Boost your content's effectiveness with this SEO info

03 February 2017

Boost your content's effectiveness with this SEO info

In the early days of SEO, getting to the top of the rankings was largely about knowing technical tricks such as keyword stuffing and mass back-linking. This led to Google adjusting its algorithm to make it more effective at seeking out the high-quality content users want, defeating people who were trying just to manipulate SEO criteria to their advantage.

Google has made a lot of progress on this regard; here are three key points you need to know:

Content really is King

This phrase has arguably turned into something of a cliché, but it’s still absolutely true. These days, the word “content” can encompass everything from written blogs to podcasts, photos or videos and often the same web page will contain a mixture of media elements. There are, however, two crucial ground rules which apply to them all:

1. Content must be original. Beware generic content such as manufacturer’s product descriptions and stock images, even if you have the legal right to use them. If you’re using the same descriptions and images as everyone else, you’re very likely to hurt your ranking.

2. Content must be engaging. Google monitors user behaviour such as bounce rates (how often users hit a page and leave without clicking anywhere else on the site) and average time spent on page as well as social engagement (likes, shares etc.).

Black hat is out, optimization is in

You can read your way through Google’s SEO guidelines, but fundamentally what you really need to understand is that – in addition to indicators that you’re producing great content – Google wants to see indicators that your content is easily accessible.

Mobile is a must. All content on the internet today needs to be easily accessible to mobile users if it is to stand any chance of reaching a high ranking on Google.

Support for searching and indexing is vital. While the old black-hat techniques are unlikely to work (and will ultimately see you getting penalised), Google still needs to be able to find the great content you’re producing to put it in front of their users.

The mechanics of website design matter too. You can argue the toss as to whether or not website design is part of SEO per se, good website design encourages users to stay on your site and explore it. This helps you. Conversely bad web design sends users rushing for the exit and will hurt your rankings.

Vary the types of content you use, particularly incorporating visual content

Different people learn in different ways. In the internet world, some people will engage best with long-form content such as in-depth blogs and podcasts. Pictures and video, however, do a great job of grabbing people’s attention and interest and it is therefore worth including them in your content if possible.