Content is King

Content, in all of its multimedia forms, rules the rankings.  In fact, content  is the driving factor in determining what will and what will not appear on page 1 of Google.  That is why we say Content is King and if you want to thrive online you had better profess your loyalty to this new ruler.

It used to be pretty easy to climb in the rankings.  All you really needed to do was stack up the backlinks and sites would inevitably climb in the ranking and those that had the greatest number of backlinks rose further than all the rest.

Google saw this and quickly realized that the system was far too easy to game.   Sites were getting ranked in searches that had little or nothing to do with what was actually searched for.  So they changed things around and started looking at the quality and relevancy of the backlinks and for a short time, the search results improved.

The problem is those that wanted short cuts to high rankings quickly found ways to fool the system once again and once again, Google was delivering results that did not meet their goals for delivering only the most relevant results.

So they decided to turn everything on its head.

Google started focusing on the actual content in order to determine what pages would best match the search criteria.  Now gaming the systems is just about impossible and for those of us that are committed to delivering top flight results, that is a very good thing.

Increasingly, people are using long and fairly specific questions in searches and they are hoping to find specific answers.  If you create content that delivers those answers you have a very good chance of appearing at the top of the search results.

If, as an author, you have developed a reputation as an expert on a given subject your chances of appearing at the very top of the search results is even higher.

It’s really quite simple.  Give them what they want and you get want you want.  Top Google Rankings!

Even the best content can still come up short in the search results.  This is where influence and influencers come into the picture.

Your content needs to be read, liked and shared.  The more this happens the greater your perceived influence is on the subject and the greater the value of the actual piece of content that is getting read, liked and shared.

The search ranking algorithms no longer operate in a closed environment.  They have been radically adjusted to look at the mass of activity in the surrounding community to determine what is and isn’t relevant and what will and will not be ranked.

Great content begins with three key attributes.

First and foremost, make sure it’s relevant to the subject.  Don’t just stuff a bunch of disjointed keywords into a 500 word article and expect great results.  Also, don’t get too fixated on the keywords you are targeting.  Both the search engines and the community can glean value through semantic phrasing.  Use your keywords wisely and then support them through semantics.

Next, keep  it is fresh.  Putting a great piece of content out on the web and expecting it to always perform will leave you disappointed.  Someone will follow with a fresher piece on the same subject and bump you out of the way.

Finally, make it original.  There are those that think they can get away with “borrowing” content from others and trying to make it their own.   While it was possible to do this in the bad old days, that time has passed.  Google has added authorship and other inventive ways of attributing content to the original author / publisher and they have found equally effective ways of penalising those that misappropriate content.

Think back to your grade school teachers and their constant harping on the value of proper spelling and grammar.  Most of us found those lessons and the sea of red ink marking our papers annoying at best. But, we all should have paid closer attention.

Google looks at the quality of these elements and will promote or demote a page based on how well it has been written.  That means writing poorly opens the door to your competition to do a better job and rank higher.  Don’t give them the opportunity.

Your grade school teachers were right.  Grammar and spelling do count!

You have written great content and ensured it is perfectly clean.  Now it’s time to help Google and others find that content and identify its subject matter.  That is where optimisation comes in.

Every article you write must have the following attributes:

Give it a Title Tag. Open with your primary keyword or phrase and then follow with an attention grabbing tag line that will get people clicking through to your page.

Provide a clear Meta Description.  This is an opportunity to expand on your Title Tag. You need to deliver an effective excerpt that leaves no doubt what the article is all about.  Together with the Title Tag, this is what will appear in the search results so make sure it can grab attention and get people clicking.  Do not over stuff this with keywords!

Make sure you have a primary heading, also known as an H1. Every page needs to have one H1.  That heading should open with the primary keyword or phrase and then, as with the Title Tag, get people interested enough to read what you have written.

Use subheadings, beginning with an H2.  You should have at least one H2 subheading in every article and more where the article structure can be enhanced.  At least one of the subheadings should include the keyword or phrase but primarily, they need to help readers scan and capture the main points of the article.  This enhances readability and the chance that readers will like and share your content.

Don’t forget to use Images & Atl Tags.  Every article should include at least one appropriate image.  It is true that pictures are worth a thousand words and once again, they help improve your chances of getting liked and shared.  And, do not forget to apply an Alt Tag to every image you include.  That tag needs to have your primary keyword or phrase as well.  It can help get the images ranked and that’s also good for driving traffic to your site.

Now it’s time to claim authorship.  You deserve it and failing to take it leaves it for others to steal.

G+ has been developed from the ground up to allow authors to become influencers and for influencers to spread their influence by sharing quality content.  You need to make full use of this platform and it all starts with creating a G+ profile and then ensuring that all of your content is attributed to your profile.

This means adding a bit of code to every page you publish.  This is the authorship mark-up and it really is quite simple and straight forward to get applied.  You can also use it to identify a publisher and to then tie it a G+ company profile.

Now, when your article is read, liked and shared all of that love flows back to your G+ profiles and that further enhances your online reputation.  As your reputation improves so does the perceived value of all of your work and as that improves so will your search engine rankings.

Promote your work.  Don’t just post it and leave it to chance that it will be found by a large enough audience to have an impact.  Help it get found.  Promote it.

You can use G+, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other social platforms, including niche relevant blogs and forums, that will help you disseminate your content to a broad audience and if you are going to be successful you really do need to do this effectively.  That means you need to make a commitment to spend  time, energy and maybe some financial capital to get that done.

Find your audience.  Engage them in a conversation.  Get them talking about you.  Turn them into advocates.  Do this often and well enough and it will eventually become self-sustaining but you must be willing to make the upfront investment if you are going to enjoy real online success.

Navigating the new world of SEO requires the right guide. It requires a guide that won’t lead you astray or into the deep dark caverns of the Google penalty Box.  It requires a guide that will clearly mark your path to success right from the start.  It requires a guide that understands that success breeds success and mediocre counts for nothing.

If you want to be a truly profitable online business you need to be on Page 1 of Google and to an increasing extent, Page 1 of Bing as well.  We know how to get you there and keep you there!

We are World Touch SEO and we are search engine optimisation experts.  We use 100% white hat ranking techniques that we are constantly tweaking to ensure the fastest and most consistent results. Contact us today and let us put you on a clear path to online marketing success.