There's just no veiling this fact, folks: content has been king for a while now. (Did you know Bill Gates forecasted this all the way back in 1996?) Back in 2013, Entrepreneur told us to ditch the cold call sales technique and invest in blogs and Twitter instead. Notable sources like Copyblogger forecasted that 2013 would be the year of the writer.
Across the web, millions and billions of pages are written and published daily. In a study about Internet in numbers done by Royal Pingdom in 2012, it was estimated that there were 634 million websites and 51 million were added in 2012 alone. Can you imagine just how many were created in 2013? Well, according to Toni.org, the amount of websites is doubling each year and it is believed that there are close to a billion websites now. By his estimation, there will be 2 billion sites in 2015. That's a lot of web content to sift through, and Google is there to make sure specific pages get to the top.
How is Content Setting the Trends
So how exactly is content going to set the trends for how Google looks at, ranks, and values their indexable pages? Worthy question, folks. Let's take a dive through that sea!
1. People Want Relevancy
They want topics that are relevant to their likes, as well as topics that flow with the current trends. If you are busy still waxing eloquent on how amazing Brave was while everyone else is going on about Frozen, you are immediately looked at like the person who wears socks with their sandals. Relevant topics are the only way you are going to gain and maintain readership. This might seem a little frustrating if your topic does not seem to be the most relevant topic out there, but finding ways to make it mesh with its surroundings will help immensely. You can use some SEO copywriting tips such as creating an eye-catching title, having a strong start to your content and having a strong call to action. This will help readers feel your topic is relevant, get you further up on that Google search page, and, in the end, get you more readers.
2. Why is Content so Important to Readers?
Because, readers like to get information quickly, but also want to think that they are receiving information from a knowledgeable source. If your content is too short, people may suspect you are not as knowledgeable as you seem, especially in the age of Twitter and Tumblr regurgitation of articles. It seems everyone is an expert on spitting out the informational bare bones, but not many are experts in delving into the juicy meat of a subject. "But what about those casual browsers?" you ask. By offering a heartier wealth of information, you have the potential to turn those casual readers into intent readers, hungry for more information.
3. People Love In-Depth Discussions
You are used to hearing that you need to have short and concise articles and blogs in order to attract more readers, but the reality is Google ranks blogs with higher word counts and quality content. This is because they believe people are more likely to stick with an article that is longer than the short, concise article we have all been told is important. People want to see that lengthy post. They may not read every single word, but they will believe that you have the authority on your topic if the post is longer. That might seem strange, but think about how you feel when you search for an article. Do you prefer a site that seems much more knowledgeable, with lengthy descriptions or one that is short that barely gives any discussion on the topic?
4. Quality is Highly Important in the Game of Google
While long, in-depth content is a factor in ranking with Google another important factor is the quality of your content. If all you do is write specifically for the search engine and sacrifice quality in hopes of getting more viewership, you will find that you rank a lot lower than you initially thought you would. Google wants to make sure the content they rank is quality, something that is filled with interesting and engaging information.
Whatever your niche is, make your content something that is incredibly valuable to people interested in your product or topic. Give random facts that are not too well known, try to stay away from the generic, overdone articles. Find ways to implement relevant pop culture references to connect what you are discussing with something that the majority of people love. If you are a little confused as to what's relevant, just pop onto Facebook, wade through all the Buzzfeed and Zimbio quizzes and find the stuff people are posting about. When it comes to finding your site at the top of a Google search, the more quality blogs, or content, you have is important. It is another part of the new Google algorithm, according to Jeff Quipp over at the Huffington Post. You also want to be seen as an authority on your topic.
5. Authorship is Important When Playing the Game of Google
In the game of Google, you rank, or you lose. There is no middle ground. Well, OK, it isn't as intense as Cersei Lannister says it is, but close enough. You want your page to rank in order to get those readers. Readers don't like to sift through page after page to find what they are looking for, so eventually they will give up the further down the search page they go.
As Business2Community says, the best way to use authorship in a way to get your page to rank is by creating that Google+ account. You know, the social media site no one thinks is cool? Well, Google is making its social media site important if you want your site to rank, making it higher up on the search page. By having your content published under your Google+ account, you will be seen as an authority on your topics and Google is more likely to boost you up the more posts your Google+ account has. See, that social media site is actually very important to content writing! If Google sees you as an authority in your field, they will rank you higher than those whom they do not deem to be experts. By combining quality content with Google authorship, your page will surely find itself ranking high.
