If you’ve followed all of the changes Google has tried to make over the past two or so years, you should realize the one inescapable conclusion: Content is King!
Once upon a time, you could use AdWords to send clicks directly to the merchant’s site google scraper . That’s the old Google Cash method. As a result, you had tons of ads all pointing to the same merchant sales page. From a user point of view, clicking on five different ads and seeing the same sales page was a pain in the neck. So, Google squelched that by making a new policy that only one ad can go to a certain URL.
Then you had thousands of MFA (made for AdSense) sites popping up. Those were mainly worthless lists of AdSense ads. Sure, some internet marketers were making a ton of money off of them, but for the rest of us, it was really vexing. Google stopped that, also with the infamous Google slap.
Recently, we’ve learned that Google is setting their sites on riding the cyber-world of what they call “thin affiliate sites”. Those are sites that look like content sites, only the content doesn’t have any real value. The content is there only to get the page ranked so people visit and hopefully click on an affiliate link.
Often when people are confronted with the task of developing content for their website they are perplexed and filled with indecision as how to start. Following some these basic guidelines, will not only help you to produce quality content that is relevant, but will help you rank well in Google as well.
Start by brainstorming ideas for your site’s content. Ask yourself some basic questions such as: Who is your audience? Who is going to be using the site? Are they computer savvy? Are they looking for information? Reviews on a product? Or are they looking for a service? Consider the age, sex, socioeconomic status, geographic location, relevant interests or hobbies of your viewer important to consider? These questions will help set the tone of your content and give you direction to begin writing.
Sometimes the answers are very straightforward based upon the products or services you offer. Provide useful and succinct content for exactly what a visitor will need to know when visiting your site, or might want to know before making a purchase. Some reasons for coming to your site might include: product specifications, product features, product reviews, shipping or ordering information, pricing and availability of products.
The content of your website communicate exactly what your website is about to your visitors and is the primary source of information that search engine bots use in determining how to index your website. The most recent algorithm update from Google is the most recent attempt to remove “webspam” or, the junk results you might get in search results when websites try to cheat their way into higher positions. Websites that once enjoyed high rankings due to scraped and duplicate content are now experiencing a huge drop in rankings. This new algorithm update to the “new Google” means now more than ever, well written, original textual content is mandatory for all onsite and offsite web content at the risk of incurring ranking penalties from Google. The new Google standard dictates quality over quantity.
Conduct keyword research for your business, service or product that you are building the site for. Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool to generate keyword for targeted content. Choose approximately 3-5 terms per page. The best approach is to develop well written, relevant content for your website that is not bloated with keywords or comes across as being “spammy”. It must be 100% original. If you do need to quote other sites be sure to use proper HTML tags and syntax to mark the text as a citation or a reference. You should have a minimum of 500 words of content on your homepage. Be sure to include several instances and iterations of the keywords you will be targeting.
An often overlooked area of content writing is writing content for the landing pages of your site. Landing pages are the entry pages that your target audience land on when visiting your site. What page they land on depends mainly on your SEO optimization strategy and link building techniques. Work closely with an SEO specialist to determine what your link building strategy will be and what internal pages to target. For example, If you sell “widgets” you might target your homepage for a generic phrase such as “industrial widgets”. You might then have an internal page ranking for “red widgets” and another for “blue widgets”. Both would be optimized for those related search terms.
You should have approximately 400-600 words of textual content per landing page. It is important not to neglect content on these pages. Internal pages tend to create conversions much more readily than someone landing on a homepage. The homepage is typically more general in nature and usual provides an overview of what you have to offer. Your internal pages are where you have your products or services.
People coming to the homepage are typically looking for information or “just browsing”. Those coming in to an internal page have already done their research and are more likely to be prepared to purchase. An analog would be a person going to a store and “just browsing”, as opposed to someone going directly to the department they want with a specific product in mind.