How Content SEO Can Affect Your Google Search Ranking
Updated on: 13 August 2021
One of the biggest challenges that marketers like us face when it comes to digital marketing is writing content that we can optimise for the various search engines and still pique the reader’s interest. If you want to build your audience, you will have to be smart about the content.
You will want your content to accomplish two objectives:
- Allowing the end-user (customers, readers, clients, etc.) to learn something new.
- Appeal to the user.
To learn how to create content that can meet these goals, let us take a deeper look into what Content SEO is about.
What is Content SEO?
Content SEO relates to the content in your webpage that will help the website rank high in the various search engines. That includes the writing and structuring of the content found in your blogs and various website categories.
Search engines, such as Google, “read” the website through the various algorithm they employ to determine the best results to display whenever someone searches for something. Because of this, the words you use on the website will determine how high it actually ranks in Google search result pages. Of course, there are other factors, such as the design of your website and its user experience, that are taken into account, but without the quality content to pique users’ interests, your site will not rank well.
When it comes to producing quality content to achieve a well-ranked website, there are usually three important elements to consider: keyword strategy, site structure, and copywriting.
The importance of Content SEO
When you are planning a presentation to show your clients what you can offer, you would want to make the presentation interesting and easy to comprehend. You may even try to arrange the content of the presentation in such a way where it speaks personally to the clients.
That’s exactly what Content SEO is. It is probably one of the more well-known SEO types, but it is easily confused with On-page SEO. In fact, some marketers even think it should fall under the On-page SEO category because it consists of implementing the appropriate keywords or key phrases.
However, Content SEO has its own unique category because just peppering your website’s content with keywords isn’t going to work. Content SEO is about optimising the content, improving existing content, and creating interesting copies that attract readers. The point is for the content to cater to the readers’ search queries and needs as well as allow them to gain something from your content.
It is about telling a story that readers can associate themselves with. Trust us when we say that the quality of your content can make or break your rankings in the various search engine result pages. If Google’s Panda algorithm determines your website has poor content, your website ranking is probably going to be penalised.
How Content SEO can be utilised
If you want to earn that top ranking on Google, you will want to create beneficial, compelling and engaging content that can rank well. Here are a few pointers you may use as a checklist to help keep your website entertaining:
1. Tell a story
Whether you have heard a story from a teacher when you were in kindergarten or were asked to read a storybook during silent reading time at morning assemblies, we are sure everyone has read fictional stories at least once during their childhood.
Do you remember getting engrossed in some of the stories? You may be amazed at the plot, found yourself rooting for your favourite characters, or being impatient to find out what happens next when the chapter ends on a cliffhanger.
Storytelling communicates a message to a target audience in an emotional and engaging way using narratives and facts. For ages, storytelling has always involved characters and a storyline. To showcase the effectiveness of good storytelling, let me give you two examples of an advertisement:
The first advertisement (shown above) is just telling you about the benefits of the drink they are promoting, which claims to have essential vitamins and lesser sugar, so it is healthier for the human body.
There is nothing wrong with this statistical approach. However, there are a lot of similar brands to compare to. Moreover, the statistics mentioned in the ad are hard to prove outright. Lastly, there isn’t any memorable one-liner to capture the audiences’ attention so that they will remember this ad.
Now, this advertisement tells the story of a housewife who prepares meals and takes care of the household and her husband. The drink is advertised to help ensure better sleep, so the housewife can get the sufficient rest she needs to recharge so she can take care of the house.
This advertisement is more relatable, as there is an instant connection to the ad’s protagonist as a significant amount of us will know the stress of being a housewife or househusband. What’s more, there is a slogan at the end that makes it easier for the public to remember – something that we can associate with the drink.
Between the two ads shown, which do you think you will remember more: the chunk of statistics and comparisons over the promoted drinks, or the story of a housewife needing the supplement to help her rest after a long day of taking care of the house and her husband?
If you choose the second option, then you are not alone. After all, what you will remember the most is the story. This is why brand storytelling matters so much; while statistics can validate your point, the story makes an advertisement interesting and easier to digest.
