We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, content is king. This is especially true when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Years ago, your SEO strategy might have worked without a strong content marketing plan behind it, but not anymore. Today, the content on your website must be relevant to what people are searching for, have value and provide answers to their questions. Just look at how high-quality, new content can affect your search rankings and website traffic:
Google and other search engines use web crawlers, also known as bots or robots, to scour billions of webpages across the internet. These web crawlers look at the content on the pages (particularly keywords) and links that lead to other pages. They also pay close attention to new websites, changes to existing websites, and dead links. All of this is tracked in what is known as a Search index. Websites are indexed and ranked based on algorithmic factors which are determined by each search engine. These factors, however, change frequently. That’s why SEO is never a one-and-done deal. You must constantly work at it.
New content is one way to increase how often your website is crawled and indexed. This doesn’t mean you should randomly change a few words here or there. And, you shouldn’t post short, low-quality articles every day. Posting high-quality, relevant content on a frequent basis is the best way to achieve better results.
Creating new content without a keyword strategy is like putting a car on the road without gas. It’s not going anywhere. If you want to rank for new keywords, you’ll need to research your competition’s top ranking keywords, as well as determine which ones are important to your business. Once you know what you want to rank for, you’ll have a good starting point for article topics. Keep in mind that quality trumps quantity. You’ll want to write new content that not only includes your targeted keywords and similar phrases, but also provides valuable information. Simply stuffing your keywords into a fluff piece will not work. In fact, it could have the opposite effect.
Blogging is an excellent way to increase your keyword rankings, if done correctly. When drafting new content, remember to include your keyword phrases in the blog title and sub-headings. More importantly, make sure it appears early within the first paragraph of your post. You’ll also want to include other media within the post and tag it appropriately. This not only helps break up the text and make it easier to read, but also helps with indexing. According to Moz.com, posts with videos, images and lists can attract as many as six times more ILDs (Latent Semantic Indexing) than a simple text post.
Why do people conduct searches on the internet? They want answers. If you continually provide those answers, Google (and other search engines) will take notice, but it will not happen overnight. It takes time to build trust and loyalty. The way to do this is by creating new, original content on a consistent basis. The content should be well-written, researched and verified. You cannot spew out stats without anything to back up your analysis. In addition, the content should stimulate conversation. If it’s shared frequently or receiving comments, you’re on the right track.
There have been several studies on how longer posts tend to rank higher, but that’s not always the case. Posts between 350 -500 words can also do well, if they have the right ingredients. This includes internal links to other articles/posts on the same topic or related keyword focus, as well as external links to industry influencers or experts. Omit the fluff, keep on point and offer real solutions. The one thing to remember is that your content should be optimized for both human and search engine consumption. Once you find the perfect balance, you’ll win the rankings war.