If you have gone to the time and trouble of creating a website, you should know exactly how to attract customers to your site through online marketing tools. In the past, paying close attention to Search Engine Optimization(SEO) and trying to insert as many key words as possible may have been sufficient to enable a site to rank highly in search results. However, this strategy has its drawbacks. Unscrupulous operators manipulated SEO to ensure their sites ranked highly, but the actual written content was often poor quality, and in some cases bore little relation to the search parameters.
But now search engine providers have been working hard to combat this, and have been producing even more sophisticated ways for search engines to ‘rate’ the quality of sites, giving users a better service. In February 2011 Google launched Google Panda, a new system of algorithms to analyse websites for quality, and place better sites higher in their search rankings, which have also been regularly updated.
The thinking behind Google’s strategy is that users feel they have a better service if good sites are placed at the top of search results. Google has been transparent about their definition of a ‘high-quality’ site, listing 23 points. These include aspects of user trust, expert knowledge, originality, and also whether content is well written and error-free. The new algorithms use a much wider range of ranking information including how long a user stays on the site (likely to be longer for sites with high quality content), speed of access, the originality of the text, and whether or not it’s well written.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you no longer need to consider SEO. However, Google’s stance is that by focusing on producing an excellent website and attempting to tailor your content to achieve a higher ranking will be necessary. A high-quality website does the work for you.
The fight to rank is a fight against Google. Whilst we in the Marketing industry try to convince Google to pay the most attention to us, Google are trying to deliver the most relevant search results for their users; regardless of SEO, low prices or great deals. Google take a decidedly academic approach, and deem that if your website is full of quality content; then you must be a great resource of knowledge. Having content written for the eyes of both humans and the search engines will pay dividends in the months to come, as Google’s implementations are fully realised.
For this reason, hiring an expert writer as an addition to your team could be critical to the success of your website. A dedicated writer, who stays up-to-date with SEO technology, will produce the ‘high-quality’ content you need, allowing you to focus on your business.
There is no doubt that SEO will become increasingly more refined, so taking time to consider how you can stay ahead of the game when creating and managing your website is key to keeping one foot in front of the opposition.
AUTHOR: Aaron Warnock has worked in Online and Offline Marketing since graduating from King’s College London. Having immersed himself in the world of SEO, Aaron now works for Synergy Agency in the West Midlands.