It’s often trotted out as a bit of a cliché, but there can be no getting away from the fact that high quality content can improve a website’s search engine ranking.
That alone should be enough to encourage more businesses to invest in content, but if you need any further impetus then simply concentrate on the fact that strong and focused content can engage with an audience and can ultimately turn your readers into brand advocates. Now you may be experts in your particular field, but you may be struggling to get your message across to your audience and are perhaps finding it difficult to present your content in a way that both attracts and appeals.
What should you do if you find yourself in this position?
Well, the simple answer is you may have to adjust your strategy. If you really want your content to resonate with an audience then follow these simple tips.
Lists, tips and how-to-guides.
Because you’re an expert in your chosen filed you’ll want to share your knowledge and passion with others. You might understand your subject, but the point is you’ll want to help your readers understand it too. The best way of achieving this is by providing helpful and useful information. This could be a collection of top tips, how-to-guides, or even simple lists of useful information. All of these will inform the readers and help to build in-bound links.
Lists can also be useful for breaking up the body text. Long articles, however excellently written, can be intimidating and can put readers off. Using bullet points and subheadings will help to make the information easier to read and simpler for the search engines to index. Write effective and concise copy will make even the most difficult topics easier to understand.
Don’t try to be a Jack of all trades.
However tempting it may be, don’t try to focus on too broad a range of topics. Tall you’ll do is spread yourself too thinly, and such generalisation won’t necessarily deliver a greater number of inbound links. What readers want is knowledge and authority. This authority and gravitas comes from having expertise and a clear speciality. If you focus on this speciality and concentrate on a central theme then you’ll be able to build your readership. It doesn’t really matter how you share this knowledge or whether you do it weekly or monthly: what matters is that you do it consistently. This will show your readers that you’re building a library of content, and not just taking a punt at subjects you don’t really understand.
Don’t be afraid of taking risks.
Although you should concentrate on your field of expertise, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take risks occasionally. Don’t be afraid to express an opinion in your blog, even if the sentiment isn’t necessarily in keeping with the mainstream opinion. Personalised opinions can add something new to webpages and give articles vitality. Blogging isn’t journalism, so you don’t have to be entirely objective. If you’ve got an opinion and can argue your case, then share it. This can lead to more people linking to your content and joining in the debate in your comments section. Obviously you don’t be deliberately provocative just to make a point, or jump into debates that are outside your remit. If it’s appropriate and won’t harm your business, then express an opinion, as opinions can spark debate and discussion.
Keep up to speed with everything that’s happening.
Google is investing lots of time and energy updating and refining its search algorithms in order to weed out poor quality content and spam. This means it is constantly changing its approach to optimisation, and you’ll need to do the same. Times are changing, and it’s the responsibility of each business to change with them and use the latest trends to give you a better chance of ranking highly in the c search market.
Local search is becoming increasingly important, so businesses should claim their Google Places page listing, and add regional key terms to their website content. Don’t forget to use maps to guide people from the online search results to your physical location. Long-tail keywords are also becoming increasingly important. These longer phrases are the ones that fewer people will search for, yet they will bring some highly relevant traffic when they do crop up. Businesses need to keep a close eye on their analytics performance, and work out where their long-tail niches are.