UnravelCon 2017 will truly be a deep dive into all things Google. Even if you have only a finite amount of experience trying to find success on Google for your business (“How the heck do I show up on that first page?”), you’ll find that Sept. 15 will be the day when you FINALLY understand what you need to do to find success in Google search results.
It’s not going to be easy. Standing out on Google requires effort, patience, and understanding how Google works, which is a challenge in and of itself. That’s why we’ve outlined some of the big things that you can start doing NOW (before UnravelCon) to get on Google’s good side, win over your audience, and generate more business online.
Create QUALITY Content
Google wants you to create awesome content. Why? Because it wants to match someone’s query with the best, most accurate search results possible. And there are a number of factors that Google looks at when determining whether content should match a query. And those factors are constantly evolving. Lucky for you, we’ll be covering that very topic during the “State of Search” session!
At its core, your content has to be well-crafted, intentional, and valuable to your audience.
Create for Your Audience First
Creating valuable content for your customers is the bottom line. This is what Google wants from you. Plain and simple.
Not sure what kind of content to create for your audience? As Maddy Osman suggests in a recent Search Engine Journal article:
“Your editorial calendar should be filled up with pieces that help customers at every stage.”
You know the buying process best. Start by making content that addresses these various stages. You’ll find that your editorial calendar will fill up rather quickly and that your customers will greatly benefit from the expertise you display on your website.
And don’t just pick a keyword and start littering it within your content (we call that “keyword stuffing” and it’s a big no-no for Google). Find out what keywords and phrases your customers are looking for and start writing naturally, weaving it into your content like it ain’t no thing.
Make It Engaging
Another way Google determines if content is valuable to an audience is a). the visual appeal of the post, and b). length of stay on a page. Are the two related? You betcha.
Experts are divided on how long content needs to be. Both short form (300+ words) and long form (1000+ words) content will be valuable depending on your audience. Test out both to see what resonates and switch it up from time to time as needed.
High quality images (the more original the better, though stock photos will get the job done), H2’s (strategically-placed subheads within the content that indicate the beginning of a new thought), and even videos break up large chunks of text and keep audiences visually engaged. The more engaged they are, the more likely they are to stay on the post or page. Not only is this a signal to Google that the content is worthwhile, but it could also translate into a conversion from your audience.
Make Things Very Clear to Google (The Technical Stuff)
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk technical stuff— all the things you can implement within your content that Google gobbles up like a Hungry Hungry Hippo on Thanksgiving. It’s all about making it very clear to Google what it is you want to rank for. Do not neglect these things:
URL. Put the keyword in your URL (also known as a “slug”).
Metadata. This is the snippet of info about the post that gets displayed on a search result. It’s a short description of the post that should contain the keyword you want to rank for.
Alt-tags. When you upload an image into your media library, be sure to fill out the “alt-tag” space with your keyword. This is another thing that Google looks at when crawling your post and will take note of when matching searches with content.
Links! Internal linking to other content (whether it’s your own content or someone else’s) within a post is a crucial strategy for improving SEO. Go through your posts and start linking to relevant content throughout the site and you’ll indicate to Google that you have a network of quality content on your site. Learn more about the why’s and how’s of internal linking for SEO.
If you’re not accustomed to creating content for your site, all of this can seem like a lot to accomplish. But if you want to succeed on Google, build a loyal audience, and convert them into customers, these things are more relevant than ever.
Of course, content is only a part of the puzzle that is conquering Google. Fortunately, we will have Google experts on hand at UnravelCon 2017 who will give you the tools and understanding to tackle Google for your business.