|Write content for Search Engines and Users|
For the past few years I have been going on and on about writing new content as regularly as possible. I have seen quite a few of our clients do so diligently and I appreciate that but there is one thing that is starting to become clear: writing content that is valuable to both Search Engine and Users is paramount if you want to maintain your Search Engine position and perhaps even to increase your online visibility. Below here are my suggestions when writing your next blog. Your objective everytime you write a new blog should be: will Users like and/or share this information?
Content that is Valuable to Search EnginesGoogle, Bing and all the other search engines have spiders / crawlers / bots that frequently index your website. The more often your website has new content is a signal that you are frequently updating your website with new information and this is an important signal to them. A few years ago, that was the only thing you needed to do, keep updating your website. With the advent of the Panda Algorithm, that is no longer the case. It now looks at the quality of the content. Its looks at the length of the blog, if their are any copied content, how many links exit it, how many links point to it, etc.
Search Engines find value in the following:
- Unique Content -- your content is valuable to the Search Engines if it is unique
- Appropriate amount of Internal and External links -- your content, if it is information packed will have links leaving the page. These links are valuable to Search Engines as it is a signal that your page relates to something else that is published. Its also better if you link to high ranking / trusted websites. Make sure the internal links of your website was done properly so that you get sufficient links pointing to your blog. If you can get other trusted, external links to point to it, even better.
- Text to HTML Ratio -- your content is valuable to Google if there is more words than html / code / scripts on your page. So depending on the amount of code of your website, your text should be atleast 25% higher. A good word count, for me atleast, using our website as an example is a minimum of 300 words. This also brings us to information about "thin content" -- if your page has more html than words it will be giving the penalty of "thin content" and that penalty will probably decrease your search engine position.
- Amount of Time Spent on the page / Click-Through-Rate / Bounce Rates -- Search Engines will time how long a user stays on the page, if the user clicks through to another page or if the User leaves (or bounces out) of the website. The goal of every page / every blog on your website is to increase the time spent on the page and then click-through to another page. If time spent on the page is low and if bounce rates are high your website position is probably low. You need to write better content!
- Use Keywords -- your content is valuable to Google if you use keywords that Users are using to search for your product or service. Whats the point of blogging when Users aren't searching for information about your product or service? You will just be wasting your time.
How to find Keywords for your next Blog
I prefer using Google's keyword planner obviously because Google is where the search is being done. It was annoying when Google moved Keyword Planner to Adwords because now you have to have an Adwords account to access it but if you ever engage in a Pay-Per-Click Campaign (PPC), its easy to understand why. If you never do a PPC Campaign then it will be annoying forever. The good news is that signing up for an Adwords account is free.
Here are some Youtube Videos on how to use Keyword Planner
Content that is Valuable to Users
Content is valuable to users when they like it using Social Media and when they share it via the many sharing tools. When they share it, your content inevitable gets a lot of links pointing to it, which is what you want to happen.
Here are the ways that Search Engines know that Content is Valuable to Users:
- Lots of Likes / Loves -- when content is valuable it becomes relatable and lots of Users will like / love the post. Social Media is one of the signals for Search Engine ranking so its important that you keep your Social Media pages active.
- Lots of Shares -- when content is super valuable, it will have so many shares. The more shares a page has, the higher it will increase its rank. Remember one of the strongest Search Engine signals is the amount of trusted and relevant links pointing to it. Each share creates a unique URL and each URL is counted as link pointing to a page. Your goal (should you choose to accept it, is to create pages and pages of content that people want to share!)
- Your subject is specific, timely and relevant -- when you write content, be specific. Don't write all these things about all these topics. Write about one topic and make it so detailed that everyone searching for that one topic will be able to find the information they need. Don't forget to do your keyword research and create the content about that one keyword only.
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.