As far as online content goes, a lot has changed in the last two years; the days of writing substandard content just to build up links is passé and is a sure shot way of getting penalized by major search engines and being frowned upon by readers all over the web. No wonder, we have been seeing a lot of heavily optimized websites ranking poorly on searches, which till now were the frontrunners on major keywords.
On the contrary, a lot of previously unknown blogs with stellar content have been steadily rising up the ranks ever since search engines went through algorithm updates; that, in spite of not abiding by what the traditional SEO textbooks used to suggest-writing keyword rich content. But first the basics…
The frenzy behind keywords and its Impact?
Keywords have been traditionally associated with searches that people conduct all over the web; therefore, it has always been the guiding force for SEO managers and Content Managers alike; moreover, the notion that “Keyword rich content will get the job done no matter what” was the reason why people were paying less attention towards creating great looking content, and more attention towards stuffing-in whatever keywords they could, wherever they saw fit-the end result was a web full of crappy content that had no value for the readers at all and was designed to fool search engines into giving those websites great rankings in spite of poor quality content.
However, with time, search engines realized that the average internet user was basically pissed off because they were landing up on poor quality portals which had nothing to offer to the visitors; moreover, some of the websites were using all kinds of keywords-even those, which had nothing to do with the website in question-webmasters were stuffing their content with unnecessary keywords in hopes of attracting additional visitors, even if the visitor was looking for something else-just to increase traffic onto their website.
This is when major search engines did a complete overhaul of their systems and decided to finally separate the good ones from the bad ones, as even their own reputation was being hurt due to returning unwanted search results-then came the incredible algorithm upgrades.
So does it mean that you don’t need to focus on keywords anymore?
Not really, keywords are important, after all, that is how your audiences get to you; however, the focus has changed from short tail keywords to long tail keywords-which is a great way to reach people who are not tech savvy. Confused? Well here’s an example:
Andy is a 21 year old guy who frequently uses the internet, so when he wants to find something, he normally types ‘ABC Products, followed by his location’ whereas, on the second hand we have got Aaron who is a 55 year old guy and is not so tech savvy; therefore, when he searches, he types ‘Where can I find the best and affordable ABC products in Kansas City.’ In case of Andy, optimizing your content for short tail keywords would be a good bet; however, if Aaron comes looking, chances are your website would or would not show up on the search results-not good is it? Since, an average internet user does not know about the technicalities of searching, they would be typing in questions into the search box– just like we ask our friends when looking for something.
Therefore, it’s important that your content is optimized enough to meet the requirements of both the tech savvy and the non-tech savvy user. With that being explained…
Let’s have a look at How to make your Content Stand Out
Great content speaks oodles about your company or product and shows that you really care about your visitors and readers and are not one of those people who just want to make some quick bucks. There is a reason, why so many expert writers and webmasters are suggesting writing content which is optimized for people and not search engines. Over time, search engines have become incredibly smart and are looking at websites and blogs more like real people; which means that quality is paramount and more emphasis needs to be paid on the overall quality of the content.
There are four pointers that could help you come up with the kind of content that is admired by both people and search engines alike… Let’s have a look!
Less Keywords and More Information
Focus on the overall quality of the content and the topic in general and not just the keywords that you are going to include. Focusing on the keywords alone often results in content that is bland and is not interesting enough to read. Since, the average internet user has a very short attention span; therefore, if he/she is unable to find the information they are looking for, they would quickly switch over to some other website which provides that information to them.
In-depth Research on the Topic
It’s vital for any webmaster to come up with content that has been generated after a lot of research; further, it’s important that you read up a lot of blogs that have been consistently writing high quality posts on that topic, as that will help you get insights into that particular topic. The reason why some websites and blogs stand out amongst thousands of others targeting the same niche is because the people responsible for the content do a lot of research prior to writing; resulting in content that offers real value to the readers.
Focus on the Reader and not Search Engines
Make sure that the content that you post have been optimized keeping the end-user in mind and not just the search engines-if your readers love you, eventually the ratings will start pouring in. Today, social media websites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc. are playing a very big role in search engine optimization; therefore, whenever a reader or a visitor shares any of your posts or links back to you from their profiles, it sends an indication that they liked what they saw. Now imagine, if hundreds of users were to share your posts and links onto their personal profiles; that would tell the search engines that the content is stellar and a lot of people are finding it useful, as the post is genuine and delivers on its promise; thereby, giving a significant boost to your rankings.
A different take on a previously covered Topic
Nearly every topic has been covered by someone or the other on the World Wide Web; therefore, what you bring to the table is really important. Having a different take on a topic that has been covered earlier by others establishes you as a knowledgeable person; moreover, readers love being intrigued by views that they have never read before. So the next time you decide to write something on a topic that has already been covered numerous times by others; bring your best game forward and try to present a different take on your preferred topic.
Content’s has come a long way since the days when just about anything would have worked; regardless of how much work has gone into it. However today, it has become one of the strongest pillars in the world of internet marketing; no wonder, content can either make or break your online presence. Therefore, you need to focus more on the end-user’s experience and less on pleasing the search engines, the next time you decide to post something or market your services, give your visitors the information that they are really looking for and give them something that would make them come back to your website time and again-Forget rankings, focus on building a strong reputation first!