Optimising your Website for Search Part 3: Content
The first and second blogs of this series paint a picture of the complex nature of online marketing. From the previous instalments, we could surmise it involves more than developing the structural design of a website. It also requires careful and strategic authority building through healthy and organic off-site development. In this final instalment, we will discuss the third and final aspect of a successful online marketing campaign – content.
Content is the essence of the web. It comes in a variety of formats, most of which most of which are encountered by web users on a daily basis. From news articles and videos to infographics and podcasts, content is the heart of every website. Whether you are a freelance creative or a fully-operational business outfit, the content on your website is key to attracting and engaging your target market.
But how do you ensure that your content helps you attract the right kind of traffic and improve your conversions? Here are a few tips to get you on the right track:
- Be original
Brainstorming serves as the catalyst for generating and executing unique and impactful content.
Google rewards originality. It appreciates websites containing unique, keyword optimised content that provide relevant, valuable information for visitors. Creating original content that is worth sharing can boost your website traffic. Whether you are creating exposure for your non-profit cause or building awareness about your brand, unique, creative, and valuable content helps you generate interest. If you create content that is truly worthwhile, people will inevitably share your work.
This level of exposure can lead to people following you on social media, bookmarking your blog, subscribing to your newsletter, and sending enquiries. Creating unique and informative content also works toward establishing yourself as a leader in your particular industry. Sharing your personal understanding of your craft, as well as actionable information others in your niche can put to good use, helps you connect with a wider audience and builds your sphere of influence.
The same approach works extremely well when it comes to product and service pages on your website. No one knows your product or service better than you. Using your own words to describe what you can offer to customers can help you highlight selling points more saliently.
- Keep it fresh
Freshness is another factor that Google appreciates. It is capable of determining which search queries require fresh, updated content and which are better served with older content. As such, if you create new content that is targeted at topics or searches for which Google is providing regular updates, you have a better chance of Google crawling your site and spotting your fresh post.
The frequency of updates also matters in the freshness ranking of a piece of content. A website that frequently updates its content is ranked differently compared to a website that allows its content to stagnate, assuming both are in the same industry. Websites that are recognised as news and information authorities are given exposure by Google, as these produce relevant, updated, in-depth content on a regular basis.
- Vary your formats
People are visual creatures. It is easier for us to connect and engage with visually stimulating content. With this in mind, it is essential to make your content visually engaging to appeal to a wider audience. While some people may be content with reading whole blocks of text, others might be turned off by it. To better engage readers, craft the content in a way that guides the reader into an easier and better understanding of the subject matter.
This means making use of imagery as a channel to get your point across. Infographics can have a stronger impact than a block of text because it allows you to illustrate your information through creative and intelligent graphics. Using images also helps you direct the attention of the reader towards the main point of your piece. Instead of coursing through whole bodies of text, the reader can easily consume the data through illustrations.
Creating simple, short videos can also be a highly effective means of delivering your message. According to a study by Microsoft, humans nowadays have an attention span of eight seconds. By comparison, goldfish have an attention span of nine seconds. This means content creators have an extremely short window of opportunity to capture potential audiences. Videos can encapsulate the juiciest data and present it in an easily consumable format in mere seconds, increasing the chances of people watching the entirety of your video and engaging your call to action.
In a nutshell, properly optimising your website for search is a multi-pronged approach. There are a lot of aspects to look out for, but it is best to take your time and work through it step-by-step. This is essentially why SEO takes a long time to take effect: because it is a tiered process. But while it is gradual, the return on investment over time grows. Like every good and beautiful thing, it takes hard work and dedication. If you stay your course and work through the challenges, the end result is success.