The recent Google updates, as has so often been the case, have left many people in the SEO industry scratching their heads as to just what they’ve adjusted, how their work has been affected, and how to modify their strategies ahead of the following month’s work. Throughout 2011, it has appeared that Google is now putting a lot more emphasis on something that I am a strong believer in. Good quality, regularly updated, informative, and most importantly, interesting content.
For many years, the focus has been around content related issues such as keywords, which, while they are still important, unfortunately initiated a spell in which articles were flooded with specific terms and the quality of the actual article suffered because it was no longer English, more words on a page. If people visit a website, they are doing so for a reason and that is to either learn or read about something. What good is it if the article makes no sense, but mentions a certain phrase five times? It just leaves people confused and wondering what it is they’ve just read. If the user wants a recipe for a cake, they want to find out what it is they need, what goes into the bowl when, how long it needs in the oven, and what utensils they need. That’s it.
Fortunately, the most recent updates have proved that good quality content needs to make a comeback. So what actually is “good quality content”? Well, that depends on your interpretation really, but in Google’s opinion, it is content that is posted on a regular basis, providing good quality language and structure. This means composing a piece of only your best work, and then getting someone unbiased to give it the once over. After all, who has never had someone close to them, either a relation or colleague, telling them that their work is great, only for someone else to think it’s rubbish?
If you’re happy to put a piece of content that you’re written and saved online, then the chances are it isn’t that good. A truly brilliant article should be proof-read by at least two or three people to get varying opinions, helping to turn it from an average piece, to a truly brilliant one, which Google will certainly appreciate – he or she wants to be entertained just as much as the rest of the public after all.
It’s also important that this content is truly unique. Changing a few paragraphs here and there and then putting your name on the top doesn’t make content unique, not in Google’s eyes and certainly not in your own because you know you haven’t really written it. The search engines really do love truly original content, that it has never read before or seen anywhere else, rewarding the writer for doing the groundwork and collating the article everything in it, like a top journalist breaking a story, (can you tell I did a journalism degree yet?)
If you create a website that has the odd piece of content going up at random times, just when you feel like posting something, you’ll struggle to find links, and it is these links that help you find visitors, who become customers, who become investors and so on, if the site is successful. You need to be able to provide something innovative and exciting, whether that’s in the form of a news article, documenting your latest product, an opinion piece giving a rant about that shocking decision at the football at the weekend, or if it’s a question, trying to get the public to interact. You could even try infographics.
At Zazzle Media, we are currently investigating the potential located within infographics, and how they could transform the websites we work with. We’ve found that there is only so far you can go with some content, before you find yourself re-writing an article from six months ago, which, if you were listening earlier class, you will know is not one of Google’s favourite things to do with his spare time. By using an infographic, you can attempt to reach visitors in a different way. After all, I bet some have become tired of this article already, but I’m resisting throwing a funny video in to amuse you, sorry!
Using images and text can help get a message across to people in a different way, actually showing them what it is you’re saying. Graphs, tables and even things as simple as coloured fonts can transform the quality of the content on a site, and help keep Google entertained, encouraging all of his friends to have a look at what it is you’ve posted.
As you may or may not be aware, I have written a Beginner’s Guide to SEO, from a different perspective to all the others you may be able to find. I’ve actually written mine as someone who has come into the field as a complete novice, with a journalism background, unaware of the importance of search engine optimisation and how it all works.
I started at Zazzle in May this year, writing all forms of content for our clients, but in my short time here, I’ve noticed that the way that I, we and the industry as a whole wrote our content has changed. I mentioned earlier that it used to be a case of flooding the article with keywords and phrases. I hated that because it went against everything I believed in – and got myself into thousands of pounds worth of student debt for – so it is great to finally be able to write something properly, and see the efforts rewarded by Google.
Great content is all about giving the reader something new, innovative and exciting that makes them actually want to read more. Hopefully, this has followed that theory. If not, then it’s time to hit the books and keep learning, because you cannot be an expert in this field. Google makes sure of that!
To find out any more information on the content and SEO packages provided by Zazzle Media, the experts in SEO in Peterborough, call our office today on 01778 382713 or email [email protected].
If you would like to comment on what I’ve written, feel free, we’re always looking for feedback, positive and negative and we look forward to discussing anything in the SEO industry. You can also follow me on Twitter for all the latest goings on at Zazzle, from our upcoming plans to my pathetic attempts at putting to avoid making the tea for the office, at @Zazzle_Chris.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog- this blog was written by Chris White, a Content Executive at Zazzle Media.