Google’s algorithm can be a jerk. There. I said it. Your content can be nice while having the best intentions, but if Google’s algorithm doesn’t think it’s cool or like they way it looks, it will treat your content like the fat kid at the prom (sitting alone on the sidelines off the dance floor). When it comes to ranking content, you need to make it attractive to Google’s algorithm. In order to make it that sexy, you need to achieve the following:
- Avoid being spammy
- Be well structured
- Be humanized
- Offer value (helpful, entertaining, educational)
- Abandon Old SEO Practices
Knowing how to write good content means you know how to write for Google bots and human readers. This article offers an inside look at how the best digital marketing SEO agencies write content that enables business growth for their clients in the light of Google’s latest ranking factors.
Google Hates Spammy Posers
Being spammy and continuing old SEO practices go hand-in-hand. Not only does Google favor sites with content that reads naturally, it likes web pages associated with SEO practices that are natural. Here are some examples:
- DON’T link to content in as many online directories as you can
- DO link from directories that are high quality and directly relevant to your offerings
- DON’T try to get as many high domain authority backlinks as you can
- DO try to get as many backlinks from relevant referring domains
- DON’T use anchor texts like “SEO agencies Los Angeles”
- DO use anchor texts like “SEO agencies in Los Angeles for business growth”
- DON’T pay for links in premium media sites
- DO write high value content so premium media sites will pick up your content
The last two points might surprise you. Not too long ago it was beneficial for SEO to get a link from the “Huffington Posts of the media world”. However, much as Maserati diluted its reputation as a luxury auto brand by introducing mid-price cars, these media brands realized they were diluted from allowing their writers to take payments for placing other people’s content with links. Not only has this practice stopped but Google’s algorithm is wise to the practice and will likely regard any backlink that appears to be paid for as spam.
Structure Your Content with Topic Clusters
Google hates content that is blogged to the wind with no set direction. Instead, utilize the topic cluster model. This is where you take the subject you want to rank for, produce a series of blogs focused on a single, unique topic, and link them back to a pillar page (primary service page). Google favors content that people engage with, and people love content that is topic-specific to address their needs and that links to other informative content to help them make an educated purchasing decision. Google also loves topic clusters because the strategy structures content which makes it easier for the bots to crawl.
Write Content for People First
Don’t write content that reads like obvious rank fuel. Instead identify who your buyer personas are, their pain points, and write content specifically for them. Include a CTA that takes them to a purchasing page OR to another piece of content that offers higher level information designed to move them through the buyer’s journey. You should still use your keywords but be smart in how you use them. Their variations and context should be used in a natural manner and relevant to the main topic.
Writing for people also means that you offer them real value. Addressing buyer pains with lots of educational industry information, giving examples, and using an entertaining voice with injections of the narrative will seat your content at the cool kid’s table in the world of Google.
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