Telling the story of your brand will help set you apart from your competition. What makes you different will be your story, and that can attract interest among potential customers. If your brand’s story is compelling enough, it will also get them to become invested in you.
Most digital marketers would keep writing and producing more content in the hopes of achieving their desired ranking. However, it takes a lot of time to come up with an original idea that has not been used.
Let’s say you are browsing a website for a business that has been posting regular content since 1996, as indicated above. Would you go all the way to the first post to read what they had written, or would you prefer to read something published more recently?
Most would probably just read the latest posts because we know that things can change quickly. Even articles that may be accurate just a few months ago can be completely different now.
Moreover, as the writers who maintain the blog, we may have also forgotten what we have written and posted. However, it is important for us to keep track of the articles we have published because the same content could show up at multiple places throughout the site if the writer is unaware of whether they have posted the article before. Like we mentioned earlier, it may not be noticed by all the readers because they do not scrounge through all the pages to get the content they came for.
However, what about the search engines? A search engine has to choose something to display in the search results pages, but it doesn’t want to show the same content repeatedly. Moreover, original content that has not been updated for a long while gradually becomes less “fresh”. This is one of the factors that Google takes into account to determine your website’s quality. In this case, the amount of changes on your webpage plays a role. As such, let us share some ways you can keep the content on your website fresh and updated without writing anything new:
1. Refresh and update
If you deem the content still has value in the current market, refreshing it can breathe new life back to that content. It is good practice to keep your most valuable and highest-trafficked content fresh and up to date.
Various ways to refresh content include adding, deleting, or updating things like dates or statistics if the information in your content includes a timeline. Make sure to copyedit the content to ensure it has great readability, a structure that makes sense, and contains interesting writing. Adding more relevant content to that piece is another excellent way to refresh the article, as well as optimising the metadata.
Sometimes, when you have been publishing content for a long time, there will be multiple pieces with similar content, enough to compete against one another for that same set of keywords. This is essentially “keyword cannibalisation”, which is something you will want to avoid.
If this is the case, your best bet will be to merge similar articles into one to polish your content and remove the possibility of keyword cannibalisation. However, you should not just copy and paste both content into one; it should be proofread to make sure everything is seamless and well-integrated. You may need to remove some parts of the writing, so it’s not redundant.
If you have valuable links from other websites, then redirect the post. Keep the URL with the highest traffic. As for the other web pages, unpublish and redirect them using the 301 Redirect.
It’s okay if you find the content is unsalvageable. Here are some reasons why it could be so:
– The content is completely out of date
– The content is not relevant to your brand anymore
– The content is no longer garnering any traffic
If your content hits at least two of these three points, it may be time to get rid of it. Unpublishing old posts will be the best option if refreshing, rewriting or combining old articles do not make any sense.
For example, let’s say you have once written an article that features a collaboration with a florist company. After that, you are no longer in contact with the company or never had any further partnerships with them. Since the collaboration happened more than a decade ago, it’s probably old news by now. As such, this story may no longer garner any traffic, and it isn’t useful to put time and attention to revamp this story for others to read.
In this case, it will be best to unpublish the content and remove it from your site. Use the SERPs located in the Google Search Console’s URL removal tool to remove the URL.
How important is the content displayed on your website? The answer to that question is a definite “Extremely important”. Digital marketing is all about creating an interesting user experience, and making sure your customers are here to stay. In this regard, your online content can either make or break your brand.
With the rise of digital marketing in Singapore, it is important to maintain a regular pace when it comes to content creation. Trends are ever-changing, so our content has to change to keep up with them. After all, as the saying goes: “it’s out with the old, in with the new”.
However, if you notice your content is not garnering the desired traffic despite multiple revisions, you may want to consider hiring a digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO services to help you spruce up your content with the right keywords. At Impossible Marketing, our experienced SEO team can help you research the relevant keywords to boost your website’s online presence. Don’t hesitate to contact us at +65 9374 0111 to get started!