Google hasn’t made any major changes recently with regards to content requirements, but minor tweaks to the algorithm over the last few months have pushed companies with lots of high quality content to the top of rankings. There’s no doubt about it, the more engaging and lengthy your articles are, the better your website is likely to perform in search engines. A terrific 400 word article will easily be topped by a 1000+ word articles with visuals, bullet pint, infographics and videos. The more quality you’re giving your visitors, the more they’re likely to engage with your brand and spend time on your website. It’s not just quick tricks that will boost your traffic. Google rewards businesses that spend time producing high quality content for their visitors. If you can give Google content that’s fresh and filling, you’ll perform much better going forward. That at least seems to be the trend for now.
Far too many websites are completely over optimised for various keywords. This tactic used to work back in the day when Google wasn’t quite able to combat spam, but nowadays it’s a hindrance. Of course, there are no clear rules as to what constitutes as ‘over optimisation’, but if you have a keyword density of 30 or more for one particular phrase, such as ‘T-shirts for sale’; Google may mark you down for producing poor quality content. Google wants websites to be human friendly, so that means not having too much repetition for certain keywords. Try to pick similar words and create some sense of variety, otherwise you may bore your visitors, or worse, drop down in the Google rankings. There are many tools on the market that can help you check your keyword densities fast, and many of these come as free plugins for your browser.
As a web marketing consualtant, I often hear from small business owners that they don’t need SEO because their direct traffic is through the roof. My response is simply “it won’t stay like that for long”. You have to do a serious amount of advertising online and offline to continuously increase direct visits to your website and whilst that’s possible you should never forget organic visits. The great thing about organic traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing is when you start to rank you’re getting tons of visitors for free. You’ll obviosuly have to pay your SEO agency a fee but you’ll be getting a much better return on investment for you businesses. If your organic traffic is on the way down and direct is on the way up it’s probably best you focus some attention on SEO because if you had the best of both worlds your business will be flying!
Using SEO in order to gain exposure is pretty much an essential part of modern day business. Most businesses rely upon the internet heavily in order to sell their products and services, but depending upon the breadth and scale of what you’re targeting, the cost of investing in SEO and other online marketing techniques can quickly skyrocket.
The ways in which an online E-commerce business can scale upwards essentially comes down to two different areas; increasing the number of products and services being offered, or increasing the locations to which you offer them. For each of these expansions, an accompanying increase in cost for SEO is sure to follow. As content will need to be created for each of these changes and then the content will have to be optimised, and advertised both on-site and off-site, the price of such an expansion can be massive.
Choosing your Geographical Location
For new businesses, it is generally preferred that you target your own local area. You get a lot of advantages from this option, particularly if you deal in services. As it reduces travel time and only necessitates one trading location, it can save a lot of money for you business. For SEO, it means that you can target a smaller, less competitive location. Less competition means that it will be a lot cheaper to achieve good rankings, and as it will be very relevant to your business, your conversion rate should be higher too.
As your business grows, a natural part of this is that you will begin to expand to other locations. The best way to do this from the viewpoint of SEO is to create whole new sections of your website that you can then optimise for the new locations. This makes sure that your content is still highly relevant to location settings in search engines and in queries. You may also need to increase your amount of off-site outreach to increase your prevalence, as adding new content can risk diluting the success of your previously successful content.
Expanding your Products and Services
The issues with expanding to new geographical locations and expanding your products are pretty similar, as each require new content to be created, and an investment in outreach. Without that outreach, you risk damaging your chances at success in your new product line as well as your old one. If this makes little sense to you; if you imagine your ability to succeed in SERP’s as being directly related towards your website’s authority, and that authority being a currency that is spread throughout your website, adding more content to your website can spread that authority further and reduce its impact on all of the content.
In the realms of online marketing, optimising content is tricky business. As content needs to serve the dual purposes of being appealing to machines (Googlebot etc.) and humans, trying to improve the optimisation for one or the other could potentially mean sacrificing the optimisation for one or the other. While this complicates matters significantly, with a highly strategic approach to content, you can still achieve great success in both areas.
While there is still a long way to go for this situation to resolve itself, the changes which have been made to search engines like Google over the last 10 years, have reduced the barrier between optimisation for human interaction and bots. It used to be the case that SEO’s would stuff keywords into content ad nauseam, until Google made it so this behaviour was penalised, and then other search engines quickly followed suit. Even so, a balance still needs to be struck.
To come up with strategy for developing and optimising content, you have a number of tools at your disposal. Assuming that you can instantly implement a winning recipe for content is a bit misguided, as from industry to industry and website to website, a recipe that works for one website might not work for the next. Therefore, using tools like Google Analytics, heatmaps, ranking monitoring tools, which are some of the favourites of the SEO community, that can give you essential data on how people interact with your content and how search engines are reacting to it, becomes necessary.