6. Blog land is Important in Gaining and Maintaining Your Customers
According to this handy infographic from Brafton, people are more likely to purchase items from a company if they have seen the company's blog first. In fact, most people are introduced to the company via the company's blog. It is a great way to find out more information regarding the product they are interested in while also feeling that they have more of a connection with you and your business. Regardless of what the current research says, people still do crave connection. Only, they now crave it from more than just friends and family, but also from the companies where they shop. (It is a good feeling when a company seems to be talking specifically to you.) People are more likely to purchase a product or use a service if they feel that connection.
7. Getting to Know You
As we said, people like to feel connected to companies with which they are going to do business. You can make customers feel like they know you by providing information about yourself and the people who run your business. Before you go and make a generic "about" page, think about whom your target audience is and write your information accordingly. For example, by focusing on the community of nerds and geeks, a small group called Geek Girl Pen Pals has been attempting (successfully) to get people back into the art of letter writing. They write their information in a way that suits their target audience. The people who use this site are able to feel connected to the leaders by reading their information, reading blog posts on the site, and by following the leaders on social media. Get a little personal with people and you will see your site rank higher in the searches, gain new customers, and keep your existing ones.
Google's New Algorithm Does Not Have to be a Challenge
You may find yourself having to rethink your content strategy due to Google's new search algorithm, and we are here to give you a few final tips on how to make your content relevant for Google:
Assess and Analyze What Users Search For. According to Entrepreneur, assessing and analyzing what people are searching for will help you create relevant content that will rank with Google. Find the keywords people use when searching for topics in your field, and make sure they are more conversational. People don't ask stilted questions when searching Google. Their questions are written the way they talk, no eloquent or awkward phrasing. The Internet has moved to a more casual and laidback frame of writing, meaning Google has adapted this to their search engine algorithm. Once you have figured out which keywords (and their synonyms) to use, it is time to figure out which type of post people are more likely to look for when searching your topic.
A few of these "favorite" type of posts, listed by Entrepreneur linked to above, are:
- How-to's: People really like to read articles that explain how to use something, how to create something, or how to do something new. Pinterest has made this even more popular, and many more people are getting the guts to try out new DIY projects than ever before.
- "Top ..." lists: You know these lists. The ones you see on Buzzfeed, or AFI's Top 100 Movies of All Time. We all enjoy these lists and have for quite some time. They are a great way to learn about new topics we didn't know or to feel validated in things such as the "Top Things About Being an Introvert/Extrovert" articles.
- FAQs: We know that there are particular questions everyone has about a product or topic, so why not create an FAQ for your company's blog, it is a great way to get people to read more about your business while also learning important information about their specific questions.
How Does Your Site Look?
After getting those readers to come and read your, "Top 10 Reasons Your Product is Far Out, Man" you need to make sure to keep them. Make sure your site isn't filled with clashing colors, tiny type, and instant play music or instant play commercials. We know, you really like Pharrell's Happy, and it totally works for your product, but people do not want to be sitting in the library and have the peppy song blare from their iDevice. Even if your site reflects your favorite colors or how colorful your product is make sure it does not stress out your eyes. Test it on a few honest friends before taking it live.
Lastly, getting social will help your site rank and bring in more readers. Get that social media button to go with each post, directing people to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. (Also, Google will really like it if you have that Google+ button.) By having buttons, people can share your information as well as keep up with your updates. Having social sharing buttons is another great way to attract more people and help you outside of Google's new search requirements. People who find your article are more likely to share said article if they have an available social sharing button to use. It is a quicker and easier way to share something they enjoy.
So Long, Farewell...
Now that you have read the various ways to improve your content and meet some of Google's latest updates, it is time to go and implement them. Changing your content and content strategy to fit Google's algorithm will not only help you rank higher, but will help you get more readers and keep those readers long-term. Why are you still reading? It's time to go make your site the coolest site on the Internet!
The post 7 Ways Content Is Setting the Trends for SEO & Google Algorithms appeared first on Express Writers.