Category: Marketing and Brand Development
Google says it handles more than one billion searches each day. Getting your website in the mix for a search result means thinking about your brand's story a few different ways.
While it's most important to write content that meets your prospect's interests, needs and personality, paying attention to a few things Google thinks are important isn't a bad idea either.
Google returns results that match what people search for. If you want to appear in the results for "dog grooming," you better have a valuable page that is all about dog grooming.
Getting to how Google evaluates what a page is really about is sometimes obvious. Making sure "dog grooming" is in the title of the page, appearing as a phrase or using synonyms for dog such as "canine" would be a good place to start.
Google also makes some assumptions based on the other pages on your site. If most of your site is about dog care, then that exact same page will place higher than it would on a site that talked about auto maintenance.
When someone clicks a link that leads to your page, what words were clickable? One link that says "local dog grooming" and another that says "how I spent my summer" mean very different things to Google. They might point to the same page, but they are sending a very different message on what that page is about.
New techniques for determining relevance will continue to crop up. Make sure you continue to create content that's relevant for your audience’s needs.
Keep it Fresh
There are times when I wish the Internet were two separate things:
1. Content from the last 12 months and
2. Content from the beginning of time.
Today, Google kicks back search results that could be from yesterday or from 10 years ago. Typically, old information isn't helpful for your visitor. Google wants to make sure your website is current, your page is current and that you're publishing content on a continual basis.
The freshness topic can get a little confusing because Google also withholds some credit when a site is new. The logic here is that anyone can throw together a website on a whim, but someone who has kept a site rolling for five years is likely putting out more valuable content.
The marriage of these two ideas is that it is desirable to have a well-established site that has been around for a while producing new pages on a consistent basis. (Note: if this description sounds like a blog to you, you're right.)
Search engines want to return results linking to pages that are the credible, expert source on a given topic. It's hard to quantify that in an algorithm, but Google has done an impressive approximation with link profiles. When deciding where a particular page (your About Us page, for example) should appear in search results, it looks at all the other pages on the Internet that link there. That includes pages on the same website (there's a link from your home page to your About Us page) and pages from other sites (a link from a local business directory).
Authority is pretty hard to fake, though people do still try. If you are making strategic-level decisions about SEO as opposed to actually implementing tactics, I would advise you to consider that not all links are equal. Google weighs the relevance, freshness, and authority of the all the sites that link to you. A link from the NY Times is going to have a big impact on your link profile, but a link from Freddy’s Free Link Swap will have no positive effect – and might even give you a penalty.
Just to make sure you know this fact, we'll state it here. Do not duplicate the same content across multiple websites. This is a big no-no. Duplicate content is basically defined as content that appears on the Internet in more than one place. When you have the same content in a number of places, Google cannot really tell which location is the most relevant and they aren't going to list them all. You risk none showing up or Google selecting one that isn't actually where you want your prospect to land.
Words Per Post
We get this question a lot: How many words should be on my blog posts? Our typical reaction is a question back: How many words does it take you to write a valuable post on the topic? While it's true, word count can be important, it's not always necessary to write a post of 1,000 words each and every time. Some of your more compelling topics may even take 2,000 or 2,500 words to bring to fruition. This is OK! You also need to think about what is normal for your audience; if you typically write in a brief, direct style, your readers probably come to know and like this about you. If you write to always be relevant and valuable in your topic for your audience, you’re going to be just fine.
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