How Content Affects Your SEO
Now it’s time to talk content.
There’s a saying in the web world “Content is King”. Whether “Content is Queen”, “Content is Dictator”, or “Content is the Holy Grail” speaks to you louder, ultimately the message is “Holy cow, content is the MOST important factor in creating a successful website and SEO campaign”! You can do all of the paid marketing, promotions, inbound-linking, and social media you want, but if your content isn’t useful, fresh, and relevant, none of it will matter.
So, what makes good content?
- Your content should be directly related to the general concept behind your website. Whenever possible, your content should include keywords, both for your overall SEO campaign, but also on the topic at hand. What you cannot do is “stuff” pages full of keywords that don’t actually make sense for a reader. Search Engines will penalize you for stuffing.
- Content needs to be relevant to the time that it’s being posted, if it’s outdated information before it hits the internet, don’t bother.
- Lastly, it must be relevant to your audience. If your target audience is primarily the 30-40 year-old business person, your content should be fitting for them, not the college student who StumbleUpon-ed you.
- Informative: Your visitors are busy, heck, you’re busy. So why bother writing content that isn’t useful for them or your SEO? The more knowledge you can share the better. Establish yourself as a credible source for information and people will be more likely to read what you have to say, and if you’re lucky, share it and link to it. How-to pages, insider tips, FAQs about your industry, and other easy-to-browse helpful pages are the best types of content to boost your SEO.
What is “fresh” content?
Unless your website is dedicated to historical documents like the Bill of Rights or the Magna Carta, your content needs to be “fresh”. So what does fresh mean?
- Unique. Google’s algorithms give a higher ranking to content that is original, not copied or stolen and altered from another website. Write your own stuff!
- New. Google’s “Panda 4.0” algorithm, an update from Spring of 2014, rewards websites that are consistently updated, including changing existing content, and adding new.
- What updates to existing content will help?
- Significant changes to the text on the page. Changing a word in a sentence or moving text around the page does not count. You need to add or remove sections of a page in order for it to make a significant difference. Additionally, making changes on a hidden page that no one visits will not give you the same results as making updates to your primary pages, such as the homepage.
- Frequent changes to the content. A website that makes significant updates regularly, to be realistic let’s say once a week, will get better “freshness rating” than one that only updates once every few months.
- Adding new content, frequently.
- Whether it is strictly the addition of new content or the ratio of new to “old” content is unclear, but the bottom line is, new content is good! This is one of the primary reasons you see so many blogs all over the internet, blogs give marketers a reason to continuously create new posts, boosting their freshness factor!
This just scratches the surface of the connection between content and SEO, a topic that is ever-changing and needs to be constantly monitored, but for your day-to-day knowledge, it’s a good start!
Whether you have a blog, a website, or are considering starting one or both, be sure that you can devote time, at least once a month, to keeping them current, fresh, and relevant to your target market. The time you allocate is an affordable and effective way to increase your ROI in a web presence for your business.