You do not have to be a Google expert to know that it uses algorithms to rank your content. Fresh content helps drive traffic to your website, improves SEO, and increases your organic ranking. Trying to figure out the algorithms can be too time-consuming for people who are not SEO professionals. That is because Google and other search engines update those algorithms regularly. While the changes may be frustrating, the goal is to provide continuous improvements for their user experience. That is why providing fresh, relevant, and evergreen content will improve your ranking and drive traffic to your website.
Content Is King
Way back in the 1990s, before most of us understood how important the internet would be in marketing and advertising, Bill Gates said, “content is king.” The words were prophetic. Content has become the most critical factor in internet and social media marketing. As online sales continue to grow compared to brick-and-mortar sales, content’s role continues to expand.
The internet has given people the ability to market to a much broader area. While this has the potential to increase your sales significantly, it also dramatically increases competition. Instead of being one of a handful of similar businesses, even highly unique companies find themselves in competition with hundreds or thousands of other companies. What sets you apart from everyone else? Your content.
What Is Content?
Content refers to the information you have available on your media. It can refer to information on websites and your social media accounts. Content includes your general website information, specific content about products or services, videos, quizzes, memes, etc. If you can post it, it is content.
However, not all content is created equal. Content needs to add value to your site. To do that, it needs to enhance the user experience. To decide whether content will improve your customers’ experience, you need to ask:
- Is it interesting?
- Does it appeal to your customers?
Interesting content drives traffic to your site. However, increasing traffic is only part of the goal. You want that traffic to take action once clients are on your site. To do that, we can combine content pages with action pages. The content highlights goods or services and includes easy-to-use embedded links.
Content and Keywords
Search engines exist to deliver relevant information to their users. To accomplish this, they look for content that matches a user’s query. A query is what you type into the search bar. The meaningful words you use in that query are the keywords that the search engine looks for on websites and pages to deliver the results you want.
Search engine optimization (SEO) means using how search engines work to help improve the traffic to your website. It focuses not only on increasing the number of visitors you get but also the likelihood that those visitors will take further action once they are at your website. Keyword optimization is part of a successful SEO strategy.
You want to ensure that your website includes the keywords and phrases people are likely to use when searching for your goods and services. Back in the early days of the internet, you could just make lists of keywords and put them somewhere on your website. However, that practice, known as keyword stuffing, may have driven customers to your site, but it did not help them once they got there. So, the search engines started dinging websites that used keyword stuffing. Instead, keywords need to appear organically on the website. In this context, organically just means that the text reads naturally.
Why Do You Have to Update Content?
You may have a well-performing website with content that you love. You would think that would be enough. However, it is not. While content may be king, freshness is the queen. Big search engines like Google rank your content using several different metrics. Freshness is one of them.
What does freshness mean in terms of content? It means making changes that are significant enough to make your pages look new. It can refer to updating and changing existing pages. However, you have to make sure that the changes are substantial enough to read like a new page to the algorithms. It also refers to adding pages to your website.
Search engines are constantly updating page rankings to deliver the best results to their users. They use crawlers or spiders to look through existing web pages. These crawlers are looking for new content, which they have not previously considered in their rankings. The new content gives them two vital pieces of information. First, new information tells them that you are actively updating the website, increasing the chances that the website will be relevant for users. Second, they can look through the new content for additional search terms.
When you add new content to your website, you can get search engines to re-index your site. This process is automatic; when search engines detect a new page on your website, they will send the crawlers to go over the page and index it. You can make this happen more quickly by submitting your URL to Google Search Console. When the search engines index a new page, they may re-index other pages, increasing rankings on your whole website.
That is why you need to update your website constantly. A website with great organic SEO results and good traffic will still slip in the rankings if not updated. So, even if you think that your website is perfect, you have to keep changing it. That can be frustrating because no one wants to change content that successfully drives traffic and conversions.
Adding new content not only attracts new visitors but can also keep old visitors returning to your site to see new content. If you target the right audience, just getting them to your site increases your chances of conversions. That is great for sales. However, when you are talking about organic, unpaid searches, not all of your content increases your sales. Just growing traffic to your website increases your authority, which increases your rankings. The higher your rankings, the more improvement you should see in sales.
Fresh Content and Blogs
Blogs are a great way to add fresh content to your website. They let you regularly add new pages of relevant content to your website without forcing you to change any content on pages already optimized.
With blogs, you can:
- Target a broader range of keywords
- Discuss topics related to your products and services
- Provide helpful information to customers
- Help create brand loyalty
- Reinforce your brand or voice
- Incorporate longtail keywords
- Inform customers about upcoming changes or products
- Engage with a broader audience
- Tie in your website to your social media presence
- Create links for internal and external linking
Blogging and Backlinks
Many people think of SEO as being all about keywords. Keywords are essential, but they are only the tip of the SEO iceberg. When determining your ranking, search engines are looking at your authority. In other words, is your website an “expert” on the topics people search?
Google decides whether you are an expert by looking at how other users, including other websites, use your website. When other websites use links to send their users to your website for information, that is known as a backlink or inbound link. The more other websites reference your website, the more authority you have. That is because backlinks signal to Google that others consider your website as a way to get answers to your questions.
Writing a blog lets you reach beyond specifically marketing your goods and services to talk about things your customers find interesting. It also increases the likelihood that other websites will link to yours. When you have a blog that provides good, clear, exciting answers to questions, you increase the chances of backlinks.
Blogging and Dwell Time
Did you know that search engines look at how long a person spends on your website? It is not the most crucial factor, but it does impact ranking. Suppose visitors stay on your page for a more extended period. In that case, the search engines assume they find your content valuable. The more visitors who seem to value your content, the higher it will rank.
Why is that important? Suppose you are using social media as part of your internet marketing strategy. In that case, you may already be producing multiple tweets or posts daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You might think that you could use those same things on your website to add fresh content. However, they are too short of creating new content for the crawlers and short enough to reduce your dwell time.
Instead, you want to create blog posts that increase your dwell time. Ideally, a blog post should be 1,000 to 2,000 words. Of course, you have to balance this with providing a good user experience. Suppose you are blogging about a new product, service, or other detail that customers need. In that case, you do not want to bury that information under other text. That might require a shorter blog. If you are writing a detailed article, you may want to go longer. However, suppose your blog post is going to be longer than 3,000 words and has natural division points. In that case, you can break it into multiple blog entries.
Blogs and Outlinks
You already know that when another website links to your website, it helps your rankings. However, you may not understand how using out-links can help your rankings. One of the things that search engines look for is the recency of your material. They want to provide the most up-to-date results for people who are using their search engines. The date you publish your blog is one indication of how recent it is. Still, you could always post a blog with outdated material. However, suppose you include out-links to recently published material on other websites. In that case, you are showing that your material is up-to-date.
Next Month: Building the Right Blog for Your Business
Now that you understand how blogs can help improve your SEO, the next step is building the right blog for your business. We will give you tips on how to use your blog to reinforce your brand consistently.