There are more than 200 factors in Google’s top-secret search algorithm that determine your Web site’s page rank. A whole industry has been built around trying to gauge what those factors are and which carry the most weight. The algorithm has evolved many times over the years, and Google implemented some of the biggest changes to the algorithm yet in May. These changes specifically target what Google considers “web spam”: low-quality web content created not for users, but in an attempt to gain high ranking in the Google search engine results.
Content has always been important for the strength of any site’s search engine rankings, but Google’s focus is now on high-quality content. Recent post-mortem studies show that in the aftermath of May’s updates, the sites with authentic, fresh content are already seeing improved search engine rankings.
This can all sound very intimidating for any business, large or small. What does the algorithm really mean for your business? It boils down to finding a way to continue to market your product effectively, while efficiently meeting the requirements of Google’s search algorithm. The answer: content marketing.
By providing your customers and potential customers with articles, videos, and more related to your products or services, you’ll not only produce the type of content that will score major points with Google’s algorithm. You’ll also engage your customer, generate highly qualified leads, and position your business as the go-to source for expertise in your particular market.
Whether you’re already marketing with content, or need to start, here are some things to keep in mind with your in-house efforts or when looking for an agency to help you build your content marketing strategy:
Be authentic. The more real and useful your content is for your customer, the better. When you produce content that your customer wants to read, that is true to your brand and what you offer your customer, you’ll hit the sweet spot of engaging customers and enriching your site for search engine optimization (SEO).
Be consistent. Release fresh content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. How often you put new content on your site depends on your business objectives and your customer’s preferences. The key is to keep your customers aware of your business and Google aware of your site.
Be varied. Create your content in different formats, and share it in various ways. Blog posts and articles are excellent ways to engage some customers, but others may prefer videos. Video is also ripe with opportunity to optimize for search engine visibility. And while spreading all of this content via email is well and good, always share it through social media outlets in a way that fits your strategic communications plan. You’ll build awareness, reach a different group of customers, and build the links and activity that Google’s algorithm values.
Be judicious. Never overload your content with keywords. While it’s smart to use the keywords in your posts, articles, video titles and tags, the worst thing you can do is repeat keywords or write your content with the goal of cramming in every potential keyword possible. This practice is exactly what the updated Google algorithm exists to prevent, and sites doing so are blacklisted (blocked from showing up in search engine results).