Want better search rankings? Look at your content
While search marketing is a field that is always in flux with algorithm updates and strategy shifts happening constantly, there is one cornerstone of SEO that continues its steadfast domination – content.
Having quality content on your site is one strategy that, no matter the situation or the industry, is always relevant and applicable. Any discussion of SEO these days must include content. Search engines are able to recognize what searchers want to read and what they want is quality, solid information that answers their queries and is useful to them.
In my days as an SEO consultant, I’ve seen a lot of organizations making missteps on the content side of things. They may not produce enough of it or they may not give it the priority and precedence of other tactics, like link building and PPC advertising.
So, I thought I’d share some tips and insights for ensuring that your content creation efforts go as far as they can in supporting your overall search rankings and online visibility.
- Quality content has been king forever, and continues to be. Write quality content and rank higher than poor content that lacks value, readability or originality. Content must be written for the enjoyment and benefit of actual people, not just search engine bots.
- Keyword research is extremely important and helps give a focus. It is ideal to use keyword query search tools to help better understand what users are searching so that you are writing on topics that are important to them, not just what you, the business owner, thinks is important. Keyword tools can let you know what subjects to cover, guiding you to answer questions and share knowledge that aligns with what people are actually looking for. Ultimately, the goal is to write content that users want to read and gives the information they are seeking through their search queries. Focus on the user, not only the search counts. No keyword stuffing or over-optimization!
- The more engagement with and social connection to content, the better. Search algorithms are paying attention to how popular content is. They see engagement as yet another indicator of quality. Again, by creating content that your audience needs or connects with helps to make it more shareable, and as a result, more visible in search results.
- Including graphics and visuals is always powerful to help connect the words with the visitor’s eye. It also makes your content easier and more pleasant to read, encouraging people to stay on page, take in your content and share it.
- Great content can help build links and strengthen a site’s overall SEO profile in an organic and non spam-ish way. Rather than hustling trying to build links, quality content helps you to naturally attract them, offering another indicator of quality to search engines.
Now that you understand the importance of content, it’s time to get creating. There are so many options at your disposal. Once you’ve got solid, optimized content for your website, you can look to other content tactics such as blog posts, articles, guides, case studies, and downloads to name a few.
Content is one of the first things I review for my clients and I encourage those of you looking to improve your search rankings (and who isn’t these days) to give your content a good hard look. All the link building and optimization tactics in the world will not help if you don’t have a solid foundation of content backing up your SEO efforts.