If you own a business that you need to market online, you have probably heard of more ways than you can count being pitched to you, all in the name of getting more traffic driven your sites way. Some of those you have heard might probably work but to varying extents. If you want the best information regarding any book, the best bet is to consult the author. Similarly, for any questions to do with online visibility, Google has the last word. According to Google, there are three factors that are most significant in getting online visibility and they include: Links, Content, and RankBrain. In that order. So forget all the others and explore the top of the cream as described in this article. The top two, to be specific.
Links or backlinks are to your site that someone else posts on their website. Essentially, it is someone else telling their audience, “Hey, I’ve been here and I think it’s pretty cool so check it out too.” It is important to add that this is Google’s perception of backlinks. It views them as another party’s vote for your website. However, that comes with both its benefits and its downsides. Why? Because it depends on the person who is voting for your site. Quite honestly, if someone ran, say, a really untidy eatery, you would not run to any other joint that they recommend, would you? However, it is a different case altogether if they run your favorite place to eat, they probably judge the other spot by the same standards as theirs. The same case applies for backlinks. If you get backlinks from many poorly ranked sites, then your SEO position dips. If you get links from high-quality sites, on the other hand, your SEO position will definitely be on the rise.
This leads up to the question of how then do you attract that high quality content sites and impress them enough for them to want to recommend your site to their consumers? On the same analogy of an eatery, or restaurant, how do you ensure that reputable chefs recommend your place? Either you can pay them to do so, quality notwithstanding, or you can have good meals at your place; so good that they will recommend it to their clients without fear of disappointment. In this case, Google realized that companies can trade backlinks for mutual benefits and, therefore, there are measures in place to ensure that that does not happen. The safest bet, therefore, is to develop the highest quality content so that other websites will want their users to experience it and hence link back to you. Such content is referred to as linkable assets.
Now that it is clear high-quality content is a major necessity for your site, how do you ensure that you have it? There are several ways.
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Website Content Audit
The first thing that comes to mind with respect to linkable assets, and rightfully so, is to develop such content. However, before development, you must first assess the content already up on your website for linkable quality. This is done using a Content Audit, which may fall into any one of two wide categories: quantitative content audit or qualitative content audit.
- Quantitative Content Audits can be computerized such that a software examines all the content on the site and evaluates which parts need to be adjusted or brought down altogether.
- Qualitative Content Audits require human input to address the following six concerns: what the content says, its accuracy, its usefulness, level of use by your audience, whether it is professionally written, and its user friendliness.
Once the existing content has been brought up to scratch, attention can be paid to new content. The following tools may be helpful.
The content strategy worksheet
Joe Pulizzi said it, and it stands true that content without strategy is just stuff. This simply means that you could stuff your website with content but it will not pull as many people as you would like it to. Why? People only go in search of things that interest them, and your content does not just fit into that description by happenstance. This is supported by statistics, which indicate that thirty-nine percent of companies with a formal, documented strategy are more effective overall that those that have a verbal strategy only. Of those that have a strategy, sixty-two percent are guided by the strategy and sixty percent are effective in content marketing. The content strategy worksheet is the ideal tool to guide you towards developing your content. It contains thirteen questions that ensure that you only put out focused content, that which is relevant to your target audience.
This might be a controversial suggestion seeing as some people claim that they reduce the amount of feedback they receive. However, research indicates that the rate at which infographics are shared is 42.4 % higher than that of average blog posts. Google suggests that sharing is less significant than backlinks, but infographics do well in generating backlinks as well. They generate backlinks at a rate 37.5% higher than standard blog posts. The controversy of relatively less feedback is however solved once you study statistics regarding infographics over longer periods. In a one-year period, they receive traffic that exceeds standard blogs by 35.1%. Like wine, they are more valuable as time passes.
Controversial, personal content
The ultimate aim of any post is to share information and to attract traffic. However, you may have excellent information in your content, but still not generate sufficient traffic. To pique interest, it is important to know what content best attracts attention. People are drawn to titles that suggest controversy and the big players know that, and they exploit this trait. They also love stories that are personal in nature. It might, therefore, be helpful for you to structure your content so that it is personal. For instance, if you have any experience with the subject at hand, write your content on that topic centered on that experience, so that it has a personal touch to it. It will pique interest, and it will earn links to other people who prefer similar content.
This is one factor that is easy to understate since as the saying goes, the internet never sleeps. However, it is important for you to learn when there is maximum traffic on your site. This is usually dependent on some factors, dependent on the type of site you operate. Business to business traffic, for instance, is higher on weekdays, during the working hours and lowest on weekends. Content on entertainment and events is most attractive on weekends and lowest on weekdays. You must, therefore, master your audience and target their most active hours to put up new content.
Content is a King. With all the content tools available you can find ways to create content, make sure that content is doing the job, and compare your site to the competition and show you your weak spots.
Using these tools, adding links to sources in your content so your readers can verify what you are saying all help to build trust in you with your followers.