In today’s ever-changing quest to satisfy Google, there are numerous elements of search engine optimization (SEO) that all website owners need to understand if they wish to rank well on the web. The most significant elements of SEO include keyword research and link building. However content has made a recent climb in SEO importance.
We’ve previously discussed the significance of writing quality content in a post-panda environment, but now let’s take an in-depth look into what that really means to Google.
Be Original – There is a reason why this is rule number one. Duplicated content was the primary target of Google’s Panda update in February 2011. If your content is rehashed and can be found all over the Internet, you’re going to have a hard time ranking well.
Avoid “thin” content – Google labels content as thin when it is too short, too long, or too vague. The topic of a page should help dictate its length. If you’re writing about the evolution of music, you’ll need more than a few hundred words to discuss it. If you’re writing about the shape of an index card, you probably don’t need 200 words to describe it. More than 200 words on this topic would likely be repetitive and feel stretched.
When you’re writing a page make sure you’re fully answering a question, solving a problem, or offering some kind of value. If you’re not informing, educating or providing a service, you’ll have a hard time convincing Google you’re an authority on any topic.
Write for your audience – Content for the medical community should be a lot different than content for the general public. Your audience should be priority number one because you want them navigating your site and not your competitor’s site. Content that is clear and easy to understand is much more attractive than complex discussions.
Relevance is key – Relevancy has become a buzz word among SEO professionals in recent years. Your content should be strictly relevant to your site and the page it’s on. Don’t discuss sub-topics in detail if they’re deserving of their own page. Simply mention the topic and interlink it to its corresponding page.
Repetition is not key – Repetitive content can be penalized by Google regardless if it’s on one page of your site or on multiple. Having two or more pages on a similar subject is a major offense of repetitive content. Either combine the pages into one or make them extremely unique. Since we’ve mentioned the medical community, one example of repetitive content could be pages titled “life expectancy” and “prognosis.” These are very similar topics and unless you’re able to strictly distinguish the two, it’s best to avoid having both on your site.
Don’t waste time – People searching the Internet are looking for quick answers. If they don’t find what they’re searching for fast enough, they’ll leave and move on to the next site. That’s why it’s crucial to let your visitors know what they can expect to find at the top of the page. A “teaser” or slow buildup may be great for a story, but not on the Internet. Let your visitors know what they can expect to read on your pages within the first paragraph or two.
Get creative – The addition of pictures, videos, podcasts, graphs or infographics is a great way to add unique content to your site. Finding ways to replace big blocks of text or commonly used phrases are great concepts in Google’s eyes.
Proofread – Google’s algorithm can detect grammar mistakes in your content. However don’t edit your content just because Google says it’s important. Edit it because your visitors will appreciate it and stay on your website. Well written content is shareable and that’s what you want to achieve.
Are you looking to improve your content production? Contact us today to see how we can help.