With the numerous ongoing advancements in the world of SEO, so many people find themselves circling back to a rather basic question: If I’m targeting a certain keyword, where exactly should I use that in the front and back ends of my page and how often? To clear up any doubt surrounding this commonly asked question, we’re going to chat about keyword use, repetition and overuse. This may seem like quite a basic topic for some but it’s actually become rather advanced over the last few years and still appears to be a hot topic for discussion. Questions often asked include, “how many times should my keyword be used in my URL, H1 tag or title?” along with, “how many pages should I have that target this keyword?” What you need to remember is that Google really has evolved.
When you search in Google, you’ll find on occasion (when you’re searching for something a little more obscure perhaps), that the exact sentence you searched for may not even appear on page one. The reason for this? Google now connects topics and keywords thanks to their algorithms and tries it’s hardest to understand what it is you’re searching for. This obviously has an impact on your use of keywords so let’s begin by taking a look at keyword repetition considerations.
Considerations for keyword repetition
There are three primary considerations that we need to consider:
Search result snippet – this is one of your first considerations. You need to ask yourself, is the search result snippet informative and useful? Does it tell a potential customer something they may not have already known or perhaps a little bit about what it is they’re looking for exactly? Is it useful and can they apply that information? Will it help them to accomplish the task they set out to complete? You may also want to ask yourself whether it will catch the eye and lead a user to click or in the very least, does it appear as relevant and trustworthy?
Keyword analysis algorithms – this is quite classic and where a lot of SEO’s can go wrong, especially those that may be stuck in their ways. Back in the day before Bing, they may have looked at the count and the repetition numbers, looking for those less frequently used terms and seeing if you had a higher concentration of those in your document than other people did. Keyword analysis would most certainly cover keyword matching. Google would give you a little boost if you mentioned the exact phrase that had been entered into the browser for example, “Are western saddles more comfortable?” while everyone else had simply put, “western saddles for sale.” If you know that’s what your article is about and you want to target certain people looking for that particular answer then go ahead. Topic modeling is another area that will be looked at so consider some terms and phrases that are frequently used when you think of western saddles. If other websites are using them but you aren’t then your document may not be considered as relevant. For all the algorithms know, you could simply be talking about your dog that’s called “western saddle”. So they’ll look to see if you mention any other things that could be related to saddles such as the word “horse” or “pony” before they realise what it is you’re talking about. If you don’t use related words and phrases then the algorithm will miss you entirely. Google will also look at Intent analysis where they’ll try their hardest to understand a user’s intent. Google has a large store of knowledge around previous queries from over ten years worth of searches, which gives them the ability to figure out the intent of a particular keyword search so you may find you don’t rank as well for informational searches as you do for purchase-based searches.
Searcher opinions and engagement – If searchers scan your search result snippet and don’t deem you worthy enough of a click, this matters. Within a split second, searchers have asked themselves whether they should click back or reengage, whether they should share and amplify and whether they should remember your brand. It isn’t just a searcher that will ask these questions, a search engine will too. Google will monitor and measure such activity to see if people click through or pass you completely. Bing did a big study on this a while ago asking themselves, “Does that sound like a spammy domain name?” This resulted in highly hyphenated domain names, along with a lot of AdSense all mixed in, being seen as spammy and as a result, people now tend to steer clear.
How many times should my keywords be repeated?
With these three considerations in mind, we now need to move on to a few quick rules of thumb that can be applied to 95% of pages out there. First up, yes you should have your keyword that you’re targeting in the title element of the page. Your primary keyword should also be in the headline too although this isn’t simply because the H1 tag is important (it doesn’t actually matter if it’s in H1 or H2 or even H3 for that matter) as long as the letters at the very top of the page that make up the headline include your primary keyword. This allows your user to instantly know they’ve clicked on the correct page for their search and they have a consistent search result.
This goes down really well. It’s hugely important from a psychological perspective so that people don’t click back and choose a different result that better satisfies their need. Within content, you should be aiming to include your primary keyword around two or three times though that is a rough rule. Generally speaking, your keyword should pop up at least a couple of times in your content on the page unless you have a visual page or an interactive page with no content. You’d then look to put your keyword perhaps once in your meta description. Your meta description is important due to the snippet aspect of it as it might help boost your click through rate. It could help you appear more relevant to the searcher and will help to target that. There are the odd occasions, say that remaining 5% of cases, when a snippet will be much better off without the keyword. This will usually be the case when the keyword phrase is quite long.
