We have a number of rules that help us to ensure our client sites perform well on the web, but one key tenet shines above all others. Create content.
The web thrives on user created content – everything that you read or see on the web is created by fellow users. Google, the preeminent search engine, crawls the web looking for new content constantly, and this content helps the search engine to rank sites.
One of the most common questions we receive from clients is “How do I get my website to the top of Google?”.
Once upon a time, it was quite popular to see websites ranking highly because they had employed ‘shady’ practises, spamming other websites with links back to their sites in the comments for example, in an attempt to trick Google and other search engines into believing that lots of other sites linked to their website because the content was interesting.
Google cottoned on to this practise quite quickly though, and those websites that had once thrived using this trick were heavily punished; in some cases the sites were removed entirely from Google, effectively killing the businesses overnight.
Search engines became much better at actually understanding which sites had good content, in part because the machines become much better at reading the content and understanding what the value of it was to other users.
Many business owners are veritable experts in their own fields, after all, it actually is their business! The knowledge that they have accumulated through years of experience is often interesting and comprehensive. The internet is absolutely full of people searching for information – by sharing that knowledge online in blog posts or news posts, you expose your site to a higher number of visitors because Google sees that you regularly create new content which is interesting to your users. Google will then rank you more highly that other sites which don’t have the same level of interested visitors.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if you believe visitors will find the intricacies of your business interesting – you might be surprised at the number of people who do find seemingly boring details enthralling!
All search engines use a measure called “bounce rate” – this is a percentage showing which visitors went on to the site and then immediately went back, typically because they didn’t find what they wanted. Having a low bounce rate is very important – search engines see sites where users continue beyond their initial landing page as having good content which engages visitors. This is becoming more important as search engines get better at serving users the exact content that they want from their search query. If a user continues in the site, the search engine assumes, correctly, that the user finds the site interesting.
Producing a wealth of content once and forgetting about it is not always the best technique though – you want to develop a returning readership, in much the same way as you want to develop a repeat customer base. Consider the content less like producing a static book and rather a series of articles that users return to, and importantly, search engines see as ‘new’ content which they will index for their users.
Creating content on a regular basis helps to ensure that your site appears to be active too, and if you are pursuing social media efforts (which are not for every business) it means that you have new content to share in facebook posts or tweets, which will help to grow your number of followers on both services.
We do realise that not everyone is a born writer though and sometimes it can be hard to write content regularly when other business matters feel like they need attention first. We suggest a number of options to our customers:
Creating your own content – If you want to write your own content but are concerned about how it reads we recommend using a proofreading service like ProofreadMyEssay.com – this isn’t just for essays, the proof readers here can offer help on any written content and it is a very cost effective solution to ensuring that your content reads well.
Copywriters – we work with a number of dedicated copy writers across all kinds of industries, from fashion to finance and of course technology. We offer two levels of service, either complete content creation or we can take your ideas and build out articles around the briefing we are given.
Dedicated PR Companies – Public Relations companies are becoming more and more invaluable to many companies regardless of industry. Bill Gates famously once said “If I was down to my last dollar I would spend it on PR”. A good PR company is worth its weight in gold – they come up with ideas that will promote your company in the most ingenious ways and can often demonstrate a huge return on investment.
The key here is to get creating – every piece of new content that you add to your site improves its standing… so get writing!
At Technical Chops we offer comprehensive content creation services and advise our clients on strategies to get the best from their web presences. If you would like to talk about improving your exposure online get in touch!