Content The Key That Unlocks The SEO Algorithm
Content writing is a wide field that covers a varied number of platforms and formats. Making sure your content is relevant, in trend and catchy enough to keep the user hooked is a difficult task as it is. Now, however, it’s gotten tougher. Content writers now need to make sure they optimize their content for search engines as well.
SEO can be a complicated topic and without a technical background, understanding the back-end procedures and techniques can take some getting used to. Keywords, meta data, structured data are all terms that one has to be familiar with in this day and age. Organically bringing your website, product, brand to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is the need of the hour. And content is the key.
SEO practices have been around for a while now, long enough for unethical practices to rear their ugly heads. The good part; is that Google and other search engines are constantly changing and creating new algorithms to counter-act this issue. The bad part; this makes legitimate SEO practices all the more important but tedious as well.
Sean Jackson of Copyblogger ( http://www.copyblogger.com/ )has called this new trend in SEO practices OC/DC, i.e. Optimizing Content for Discovery and Conversion.
Content is for the Readers
It is important to understand that the readers are the audience that you are catering to and not the SEO rules. Keywords are important but if your content makes no sense you can be sure that Google will not give your blog or advertisement precedence. Google has repeatedly stated that they will not give importance to SEO technique stuffed material if the content doesn’t make sense at the same time.
Writing to please Google’s algorithm has been proven not to help in the long run. In comparison, if you write relevant content with just a couple of things in mind, it can be immune to the Google algorithm changes. Google is looking to promote your material and not only the keywords on your page, which in excess can actual cause more harm than good.
What does Google Look For?
Source : https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html
To hear it from the horse’s mouth, as they say, take a look at the list of questions posted on Google’s official blog to help you get into the mind of the Google.
1. Would you trust the information presented in this article?
2. Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
3. Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
4. Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
5. Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
6. Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
7. Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
8. Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
9. How much quality control is done on content?
10. Does the article describe both sides of a story?
11. Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
12. Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
13. Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
14. For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
15. Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
16. Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
17. Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
18. Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
19. Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
20. Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
21. Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
22. Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
23. Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
24. To begin with, planning your content strategy based on the actual interests of your target audience will be the most helpful to you and your brand.
Your Brand as an Optimisation Tool
Google is constantly looking for unique content. That’s where bringing out your brand’s USP ( Unique Selling Point ) works wonders for your content and on Google as well. Simply giving importance to what makes your brand different from the rest could set you apart.
Repeated content makes Google rank your brand or website as redundant and in turn, low ranking. So keep it fresh and stick to the brand image, whatever it may be, but makes sure that you don’t loose consistency for your readers. In your search to be unique, losing the brand image will make your content seem untrustworthy to your readers. Remember, they are your end game.
What Semantic Search Is To Content Marketing
Recently Google has started concentrating on actually allocating importance to categorising fragmented non-specific keywords based on the core they belong to, giving them more meaning. This Semantic Search now allows for more of the relevant content you write to be clubbed in this group, as against the cut and dry specific keyword grouping done by everyone these days.
With Google’s algorithms favouring more concepts like these, it gives content creators more freedom to tailor content to their audience’s genuine interests without having to worry about this content being buried under results that rank highly.
Bring on the SEO
Think of SEO as final step of the process. Once you are sure your content is catering to the right audience and pertains to the topic at hand and have fully promoted your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Point) you can now start thinking about “traditional” SEO practices.
Best practices for SEO are as follows:
1. Keyword: Always put the keyword in your title. Providing accurate keywords within headlines and anchor text helps. You can use your keywords in bold, different font, headlines, etc.
2. Titles: Make sure they are short and have clear direction to the topic. Being quirky might help the readers like your content a bit more but Google still needs to find it first.
3. Language: Don’t confuse the reader with long winding sentences and too much information. Categorise and clearly lay out your topic, making it short and sweet!
4. Technical Jargon: No one like having to Google every other word they are reading. It’ll make your readers lose interest. Use layman’s language and spoken grammar so as to keep the reader engaged and connected to your topic.
You need to remember that if you’re not creating awesome content, any form of SEO is essentially useless. Keep in mind that modern SEO copywriting has gone beyond keyword targeting and placement. The best approach now is to write content that addresses keyword intent and make your brand image clear and keeps your readers coming back for more.
Content Marketing11 Jan 2022 | Rachel