Ever since the birth of Google in 1997, surfing the web has never been the same. Easily the world’s most notable search engine, its name even earning a spot in the English Oxford dictionary to describe making a search on the internet, Google has also dictated the direction of SEO significantly. By introducing PageRank, Google could rank websites in a more meaningful and accurate way, making SEO an essential part of running an online business.
Yet, more accurate ranking did come with a cost. Over the years, there have been plenty of bad practices, like keyword stuffing and disingenuous link exchanges which led to an abundance of poor content being generated online. Luckily, Google revamped their protocol and now penalizes businesses for engaging in cheap and easy SEO practices. As a result, search engine optimization has become somewhat of an art and it’s getting better every day.
Whether you run a business, or are just enthusiastic about SEO, here are 4 ways that SEO has changed for the better that might inspire your future content.
1. Original is the new black
While this one might seem like a no brainer, there are a surprising number of businesses that have yet to harness the power of original content. To make the most of content creation, it’s wise to invest in someone who knows their way around SEO and also has a good writing style. Many companies initially struggle to find a topic, but it’s a welcome opportunity to get to know yourself as a brand and then transfer that into a blog post. You could consider writing about your personal development as a company, or provide useful tools and tips that readers can benefit from. Content that is original should aim to activate the reader’s imagination and encourage them to engage, which is a great way to gain loyal customers.
2. Guest posting
Remember, guest posting is not link building. Rather than having a guest write a post with the intention of simply sharing a link to your landing page, look for someone who can help make a contribution to your brand in the long run. That means carefully considering experts that are relevant to your industry and also who could make beneficial long term partners. Also, discuss ways that their expertise could be translated into content that will help boost your readership, and if applicable, theirs as well.
3. Looking good is essential
Content isn’t just about the quality of the writing, although that is very important, it’s also important to pay attention to aesthetics. By investing in a designer who can help you create a beautiful landing page that complements your content, you will be able to catch readers’ attention. One important thing to note is that while you want to catch the eye of consumers, you don’t want to go overboard. Much like defining your original content plan, think of design as a way to deliver a message to your audience about who you are as a brand.
4. Making the most of the available tools
Thanks to changes in content creation, for example people demanding more meaningful and personalized messages, there are now a wealth of tools to help you optimize your content creating plan. While there are an abundance of free tools, like Google Webmaster tools, there are many that are worth investing in, like IdeaFlip, which helps you navigate the brainstorming process and is ideal for those who are new to content marketing.
No matter what direction you take in your content creation journey, it’s important that you reflect your brand through your content voice. Understanding the ways in which content has changed will greatly benefit your ability to attract consumers in the long run and also increase your chances of remaining relevant in a competitive business world.
Dr. Diane Schleier-Keller is a business strategist and finance columnist. She has 3 years of experience in M&A and has been traveling the world to help train entrepreneurs to succeed in their business. You may also connect with her on Twitter.