Online visibility is a serious priority for every company. Without a clear, visible online presence, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, reducing opportunities to convert customers and ultimately losing business to the competition. The best way to breakthrough? Great content.
Most business owners, particularly those familiar with the basics of SEO, know the value of well-crafted content. However, too many enterprising owners find themselves trying to reinvent the wheel, going above and beyond to try to do something unique and innovative. While innovation definitely has its place in business, Google is the real authority in search engines, and if your new ideas don’t align with Google’s priorities, all the creativity in the world won’t result in success. In many cases, it’s best to stick with tried and true techniques when employing content marketing to further your business goals. Keep these tips in mind when crafting your next website page or blog post.
Conform to Google’s Standards
Google’s current algorithms are extremely sophisticated, using hundreds of varying criteria to determine how and where content will rank. These factors – things like keyword use, metadata, and backlinking – are all evaluated independently in order to come up with an instant ranking in response to a query. These kinds of things are employed on a wide scale, so Google isn’t evaluating each site independently. This means that if you choose to go against some of the principles Google uses to rank, you’ll lose out.
When creating content, keep the basic tenets of content marketing in mind. This means paying attention to the features that rank best, staying up to date on major algorithm changes, and actively planning content that best abides by Google’s preferences in every way. There is plenty of space for getting creative in marketing, but Google isn’t going to reward those who go too far outside the box.
Improve, Not Re-Use
There are very few unique ideas on the web when it comes to content. With literally billions of sites on the internet, virtually every topic has already been covered over and over again. This can make industry-specific blog posts, for example, seem pointless. However, this isn’t the case. There’s room for repetitive themes and topics online, as long as you abide by one key rule: always improve upon the alternatives.
Say, for example, you want to write an article about home purchase tips for first time buyers. This article likely exists in hundreds of different forms, so you need to make your iteration stand out in a good way before hitting publish. This can be accomplished in any number of ways, but the best route to take generally involves adding more content, partnering with a professional writer who has a way with words, incorporating additional information that goes beneath the surface to provide more actionable advice, or increasing the word count. How you plan to do this will depend on the goals you have regarding your content, but make it your mission with everything you write to improve upon what else is out there. For example, if the top post on Google has five tips, upping your number to ten can provide better information, more content, and a better reader experience.
Refreshes Rival New
Out of ideas but still need to publish? Afraid of putting something bad on your blog just for the sake of posting? Under these circumstances, reusing content may be the best possible option. This doesn’t mean posting the same content twice, however. Instead, it means to take content you have already published, refresh it by changing up wording and adding some new ideas, and then publishing it again.
Refreshing content is a great way to extend the life of posts and pages that already rank well, giving you a way to improve concepts that have already proven to be successful. Further, it saves you time and energy, helping you to continue to publish without compromising more pressing marketing priorities. Using the exact same content may raise duplicate content issues with Google, so do what you can to put a fresh spin on whatever content you plan to refresh to ensure the greatest chance of success. A continuous stream of rewritten articles isn’t necessarily recommended – readers may start to recognize re-used themes – but embellishing your content library through refreshed content can absolutely be a benefit.
Expand Your Ideas
Historically, 500 words has been the benchmark for a piece of content: long enough to add some depth while short enough to keep readers engaged. However, SEO is currently trending toward longer articles that have more to share. In some cases, content that scratches the surface is adequate, but both Google and readers are starting to favor longer form content that delves into the nitty-gritty of a subject.
When planning your content, consider staying away from shorter orders covering specific facets of topics in favor of longer articles that categorize several topics under one broad umbrella – very much like this one. The logic and strategy surrounding innovation and creativity in content marketing could easily be separate posts – one for tips and tricks on re-using content and another on how to re-write content that already exists elsewhere on the web, for example – but a better message can be communicated when a bigger picture is presented. This isn’t to say that all of your blog posts need to be 1,000 words or longer, or that there is no room for 500-word blog posts anymore, but Google’s recent shifts have highlighted the importance of longer, multi-topic educational content.
Content marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all opportunity, and what works for one company won’t always be right for another. Regardless, despite the emphasis on innovation in many other areas of business, re-creating the content wheel isn’t necessarily a good thing and, if done incorrectly, can hold you back. In many cases, it’s best to stick with the basics, utilizing tried and true techniques that can boost your presence online without threatening the results your SEO strategies are able to generate.
If you’re struggling to find the right content creation approach for your business, the right help can be essential. Get in touch with RivalMind today to learn more about how our marketing pros can help you develop a strategy for success.