The age of keyword jamming is over. Let’s say in the past you had a site that sells car seat covers. You would be able to jam together a series non-grammatical phrases and that would be enough to fool search engine spiders. You’d gather together relevant keyphrases, such as:
- Sheepskin car seat cover
- Car seat cover sheepskin
- Car seat cover online
- And so on
Eventually, you’d write web content that read like: “If you’re looking for car seat covers sheepskin then you’ve found the best car seat cover online seller.”
Didn’t make a whole lot of sense but it made just enough sense to improve search engine ranking. Google, and other search engines, changed their algorithm for indexing web content. Their modus operandi was not just because they didn’t like being fooled by nonsense content, but their goal was to improve the quality of websites overall. Though this made search engine ranking more difficult, it did lessen the number of dummy sites and improve the quality of the Web overall.
Informative and Relevant Web Content
Now it’s necessary to provide well-written and useful content. When it comes to SEO-based web content, you should be looking for both quality and quantity. Most importantly, you should be looking to provide relevant content that can act as good linkbait. Though the car seat cover example above was able to trick search engine spiders in a bygone era, what it could not do was improve external linking. What site owner is going to link to content with a bunch of gibberish-inflected keywords? Who is going to Digg such an article? The answer: no one.
So providing quality, relevant content has a number of uses:
- To improve search engine ranking for a particular topic
- To improve linking from outside sources.
- To help the site become an authority in a given field.
Let’s take a look at number 3. The content you provide should be topic-specific. If, for example, you run that car seat cover site, you should be providing content related to cars in general, rather than straying into other areas of interest. The idea is to bring in auto enthusiasts and car owners. Providing a highly-informative and useful article on perfume isn’t quite going to enhance your conversion rate with visitors.
There’s virtually an unlimited number of things you can write about cars, so the content does not necessarily have to be centered around the products you are selling – so long as the content remains in the same general area. You could even provide content about the Indy 500 or Nascar. The idea is not only for the site to be informative, but entertaining. You want to retain viewership and bring in new users.
Keywords and Conversion Rates
The more content you have, the more likely it is that the content will be picked up by search engines. This is where quantity becomes as important as quality. You might be surprised just how many keyphrases come up when you provide organic content. So while you can’t expect four paragraphs to target every major keyphrase, a list of 20 or more informative articles will likely cover the most relevant keywords.
Another important issue is the conversion rate. Not only do you want to become one of the most trusted resources in your particular industry to possible link partners, you want to have the same effect on potential customers. The rule goes that the longer a web surfer stays on a site, the more likely it is that he or she will make a purchase. Repeat visitors are particularly important. The more authoritative your site, the more likely it is that a customer will make a purchase or click on an affiliate link. In short, search engine ranking isn’t your only concern. The conversion rate once someone lands on your site is paramount. Quality content enhances a site’s conversion rate, plain and simple.
Tracking Performance and Site Branding
Once you’ve done all of the above, you need to track how the web content you’ve provided is performing – both in terms of traffic and conversions. It’s possible that the car-site owner gets a lot of traffic from the Indy 500 content, but not very many conversions. That’s fine – it’s not ideal, but you want to increase the number of site visitors because this can effectively brand the site as a leader in the industry.
For the content that is gaining a lot of traction and attention, direct some more content in that area, while increasing how you monetize the content in terms of internal linking and ad placement. Likewise, for content that has proven to provide a good conversion rate via ad clicks or purchases, provide more content in this area. This sounds like a no-brainer, but too often site owners get complacent and let web content remain static. Remember, we live in an increasingly information-rich world, so not providing new, relevant content is an absolute mistake.