If you are creating content for your web site or blog, then you have to address the question of whether to write for your end-reader or for Google. The answer is both, really, but the customer comes first.
What are we aiming for?
- We want to attract customers to our site
- Then we want to convince them that we are professional and knowledgeable.
- We want them to purchase our products or services
- And we want to build a relationship with them online.
High quality content
Our first priority, therefore, is to create high-quality compelling content that your readers will find valuable when they get on your site. You can then use this content to attract customers via search engines and pay-per-click advertising.
Google wants to deliver the best possible results for its customers, so Google also wants you to create valuable content. What you need to do, then, is format the content in such a way that Google will recognise how good it is.
How to choose and deliver your content
What do your customers want to know about? The first step is to search for your chosen topic area, using your proposed title. Which questions come up, and how well are they addressed? Are the competitors strong or weak, and can you write content that is better than theirs? You can adapt some of their ideas and themes, but you must reword them and deliver them in your own style.
Your content needs to be well laid out, simple and easy to read. We don’t think there is any excuse for long words and long sentences. It’s better to express your ideas in short sentences and simple words. Remember, directors of companies may be very clever people, but they don’t have time to read very complicated prose, so they will go away. To measure the readability of your text you can use a tool like Gunning Fog Index. Headings, visual aids, images and bulleted lists are all good ways to deliver clear and simple content.
It’s a good idea to provide evidence to support your content. For retail, it will include specifications, user reviews and product comparisons, or it could be other technical papers or legislative guidelines. By linking to other valuable sites you are providing more valuable content for your visitors, and this will add to the customer’s confidence in you.
You should check the domain ranking of these other sites and make sure they have a high domain authority and low spam score, otherwise that will have a negative impact on your ranking.
Moz is a well-recognised site for checking domain authority, which Moz defines as follows: “Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs)”. This is an important aspect of designing your site to perform well in Google.
Designing for Google
Now that you have prepared your valuable content, you can design the page so that it works well in the search engines.
Although Google is primarily focused on topics and content, you need to know relevant keywords to seed content and measure performance. You can select the keywords after first checking which are performing best on your site. Google Analytics won’t be so helpful, as most sites now use secure protocols, but Google Adwords does have useful keyword tools. There are other keyword tools that will help you select target keywords with the most monthly searches and the lowest competition. There is no point getting to ‘number 1 in Google’ if nobody searches for that key phrase.
Having selected keywords that represent your content:
- Design a catchy title that includes your key phrase and will attract visitors
- Carefully add headings (H1, H2 and H3 tags) to your text with the keywords
- Similarly, add ALT tags to your images and visuals
- Make sure the keywords including similar and related phrases are in the text. Google is clever enough to recognise related topic phrases.
- Make sure the same phrase is not repeated too often
- Add your page to your XML site map
We have discussed how your priority is to develop compelling content that is valuable to your potential customers. Then to make sure that it is designed and configured to work with Googles’ search robots.
The next action is to develop links from external sites that will bring in customers and raise your domain profile. This can include social media and also authoritative web sites in your chosen topic area.
For more about this, contact PDC.