The Internet has changed over the last few years and in the new Panda and Penguin based search world and content is more important and more integral to gaining rankings in Google than ever before.
Why do I need content?
Content is what can make the different between rankings and no rankings and sales and no conversions on your site.
To rank in Google you need to have something on your website which tells them that your site is relevant to a topic. Without content which talks about “Blue Widgets” how do you expect Google to know you sell them?
Content helps you to engage with your visitors and build their trust in your services, increasing the likelihood that they will buy from you.
PPC wise content is important on your landing pages as it helps with conversions as mentioned above, but also helps with your quality score. A landing page with lots of relevant content on it will increase your PPC quality scores as your page will be seen as being more helpful to people clicking on your ads. The higher the relevancy (or helpfulness) of this landing page compared to your keyword the higher your quality score. PPC quality scores are important as they help to reduce the cost of your PPC.
Why have Panda and Penguin changed the need for content on my site?
Both Penguin and Panda are a series of regularly applied “overlays” to the Google algorithm which have changed the face of the Google search results.
Panda, is focused on “quality” based factors. The Panda updates focus on the depth of knowledge your website shows, so websites with duplicated or “thin” content don’t fare as well as websites with useful unique content.
Penguin is more about over optimisation so when writing content make sure you aren’t constantly linking from a keyword to one of your product pages or creating content with the same keyword repeated over and over again. Content should be written for people and not to manipulate the rankings. Don’t “stuff” keywords in, if a keyword doesn’t fit into the flow of your content then don’t include it. Read your content out loud if you think you might be using a keyword too much, if it feel like you keep saying the same word over and over again then chances are you’ve used it too much.
What content should I think about writing?
As Google is now more concerned with value of content the types of things you need to write have changed and it’s not just a case of whacking up 300 words about each keyword you want to rank for.
You content needs to offer value to potential customers so when you consider content creation look at what you are trying to achieve.
Some content ideas
All content that you write should be written for your visitors, so before you start a blog, a new page or a white paper ask yourself what you visitors will get from it. Does it add something to your website? Can you write a nice 300+ word article about it? Is it relevant to what you do? Will your customers find it useful? If so then chances are it will add value to your site.
The types of pages which can really help visitors and your site include the below:
- How to Guides
- White Papers
These kinds of content often become “evergreen” as well, meaning that people will come back and read them time and time again, even in years to come. The joy of this kind of content is that once you’ve written it’s there and it helps you generate more visitors
- Blogs – great for adding that personal touch to your website.
- News – ideal for making people see that you know your industry and are up to date
Blogs and news are great as Google likes websites which are updated regularly too.
Cut down on pages which are designed for rankings and potentially offer no value.
Why this is more than just Search related
It might help your rankings but this kind of content creation will help your customers too, both potential leads you get from Google and your existing customers will engage with your site, and are likely to return more than once to read the extra information you have provided them.