If you haven’t been able to rank on SER’s (search engine results) then that should be your top goal for your business in 2016. Just because you build your website and pull the chain to click on your little open sign, doesn’t mean people are going to find you on Google.
I get asked all the time how businesses can get to the holy grail of ranking on Google – which is the top position on page 1 in the search results. Let’s start by saying that there aren’t any short cuts to ranking. It’s a long process and in most cases requires a bit of patience a well thought out plan that is implemented over time.
For most, it takes a solid year (and in highly competitive landscape – even more time) to move up in search engine rankings. Our clients hire us for our SEO prowess and to help them be found and rank on Google and frankly, if done right is a time investment worthy of the work we do.
Your #1 Tip to Rank on Google in 2016:
Create a Content Plan and add quality, relevant and meaningful content to your website on a regular basis.
Yes, you read that right and it may feel redundant – however we may all need to hear it again and again. The number one thing each of our clients (and you!) can do for your own website is all about content. The main problem being that many people haven’t created a content plan to use.
Below are 5 things that we’ve found that will drive your site up in ranking–in addition to what your SEO specialist does for you.
5 Things to Include When Creating a Content Plan
Commit to a Content Calendar
Create your content calendar and commit to sticking to it. No matter what happens, create a “no excuses” policy regarding your content calendar. For 2016 I have asked our marketing manager, Katelyn, to create a content calendar and assign blog topics to all of our staff each month. We’re sharing the love and responsibility of coming up with solid content.
In addition, I’m leading by example and have committed to writing 2 blogs a month. (self talk inserted here: gulp..I can do this, I CAN do this!)
We all get excited about a new goal or idea we commit to doing. Here I’m going to give you a word of caution and tell you it’s better to be more conservative than normal. When you commit to a regular content calendar – please do yourself a favor and be consistent.
Consider your time and how much you can REALLY commit to your blog articles before you decide on the frequency your blog will hit the internet air waves.
It’s better to commit to two blogs a month over a 6-month period than start out really strong producing 6 blogs a month only to crash on the second month due to time or coming up with topics to write about. You’ll lose momentum and all that great Google juju you’ve built will fall off a cliff and you’ll be starting over. Choose a day of the week and your monthly frequency and stay consistent.
Most importantly, don’t forget about your new “no excuses” policy and just get ‘er done!
Commit to 20 New Blog Articles for 2016 at 800 Words Each
Let me rephrase that. Make that a minimum of 20 new long form blog articles released over a period of at least 10 weeks or out as much as up to 40 weeks. There’s a magical number of posts for Google to recognize the value and worth behind a website. We believe from everything we’ve researched and experienced that the momentum starts around 20 long form blog articles. Once you hit this benchmark, the uptick begins!
Now with that being said, that doesn’t mean you can’t also write some 400-500 word posts. Just be sure you have your 20 scheduled in there and you can pepper in a few lighter posts, especially if you’re running low on time here and there. The more quality content, the better.
Now I can hear the rumblings all the way to my desk. You don’t know what to write about – well, tip #4 will help with that!
Give Your Followers What They Want
What exactly does it mean to write relevant content? The landscape of branding has changed. People aren’t following brands any longer – they’re joining them. Now more than ever when a follower aligns with a brand, they do more than simply pay attention – they’re jumping on the bandwagon with them. Why? Because they are getting something they want or need… or aspire to be. I love that phrase – aspire to be. Why? Because it really focuses what we do and what content we give our followers. Give them content that helps them get to that place of aspiration. That’s powerful stuff!
In addition; if you’re writing about your business, what you are passionate about and know – then you can give your followers exactly what they want by sharing the content that will keep them coming back for more. Case in point; by giving you the tips in this article we are giving away our number one nugget this year because followers like you are reading our blog. This is part of our secret sauce and how we are so successful to our clients. If we can help you aspire to be a better internet marketer, then we’ve done our job helping you do yours better. See how that works?
We’ve written a lot of content around this very subject – if you need more ideas on what to write about check out this article on How to Write Quality Content Now.
Use Keywords, but Focus on Meaning for User Experience
I read an article recently that keywords aren’t that important any longer. Keywords are still very important – they’re the foundation on which your site is built. However, the reasoning behind this statement is regarding blog content and that Google doesn’t simply match keywords in a search query with keywords on a webpage any longer.
It uses the keywords but also looks for meaning of the site and what’s actually behind all those keywords. As Google works to get closer to artificial intelligence (AI), they have written algorithms around finding out the meaning of a site to match user experience.
Let’s face it. In our crazy, hectic lives users don’t go look at content unless they’ll get a payoff for their time. The content they’re searching for will either teach them something new, be useful in some way or be fun and entertaining. Users also don’t share content they don’t deem worth the time of other’s they want to share it with. So, increase your share rate (and Google juice) through giving the content they want by also increasing their user experience at the same time.
A Word About Google
Google is a business too. Their goal is to provide the best search experience possible to their users. With that comes the desire to give their users exactly what it is that they’re searching for.
In an article by Roger Montii for Search Engine Journal, Montii easily explains that “because words have multiple meanings, Google uses geographic signals, previous search signals and statistical signals in order to identify the most popular reasons users search for a phrase”. Google is looking at the “why” behind the search to populate the search queries and provide an answer.
So while it’s not just about keywords, it’s also about the search itself and the answers the user expects to receive when they type enter their query in the search bar.
In this competitive digital landscape, we have to up our game and provide the best possible content so that Google sees our sites as worthy of answering that search. By understanding what it is that Google is looking for and how to couple that with the right amount of content, type and frequency; you’ll be poised to help your ranking grow in 2016! Get busy creating your content plan and please don’t hesitate to ask questions or leave comments.
What else can be added to this plan to help make others more successful? We look forward to hearing from you!