Secondary considerations to keyword optimisation
There are of course always a few secondary considerations to think about such as image optimisation that may contain your keyword in the image alt attribute. The image file name itself is equally important for SEO purposes as images still get a good amount of search traffic. Even if you don’t receive a particularly large amount of click through traffic via the image, you may have people using the image and citing your website for it which then creates a link. Although we’re talking about a long trail, we’re talking about a valuable one.
You might also consider adding the keyword once in the URL. Although this isn’t critical, it’s still important. You could think about placing it one or more times in the subheaders too. If you find yourself with multiple blocks of subheaders that happen to be describing different attributes of a piece of content then you could also use your keywords in there if they apply. Just be careful not to go overboard as search engines use something called stemming. This basically means that they’ll look at the word “skeleton” for instance and cut it down to “skelet” so if the word “skeletal” or “skeletons” or even “skeletals” occurs then they’ll be a lot of repetition due to minor variations. This will be deemed as totally unnecessary and can in some cases annoy searchers as well as search engines that may look at this as keyword stuffing.
On-page keyword use
On-page keyword use is only a very small part of the algorithm. It’s so small in fact that you could get this absolutely perfect and you’d still only see a small difference in terms of your ranking so we’d urge you not to spend too much time on this subject. Do think about your searchers’ intent and your target topics along with questions they might have. Search engines are very smart about this and have topic analysis and intent analysis models which means a page that talks about “western saddles” but fails to mention the words “horse” or “pony”, would cause the search engines to assume you aren’t so relevant. You could have a thousand extra links pointing towards you but a search engine algorithm would still deem you less relevant and subsequently rank you lower. It’s also true for searchers that are searching for a topic that you simply don’t answer. You may get clicked on but you’ll soon have your potential users clicking back.
Keyword optimisation certainly gives you a lot to think about and can often leave people feeling hugely confused but don’t fret, you needn’t feel confused any longer. If you’d like some expert help and advice, contact Wecan Media today. Their SEO experts will not only advise you on keyword optimisation but how to optimise your website as a whole.
Source – Wordstream, The Wordstream Blog, Keyword Optimization: Why Optimizing for the Right Keywords is 'Do or Die'
Source – SEO Nick, On-Page SEO – How to Optimize Any Page for Your Target Keywords
In our previous article “Identifying a Google Penalty”, we gave you the information needed to tell if you’d been hit by a search engine penalty as well as the tools to establish just what type of Google penalty your website had been hit with. Now you’ve established just what Google penalty you’re dealing with, it’s time to move on and find out what exactly caused it. Once you get to the root of what caused it, you’ll then be able to fix it.
If you’ve suffered a manual Google penalty then you may well receive a message within your Webmaster tools or better yet, an email direct to your inbox giving you ideas on how you might improve your chances. If your website has a bad link profile then you might see a warning page within your “manual actions” page on the webmaster tools stating that you have unnatural links to your website. If the cause is due to your content however then you’ll see a comment stating that you have content with little or minimal added value. If you’re suffering from an algorithmic penalty however and are yet to hear from Google, then chances are you won’t be getting any help from Google in figuring out what it is exactly. You’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t matter what state your website is in, there will always be room for improvement and this article is going to look at a rather comprehensive list of potential Google penalty offences. We won’t be going through every known factor as some factors will only ever affect you positively and whilst it is beneficial to include such positive factors, they won’t get you penalised. Typically, Google penalty offences will fall into three different categories: content, link and technical issues. Let’s first take a look at content.
