When an SEO guru tells an ambitious fledgling businessman that he needs a healthy supply of content on his website, the typical response is to ask why. After all, at first sight there doesn’t seem to be an obvious correlation between having content and having customers buy your products and services.
But there is: content generates traffic. Without content, traffic has to be generated through functions outside of the website. Content directs the customer journey – a process so important to capitalise on that it’s the cornerstone for all digital marketers.
If you have no real desire to generate any traffic to your website whatsoever and are using it for some insular hobby, or some other activity that won’t require any outside interaction whatsoever, then perhaps content isn’t overly important for your site at all. But, you’re reading this, we suspect you’re probably looking for tips on how to generate leads through content.
Well, Pronto are here to help. So let’s talk about content in detail.
What is content?
Content is anything on your website, but it comes in several forms, ranging across text, audio, visual and even interactive.
Here are the most popular content formats:
Written – Blogs are easily the most popular form of written content on websites. They are essentially short-form writing usually ranging from 500 to 1500 words. Although this may not sound like a whole lot of work, blogging takes up time due to the amount of research undergone before beginning, not to mention the skill it takes to root an audience on the spot. There are also more informative types of writing, such as case studies and manifestos, and entertainment, such as short-form storytelling.
Graphics – Images are by far the most popular as far as visual content goes, whether that be created art or photographs. A personal or artistic look on your website will help it stand out. There are also highly productive forms of graphical content to delve into and manage, such as infographics and charts.
Audio – There are websites where the main draw bringing people to the in is the podcasts hosted there. The best writers in the world can type some enrapturing things, but a thousand words in the form of a podcast takes a lot less time and effort to consume than a blog or a book. Music is of course another source of audio content.
Interactive – Interactive media is a much rarer form of content these days, and usually, the only remaining examples are chatrooms and maps. Games used to keep a lot of websites running, but the advancement of technology and mass production of games that demanded more out of your hardware drew interest away from browsers for games. Every now and then, you’ll find well-crafted interactive labour of love made to further the goals of the website/business it’s hosted on. For example, one of our clients, Luvanto, have a 3D modeller designed to place things in a digital version of your own home
All of the above contribute to boosting your website in Google rankings just by existing, as Google loves fresh content, especially if it’s high quality. But that’s not the end all be all. After all, Google needs a way to know what keywords are relevant to your site and its content, and where you should be listed in search engine rankings for specific keyword search. This is where keyword research comes in..
These two words make some people shiver in trepidation, especially if they themselves have never done keyword research before. But the fact of the matter is its fairly straightforward..
What is the main goal of your website? Take a look at Google as to the types of things people are searching for in regards to the main selling point of your website. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential keyword terms, it’s time to put them in a keyword tool and begin narrowing down which ones you should focus on.
Using a digital marketing SEO tool – you can search the internet for one that suits your needs – and then start adding your keywords, one by one, into the program. See how much volume each keyword gets and jot them down.
Now’s the fun part. Once you have the volumes, you have to look up the competition. The level of opposition you face versus the volume the search term gets should illustrate which ones are worth pursuing and which are not.
Your own personal competitors’ rank and what you’re willing to go up against are up to you. However, in particular, you should view government and big business sites as being too competitive to realistically take on. Google sees them as powerful, useful assets, and they are also likely to have much more authority and budget than you.
Nonetheless, once you’ve got the keywords you want to target, you’re well on your way to creating a plan.
Planning for Google Rank
Google has something called the “Googlebot” that crawls the web to create a searchable indexe for its search engine. It is from this index that your pages will be ranked and sorted from most relevant and authentic, to least relevant and authentic.
Googlebot, when crawling, will scan websites for two things – the search term, and related keywords. Having your target keywords, compiled from your independent keyword research, present on your website in a structured format is vital for traffic to flow into it.
Relevancy is self-explanatory, but what about authenticity? It’s a complex component of google’s search engine. Authenticity can largely be broken down into three parts: integrity, activity and professionalism.
Integrity – Having a good standing not just on your website, but on other websites, will boost your rankings by a lot. This is determined by Google ignoring word of mouth and the links that appear within. If there are forums, for example, sharing links to your website, Google will notice and factor that in. This act of having links on other websites is called backlinking.
Conversely, a bad reputation will also lead to you being de-ranked, or perhaps even just removed from Google’s index altogether – like sites promoting hatred or hosting illegal material.
Another facet of having a website of integrity is to have it be built with modernity in mind. Code is updating all the time, and the advent of mobiles shifted the main browsing experience from desktops to smartphones. As a result, an integral part of modern web development is to employ adaptive design. This means that any website that can morph or be ‘responsive’ to be used on smaller devices, not just phones, but also tablets.
Activity – Pages have to be active in order to rank highly in Google, or at least have a lot of traffic. There are currently around two hundred million websites active on the internet, each of them with several pages. Google has to index each and every single one whenever you search for things, and the older pages tend to be buried after a while. A lot of digital marketers will create entire web pages to boost SEO visibility on a certain subject, thereby pulling potential customers to them. But these same marketers also make it a point to update these pages and renew them in Google’s index.
Professionalism – The level of professionalism about written content is an important factor. Google wants to present content that has been produced professionally and by people who are known to have a specialism in a particular field.
Content that has been written using artificial intelligence (AI) software could be seen as one such instance where content fails to meet the level of professionalism required. AI-created content is often rife with sub-par English that makes it unengaging, and sometimes aggravating, to read despite the fairly impressive level of research they’re able to do at the click of a button.
From a business standpoint, it makes a lot of sense to prioritise quality content that users enjoy. Demonstrating that a site has the required level of E-A-T – Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness – can go a long way toward helping a site’s content rank well for its target keywords.
Consider this article a brief introduction to the world of SEO content. The whole package has strategies so time-consuming and varied that it requires teams to focus on all the different aspects of SEO, including content, technical SEO and on-page and off-page tactics. Take it from us at Pronto, SEO is a dragon worth slaying if you want to get the maximum return from your content and your website.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.