It used to be that a few “black hat” website marketing techniques could pretty much guarantee a spot on the first page of a Google search. But these sorts of attempts to “cheat the system” have been made detrimental – and even damaging – through a series of algorithm updates.
Over the past five years or so SEO has evolved tremendously and it’s been really tough for companies that play by the rules to keep up. Many have done their keyword research, optimized their usability and put blood sweat and tears into developing their content, but are still struggling to achieve the search ranking results they want.
Since keyword stuffing, invisible text and duplicate content have gone the way of the dodo (thankfully), quality content is key. But this is easier said than done. Many people think that creating great, informative pages full of stuff people actually want to read is easy, but in my experience they greatly underestimate the time and effort it takes to do so.
Two Types of Website Content
Generally a website consists of two types of content: static pages and a blog. Static pages are at the top levels of your navigation and contain your most vital, need-to-know information. Examples would be your business services, company background, e-commerce pages and contact details. Static pages are simple to decide, as what appears on them likely doesn’t need to be changed or updated a lot, and tends to be more obvious as they are most likely part of your overall marketing plan.
Strategizing Your Blog Content
The second type of website content are blogs, of which there’s no denying the value. Search engines regard websites with consistent new content as being cared for, and this commitment to maintenance tends to improve ranking results. As well, blogs create a more personal feel to a website, as readers can get a better sense of the personality and character behind a business, and they’re a great way to provide additional advice, tips and tricks that may not be part of your core industry, but are essential for giving your customers the best experience possible. Blogs can also help you answer questions you get asked every day, and are easy to share on social media.
Planning the content on your blogs can be very hard, though. It used to be that all you had to do was pick your keywords and write your blog around them, but as the venerable inbound marketing gurus Hubspot say in their article by Matthew Barby, Topics Over Keywords: A Simple Framework for More Effective Content Creation, “There’s been a lot of debate around the actual credibility of keyword rankings as a metric, and the reason for this largely stems from the fact that rank changes depending on context.”
So, what does that mean?
Well, it means that your keywords may not actually be doing you any good. Search results are now more dependant on where you are searching from and what you are looking for rather than whether or not your keywords appear in the search term. Geo-targeting has caused results to become categorized more based on your physical location, and “featured snippets” within search results do their best to answer a question posed in a search query.
Basically, what this means is that rather than constructing your blogs around a set of keywords, you’re better off to try to answer a question a searcher might be asking. As Barby says, “queries have become more and more conversational,” more “natural,” and so mechanical keywords like “calgary hardwood floors” won’t do you nearly as much good as something like, “what are the best kinds of hardwood floors for calgary?”
Barby also suggests building a content calendar around what he calls “topic clusters.” This essentially means that rather than writing a bunch of blogs about a number of different topics as a sort of keyword “shot in the dark,” it’s more advantageous to choose a main, broad-based topic that you can build off of.
For example, the topic “car insurance claims” can have a number of sub-topics, such as:
- How to file a car insurance claim
- When do I have to file a car insurance claim?
- How long do I have to file a car insurance claim?
- Car insurance claims can cause your premiums to rise
- Accident forgiveness makes it less scary to file a car insurance claim
- What happens if your car insurance claim is refused
As you can see, these topics are mainly query-based, which we’ve said is how more people are searching these days, and also lend themselves nicely to the creation of “featured snippets,” such as “Our trusted brokers can help with the claims process,” or, “trusted drivers can qualify for accident forgiveness.” Do this, and you should start seeing your search engine rankings climb.
Content Creation By Emphasize Design
If you don’t want to worry about all that it takes to put together compelling web content that people want to read AND gets you on the first page of a Google search, Emphasize Design of Calgary has you covered. Our experienced online marketing team offers website design, content development, and comprehensive online marketing packages to help grow your Calgary business.