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In the rush to rank in Google, people often forget about writing content for their customers.
But when you take a very detailed look at content and SEO together, you will realize that it makes sense to do both.
Google keeps moving the goal posts. So scoring an SEO goal is not as simple as it used to be.
But there are a few basic things you should keep in mind if you want to get at least some traffic from Google.
We all like our food fresh when it is served to us at a restaurant!
And Google likes freshness too.
Creating new content on a regular basis shows that you:
So you can start to understand why freshness matters.
Websites that are active, and constantly changing/evolving and kept up to date are worth more to the visitor.
And to your customers. So you can’t lose really.
Keeping your readers in mind at all times is something not only your visitors expect, but does Google too.
What that means is that you have to produce high quality content. No, not every time, but at least some of the time.
There are a lot of reasons to improve the quality of your content, and even Hubspot agrees:
You need to be creating content that other people find valuable and want to share with their visitors.
Quality content will result in you will getting more social shares, and externals links from your peers. And all as a result of your amazingly shareable content!
So what is high quality content?
Well, most of it is quite straight forward, but here are a few of the key factors:
You really have to imagine you are writing for a magazine or newspaper. Or at least “aim” for that kind of thing quality.
Not just a 5 minute post banged out just to get something posted this week. (yes it works for Seth Godin, but you aren’t him)
Continuing with the quality factors, I want to highlight a couple of other things you should watch out for.
Because Google is monitoring quality, they are monitoring quite a few things on your website (in ways you can’t even imagine).
For example, they can tell how “engaged” people are on your site by how long they are staying.
If you head to your analytics, this is called “bounce rate” and is a measure of how quickly people leave.
Hint: Them leaving is not good.
Just like a boring party, if they don’t stay for long, reading your entire blog post or other stunning content, Google knows your content sucks and records that.
Which is why mixing it up a bit within your content helps. So try adding things like:
They can all help the reader get through your post with a smile on their face!
Google are also checking how fast your website loads, because again, people will not wait for a slow site, and will hit the back button in a flash.
Web design also plays a role, which Google does manual reviews of. But more importantly they can check if you site works well on a mobile phone or tablet.
So you will want to make sure that you have a responsive web design. It makes your customers happy too, so it is win-win.
This is the same today as it was in the stone age of SEO, but with a twist!
You need to have keywords (which can be phrases) within your content to ensure you get ranked.
So at least doing a little keyword research before or even while you are writing an article.
Trust me, it is very useful (I even did some for this one).
Hint: I use Google Keyword Planner combined with Market Samurai to see what I can possibly rank for
You do not have to be completely keyword driven, but why not include relevant phrases your customers are looking for within your content.
Of course it is hard to rank for the very short keyword phrases.
For example this article will probably never rank for “content and SEO” but there are other related phrases, with less search volume, you can aim for.
You have to keep in mind though, that you are writing for people and not Google (even though they are watching us, even while we sleep!).
But Google is tweaking their search algorithms to favor factors that people like (like quality and freshness :>). So you should too.
Although there are a load of other SEO factors that you can and should keep in mind when writing a blog post, the above are the bigger picture.
Content and SEO really do go together, and you should always be keeping your readers in mind.
They are your future customers, after all, and the reason you do what you do (I hope).
So next time you stop writing blog posts for 3 months, have a serious think about the affect it could have on your website traffic and bottom line.
Remember: If you need a hand with Content, SEO or your Website, you can check out my services.
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).
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