The demise of fluffy online content

Jan 9th, 2014

Content and link farms are dead. No longer is a vast quantity of barely legible, keyword-packed writing going to bring your website much traffic and boost search engine rankings

The reason why ‘fluffy’ online content is dead is because of Google’s algorithm updates. Most notably one named Panda, which punishes websites using content that is packed with useless blocks of uninformative copy. Websites packed with low-quality content sends people logging off in their droves and usually results in a search engine results rankings plummet. Throughout all of Google’s updates, there remains one constant: good quality content has always performed well in search engine rankings because it achieves Google’s main aim – returning information which answers the queries of the searcher.

What content does Google like?

Take a second to think of the websites you visit regularly, whether a news site, a blog on the subject of your favourite hobby, or a social network with images and videos to see and watch and posts that constantly change and are added to. Whatever that website is, it must have good content to keep you coming back.

If you like it, the chances are that Google likes it too. But how do you write content that increases search visibility and is high quality enough to bring in genuine benefits as part of your marketing strategy?

  1. The best content is original. Search engines don’t like duplicate or stitched content because it doesn’t add any value. That doesn’t mean that you can’t write about things that other people are writing about – it just means that you need to provide a unique angle – be a thought leader!
  2. The best content is shareable. The more social likes, retweets and shares your content gets, the better it is in the eyes of Google. It will also bring in more traffic and greater brand awareness.
  3. The best content is informative. Keyword-filled content is boring and unhelpful. Interesting, informative content that answers your readers’ questions will increase the time people spend on the website, cut bounce rates, improve conversions and help to improve search engine rankings.
  4. The best content is SEO-friendly. If you sell something, a page listing the different types of products or services that you sell may have plenty of keywords included, but is not necessarily particularly user-friendly content. Including well-written, well-researched content improves your chances of bringing in, and converting traffic.

How to do great content marketing

Writing great content is all about taking your time to educate and inform the reader. It will only perform if your readers get something out of it. Just take a look at the myriad of corporate blogs filled with the same boring content and the same low traffic figures to see how time consuming poor content creation can be.

The key to high quality content is to plan ahead. Make a clear editorial list of what you want your content to achieve, a clear indication of the type of customer you have, and how and where it will be distributed.

Use all of the tools at your disposal to improve your content. Use infographics, videos and anything else you can to make your content accessible to and attract readers from your target audience(s).

Finally, use social insights and an analytics packages to analyse how your content performs. By looking at the stats and making sure you have appropriate metrics in place to measure success (which is a whole other blog), you can see which content is working, which is not and this will help to shape your future efforts.

It also allows you to map your users’ journey through your website to see what types of content helps to improve your ROI and reach your marketing KPIs.

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