You may well have heard the phrase “content is king” floating around for years now. For SEO this is still true, although Google is always becoming smarter and figuring out that content for the sake of content adds very little value. In fact, you might notice if you’re keeping track that Google is becoming more and more human-like with its level of sophistication for scanning and ranking websites.
Why? Quite simply, human experience is what Google wants to prioritise. The ranking algorithm is trying to understand what it’s like for a person searching for a term. What do they want to find? How will a brand successfully connect with its potential customers? Once you understand what your customers need, you can crack a common mystery facing many business owners and website creators – how exactly should we be using this famous content?
Well, starting by understanding customers will hopefully lead to a positive experience for them. Once we know what they want, we can work out how to offer it. You can be pretty confident that when a user thinks your website is great, they’re going to interact with it completely differently and Google’s going to pick up on this. The result: higher rankings, a wider audience, and a virtuous circle! It’s just a case of getting there.
What do we need to do?
Your potential customers are all ultimately going to follow the same basic journey, beginning with absolutely no knowledge of your brand and ending with a successful purchase (and hopefully a great relationship you can build on). There are four key stages here, and it’s helpful to think about them all when formulating your content:
1) Awareness – getting a basic understanding of a product or service
2) Interest – starting to compare and study the available options
3) Desire – getting ready to commit and make a decision
4) Action – finding the best place to make a final selection
Certain keywords will be more common at different stages of this funnel, so it’s important to think rationally about the page you want to add content to. Once you’ve established which stage you’re planning to intercept your customers at, you can get on with the process of writing and optimising your content.
How do you plan your content?
· Choose the right kind of keywords
Your search terms that you optimise your writing for may contain keywords like “buy”, “for sale”, “comparison” or “reviews” depending on the phase your customer is at with their journey, as explained above. These allow you to target specific types of visitors and give them the information they need to come to the right decision.
· Match your content to your focus
Once you’ve established your target search terms you’re able to check the focus of your writing corresponds to the market you’re chasing. It’s quite likely you might have a disproportionate amount of information that’s relevant to people at the beginning of the process, for example, but not enough persuasive, detailed content for those further along the chain. Once you’ve figured out what these gaps are you can work on filling them, so a visitor doesn’t need to leave your website to get from the beginning to the end of the process.
· Optimise your content
Once you’ve successfully managed your content to fit your customers’ needs and figured out your ideal keywords, it’s time to ensure you’ve actually included them all in the right places before launching. If you’re running a full SEO campaign this all needs to be as consistent as possible.
· Monitor your progress with key performance indicators
If you’ve established your objectives in terms of sales, sign-ups or another concrete figure early on in the process, this should be straightforward enough. Sometimes it can be more difficult to establish useful data to try and interpret when you’re judging the success of written content, but it’s important to somehow build this into your writing whenever possible, otherwise it becomes impossible to tell how well you’re doing.
The main point here is that content really needs to be engaging on a critical level. It’s no longer enough to pad out your website with unnecessary text as a way of telling Google you’ve got more to offer than an empty page. Ultimately you need to persuade your visitors that you’re worth investing in, whatever your business, so trying to fool Google or take shortcuts isn’t going to pay off, especially as algorithm updates become more and more sophisticated. If you decide to take control of your content writing and focus on high quality, relevant information, you can expect much better results in the long term.
For more information about our SEO packages that include advice and writing services to help you develop your website content, please take a look at ourpackages and services or get in touch with us here.
Content marketing is a vital factor in the success of any business website. If you’re not thinking about it, the chances are you’re well behind where you could be. You might think of blogging when we mention content marketing, but it’s much more than that!
Content marketing basically means communicating valuable information to your audience that isn’t really focused on selling your product or service, but empowers users and gives them something they value. It can be thought of as indirect marketing, since the idea is that once your readers start to see you as a valuable source of information, they’ll be more likely to remain loyal and buy from you later.
With all aspects of your online presence, content marketing is integral. As we say all the time to our clients, having great content is of course one of the best things you can do for SEO purposes. To help your website rank higher on search engines organically, you really want users to find engaging content that makes them stay on your site for longer and feel like they found what they were looking for, and search engines notice this behaviour. If you think about it, the strategy you follow with the written content you use to promote your website should be consistent across social media, pay-per-click campaigns, emails, blogs, videos, PR and more… so content marketing really is key.
