By now, you already know how important SEO is to your business. If not, then read on.
SEO is an important element in helping your website rank highly on Google and other search engines. It is the engine that drives traffic, and in turn, referrals to your website and company.
In other words, without a good SEO strategy, your competitor, who may be less qualified than you, will rank high on Google and get the clientele you deserve.
It doesn’t have to be that way. SEO has become a sought after skill for local companies. However, with a sought-after product, there is always the risk that you may settle for anybody that comes along. SEO is serious business and you should not settle for just anybody who claims they are experts.
Here is why.
1. SEO HAS CHANGED
It used to be that if you wanted to appear on the first page of Google search results, all you had to do was pick a keyword you wanted to rank highly for, and write article after article with that keyword. It was easy. Now times have changed and Google no longer relies on keywords to rank pages.
Let me explain.
Google is increasingly realizing that user intent and experience are important elements to determine if the content on a page is valuable to a reader. In other words, how long they stay on a page has become a ranking factor. Thus, while you may have used the right keywords in your copy, you also need to get people engaged on the page long enough.
Now this is where expertise in writing and content creation comes in.
People are not going to linger on your website or blog for long if the content is not interesting or worth reading. All it takes is a few seconds of reading your title and the first few sentences for them to determine if the content is worth their precious time. This is called the bounce rate and Google is increasingly using this metric to rank your website and web pages.
Because of this, smart websites and blogs realize the value of having a qualified copywriter to craft engaging content that keeps readers glued to their website and blogs. Hence, a good SEO expert needs to be a very good copywriter. He needs to know what ticks with the audience by writing engaging copy. And just like everything else, it takes years of experience to be a good writer.
2. VISUAL CONTENT IS GAME
While good writing skills may get you readers, you also need to create a variety of content to attract new and more readers. A good SEO expert realizes the value of good imagery to complement their blog posts. This includes relevant images, graphics, and videos.
They say variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to your website copy, variety of content can truly bring your website to life.
How people search today has changed dramatically within the last 2-3 years. Search queries are more specific and people are using longer sentences. In addition, people are using other services like social media and YouTube to search for other types of content. Limiting yourself to just writing blog posts means you cannot be found on other platforms where, increasingly, more and more people are spending time on.
Social networks like Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube are used by millions of people everyday. If you are not engaged on these platforms, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. A good SEO expert realizes that creating a variety of content that includes high-quality imagery, graphics, and videos is key to ranking, not only on Google, but on the aforementioned networks.
Here is an example.
Say, I want to learn how to cook Chapatis. I can simply go onto Google and type in the query. I may decide to click on any of the results that come up. I could read a blog on it and that would be OK.
However, think about a website that not only creates a blog on the topic, but also has a video on how to cook chapatis.
A video in this instance would prove to be more valuable than a blog post. It is no surprise therefore that Google search results for certain queries include a mix of blog posts, images, and videos.
3. DO NOT IGNORE CONTENT FORMATTING
Believe it or not, your grammar and blog post formats are important ranking factors.
The Google Search algorithm is able to determine expertise in a certain field based on words used and the style of formatting and delivery. How you format your content can also help Google determine how search results will be displayed.
Here’s an example.
Say we want to rank for the term ‘how to cook chapatis.’ We can write a blog post and create a video on the above and simply post it on our blog. Which is all good.
However, we can approach the formatting in a different style that tells Google that we’re experts and we need to be highlighted on search results.
By creating a step-by-step blog post, Google will determine if it needs to display our blog post in form of an answer box. This is a great way to stand out from the competition and be noticed right on Google Search results.
Formatting your content based on user intent is a great way to rank highly.
Google now displays queries in a variety of ways as shown below:
- Answer boxes
- Questions ‘people also ask’
- ‘In the news’ sections
- Google+ Profiles
As you can see, how you format your content will determine if you get featured in any of the above styles, which can dramatically boost your ranking.
Your goal, as a blog or website, is to always try and rank on as many different content varieties and in different formats as possible. You never know where your next batch of customers will come from. Approaching SEO from this direction gives you a better shot of being noticed and ranking highly on Google.
I hope this post helps you choose your SEO expert wisely. As you’ve seen, it can make or break your website and blog rankings.