Content related Google penalties
Google algorithms can really struggle to tell the difference between good and bad content despite the fact that Google have been trying their best to refine this for years. Instead of looking at the general quality of the text, Google algorithms look at the tell-tale signs that are nestled deep within the content. These are signs that can result from certain patterns that are consistent with spam content such as excessive advertising or very obvious plagiarism. Google algorithms can also pick up on a lack of patterns that good content usually has too. More often than not, it will be a case of these certain signs building up and reaching a certain threshold. If a website has been marked for a manual review then an employee of Google will look to see if it’s a legitimate website and simply unlucky or if it’s actually trying to play the system with the content. There have been cases where these so-called tell-tale signs have been so plentiful that a serious Google penalty has been triggered automatically. Good examples of this would be keyword stuffing or duplicate content on a large scale. Here are some of the most significant tell-tale signs:
- Duplicate content – it’s super easy for an algorithm to check if your content was copied or duplicated elsewhere on the Internet by comparing it to all other content on the net. There are a number of plagiarism tools that can be used in order to check your content such as paperrater.com
- Spun content – these can be carried out by black-hat SEO tools that use a number of different synonyms in order to recreate sentences in a number of ways. The problem with these, aside from the moral point of view, they tend to read badly for people and will often make no sense at all. Spun articles may be able to duck under the radar of algorithms but they carry a big risk. Generally speaking, content that’s 80% unique and above won’t be flagged by any search engines.
- Thin content – if your website has a high bounce rate or a high rate in terms of returning to a search engine then this would flag potentially thin content. This can place a bad mark against you, especially if you have a lot of visitors who tend to leave your website as soon as it’s loaded. You can check your bounce rate and average times via Google Analytics.
- Over-optimising – when SEO was first practiced it was often done by stuffing content with keywords however search engines have since improved and keyword stuffing is now easily spotted and penalised against. Keywords really are a game of balance. You must appear as though you aren’t trying too hard. To protect against over optimising you could use synonyms and keywords related to your main ones.
- Hidden content – this is another tactic from days gone by when people would smuggle invisible keywords into a page that were camouflaged by a matching text and background colour.
- Content farms – the panda update had the intention of taking down all content farms that appeared to populate the web. This relates to what’s known as user generated content that doesn’t offer any use and is there simply to grab traffic and advertise to your visitors. If your website has a forum then you could be in danger of triggering this type of Google penalty. Keep safe and moderate it constantly.
Link related Google penalties
Websites being ranked based on the amount of links that were pointing to their website was what put Google above everyone else, it was their differentiation. It’s a rather elegant system in that just one website of high standing, referencing your content, would be taken as a vote of trust and relevance by Google. This can quickly break down however when people play the system using hyperlinks by linking to websites for money or linking back to their own websites via articles posted externally. If you’re suffering from a Google penalty and you believe it might have something to do with your links then take a look at this list to see if anything jumps out. Do note however that this list isn’t exhaustive:
- Exact match anchor text – the majority of the links that point back to your website would naturally display your website’s name, your name or the domain name. This is how the majority of people link to your website when they’ve done it themselves and this is what appears natural to Google.
- Reciprocal linking – swapping links in excess is a big indicator of foul play i.e. a taxi-company would want to swap links with a hotel in the local area. If however he swapped hundreds of links about other things such as poker or knitting then it would appear to have no benefit to his customers and as a result would trigger a Google penalty.
- Paid for or rented links – quality pages can be fished out from poor ones by the number of websites that link to it. Any sign of manipulation is a huge violation. Paid links are thrown up in a rather random way so if you’ve paid for links previously, you should take a look at how they were done. Get in contact with the provider of the links and ask for a copy of their work.
- Link networks – in 2012, many of the world’s link networks were targeted and abolished which also resulted in the websites that had paid for links being penalised too. Link networks do exist however they’re far more underground than they once were as they’re targeted heavily by Google. Being linked to one of these is like a ticking time bomb. You’ll be found out eventually and will ultimately pay the price. It doesn’t matter how clever the owner of the link network is, they ultimately get caught and you’ll regret the day you contacted them.
- Advertorials - if people are paying for ad links on your website then Google will see this as a clear violation of their guidelines. If you’re going to sell ad space then make sure you do it through a legitimate and reputable advertising network.
- High link velocity – if you were brand new to the web yesterday and suddenly today you have twenty thousand links pointing your way, what would that suggest? Sometimes, a high velocity of links will happen for natural reasons, say for instance, something of yours goes viral but more often than not it’s yet another sign of foul play.
- Links to and from spam websites – this is very similar to high velocity links in that the quality of the websites is often poor. Just as your own reputation can be tarnished, it can hurt your rankings too. Swapping links with spammy websites or even with malicious owners that hack into yours and plant links in your content can have terrible consequences.
