Long gone are the days when link-loaded and keyword-stuffed articles delivered worthwhile results for the owners of business websites. Now, in an era of rolling search engine algorithm updates (many of which, unlike Google’s ‘Penguin’, ‘Panda’ and ‘Hummingbird’, remain unnamed), one thing is clear: search engines will not tip their virtual hats to garbage content.
Instead they are looking for, and finding new ways to promote, unique, relevant and well written content – the kind of content you must have on your website if you expect it to be found by the PEOPLE who are searching for your products and services.
So why do the search engines keep changing things up?
The answer is one they they, especially Google, have been hammering home for years: They, want to deliver the best possible results to searchers, because this not only benefits them, but it benefits us as well.
The “You” Benefit
First and most importantly, you benefit from these algorithm changes as they help keep the duplicated and junk content on the web buried. (They don’t make it ‘disappear’ exactly, they just don’t acknowledge it when indexing sites/pages.) In the process better, relevant content is promoted.
As an individual, you receive better and more relevant results to your search query – delivering answers your questions, educating you on a specific topic, and/or engaging you in a way that will encourage you to think more deeply about a topic.
From the perspective of a business website owner, the importance of how the search engines rank the content on your site cannot be overstated.
Not only does the forced push for unique and high quality content give you the impetus to craft (or have crafted for you) better pages and blog posts that will be more memorable and get check all the boxes for the search engines, but it can catapult you to “industry leader” status faster than any amount of offline PR possibly could.
- positions you as professional,
- demonstrates your knowledge of topics related to your niche,
- can position you as an authority,
- shows that you are up to date on trends,
- will connect with your readers,
- has key elements that make it share-worthy.
When written by a native English speaker who understands your business (whether that writer is you, or one of my team here at Kerry Finch Writing), it will flow well and use the terms that your audience ‘gets’. It will help your readers to connect with you and develop trust – which, in an environment of ‘faceless’ online businesses will increase engagement and ultimately your online and offline profitability.
The “They” Benefit
Google regularly updates its Webmaster best practices and advises content managers and creators on what standards must be met for pages and sites to rank well on Google. This compliance not only keeps the loyalty of its “customers” or searchers, but it also sustains the integrity of the search engine.
Search Engines Are Working Hard For Us
The bottom line is that these search engine companies are continuously working to ensure that we’re getting the information that we want to receive – information that’s not mass-produced gobbledygook, but well written, original, and relevant. Because this is what is going to keep us coming back to them. Providing a superior service is how Google was able to topple early search engine forces like Geocities, Lycos and Alta Vista.
As you keep coming back to them, and their number of users grow, they are able expand their marketing and advertising empire (and THAT’S a whole other story).
Is Your Content Up To Scratch?
Just as I am doing with my own site now, perhaps it is time that you took a critical look at yours. Ask yourself:
- Is the information still relevant?
- Does it look tired?
- Is the information accurate?
- Are the features/benefits of your products and services clear?
- Are their spelling and grammar errors?
- Are the prices correct?
And, very importantly, if you don’t have a blog/news section on your site, why not?
You see, once your main pages are the best they can be, you will only have to adjust them when your direction or products/services change – for most businesses this won’t be often. But to maintain the interest of the search engines – we want them to discover new content each time they visit if possible – your site needs to be regularly updated.
The best and easiest way to do this is by updating your blog. This content can include blog posts on ‘evergreen’ or timeless topics relevant to your business niche, news posts, or authority posts that relate to your industry.
They should include original images wherever possible – so keep your smart phone handy and take pictures or videos of what you do, how you do it, or what you sell. Use these to add interest to your blog posts.
I recommend that you include blog posts in your marketing budget, even if it is just a few each month. If you don’t have a team member who has the time, discipline or skill to write these to a schedule, then ask me about doing them for you (it won’t cost an arm and a leg!).
I thought this infographic from UberHub worth sharing as you consider the importance of quality content on your website:
Learn more about how I can help with your written content.