time visitors spend on the site should increase if you are doing the job properly.
A successful website is associated with trust, displays positive feedback from consumers and is recommended by them to family and friends. It is clear and concise with a purpose and value aimed at its visitors.