With thousands of websites and blogs vying for the same high ranking on Google’s search results, great content just isn’t cutting it anymore. While having quality content that your readers will both enjoy and share is still key to a great page ranking, there are many behind the scenes SEO practices that you should be implementing if you wish to beat out the competition.
The SEO myth that keyword stuffing your content will somehow trick the bots into giving a higher ranking is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. There are, however, legitimate and less deceitful methods to ensure that your content gets the attention it deserves. Here are three tips to help you increase your page rank and set your content apart.
1. Use long-tail keywords.
Millions of websites use the same generic keywords hoping for a piece of the traffic pie. In reality, there is only so much to go around. Unless you are one of the lucky big websites with a top ranking for basic keywords (and probably spend hundreds of thousands keeping it that way), you will need to get more creative with your marketing strategy. Enter long-tail keywords, which enable you to tap a steady stream of traffic by using longer phrases, rather than generic keywords.
For example, if your website sells stain removing spray you may be tempted to use ‘stain remover’ as a keyword. According to Google there are around 250,000 searches every month for this keyword, which means very high competition and low exposure for your content. Instead you can use a long-tail keyword such as ‘how to get out grass stains?’ or ‘stain remover that takes blood out of clothing’ which drastically decreases the competition and increases your contents audience. Google also loves to answer questions that web surfers ask, so by using a question as your long-tail keyword you will get even better results.
2. Share your content.
If content is written on the web and nobody shares it, does it exist? This is the philosophical question of new media. One of your main goals to increase your ranking on Google should be getting your content shared across as many social media platforms as possible. You can start by sharing the content yourself. If you don’t already have a Twitter and Facebook account set up, do that now.
Connect with people who are in the same type of network as you, and reach out to prospective readers and customers who are likely to be interested in the content you are putting out there. Every time you post new content you should create a Facebook post, tweet it, stumble it, Digg it, Google+ it, and even Pin it. Google favors content that is shared, because it assumes the content is quality, popular, and relevant. The more re-tweets and shares you get, the more likely that Google ranking will rise.
3. Write long content.
This one actually surprises most people, but longer content is favored by Google. In fact, the average content length for a web page with a top 10 result in Google averages at over 2,000 words,(serpIQ). For Google, longer content translates as higher quality content. For you, that means a higher Google ranking. Generally 1,500 words is a great target to shoot for, just be sure that it is full of useful and informative content rather than just fluff. The bots will catch on. Once you have long, quality content work to get it shared, you will then be well on your way to that ranking you have been after.
Quality content is still king, but building on your SEO practices with methods such as long-tail keywords is going to take you even further. Get your content out there anywhere and everywhere possible, and be sure that the content you share is worth being shared onward. Finally, ensure that your content is long enough to give your readers the information they are looking for. Optimizing your content and adapting to the changing favoritism of Google, will bring you a higher ranking and much success.