August 16, 2013

The time for great content is now

Producing great content to share through your website has never been more important than it is now – especially if you want to perform well in search engines.

Google has always said if you want to feature highly on search results pages then publishing high quality content on your website is essential.

It’s a simple rule to live by – but until recently it was one that it was not quite true. Search engine optimisation (SEO) experts were previously able to fool Google into believing pages were more popular than they really were, simply by adding a shedload of links to those pages from other websites. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Google has made a series of algorithm alterations which has turned the world of SEO on its head – preventing this from happening as much. It will now even actively penalise those that try it.

The ideal is now not just to get lots of links but to get links from well respected sites. Google uses around 200 separate indicators to determine the value of a webpage, but a link from highly popular blog or website is interpreted as a very good sign that the page is worth a visit.

These changes have seen SEO agencies quickly rebrand themselves as digital marketers, seeking much closer working relationship with PR firms and digital agencies as they look to produce content worthy of an all-important link.

A lot of this content can be quite traditional material – a good piece of research or a strong opinion piece is every bit as worthy of a read online as it ever was offline. In the digital era, however, some businesses are also producing content specifically aimed at online audiences, such as infographics, videos and games, which are easily sharable among peer groups.

Probably the simplest way for a company to produce sharable content for their website is through a blog – just like the one you are reading.

Companies just need a content management system on their website and contributors capable of producing regular updates. Companies can attract an audience for these blogs by sharing links on social media, in email marketing campaigns and through online forums.

If these blogs are well written, aimed at a specific group and either educational, informative or entertaining they will gain traction with a relevant audience. If they hit the mark, companies will then being reaching their intended target audience without the need for any black hat tricks used by old school SEO practitioners.

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