- Site wide links – if you link to another website on every single page of yours then it can often be seen as a manipulation. This is also the case if a website does the same to you. There are of course legitimate examples of this say for example if you want a particular link on most pages in order to move people through the sales funnel but most often the case isn’t so sincere.
- Hidden links – any link that’s hidden from your visitors will be treated as suspicious. This sort of offence can be made when your link text matches the background colour and becomes hidden or even merely difficult to see. You can also hide a link in your script files however, for those using this technique, search engines have become rather good at spotting them.
- Affiliate link overuse – linking to affiliate products is perfectly fine but cramming a page full of such links will set alarms bells ringing. This is especially the case on websites with thin content.
- Broken links – whether they point internally or externally, if the link brings up a 404 error page then it won’t help the user experience. There are a number of tools around that will sweep your website for you and help you to locate and eradicate such links.
Technical issue related Google penalties
Things called search bots will look at your website’s code and crawl through it whilst it analyses content and links. The code is the foundation of your website and your online presence and therefore a technical issue could hamper it hugely. If you make sure your website is running smoothly then there’s much more chance of lasting over a long period of time. Here are a few examples of technical issues that would lead to Google penalties for you to look out for:
- Missing site maps – although an XML site map isn’t mandatory, it does help Google as it lets them know whenever you post new content and prompt Google to crawl your website more often.
- Down time – yes your servers might crash every now and then but if the problem persists for a longer period of time than normal and the search engine notices then it can indicate to them neglect.
- Website speed – your website can become bogged down over time when extra code is added along with plugin after plugin. To maintain a fast loading time you should keep larger files on a separate cloud base storage server. Slower speeds will severely affect you.
- Bad history – your past can indeed come back to haunt you especially if you’ve just grabbed a new domain. Even if the old one has expired, there might be a lot of spam links still pointing to it creating problems down the line.
- Reported to Google – absolutely anyone can report your website, whether it’s genuine or not it doesn’t make a difference. If your website is clean then you have nothing to worry about but if you’ve been flying under the radar then you’ll be flagged and issued with a Google penalty.
- Hacking – the more well known and successful your website becomes, the greater the chance it will become hacked. By using a popular CMS like wordpress or not keeping plugins up to date, you’ll also make you a bigger target. Get your website security in order and prepare as best as possible.
- Cloaking – last but not least you have cloaking. This is a technique whereby the search engine bots are given different content than what appears in the browser window. Cloaking is a very old practice and is likely to have been put in place a good while ago.
For more information on deciphering the different types of Google penalties and where you might be going wrong, contact Wecan Media’s SEO experts today.
Source – Random Byte, New Wave Internet Marketing, SEO, SEO Penalties, Google Penalties: Info and Recovery
Source – Search Engine Land, SEO, 8 Tips For Google Penalty Recovery
Just a decade ago, search engine optimisation was pretty straightforward. All you had to do was make sure the search engines could crawl your website, use the necessary keywords and get yourself as many links as possible. As the search engines became more and more sophisticated in terms of delivering very accurate and personal results, the basic SEO signals were no longer enough. Social media however, specialises in the signals that search engines now crave; identity and relationships. There’s a huge amount of power when it comes to identity and relationships and the best way to describe it would be to compare it with everyday life. If a complete random stranger came up to you and told you that the new hybrid BMW i8 was amazing for twenty different reasons and was waiting for you at the dealership just three streets down from where you were standing, would you want to go check it out and find out more? No, chances are you’d find it hugely suspicious and run a mile. If your friend, with whom you share a passion for sports cars with happened to say the same thing however, you’d no doubt be far more likely to walk the three streets and take a peek. That’s the real power of identity and relationships that can be demonstrated by social media.
Search engines are now currently working on ways to make their results even more personalised than ever before. They want their results to contain more content that’s directly relevant and this will either be based on location, your past behavior or from people you know or may trust more. Social media brings a huge amount of identity and relationship data to the search engines and their algorithms. Very early on in 2012, the head of Google’s core ranking team Amit Singhal spoke about identity challenges with website called Search Engine Land. He discussed how a good product could only be built if the manufacturer understood who was who and who was related to whom. This means that in order to build a good product we have to carry out a huge amount of processing but, it’s worth remembering it isn’t just about the content – it’s about identity, relationships and content. Amit Singhal also went on to explain that anything else would simply trivialise a very hard product.
