If you’re associated with SEO in any way then you will know that content is all the rage at the moment. Everywhere you look; blog posts, social media, you tube videos, there are different pieces of information trying to elaborate the importance content has on rankings. There is even a whole conference dedicated just to content marketing.
Here at Deepblue, we understand that the grey area associated with content is a big one. Questions such as, “how do you write a good piece of content?” and “Why is it so important?” are questions that float around an SEO’s mind. The answers are simple – PANDA…
Unfortunately it is not the cute, furry animal. It is a Google algorithm. As this is a beginner’s guide we don’t want to confuse you too much, but basically the algorithms put in place by Google determine how worthy your website is of ranking highly in the search results. The Panda algorithm focuses on quality of content. This essentially means a number of site were penalised badly by Google when the update was released. Sites with very little, or ‘spammy’ content found their rankings decreased massively and continued to decrease until the algorithm was adhered too.
How to Create ‘Good Content’
We know what you’re now thinking… “How do you have quality content?” “how do I create some content that will be retweeted more times than the ‘Oscars Selfie?’”
Well here are a few pointers and advice that have worked well for some of our clients:
1. Size matters – Men don’t panic… This simply means Panda takes the length of the content into account. Although there are no strict guidelines to how much content is correct, it is simply the more the better. Until recently, it was thought that 250-500 words was appropriate, however Michael Cottam recently suggested on Moz that 1500 words was closer to the figure required to rank on page 1.
2. Be interactive – With up to 1500 words on a single page, there is a high possibility your mind will wander a bit. To prevent this, engage your audience using videos, images, graphs – anything to A) make the page look more attractive, and B) to display the information your providing in an easy-to-read format.
As an example, take a look at this post below with and without interactive techniques… Which would engage you the most?
3. Answer a question – Everybody has questions. Whether it is about a certain product, a company or an answer to the meaning of life, your content will do great things if it provides an answer. An excellent example of this is when reading a blog post or a piece of content; does it pose any questions that aren’t answered? If yes, there is a good chance someone else has asked the exact same question – so write a piece answering it.
Showing your Content to the World
Okay, so now you believe you have created the best piece of content in the world; it’s attractive, funny, engaging – but who is going to see it? Unfortunately this isn’t easy and requires patience, however with the use of certain tools it is possible.
- Social Media – Millions and millions of people are now using social media and it continues to grow in popularity (even my grandad is on Facebook now). Instead of using it just for social purposes, it can be used for business purposes. Every single person on any form of social media has the potential to see your piece of content. Creating something therefore, that has a good target audience and has the potential to be shared over and over again within that target area is key to creating a successful content campaign.
- Promotion – Having placed the content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ etc. you think you’ve done everything possible to show your content to the world? Wrong! A common mistake in the content marketing world is to forget about the content you’ve posted and let the magic happen. There are a couple of ways to promote your work being shared: 1. Use share buttons on your content. 2. Timing is everything. (The average life cycle of content on twitter can be as little as 18 minutes).
There is no doubt about it that the boom in social media and the Internet has influenced the world of SEO and in particular content marketing. It has given everybody the ability to have their say and share it with the world. From a digital marketing perspective, it provided a whole new avenue to work with but with it, unfortunately for us, came a huge increase in competition.
The importance of Onsite Content
Content doesn’t just have to be an amazing blog post or infographic. When the Panda algorithm was released, it was the websites themselves that were penalised due to the lack of on onsite content. Simply having a few sentences on a site wasn’t enough to tell Google what exactly the site was about.
From what we can work out, when Google ranks a site it takes into account a number of things. At Deepblue, we have found that most important things in terms of onsite content are the title tag, the heading tags and the content itself. It is essential that these components are all keyword related. By matching these SEO techniques, it tells Google exactly what will be found on the webpage.
A perfect example of this is one of our clients. The site was created by ourselves, but had very little SEO and content on the site. The graph below shows the improvements made through these basics alone:
To explain exactly what has been done, information rich, well-written, keyword friendly content was produced for each page. Having decided on a set of main keywords and locations with the client, we set about working on improving the site from an SEO perspective.
The site went live in March and the basic content was placed on the site. As you would imagine, this prompted Google to start indexing and ranking the pages (although very poorly).
Between the months of April and August however, the site’s content was completely re-written. Each page now contains at least 300 words. It is well written. It contains specific keyword phrases. It has corresponding title tags and heading tags. By assembling these components, the sites overall rankings based on their chosen keywords have risen 747 Google places in 5 months! There has been very little link building, very little technical SEO features added; these results have all been produced through content and basic SEO.
So, how can Deepblue help you?
As explained above, we have some fantastic results coming from content alone. However, don’t be misconceived and think this is a simple procedure. Although the words “basic SEO” and “simply content” have been used, it has been done to a professional standard to bring about these results.
Basic SEO simply means the most important things; the thing that Google will look at first to ensure the site is worthy of being ranked. Creating the perfect title tag is essential and matching this with META descriptions is what encourages traffic to click onto your site. Increase this click through rate is what ultimately leads to a higher conversion rate.
As this blog explains, the need for professional content is one of the most important things in the SEO world right now. We have already seen amazing results through content marketing and the same can be done for you. Creating the content is not enough though – link building, social sharing and promotion are all features that require hard work and dedication.
For any queries relating to content, SEO, digital marketing or what we can do for you, pleasecontact us, fill in an enquiry form or call us on 0113 288 8522.