Friday, September 9, 2022

Tips to Fuel Your Online Success with SEO and Content Marketing

Online Success with SEO and Content Marketing

You may wax eloquent about the importance of SEO and how it can make or mar a website's performance. However, there's more to SEO than meets the eye. For instance, content. Or, to put it more precisely, People-first Content. To make its search engine more people-friendly, Google has been continually rolling out different ranking factors such as Panda, Penguin, Bert, Ferd, Hemingway, and more.

A new ranking factor, tentatively labeled as "helpful content update," has entered the fray. The new algo says it very loud and clear: create content for people, not search engines.

So, if you are exclusively focusing on rewriting all sorts of trending content and stuffing it with keywords to rank higher in search engines, mind you, Google isn't interested. Its only point of concern is whether your content offers a satisfactory reader experience or not. It also advises utilizing SEO best practices that bring searchers additional value.


6 Best Practices To Create People-First Content.

Creating people-content is literally a cake-walk provided you follow the ground rules and steer clear off thin content. Here are some 6 best practices that could help you create content by exclusively focusing on the target audience.

1] Form a Tunnel-vision Around your Niche and Stick to it

Nail down your niche and focus on writing in-depth, original content instead of spreading yourself too thin and writing on all the trending topics and topics you think search engines are giving more attention to. If you are straying away from your niche, such content would be regarded as unhelpful, and your site could be penalized.

2] Create Original Content that displays your Mastery 

Cut flowers last longer these days than movies, says Ryan Holiday in his bestselling book, Perennial Seller. Why, may you ask? It's because the tendency to copy-paste content is commonplace irrespective of the industry that you are in.

Recognizing the need to offer visitors value-oriented content and not just summarized stuff from top sites, the new content update emphasizes the importance of bringing your style and individuality to play rather than just copy-pasting your competitors. If you are not seasoned enough, you can always rope in copywriters from advertising agencies or, for that matter, subject matter experts to deal with the subject at length.

Additionally, take the help of Google's E-A-T guidelines for more tips and tactics to make your website content sound more accurate, authentic, and, more importantly, people-centric.  

3] Engage in Heavy-Duty Research 

If hiring an expert seems out of your budget and your subject matter knowledge is limited, you can always use some elbow grease and engage in heavy-duty research. You need to have on your research radar not just top-ranking sites but relevant books and whitepapers. Plus, you can consult experts in your field and link back to their site as a token of thanks. 

Mix and match all these research materials. Voila! You have something unique and original at hand. Continue undertaking heavy-duty research, and without a doubt, Google will reward you with an excellent rank.

4] Prioritise Reader Experience

By now, you may have roped in experts or carried out heavy-duty research to generate a one-of-a-kind piece. However, you still need to ask yourself repeatedly whether the visitor will have a satisfying experience while browsing your web pages. Or whether you need to go that extra mile and add a few images or videos, as videos and visuals add clarity to the content. 

As it turns out, continual tweaking of content has become an indispensable part of the SEO exercise as Google keeps working on its algorithm updates to make its search engines more and more people-friendly. This means content creators and SEOs must be on their toes to tweak, tinker, and tally their content with new algorithm changes. Are you ready?

5] Offer Complete Answers to User Queries Without Worrying About the Word Count

People visit your site looking for answers to their unresolved queries. So, it's your foremost responsibility to put yourself in their shoes and answer their queries, helping them accomplish their tasks. 

If the visitor is unsatisfied with the explanation offered and starts checking out other sites for the same, it would automatically mean you failed the user to offer a fulfilling experience, which could go against your site. So make sure to offer complete answers to as many queries as possible and don't be too concerned about the word count, as Google, according to the recent update, isn't concerned either.

That said, don't drift from your niche and start answering all the trending questions. As mentioned earlier, please stick to your niche and answer queries that fall within it.

6] Don't Go Overboard with AI Tools 

AI tools galore! In fact, tons and tons of blog posts sing its praises and how using AI tools spurs creativity. You can give writer's blocks a go-by with AI tools as they are configured to generate headlines, outlines, paras, and more on the fly. But then, that's about it.

If generating quality content is your game plan, you better hold your AI horses. AI is a machine as we know it. They know to generate only regurgitated stuff - in other words, stuff that's fed to them. 

You can not leave them to do the thinking process. That's where we come in. Remember: Churning out clever, rock-solid stuff that turns heads is a man's job. You cannot trust some random AI to do that for you. Bottom line: Use AI with caution.


Wrapping Up

If you intend to give Google's "helpful content updates" a wide berth, then be assured that you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of making it to the SERPs. In short, it can cripple your website. So, consider all the algo updates and come up with unique, expert content if you want to stand out and thrive in the overcrowded online marketplace.