How social media feeds SEO
When you understand just how important identity and relationships are to search engines and subsequently SEO, you can begin to change your marketing behavior in order to put yourself in a better position to benefit as the tide swells. Simply blasting Facebook posts that link to your website however won’t instantly give you more link authority. This is due to reputable social networks stripping the link authority from the links off to the other websites by using 302 redirects or nofollow attributes. The question therefore: where exactly does the value to organic search come from? The following three ways, that’s how:
· Indirect link building – if no one actually gets to see your content then no one can link to it. Social media can be a very powerful way to expose millions of people to your engaging content. The more that see it, the more likely it is to earn you reshares that expose even more. Increasing the number of reshares will increase the number of people seeing it and will therefore increase the number of people likely to link to it on a another blog or website that does pass link authority back to your website.
· Personalisation – social relationships also create an opportunity for your content to show up in that individual’s personal feed. For example, if George likes your “hints and tips” content you posted on Facebook, then his own friends list will also see that he likes it. Likewise if George likes your hints and tips on Google+ then the next time his friend Steve searches for hints and tips, he’ll likely see the page of yours that George previously liked. Personalisation like this benefits your ability to rank along with your visual appeal and will also boost trust based on the relationship between George and Steve. Multiply this interaction by 1,000 or 100,000 and you can start to understand the widespread impact personalisation can have on a brand in the right social networks.
· Performance data – social listening data includes sentiment data and topical data. In can also inform keyword research for search marketing. The benefit obviously swings both ways in that keyword data can also inform social media strategies too. These are all windows into your customers’ desire and needs.
Those aren’t the only benefits social media has on your SEO strategy
With these findings, some have taken their love for social media a little further than expected declaring SEO on the way out and social media standing firmly in its place. Whatever the future may hold, that’s not currently the case, nor is it ever likely to be especially with the current relationship that search engines and social media have with each other. Of course there is a certain amount of merit to this argument simply because of the huge way in which social media has impacted the way in which we learn about and share content but by no means has it taken over the way we look for a website. Social media has undoubtedly become one of the main factors that search engines now take into account when it comes to indexing content so let’s dive into to some of the other ways in which social media will continue to help with your basic search engine optimisation strategy and boost your company’s rankings within the search engines .
· Author authority – ever since Google launched Google+, search engines have become a lot more integrated. Google now allows authors to associate their content with their Google+ profile page in order to ensure their account and bio become linked to content within the search results. By adding your “author” tag to your website, linking websites that you’ve written for in your bio of your Google+ page and including your Google+ link in every article you write, your author listing will appear in the search engines. This helps to build credibility when it comes to your content appearing in search engines, which will gain you more recognition and trust with your audience. It will do this by pulling in the name, photo and number of followers the author has on their Google+ page in addition to the usual URL, tag and meta description. The benefits of an author’s ranking are growing way beyond offering a listing a place within the search results to offering far more visibility in any one search engine overall.
· Speed up the time taken to index your account – as stated above, content shared across social media is now considered just as much as content on a website by the search engines. Content on social media is considered an indication of quality information and should be ranked as such. The more links you have on your website, the quicker the search engines are able to index the content within the rankings and since social media is able to quite drastically influence the amount of links any one piece of content receives in a far shorter period of time, it can often speed up the process of a search engine indexing. If your content has been tweeted about a huge amount then it can cut up the indexing time by an estimated 50% while also reducing the amount of time it takes Google to find your content from two hours to two seconds.
· Better ranking based on friends and followers – just as a search engine will interpret more social shares of content as a sign of authority and credibility, the amount of social connections and followers or friends you have is also factor in how your content is then ranked. We’re not saying that a high number of followers an account has is all it takes. It’s about the number of quality connections and followers that will help a search engine determine whether you’re a reputable source as opposed to an account with a high number of spam followers. With this in mind it’s easy to see just why it’s so important to connect with influencers and advocates online who will be genuinely interested in your offerings in order to make sure they share your company’s content thus gaining your business even more traction within the search engines.
