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Content Strategy

Content Strategy 2014: It Ain’t 2010 Anymore

By:

Kim Clark

on 5/16/2014

The entire point of a good content strategy is to drive traffic to a website. A good strategy shows results by your site showing up in a high ranking position on the search engine results page. In the past, it was pretty straightforward to get there: a site had to be filled with the relevant search keywords and the more links pointing to the site pages, the better. Those were the basics.

Unfortunately, over time, the basics led to low-quality sites stuffed with so many keywords that content often morphed into gibberish; useful to search engines but worthless to people trying to read. Poor copy didn’t really matter because they were ranking high with the search engines and they were getting traffic. But users were frustrated. Whenever they searched, they were presented with a list of low-quality websites that did not meet what they were searching for.

So search engines changed how they rank websites. In an effort to serve their audience and to bring the higher quality websites to the top of the list. They evolved their ranking algorithms. It made sense for a company that wanted to maintain their dominance in the search landscape…er, Google.

Google Panda – Happily Delisting Websites Since September 2011

Content Strategy’s 2014 Trifecta

  1. Quality
  2. Location
  3. Authority

Get your site to meet all three of these little requirements and you should have no problem ranking high on search engine results.

Because it’s that easy, right?

2014 Content Tip 1: Unique Quality

First, make sure that the information on every single page of your site is focused and relevant to the main topic of your site. Don’t have pages on your site for crockpot recipes if you are trying to sell dog beds.

Second, all of the content needs to be easily read and it needs to make sense. No throwing in keywords just to have keywords. Keywords are still relevant, but only as long as they flow in the normal, natural context of the content.

Third, rock it. If you’re posting the same thing that can be read or watched on 52 other blogs in your niche, then why should the search engines (or users) single-out your post or video for ranks? On the other hand, if that infographic you spent hours on is unique and interesting, then you have got yourself some Grade A content.

2014 Content Tip 2: Location, Location, Location

Now, this one may not apply to all sites. For those of you that have physical, brick and mortar locations, you need to concentrate on being listed in your area. Thanks to Google Local, when many searches are done, the sites for businesses in the local area are brought up as the most relevant. This is especially relevant to mobile searches.

Remember: the Search Engine’s goal is to give the user the best, most relevant results it can.

To get listed locally, make sure that your site is listed in local directories, listed with Google Local Places, and listed with local customer review sites. This tip is less about the quality of your content and more about the connections you make you with your site, but its still really important. No website (or business, for that matter) is an island. Don’t treat yours like one. If you don’t want to do this, or don’t know how, then find a partner to help you.

2014 Content Tip 3: Build Authority

Authority doesn’t mean power over others in this context; it means how much knowledge you have over the topic of your site. For example, if you sell apple trees you need to show that you know everything there is to know about apple trees, trees in general, and apples? Educate others and show that you are an authority on all matters concerning what your site is about. This will go a long way in not only in the search engine rankings, but also in creating customer trust that you are not just another sales site. Create the trust and the sales will follow.

By creating authoritative content on your website that educates people about all of these topics. Checkout Moz’s definition for a more technical definition of website authority.

Unfortunately this tip, along with the other two tips, can’t be followed overnight. They are each strategic decisions that your forward-thinking web team must make.

In fact, just forget about tricks. Tricks work (sometimes) but are not sustainable. Ultimately the powers that be will strike your website from the listings and you’re back to square one or worse. Instead, invest in quality writers, good graphic artists, established citation builders, and work with employees or agencies that understand how to build authoritative websites. The internet isn’t a hobby anymore. It’s your livelihood.

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