Your objective with content marketing is essentially to build a high quality relationship with your potential customers over time, so you can guide people towards those eventual purchase decisions without the need for hard selling techniques. Be careful though, as it’s not all about manipulating your readers! Considering the wealth of information available online, you need to stand out as a voice of authority in your industry and deliver high quality resources to help empower your customers and bring them back to you next time they need an expert.
Ultimately when planning our content, we need to find a balance between two main factors: what do we need, and what does our audience need?
Starting with our audience, we need to make sure we know exactly who they are. If we have a target market for our business (which we probably should have established by now!), what do they want to find when they visit our website? Do you know what they already think of your brand or your products? Does the size of your potential market warrant spending money on paid advertising, or getting professional help with SEO, social media and more? If you can answer these questions, you have a good starting point.
We also need to balance this with what we want to eventually get back from our audience. What’s the main objective of your content marketing strategy? Are you building awareness of your brand, promoting a new service, converting leads from a campaign, or something else? Thinking about how your business model works, how can you make sure the information you offer people encourages them to convert?
Once you’ve worked on formulating an initial strategy, getting some quality content written should be straightforward, especially when you’re writing as an expert in your own field. Next it’s vital to think about how you’re going to share and promote your content to reach its intended audience. Beyond SEO and paid advertising, harnessing the power of social media is important as it’s perfectly suited to sharing content and increasing your reach naturally. If you can offer your followers (and the rest of the online community) something of value, pushing it on the right channels combined with real social engagement should be enough to start growing your audience.
For more help with content marketing, from your initial strategy to maximising your potential reach, we recommend you simply get in touch with our team at 123 Ranking. As experienced SEO experts we’ve learned to focus on the bigger picture, helping our clients perfect every aspect of their online presence and put themselves in the best possible position to grow their businesses. If you want to be in that same position, simply ask us here about how we can help you get there.
Are your blog posts a bit flat, are they attracting the right attention, if any? If you’re struggling to attract a stream of steady readers to your blog, the good news is you’re not on your own, many struggle with this problem. The good news is that there are many smart ways to create content that your readers will love and want to share.
First of all let’s start off with explaining what shareable content is. Shareable content is content that is so engaging and interesting that it makes readers share it with their family and friends – an audience that you wouldn’t normally reach. The more people who share your content, the more people see it and the more Google takes notice, creating more opportunities to share. If you want to create shareable content, read on.
Craft a Captivating Title
The title is the first thing your audience see, so it’s important that when you’re developing content you craft a title that grabs the attention of your audience and encourages them to read on and find out more. Everyone loves a list so numeric lists like ‘5 Top Tips’ and teases like ‘The Secret to’ are fail-proof ways to grab your audience’s attention. Although it’s good to be engaging make sure your title reflects the subject matter of your article, if the topic isn’t immediately apparent readers are less likely to read and share the content.
Original is Best
When it comes to content, original is always best – plagiarism is not good and will not encourage shares. Creating bespoke content is the key to attracting and keeping an audience, be a thought-leader not a follower. Of course, it’s okay to link to other sites, reference quotes, but whatever you do, don’t copy the content.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Word
You’ve all heard that saying, right? Using images in content and social interactions increases engagement. Visuals speak louder than words and they stand out, therefore it makes sense to use visual aids such as images, videos and infographics in your content to make it more shareable.
Narrow Down Your Audience
Okay, it sounds wrong narrowing down your audience because you’ll be targeting less people, but it does make sense. Shareable a content communicates and addresses a certain audience, sometimes a very specific audience. By making your content very specific, you may be alienating a broader audience, however, if your content is directed at a certain audience, you’ll attract that audience’s attention and retain it.
Everyone nowadays is pushed for time, particularly in business. We can no longer sit down for half an hour in the morning and read a whole host of long articles. Your content needs to be reader friendly, and able to be digested in a single session. As we said in our first point tip lists are great, think about crafting bulleted lists, step by step guides and content that is broken down by sub-headings. Concise content is more effective and shareable than long-winded articles.
Creating consistent shareable content to share via your social media channels will not only make you a thought-leader and an expert within your industry, it’ll also provide you with a wealth of SEO benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about content creation and how our blog content and management services can help you, click here.