· Boost keywords from shared content and profile – the keywords used within your social media channels will also factor into your content rankings within the search engines via two sources: the content being posted and the profile of each social media account. Begin by ensuring all of your social media profiles are brimming with information including your relevant business contact details and other necessary information. It’s important to do all of this whilst naturally including all the necessary keywords and the name of your company. Many aren’t aware of this but the name, URL and the bio are typically the most important aspect of all of your social media profile pages in terms of search engines. You must then continue to include the necessary keywords into the content you post across your social media. It can be easy to incorporate the keywords naturally by covering similar subjects to the searches people will be making in order to find your type of product or service.
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. There are a number of other such advantages that social media can have in terms of your SEO strategy but it’s important to keep in mind that identity and relationships are key. While they are beneficial however, they aren’t a complete replacement for SEO. Social media and SEO should be seen as partners, rather than alternative options. The same fundamentals of SEO still apply so if the search crawlers can’t find you or if you offer no textual content then there isn’t anything that will help to amplify you in order to rank. If you’d like to find out more about search engine optimisation and social media, or if you’d like to discuss further just how social media can benefit your SEO strategy then contact an SEO expert at Wecan Media today.
It’s true to say that not all content marketing will yield equal results however in the world of social media and SEO, shareable content is now a hugely important quality for any content marketing campaign. The question is however, just what makes content shareable and why does it matter so much?To put it simply, shareability is the potential for any given item of content to be shared or passed on by a third party. This usually manifests as a reader sharing a piece of content via their own social media profile in order for a wider audience to see but there are other forms of redistribution. The shareability of a piece of content will determine just how likely it is for it to be shared and passed on.
Shareability for SEO and inbound links
So why exactly is shareability so important for SEO and inbound links? Well, the more people who share your content, the more people that will get to see it and the more people who see it, the more visitors you’re likely to have on your website. The best way to think of it is if your content were a single light in a very dark forest, attracting people in. The more people who come in and turn on identical lights, the more your brightness will increase. You’re increasing brightness will then allow you to attract even more people. Whenever a link to your website is shared via a social media platform, Google will notice it and if you have 100 people individually sharing an identical link that leads back to your website then search algorithms will consider the particular piece of content more important and rank it higher. This is especially so if the links are gathered within a quick period of time. An effective social media presence will offer a lot of benefits that go beyond merely improving your SEO position. By complementing your content with genuine and personal engagements via social media (regularly at that) you’ll eventually build a loyal following. This will offer you another channel for communicating with potential customers and creating deeper relationships. The bottom line is that shareable content will essentially do your work for you instead of requiring you to post new links everywhere. Your audience will do the hard work for you making shareable content the key to opening doors.
Making content shareable
Although there’s no real measure of this, there are certain things you can do to give your content shareable properties that will increase its likelihood of being shared. If you take a look at the different pieces of content that your friends share, you’ll notice that they all have very similar characteristics. Writing content with these characteristics won’t necessarily guarantee success when it comes to it being shared but it will increase the likelihood of it happening. Qualities of shareable content include:
- Captivating titles – you want your title to stand out from the crowd and entice people in. Recent trends in titles include numbered lists i.e. “The 10 best…” as this will draw people in with the promise of an authoritative presentation. Other great examples include “You’ll never guess what…” as this will naturally play on people’s curiosity.
- Uniqueness – you want every single one of your articles to be unique and valuable in some way, shape or form.
- Communication with a specific audience – your shareable pieces ofwebsitecontent will communicate with a specific audience and in some cases, very specific such as a teenager that owns a cat who also suffers with diabetes. Although you may find yourself alienating the broader audience, you’ll dramatically increase the interest of the narrow audience you’re talking to.
- Concise material – if your material is concise it will make it much more easily read and understood in the one session. With bullet points, you’ll find your message will be understood more efficiently and this is very effective.
- Images and media – if your content features images and other such media then it’s far more likely to be shared than content without.
As with most new things however, a spark will be needed in order to set things off. In this case, that can come from one interested individual or even a business that takes that one step and forwards on your content to a much wider audience.
Consistency in content is key
When you begin writing and publishing your content, it’s vitally important that you stay consistent with what you’re posting. Keep your brand voice the same throughout as this will establish familiarity and lead on to an eventual brand following amongst your readership. Your subject matter and tone should all remain consistent too if you’re looking to build that audience who not only wants to read your work but wants to share it too. Search engines like consistency just as much as your audience. Releasing new content on a regular basis will show that you’re active. Post your content steadily too, with a regulartempo as this will catch the interest of more readers. Instead of simply spamming your readers with constant posts during one week and then leaving them to wonder where you’ve gone the next week, you should post a steady stream of content during peak times as this will maximize your chances of getting the content noticed.
