How To Optimize Web Content for Google Search
Posted by Sarah Wai on Aug 5, 2019, 9:52:00 AM
You and Google have something in common: you both love fresh, quality content that is full of substance, easily digestible, and relevant. Google wants content that speaks to the reader, not at the reader; and believe me when I say they know the difference. Google's algorithms are so much more advanced than they were even a couple of years ago.
Sadly, a majority of the content companies produce daily is just not the quality content people will engage with. It’s dull, with very little substance and has a very selfish focus on the company itself rather than the audience. Let's take a look at how you can set yourself up for greater success in Google's search engine.
Think about what you do as a human, as the living, breathing being that types words into a search bar about a service, product, or event. When you come across a website that captures your interest, aren't you more likely to share it on social media? Of course. You don’t share boring content. You share content that excites you, you can relate to, that you resonate with, or that answers questions you've had.
Start With Why
Take a look at the content on your website. Is it shareable? Does it answer your buyer persona's questions or provide a solution for them? Is it even worth someone spending their valuable time to read? These are all important questions to ask yourself when evaluating the effectiveness of your content.
We've all heard the propagation of the phrase "Start with Why." Originating from Simon Sinek and his award-winning book, Sinek challenges leaders to inspire action by finding their 'why.' There's something here everyone can learn from, but specifically, when it comes to content, it's important to establish your 'why.' The obvious answer is "to generate more sales"! That's too easy, and also selfish. So let's take a different approach- What is your 'why' for creating content for buyers? I hope the answer lands somewhere between providing resources and adding value to their lives.
The reason for this is two-fold. You are establishing yourself as a leader in your industry, and you are building trust with potential buyers. These are both things Google looks for. Google wants to know if:
a) You are providing answers to questions users have
b) You are a trustworthy source for them to direct people to
The more you establish this reputation as an authority, the greater the chance of your content rising in search engines.
Add value through new and relevant content
If you don’t have a blog, start one. Don’t write about your product or service; write about the problems your product or service solves. Blog about tips and tricks that are useful and relate to your products, without sounding like you're trying to sell them to the reader. Write about what is relevant in your industry that will interest your readers and potential customers.
Do you hold events at your location or frequently attend trade shows and community events? Start an events page! Keep the events listed current and remove any events that have already happened. Show Google and your audience that you're maintaining relevance.
Adding new page content to your website means more pages have the potential to be indexed by Google and the other search engines. In turn, the more pages of content you have, the more keywords your site will likely be indexed for. We've seen this to be true with all of our clients that take the time to create new and relevant content. These clients have seen website traffic that typically far surpasses clients that decide content isn't important.
Update Existing Content to fit current searches
Refreshing content on existing pages is likely going to increase your website’s authority potential. This is especially true for products and service pages. In almost all industries, the search terms to find services or products for both B2B and B2C will constantly change (hence the need for SEO year-round). Make sure to do keyword research and write your content to speak to what your readers and potential customers are searching for. Don't stuff your content with keywords (that's a negative trait according to Google), but take your queue from what they're already searching for to help determine topics and then sprinkle in the keywords.
Another newer approach to this is creating longer content, perhaps by combining shorter content with related content to create a greater resource page. You can learn more about that here. We've learned from experience that this has great results with Google's current (2019) algorithms.
Understanding The Exceptions
You may say, "I’ve seen content dated ten years ago that still shows up on first page results!"
To every rule, there are exceptions. In rare cases, content stays relevant and continues to receive high engagement month after month and year after year. In the grand scheme of things, your long-term strategy should be to continually update your content, especially if you see high bounce rates and little-to-no organic traffic. However, evergreen content that continues to answer questions over the years should also be part of your strategy, as it can end up being one of these exceptions if Google deems it so. Learn more about content marketing strategy here.
Written by Sarah Wai
Content and Email Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. B.S. in Media Communications. Certified in Hubspot, Inbound Marketing, Contextual Marketing, and Email Marketing.