What to Know About the Current Update and How to Keep Your Website from Being Affected
As you might have already read, Google rolled out two algorithmic updates covering content healthiness and backlink profiles. These algorithms are called Panda 4.0 and Payday Loans Algorithm 2.0. The latter has been said to be affecting only .3% of searches and websites. Panda 4.0 however is a different one as many regard this update to be unexpected due to some speculations that the next update will be embedded to the search algorithm rather than stay independent. However, during the SMX West, Matt Cutts announced that this next update will “soften” the algorithm and will eventually help small businesses. Panda was finally announced by Cutts over his twitter account on May 20, 2014.
So, what do we really know about Panda 4.0 and what does it really target?
Panda algorithm was designed to target content farms and scrapers sites. Basically, what is does is eliminate, penalises, or discredit a site that contains low quality, scraped, & duplicated contents. The first roll out of this algorithm, the first sites that were heavily affected were articles submission sites, press release sites, and content aggregator sites. Over the past 2 years, there had already been more than 26 updates and had impacted 12% of all searches and many low quality content farming sites and sites that are linked to these. Below are just of the pointers on how to detect a low quality content:
1. Scraped content also known as syndicated content
2. Auto generated content using spinners
3. Contents that are plagiarized
4. Less substance content
5. Spammy content
6. Too much advertisement on page
7. Overly optimised content or keyword stuffed
Panda 4.0 is expected to be still enforcing critical filtration on content but because this is just an update, it’s possible that the effect would be more subtle and would target more on quality, engagement, and advertisements.
What can we do then to avoid being hit by Panda 4.0?
1. Create fresh content that is absolutely high-quality and geared toward real readers rather than just to gain search engine notice.
2. Make sure that the content you create is engaging, informative, and unique.
3. Consider using correct grammar and composition and avoiding plagiarism.
4. Avoid duplicates of content. Make sure that your meta tags do not contain exactly similar texts and also your page content. In case of duplicates, better use canonicalization or you may completely remove the duplicate page and save the links to the old URL by implementing a 404 redirect.
5. Avoid having too much ads being served on a single page. 1 to 2 ads should be enough.
6. Make sure that your page does not contain too much of internal links that is irrelevant to the page’s content.
7. Make sure that you have not submitted to content farms or spammy sites contents that are link to your site. In case you did, you can opt to manually remove them or edit the link. For a last resort, you can disavow links that you think are bad and can greatly harm your site.
How would I know my site was hit? In case my site was hit, what should I do to resolve the issue?
For the next few weeks, Google will be dancing and changing results. Monitor how your search keywords are faring so far with your target index. You may also monitor the traffic of your site through Google Analytics.
To rebound back after a Panda 4.0 hit, you may want to consider the following suggestions:
Check where your backlinks are coming from
If you believe that your links are from content farms and low quality sites, you may get rid of them by removing or alter the links manually by going to the website and asking the webmaster to remove the link or content. If you believe this to be a herculean task, our SEO team would always be ready to help you out; just give us a call.
Investigate your on-page contents. Make sure you don’t have too much advertisement, keyword stuffed articles, advertorial links, and you are not doing over optimisation.
Start creating quality and engaging content that’s written with your target audience in mind. In any instance you get stuck on this, you can contact us and try our Copy Writing Service.
When everything comes to worst, making sure that you have corrected your pages’ contents, got rid of the bad links by disavowing them and submitting a reconsideration form to Google will not hurt you a pinch.
For more information regarding this update, feel free to contact our SEO Team or alternatively review and implement the recommendations we have included in your initial technical review.
In the event you have stories to share about Panda 4.0, hit the comment box below and let’s share some views!
When you are creating an Internet marketing campaign, you will want to include article marketing for search engine optimisation (SEO). One of the strategies used for SEO is getting backlinks and one of the great ways to achieve that is with article marketing. You can do article marketing yourself or use our article writing & marketing service. The same is true with the article, you can choose to write the article yourself or choose to use article writing services. To decide if you want to use a service, you will need to figure out how much time you have available and decide to use article writing services available and use article marketing services or do it yourself. Know your budget before searching for a service, so you can stay within it. Many Internet entrepreneurs find that paying for marketing and writing services is Continue Reading