This is not a blog about SEO, a technical overview of the value of keywords, or an exposé on the secrets of search term analytics. If you want that sort of information, I have other blogs that cover it, or you could get in touch directly.
This post is simply an investigation into the fundamental nature of where Google is going with its search criteria and why. You see, the most influential power on the internet has built its empire by understanding the way people think and feeding our natural craving for information. Google loves content because people do!
So what sort of content is the best?
Again, I am not going to get into the technical side of the mysterious and ever-changing algorithm that used to determine who tops the ratings. I simply want to help you get to grips with the principle. People not only love information, but they also want information that is interesting, useful, easy to engage with and relevant to their own personal wants. Google understands this too, and it is getting cleverer and cleverer every day at being able to identify the difference between dud content and content which excites interest.
So the conclusion is that, if you want to be found online, or if you just want people to engage with your message when they go directly to your website, you need to make it interesting. Most people are time-poor and knowledge-hungry these days and that means you need to cater for both. Google knows this all too well.
In 2014, there were approximately 20 books published per hour in the UK, which equates to around 175,000 titles for the entire year. OK, some of those will only have been purchased in sympathy by family and friends, others were business books, cookbooks, atlases or full of bad jokes. But the vast majority would have been novels and that is because there is a market for stories.
Whatever you are trying to sell, people will buy into the story more than the facts. It could be a case study, a description of the benefits, an explanation of the company ethos, or a blog or vlog about how to get the best from your products. If you can engage with your audience through a story, you will begin to build rapport, confidence and most importantly of all, TRUST. Because people still buy people – and they love people they trust.
‘Useful and helpful’ beats ‘forceful and woeful’
Long gone are the days where simply loading your site with words was a good strategy for getting traffic. In fact, I wonder if it was ever a good way to build long lasting relationships with customers. Maybe it worked for a one-off, then get-lost sale. Today, people are much more interested in learning things that are of value to them, in their business or in their personal lives. If you can fill your online content with ‘how to’ and ‘did you know’ articles and videos then you really can’t fail. Once people learn that you are there to help them, they will keep coming back. And if your products are good too they will buy. What’s more, they will tell their friends.
Back to SEO for a moment!
Search Engine Optimisation still has a place, as do relevant keywords, H1/H2 headings, and analytics. But the bottom line is that you should be creating lots of interesting, useful and engaging content for your customers. And it should be good quality, regular and original.