Like SEO, the phrase “good content” gets thrown around a lot as “something you need” for your website. So if your ears start ringing when you hear it, I can’t really blame you.
To keep the definition simple, website “content” is anything that the website contains that informs or entertains the client. Things that make your site work well and look nice, including layout, color scheme, form fields and fonts are not under that umbrella. When we say “content,” we’re talking about blogs, sales copy, photos, videos, audio, comments, and reviews.
Your content is what makes people want to visit—and hang out on—your site, and it’s also your main method of communicating with the crawlers that index it. (Not sure what a crawler is? Check out my last SEO blog.) To help your content to get and hold the attention of both the search engine and your potential clients, there are a few parameters to consider.
Is your content usable and relevant?
As I emphasized in the first blog in this series, content optimized for search engines should be relevant and authoritative, and those two categories also pertain to whether the content is useful. People use search engines as a way to answer questions for themselves. Every time the search engine gets a query, they seek information that will specifically answer the user’s question. Anticipate what questions your ideal client would ask of you, and form your content around that. (Perhaps the most obvious way to do that is to make sure you’ve got an FAQ page on your site.)
On the other hand, if you use keywords, or a click-baity headline to attract customers to your site, but then don’t answer their questions, they’ll probably lose interest right away. That will contribute to your “bounce rate,” which will knock you down a few pegs in the search rankings.
Additionally, writing content that has nothing to do with your product or service will be out of step with what Google has interpreted from your site thus far. If you’re selling sports equipment, Google will have observed that most of your content is about sports equipment. If suddenly you write a review of your favorite romantic movie, Google will not see you as an expert on that content. That article is not relevant to your expertise, and probably won’t be ranked highly.
Are you offering high quality content?
Quality is tied to relevancy and usability, but it also has to do with how much care was put into the content creation. While you want your sales copy to be snappy, and you don’t want to bore your audience, search engines do prefer pages with more content on them, usually around 300 words or more. There are ways to reach that mark without the dreaded wall of text, which I’ll discuss a little later.
Additionally—and you may think this goes without saying—excessive grammar and spelling mistakes are going to make your content appear to be lower quality. Yes, the crawlers can tell. (All the more reason to hire a copywriter or editor to help. Wink wink.)
Do you keep your content fresh?
If you go to a website and see that, in their footer, their “copyright” hasn’t been updated in 2 years, what would you think? Would you wonder whether or not the business still exists?
You, as a human being, may know that the business is still active, but if there haven’t been any recent updates on a website, the search engine may think it has been abandoned. Search engines like your content to be frequent and varied. It’s how they can tell your business is still active, and that you’re making an effort to provide relevant information to your customers.
When you’re thinking of how to regularly update, you might think first of a blog. It’s true that blogs are a great way to let people and the crawlers know you’re still in the game. Depending on who you are and what you’re selling, however, you might rather be covered in literal spiders than have to write on a regular basis. Luckily, a blog isn’t the only way to freshen up your website content. A few ways you can frequently vary the content on your site are to: update photos, add new products, encourage reviews or comments, add videos, or alert people to special offers.
Hopefully we’ve clarified SEO “content” a little bit for you. Don’t let it intimidate you; if you’ve already got a business, you know that you have something to offer. Just think of “content” as another way to reach out and let people know all about you, what you offer, and the way your business has been growing or changing. And if you need a little help figuring out how your content could be better, we’d be happy to help you out.