You Get Out What You Put In - A Brief Guide to Content & SEO

Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google’s search results, it’s the holy grail for any business, but it takes a lot of hard work and it never ends.

Clients often contact me in the days after their new website is launched wondering why they can’t see their site in the search engine results or, if they can, why they aren’t on the first page and the answer is simple: it takes time and hard work.

Google, or any search engine for that matter, has to index every website on the planet and that doesn’t happen quickly, the web is a very large place these days. There are things we can do to speed-up the indexing process, by physically submitting your site to Google rather than waiting for them to find it, but it still takes a few days for your site to start appearing in the results.

Once your site has been found and listed in the search engines what can you do to maintain and improve your position?

The quality and quantity of content is critical to the success of your website and your search engine rank. I can’t stress how important this is.

For example, imagine a new shop appears on your High Street. The day it opens you look at the window display, see a few things that take your fancy and pop in to explore. That’s a great result for the shop, they’ve brought you in and maybe you bought something. A few weeks later you walk past again, the window display is exactly the same and you think to yourself “Why go in? It’s the same as it was last time”.

Now apply that same scenario to your website. If you have a blog and the only post in it is “New website goes live!” dated June 2010. What does that say about your website? That it’s neglected and out of date. Is that what you want people to think about your business? I’m guessing not but that's what the search engines will think and they'll rank your site below your competitors if they're regularly adding great content and you're not.

A laptop in the dark

As a website design and development agency we can give you the tools to create a well ranking website full of rich content but it’s how you use those tools that determines the success of the site and what you get back from your investment and hard work. If you like, we can even help you write great content or involve professional copywriters if you simply don’t have the time. Investing in quality content and posting it regularly is one of the smartest moves you'll make when it comes to your website.

However, we understand that having to write content for your website may not be something you look forward to or that you feel you are particularly qualified to do so we have a few tips to help:

  • Having a schedule for publishing new content onto your website is a great idea, just make a list of potential blog posts or news articles to write so that when you sit down to work on your content you don’t spend all your time trying to come up with ideas.
  • Follow the latest developments in your industry and when changes are announced, write a blog post or news article describing your take on them.
  • Look at what your competitors are writing about and follow suit, just don't be tempted to plagiarise - the search engines will find you out and they don't look kindly on it.
  • Use social media to share your posts and draw visitors to your site, the more eyes on your content the better because the search engines see this as an indication that your content is valuable and this boosts your search engine ranking.
  • Look at what's trending on social media and see if the topics that rank highly can be used as inspiration for new content for your website.
  • Avoid posting content that's just one or two sentences. Quantity is important and the more words to your post the more there is for the search engines to crawl and index.

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Dan Walsh by Dan Walsh