There used to be a time when just the act of creating a well optimized presence on the web was enough to get you ranked on Google (or more likely Yahoo back then). But times have changed and if your website isn’t constantly creating relevant content you’re going to fall behind, right? That’s partially correct, but just creating content doesn’t mean you’ll succeed. In fact, bad content can actually hurt your rankings and results. Here are a few parameters to work within, and it’s good to remember: Google is all about people, not content.
You might be thinking, “What? I thought Google runs on algorithms…” and you’re correct, but there are a few caveats. One of which is that if users don’t like content, Google won’t serve it to more users. For example, if you follow the Merino wool clothing maker Ibex, you might have seen they recently partnered with The Renewal Workshop. However, if you wanted to learn more about this announcement and you ended up on this mess of a blog article, you probably backed out instead of reading it. Once Google notices that users don’t like this article, they probably demoted the URL from search results pretty quickly.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Write for People, Design for People
If human beings who share your interests don’t find your articles compelling, Google will find out quickly. Traffic sent to a website that doesn’t convert users is wasted traffic, so put people first. The same goes for design. If the story you’re telling is compelling but your website doesn’t allow readers to consume the content easily, you’ll still lose out in the long run.
Recycled Content Has Limited Value
Getting lots of content live each month is great, unless a big chunk of the content is recycled. If you gain a reputation for reposting old content or bringing very little to the community you set out to serve, you may find that the effort you put into content creation brings in less and less value over time.
Don’t Let Advertising Drive Your Website
Google is very clear that monetizing traffic with ads is acceptable, but websites that focus on advertising over compelling content will be demoted in the rankings. If your user base is falling, putting up more ads to buoy the revenue numbers will only work in the short term. The long term solution is a well optimized blog that users want to return to.
If you’re seeing negative growth or have questions about how digital content creation works, get in touch, we’d be happy to discuss your data or your strategy for growth.