How to Make Your Online Content Irresistible to Google’s Algorithm
by Victoria Donovan
Understanding how Google’s algorithms work is part of what makes modern-day content marketers good at their jobs. And it is only when good content marketers truly understand Google's algorithms that they can become great content marketers.
At the end of the day, Google’s algorithms dictate what information you find when you search for something online.
Marketers need to make sure that Google knows enough about their content to place it in front of people who actually want to see it (especially if these people didn’t know that your content was just what they were looking for).
We need to harness Google’s algorithms to make sure our marketing genius is realized by the rest of the world.
Here’s what you need to know about Google and their algorithms:
1. GOOGLE KNOWS WHAT'S COOL
Marketers need to understand that Google awards higher search rankings to websites with:
that people want to share with their family and friends.
This, in turn, spikes your website traffic and gives you great insight on who your actual demographic is.
Basically, if your content is getting shared on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram(ish), and iMessage and your website is getting linked to from (literally) millions of different places, Google sees your content as relevant and worthwhile and favors it on search results.
2. know that you need a mobile friendly website
- Because of the increasing number of people who are using their phones to search for information, having a website that is not mobile friendly already means that you are missing out on more than HALF of people who are searching for queries similar to your blogs.
- Starting April 21st, Google stopped putting effort into incorporating your website into search results if it wasn’t mobile friendly.
3. get a blog and upload fresh content to it often
When Google gives spider crawls and indexes your website it gives you a “freshness score.” If you have published substantial amounts of new content on your site, your site is scored as “fresh” and you are rewarded with higher positions on search results.
The easiest way to do this is having a blog you regularly post on. Over time, as your content gets older, your website loses its freshness score.
But but but, how much content do I need to be uploading for Google to see my site as fresh?
The answer is kind of a lot. You need to be uploading big chunks of well-researched, thought-out, in-depth unique content.
Neil Patel recommends 2000+ word posts. And since he knows his shit and also is the shit, I’ll agree with him.
Brands like Mashable publish several pieces of detailed, unique content EVERY SINGLE DAY. Their content marketing team kicks ass.
Also...get this: Your freshness score doesn’t only help the post that got you that score.
Your freshness score, because it applies to your whole website, can help boost your old content higher up in search results for certain search queries.
(This is great news for those genius content marketers posting content ahead of it’s time…your post has a better chance of not getting lost in the depths of the Internet once trends catch up with you and the masses actually start caring about your article topic. If you’ve been cranking out content consistently, Google will remember.)
4. Focus on Building Brand Awareness Across The Net
Build brand awareness by using the right kind of links using the right anchor text.
We need to be purposefully incorporating anchor text into your content to improve your brand and your company’s relevance online.
Tips for creating killer anchor text that makes Google love you:
Use anchor text but don’t create anchor text that precisely matches targeted keywords.
Use relevant and generic words.
Have your anchor text phrases should contain brand names and domain URLS.
Know that Moz recommends 17% of anchor text be your brand name.
Linking internally within your article is good. External links from all accorss the net (and from places besides just shares on encrypted social networks) is better.
Don’t just link internally and think you’re going to trick Google into boosting your search rankings. This is an old SEO trick and Google will punish you for doing this. You are new and you are better than that.
5. AVOID duplicate content
If you have substantial blocks of content that are the same on multiple parts of your site, Google assumes your site isn’t worth showing potential visitors because it is redundant and not current.
Furthermore, Google gets suspicious of excessive amounts of content loaded with the same keywords, anchor texts, and links.
Google thinks you’re spammy and trying to play them. No one likes a player.
My advice: Stop worrying about loading your content with keywords and anchor links. Instead, spend your time publishing that detailed, informational, helpful, and ~*~unique~*~ content that gets people coming to your website because they see value in your brand (not because you tricked them into coming to your shotty site).
6. Use Conversational Keywords
You will see a spike in traffic to your content when you use current, up-to-date conversational keywords in your titles and H1 text.
What are conversational keywords? These are the specific words and phrases people are already using to seek out information about a topic.
People are already looking for answers. Your job is making sure your answers are the ones they find.
If you already have a blog post topic in mind, before you start writing you should ask yourself how people are already talking about your topic.
Also, begin to research how people are already seeking out information like yours on Google.
When you use conversational keywords, you are diving directly into the pool of people who already want to engage with you and your product.
7. Focus on Creating Great Content
Forget all that crap I just told you and stop making content with the sole goal being to increase your Google search results.
Make great content for your customers and potential customers, not for Google.
When people are coming to your website because you have awesome content, Google is going to reward you for that. Google changes its algorithms because it is learning how PEOPLE come to other PEOPLE’s websites.
Their algorithm updates are not meant to make your life as a content marketer confusing and tricky…They are meant to make your life as a human being who looks for answers on Google easier.
Work on writing really great copy and blog content that you back up with really great shareable graphic content.
Great content on the Twitter feeds and Instagrams of the right people is going to help you a kazillion times more than crappy content “optimized for SEO.”
Here's the bottom line:
- If your website isn’t useful to visitors, then it isn’t going to be a useful marketing tool.
- Stop trying to trick people into coming to your site.
- Work on placing your high-quality content in front of the right people at the right times.
- Put effort into encouraging organic traffic to your website.
- Earn your natural links by building trust with your visitors and online partners.
- Finally, don't underestimate how much power will come from building a strong social following of real live people (not algorithm robots or spam accounts #follow4follow) will bring your business.
Content marketing is a lot of work and can take a long time to pay off. A lot more time and thought goes into each and every Instagram post than marketers really want to admit.
Trust me when I say all your work is worth it, though. It will pay off. You will set your business apart. And people who you have never even met or will ever meet are gladly doing your advertising for you for free because your social media kicks that much ass.