Brands with content marketing plans have big problems.
According to the content marketing association, SEO and search algorithm changes are the number one problem for technology companies creating content.
This is not surprising to us.
In MarketMuse, we often see that even mature brands struggle in search rankings. Building a content program that is consistent, performs well, and adapts to the changing search environment is difficult.
As a result, many of us face a familiar problem:
“My site doesn’t rank high.”
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you can do something about it.
1. Don’t just focus on technical fixes.
It’s great to make sure your site is technically optimized. But technical improvements alone won’t lead to long-term SEO results.
Why is that? Because the mere pursuit of technical fixes can lead to disaster.
In April 2019, we blogged about some cautionary stories about sites that have dropped significantly in search rankings.
One is a well-known health publisher that tries to break up a large website into several smaller ones in order to redesign the smaller ones for better SEO.
The fix worked for a while, but traffic dropped sharply in March 2019, largely because they focused on the redesign of the site rather than the quality or quantity of the content.
The truth is, technical fixes alone won’t help you get the best possible SEO performance. In order to rank better, you need to consider many different factors.
2. Publish more and more often.
Some people believe that content should be published only with high quality and more frequently.
We also looked at a large technology publisher that frequently stopped publishing content to focus on quality. Their content may be better today, but their traffic is also down 16 percent in 2019.
As it turns out, you need quality and quantity.
Be aware, however, of attempts to increase content production only, as the next example will show.
3. Add inbound link
Linking is still a major variable in the Google algorithm. A site that doesn’t have a high enough value link may not be considered worthy enough to rank Google.
Now, don’t think you can go out and buy links, or do things to get links too quickly. Link building is about creating great website design experiences and content that will naturally win links. So if you don’t have enough links to help Google rank your site as authoritative, trustworthy, relevant, then start creating awesome content and marketing it to get the links Google wants to take seriously.
4. Optimize site content
Content strategy is probably the easiest problem because it involves basic search engine optimization. Things to check are:
- Is the target keyword in the title tag
- Is the target keyword in the H1 tag
- Whether the target keyword is consistently used in the main content area of the page
- In the main content area of the page, whether the Alt text of the image USES the target keyword
- Whether the content includes H2 tags (subtopics of H1 tags) that contain other relevant keywords.
5. Provides value Content
Google is always looking for relevant, authoritative content sets that provide value to users.
Recent algorithmic updates have targeted content that is thin and not deep enough for users to find it a valuable resource.
In general, content sets with the following characteristics are considered valuable or valuable to some extent:
- In-depth thematic exploration
- More than 1500 words
- Many social channels share and thumb up
- Links to multiple highly authoritative domains
- Written by experts in the field
- Reference other resources on the topic
- Includes an image, list, or video of the subject
Jeff Coyle, “Why Your Website Doesn’t Rank Well” Marketing Artifical Intelligence Institute, April 30th,2019, https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/blog/why-your-website-doesnt-rank-well
Team Linchpin, “Here’s Why Your Website Doesn’t Rank Better In Google”, Growth Strategies, October 15, 2019, https://linchpinseo.com/why-your-website-doesnt-rank-better-in-google/