Benefits of shareable content may not be noticeable immediately however it’s worth remembering that taking the time to create valuable and shareable content will lead to long-term benefits. Good content is permanent and unlike a magazine it won’t expire, nor is it vulnerable to fluctuations due to search engine algorithms. For these reasons alone, it’s worth putting the time in and creating good quality content as the benefits will far exceed the effort it took to create it.
When it comes to great content you can choose to put the time and work in, creating great content and building a prosperous brand or you can choose the easy route and produce poor content. The latter will ultimately lead you nowhere fast. The path for content marketers is clear in that in order to boost SEO rankings and gain the traffic and leads, you need to have brilliant content.
By writing original content, search engines such as Google will help your website gain more exposure. Google in particular have made it obvious that they will penalise websites for displaying duplicate content and reward high quality websites that contain originally written content. Not only does brilliant content create a much better website but it also boosts your rankings too which will have a positive impact on your business. Here at Wecan Media we know what’s involved when it comes to producing great content so here are our insider tips and tricks to help you create the content you need to boost your website.
1. Create original content
Original content goes an awful long way with Google and your visitors. By copying someone else’s content you leave yourself open to punishment from the search engines. It’s also worth remembering that original means originality so keep your ideas for posts original instead of simply rehashing the same subjects over and over again. If your content says something that a million other posts already do, no one will link to it because it’s old news and that just defeats the object of writing content in the first place. To help you create original content we suggest remembering these two important rules;
- You will only get what you pay for so avoid so-called cheap routes and
- If you have nothing of use to say then be quiet.
These two very simple rules will keep you on the path to making high quality content that will help you yield returns for years and years to come.
2. Always focus on strong headlines
Did you know that 80% of people will read your headlines but only 20% will read the rest of your content and that’s why a headline is so important. In fact it wouldn’t be far fetched to say that a headline is often just as, if not more important than the content in some respects as it needs to draw the person in. Take your time with your headlines and if possible make a few to choose from. They’re the first thing people read and are the basis on which people decide whether they want to read further or not so keep it intriguing.
3. Make your content actionable
The best content will offer the reader a sense of how to apply the information they’re digesting. It won’t degrade then by telling them what to do but will respect them and provide them with assurance that they know how best to use the material. When writing your blog, offer tips on applying the information you’re offering. Ask yourself this, why do the majority of people read non-fiction? The answer is simply to learn and become better so help them to do it.
4. Provide answers to the inevitable questions
Do you know what the ultimate purpose of a search engine is? When people use search engines such as Google, they ultimately want an answer to their question or query and it’s the search engines job to deliver this to them. This is the same for when people read a blog post or view an infographic, they all want answers in order to gain knowledge. Not only do they want answers but they want fast answers too so you need to make your content easy to scan and digest. This means they can pick up the important bits quickly.
5. Be accurate in your reporting and when you source information
Could you imagine if you wrote an article for your company’s website, it was read by thousands or hundreds of thousands even. Then some of what you had written turned out to be false and inaccurate. Imagine the damage this would do your company’s reputation. Your content is merely a reflection of your company and you personally so keep this in mind.
6. Create content that engages the reader and provokes thought
An audience that’s engaged will hang onto your every word, taking everything in that you say or write but the only way to get an engaged audience is to make engaging and thought provoking content for them to read. Here are some tips for creating engaging content;
- Leave them with questions – now this doesn’t mean an incomplete blog but rather include questions that will make them reflect or ask themselves how best to apply the knowledge you’ve given them.
- Have an important introduction – the majority of people decide within the first few sentences whether they want to read the post or not so grab their attention quick.
- You can’t go wrong with a story – using an anecdote in your introduction or weaving a story into the entire post can often help clarify a point and help the reader learn too.
One final tip on this point: did you know if you produce content that creates a flurry of responses and comments, the search engine will notice this and deem you important. This is a brilliant way to get search engines to check back at your website more frequently too so grab attention and ask for involvement.
This list of tips and tricks isn’t a complete guide. There are several other points we could include however this should get you started for now. If you’d like more tips on how and why you should be producing great content then contact us at Wecan Media today.