The days of writing blogs that nobody but Google will ever read are over. You can’t trick your way up the search rankings now that machine learning is pre-empting every little trick you want to try. So what content works?
This is Clickstarter, the Australian digital marketing podcast. I’m Dante St James.
There was a time when you write a diary entry, or what we later called a blog post, and people would come and read it in their hundreds and thousands. That was back when there were only a few hundred thousand blogs in the world. We now have some 300 million blogs, with around 3 million of them being updated every single day. It’s no wonder that you struggle to get any eyeballs on what you’re writing. But there is content that really makes Google take notice.
It comes down to relevance to the other stuff on your website, uniqueness of the content that you are producing and your ability to produce this content consistently over a long period of time. So even if tens of thousands of content creators are already doing this, how do you cut through the noise with your content?
Google loves a FAQ
We don’t use Google quite the same way we used to. We trained ourselves to type in “key words” in the past. Now we ask actual questions… increasingly with our voices. So instead of typing in “plumber in Rockhampton” we are asking “who is a reliable plumber in Rockhampton. In those old days we just had to make sure that we marked ourselves clearly in our website as being a plumber in Rockhampton. And repeat that we are plumber in Rockhampton many times over.
Now Google is looking at the intent of the searcher, and the best possible match between that search and what can be found online that matches the search. This means that you need to be clear that you are a plumber in Rockhampton, claim to be a reliable plumber in Rockhampton, provide evidence through testimonials from clients that you are reliable, and then have that backed up by reviews on Google, Facebook and other places where people do ratings and reviews about plumbers in Rockhampton. It’s a much more complex set of factors that you need to be across now. Which is actually a good thing, because the chances are that your competitors are not paying attention to that complexity so you have a real chance to leapfrog over them.
Google loves a list.
Top Ten lists are some of the most viewed videos on YouTube. They are also some of the most lingered-upon articles on websites. A list helps someone to scan over a range of options and land on the one that feels right to them. Lists also help people compare features and benefits, pricing and availability, even recommendations and reviews from the author of the list. I know I use them all the time when I am looking at specific kinds of software that I need to solve the problems I come up against.
What kind of lists can you start putting together? How about the Top 10 Questions Clients Ask Us? Or the Top 10 ways to use our essential oils? The Three Hidden Benefits of regular massage? The celebrities you didn’t know were using our products? The lists you can write about what you do are endless. For inspiration, just search Top 10 and then the product or service you provide and see what comes up. You’ll get a tonne of ideas from those sources. You can also be inspired by the things that your clients or customers talk about with regard to what you sell them. I’m talking about lists like, “The 5 surprising things that our clients tell us about their new bathroom design.” They are specific to you and to bathroom design, but they are also things that people may search for. And because Google finds lists really easy to scan, index and rank, it’s better than just writing a page about why you’re so great. And it reads better for that potential customer who lands on your site.
Want to rank better over time on Google? Work with the formats and content that Google and people love to read. Then keep doing it again and again.