Search engines like Google are always on the look-out for high-quality websites and will rank these sites higher in their results pages.
How often have you heard that said? It’s become a bit of an online marketing mantra, but do you really know what it means? What exactly is a high-quality website? Well it’s nothing to do with looks, that’s for sure: what Google is looking for is content – and high quality content at that. Because of the Panda and Penguin updates, Google now only wants relevant, unique, interesting, and latterly fresh content.
So if that’s the case then it should be easy to give the search engines what they’re after, shouldn’t it?
Well, perhaps easy isn’t the right word to use here: may be challenging would be more appropriate. After all providing unique and entertaining content for any website takes hard work, determination and more than a little bit of skill. It’s something that has to be worked at and honed down to a fine art. So, what’s the secret to producing high-quality, fresh, and relevant content consistently?
Well, there’s the rub: no one can really tell you. The search engines certainly won’t, and who can blame them. If they did we’d all be producing perfect copy every time and heading the rankings, and that would reflect badly on them. So if they won’t tell you what to do, what small crumbs are they prepared to throw our way? What sort of advice can they offer us?
Tips for creating fresh and relevant content.
When you create or review content with the aim of improving your site as part of an SEO programme, then you should consider the following factors if you want to be confident of generating high-quality content:
- Provide information that is unique, fresh and genuinely interesting: entertain and inform at the same time.
- Don’t have duplicated content on different pages saying the same thing using different words.
- Spell and grammar check everything: poor grammar and bad spelling will definitely lose you brownie points.
- Try to place an original or personal perspective on the information: give your opinions, not somebody else’s.
- Present a balanced view of the topic: show both sides of the argument.
- Create content worth bookmarking: work at it until you get the right sort of balance, and people will come back to your site time and again.
- Provide specific, in-depth information of value to the readers.
- Always credit your sources, and don’t pass off their information as your own.
By concentrating your efforts on producing high-quality content, you will produce a high-quality website that should perform well in the search engine rankings for your chosen keywords. However, there can be no guarantees here: Google does have a reputation for moving the goalposts regularly. None the less this is an evolving approach to search engine optimisation that no longer focuses purely on link building and targeting factors known to be relevant in the search engine algorithms. Having said that it is still important to optimise for those known factors, but the focus on high-quality content is still the most effective way to organically improve your website and develop your business.
There is one last point to bear in mind however, and that is that search engines view a site as a whole, so poor quality pages may adversely affect the site’s otherwise excellent ranking, and drag its reputation down. This can still be the case even if there are still many individual high-quality pages. Aim to enhance all of your pages, but where this isn’t possible, remove the low quality pages until you get a chance to improve them.