Every website needs some tender love and care, especially when it comes to finding success and garnering business. When you invest time and money into a website that represents your business, you cannot just build it and expect it to bring in new internet-savvy customers these days. It is incredibly important to work with Google to make your website findable and available to the audience that you wish to reach, whether its by white hat SEO, advertising or both. Search marketing is just the thing necessary to bring an awesome website to the attention of people who would enjoy it. This is why SEO strategies are so important and so widely undertaken today. One element of SEO that has become integral to achieving good rankings is content generation. Back in May, we wrote about why copywriting services are so in demand after Panda, and in early July we covered why and how to blog for SEO. Now, let’s talk about common mistakes to avoid when doing so.
To put it simply, you can’t just generate any content. You have to create high-quality, relevant content. And this content has to be informative as well as good enough to be widely syndicated, to social media outlets and elsewhere, so that it positively reflects your business and your authoritative knowledge.
Content Generation: What Not To Do
We are an Atlanta SEO company that, along with many others, has grappled with the (in some cases) crippling effects of the Google Panda update. However, the one certain thing that every SEO can say is that content is extremely important – and becomes more so with every passing day. This is especially true because Google continues to run fresh iterations of Panda (we’re on Panda 2.3 now).
As our SEO agency is always thinking of new ways to better promote ourselves and our clients, we have been able to come up with a content campaign that we believe mitigates the negative effects of Panda; to put it simply, we are continuously churning out quality content. Having spent so much time developing our content strategy, we have learned what makes for good content and what can make your content crash and burn. With that in mind, we have decided to share what we view to be the most common and detrimental content mistakes, and how avoiding them can mean the difference between great rankings and ending up in the “no-man’s-land” of the SERPs.
1. Poor Quality Content
When Panda was released, unique and high-quality content became necessary components of SEO. Content that is free of grammatical or stylistic errors is ideal when it comes to blog posts, articles, and even site copy.
In May, Google provided a large list of guidelines that, if followed, differentiate high-quality content from low-quality content (the stuff Google was and is trying to weed out). Since these guidelines were released, many webmasters have outsourced copywriting efforts in an effort to ensure that they are able to syndicate high-quality blog and article content; there’s nothing wrong with this, but it is simply necessary to avoid looking at this outsourcing as a useless expense that you can find for cheap. Bad content will do nothing good for your site, so if you aren’t going to pay for the good stuff, it won’t help you. If you pay for the good stuff, your ROI will likely be much higher (content isn’t really worth much for SEO purposes, however, unless you optimize it- but that is a whole other discussion. To make content work for you, it’s obviously necessary to consult somebody about optimization).
2. Keyword-Stuffed Content
Speaking of optimization, there is a fine line between optimizing an article and just packing it with keywords. Keyword -stuffing is frowned upon. Just don’t do it. A keyword used in a meaningful way is much more useful than a keyword thrown into a sentence just for the sake of having it in the copy a certain number of times per paragraph. Relevance is also key. Gone are the days when you could simply throw keywords in wherever you wanted, related and contextual or not. Your content should make sense, flow, and provide meaningful information – and your reader should not be distracted by the continual reappearance of some random words that do not make sense in the context.
3. Factually Incorrect Content
Google wants users to view high-ranked sites as authorities. Therefore, factually incorrect content is a big no-no. The following series of questions in the Google guidelines proves this fact:
“Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?”
“Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?”
“Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?”
The obvious implication here is that Google wants you to provide content that is informative, factually correct, and publication-worthy. This is what the search engine considers high-quality content. Paying attention to detail means going in-depth, checking your facts, and creating content you would be proud to see published in a magazine or book.
4. Unoriginal Content
Nothing detracts from a site’s authority more than a lack of original content. It makes sense, after all; if those running the website truly belong at the top of the rankings, than they must have something original to contribute. This ties into Google’s question/guideline: “Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?”
Here’s where you should be careful to avoid duplicate content. Publishing duplicate content is a surefire way to ensure that your rankings plummet.
With original and informative content on your site (and out in cyberspace representing your site), you have a much better chance of being viewed as an authority in your niche. Further, it might be a good idea to implement Google’s new rel=author function, which will help you to establish authority in the area about which you blog.
5. “Spammy” Content
In May, Google asked as a guideline: “Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?” Basically, you should probably avoid having too many ads interspersed with your articles and blogs – if you have any ads, make sure that they are not distracting or off-putting. Content-farms have been eliminated due to their low-quality content – and you should do everything in your power to avoid looking like one.
Spamming your readers is not only a good way to make them want to immediately leave your site, but its a good way to show Google that you are not looking for a high ranking.
As we have discussed (and probably will always emphasize), the user-experience is extremely important. So, your content should both be pleasant to the reader and satisfactory under Google’s guidelines. With Google continuing to run Panda updates, we can be sure that quality guidelines are not going anywhere soon. Unless you are the unfortunate victim of a glitch, it is likely that if you follow Google’s guidelines and avoid these mistakes, you can work with Panda instead of hopelessly suffer under its sometimes oppressive controls.
Find More Information
To learn more about EverSpark Interactive’s content strategy, contact us at 770-481-1766. To comment, question, or affirm the points made in this post, comment here or find us on Facebook. We’re also big on Twitter, so follow us: @EverSparkSEO.