Are you writing for Search Engines?Pooja Ganeriwala
Content creators will tell you how most people these days tend to assume that ‘if it is written for the web, it must be optimized.’ I have personally encountered that situation almost each time I am in discussion with a potential client and it leaves me feeling quite sad. I have never been a huge proponent of “search engine optimization” and I’ll tell you why. SEO is wonderful in the way that it delivers targeted traffic. Something that social media cannot. However, it also places too much emphasis on ranking while ignoring the other aspect that I think is way more important to marketing – people!Companies, especially young ones, get so involved with search algorithms and improving their Google ranks, that they let their entire businesses revolve around it. Think about it: Do you know atleast one business that would perhaps sink into oblivion was it not for their search rankings?
I do believe that high-quality and relevant SEO can bring the right people to your website but I also think that it alone cannot suffice. Here’s one reason why:
In February this year, Google announced a major change to its search algorithms in order to “reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or are just not very useful.” At the same time, it committed to provide better rankings for those sites with original and informational content. This new algorithm (called the Panda Update) aimed to weed out the bad content rapidly spreading across the internet and forever changed the way websites are ranked. Since then, I have come across a spate of articles that carry advice on re-aligning SEO strategy to trick through the Panda Update.
In my opinion, this change has necessitated now, more than ever, the need for high quality content that can generate and sustain your readers’ interest. Despite Google’s initiative, the web is populated with sites that generally create a ton of duplicated, mostly uninspired content mainly targeted to please search engines. By following that strategy, you would become just another count in a thousand.
- It’s easy to generate quality content for your website and to market it. Here are some tips to get started:Identify who you are writing for. Never forget to prioritize the audience for your content and tailor it to suit them before you think of keyword optimization.
- Keep it brief, concise and informative. Use bullet points and sub-titles where you can.
- Keep it organized. Users don’t have the time or patience to navigate your entire site. Structure your content and make information easy to find.
- Write in simple and easy to read language. Anything that is too technical or difficult to comprehend will lose your reader in a few words.
- If you pick up (copy) content from anywhere else, don’t forget to give credit where it is due.
- Visual and interactive media is always helpful but don’t go overboard. You want your users to visit a mature website, not an online comic strip, unless of course, it is a comic strip.
- Have a company blog. A Hubspot study shows that companies who blog get as many as 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages than the ones who don’t.
- Establish your authority on community forums. Not only can you start discussions, you can also moderate them and direct traffic to your website.
- Have your content proof-read. Preferably by an expert in the subject that you are writing about or atleast from someone who knows their you’re from your.
- Keeping in touch has never been more understated. Newsletters, mailers, monthly reports are just some opportunities. Whatever you do, don’t spam!