Do you have good content for Google?
With Google apparently trying to ensure that you actually find what you are searching for, which is a totally weird concept, the importance of good content in relation to your search rankings has rapidly increased. While people have always touted “Content as King” in the same breath they might also brag about using SEO tactics to get to the top of the rankings with mediocre content.
So, now as the landscaping is changing you definitely need a content plan moving forward for your website. Do you have one yet?
Out with the old…
It used to be a matter of doing whatever it took to get your site to the top of search results. Driving traffic to your site was all that mattered and you could back-link like crazy, stuff keywords into every nook and cranny, and do a few other things (that were/are frowned upon) to get your ranking boosted. Just get people to the site, right?
In some cases people would brag they could jump rankings in a matter of weeks through various tactics. Unfortunately, in the eyes of Google, that just wasn’t right. It makes perfect sense…Google’s job is to help you find what you are looking for. If your searches constantly pull up garbage sites in the top 10 that hold no real relevance you are probably going to jump to Bing, or God forbid…Yahoo to try and find an answer.
So Google’s response to link spamming, questionable key words, Panda tricks, and the like was to tweak the algorithms and look for real content created by original, real people and not spinning programs and other garbage. Good content attracts attention, is relevant, useful, and enjoyable. Good content is also quickly shared around the web which Google then notices. Some of those updates they have made tracks shares, replies, and views to help bump rankings.
At the same time, Google is on a virtual witch-hunt for those sites that try and trick the system.
Creating a Content Plan
These changes to SEO and how Google is trying to be more efficient at their primary job should not be viewed negatively. It is an opportunity for real businesses with real products to push ahead of the glut of spammers and questionable sites out there. Unless of course you are one of those sites, in which case you might want to re-think that strategy. But let’s focus on what you can do for your site:
- Create a Content Schedule – Regular content keeps people coming back to your site. Plus you can link new articles and content into social media feeds to keep people connected and sharing.
- Hire Talent – You need people that can write and write well. Honestly there are a lot of writers out there looking for work. You can hire locally or hire a remotely to help you create fresh content for your site. Sites like Elance are a great place to start because they have profiles and feedback on talent so you can see what you are getting. Don’t be afraid to hire more than one person to get some diversity in the voices on your site. At the same time be wary of hiring the cheapest option or writers on the other side of the globe. The content needs to fit your customers and proper use of language and slang is important.
- Cross Platforms – Don’t just think in terms of articles and blog. Images, videos and info-graphics are all forms of content. Remember, if it entertains then people will stay longer and share that content. Images are a great way to cross into social media areas like Instagram.
- Monitor results – Make use of your analytics to discover what content is most successful for your audience and then tailor your plan accordingly. Oh, articles listed on Monday get x3 more hits than those on Friday? Well stop wasting time on Friday!
The Bottom Line
Questionable tactics might increase rankings, but it will be a hollow victory. As people click away from sites after being hoodwinked the word will spread and eventually Google will notice that their top 5 ranking earns no shares or replies to content.
While it will cost money to produce regular content, the goal is to increase hits to the website and in turn increase sales making your content an investment into the company. Plus good content is something you can be proud of. So embrace the changes and make the most of the opportunity!