When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), it can be easy to get bogged down in the metadata. Ensuring that your website is easily discovered and indexed by search engines is important, but even following the best SEO practices for Google Search to the letter doesn’t necessarily mean that your business will end up ranking highest in the search results.
Search engines like Google use crawlers, automated software which retrieves and indexes new or updated webpages. Google discovers these changes by following links, reading sitemaps, and following URLS. In order to improve the performance of your website in organic search results, you need to make it visible to crawling by regularly making small improvements. The simplest way to do this is by consistently creating new content. Each update improves the authority and trustworthiness of your organisation, both to your customers and to search engines, giving you a better chance of ranking in search result queries related to your industry.
But what type of content should you create, and how often? This week, we take a closer look at content writing, and how leveraging your expertise can lead to better SEO results:
SEO TIP 1) START WRITING LONG-FORM CONTENT
The general consensus in the marketing world is that long-form content (including blog posts, articles, eBooks, whitepapers etc) is more valuable to businesses than short-form content. There are several reasons for this, starting with the fact that it’s easier for search engines to understand and index long-form content than infographics, videos, or other forms of data visualisation. You can also include more specific keywords through subheadings and the content itself to generate organic traffic, without the risk of potentially damaging your ranking by overloading. Additionally, long-form content gives you the ability to include more reputable outbound links to recent surveys and other trusted sources while attracting more links from third-party websites in turn, further legitimising your business and improving your SEO results.
You can begin writing long-form content immediately – starting a series of eBooks or a company blog which covers useful topics for your target audience is a great way to build a reputation as an expert in your industry. For more blogging advice, check out our posts on How To Blog Like A Boss, Part 1 and Part 2!
SEO TIP 2) UPDATE YOUR CONTENT REGULARLY
The issue with keeping up with the Google algorithm is that you need to constantly be generating and publishing new quality content. This can become difficult, particularly if you don’t have much time to devote to the research and writing process. Exactly how often you should publish long-form content has been hotly debated, but realistically it just isn’t feasible for most people to churn out over 2,000 words on a relevant topic multiple times a week. That’s why we suggest balancing long-form and short-form content in your content strategy – both are useful depending on the specific information which you are trying to convey, and the preferences of your audience. For example, you could begin releasing a bi-weekly or weekly blog post between 500-700 words, and then every three to four months publish a longer piece of content like an eBook or a whitepaper.
With effective planning, you may also be able to re-use a lot of your published content. Evergreen content refers to topical content which can be updated again and again with new statistics or insights. The bulk of the work is already done, allowing you to tweak and refresh the content as needed and utilise it for years to come.
SEO TIP 3) INCREASE YOUR SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
The last piece of the puzzle when it comes to long-form content writing is generating organic engagement. Rather than solely relying on your search engine results ranking, linking both long and short-form content on your social media channels is ideal for generating some industry buzz. Regular updates on relevant topics demonstrates your willingness to help your customers, as well as positioning your business as a thought leader in your industry. Establishing a weekly social schedule which links to your published content is an effective way to both attract new audiences and reassure your existing customer base, so start posting!
Feeling inspired? Learn how to write for any audience, purpose, or platform with our free downloadable eBook The Ultimate Guide to Content Writing! Strike the perfect balance between evoking audience engagement and ensuring online discoverability with this comprehensive guide to writing for audience and algorithm, and start improving your organic SEO results today with a little help from Synapsis.