Content strategy: 3 top tips to boost your reputation and rankings
Last week’s Search Leeds event brought together speakers from some of the biggest names in SEO (Search Engine Optimism) including Bing, Hubspot, and many more. Search Leeds has been described as the first conference in three years around SEO in Leeds and was held at the fantastic venue the Royal Armouries. Keen to learn more, I was excited to watch the talk by Tim, CEO of Branded3 (Twitter: @Tim_Grice), the agency behind the event.
To save you reading through the 200 Google ranking factors, Tim kindly summarised the most important ways to improve your Google ranking in his talk, highlighting what really makes a difference in terms of scoring high. In 2012, Tim explains that there were 4,500 people working as Quality Raters who were reviewing websites on behalf of Google and scoring them for a range of different criteria. Grice estimated that this figure will have now trebled, at least. With a large number of people reviewing for Google, it is easy to see why it is important to keep them happy. I have summarised three of the key messages from the talk, those that will have a tangible impact on your Google ranking.
It will come as no surprise that creating good content was high on the list for scoring well with Google.
When creating content, always think to yourself “how is this enhancing the user’s experience?” It is important to ensure all of your content is relevant, has a purpose, and that there is enough volume of content. But it is also important to get the correct balance. Don’t just add content for the sake of it. Tim explained you not only lose marks for lacking good content but you can also be marked down for being wordy, when there is alternative shorter way to phrase something.
Grice also emphasised the importance of supplementary content, an area that people often underestimate. Regardless whether you have high scores in every other section, without supplementary content the highest achievable score overall is medium, which could have negative effects on your Google rankings. Poor content has the power to leave you with the lowest possible rating regardless of your reputation or image. Not only is it essential to create great content but to also promote it organically through content strategy.
Google emphasise the importance of reputation and having the ability to understand your online reputation. It is essential for any website to not only create great content but also to prove that they are reputable enough to be discussing that particular subject area. There are different techniques for proving you are qualified enough, highlighting testimonials, customer reviews or feedback, awards, on your home page.
One key thing to do is put yourself in the quality rater’s shoes and view your website from their perspective. What important information is difficult to find if you don’t already know it is there? It is essential that you make this information accessible for the reviewer. This will prevent them from having to dig around which could lead them to finding any negative comments, reviews about the website. If you are concerned that you have received any negative comments of this nature, Tim advised that although you can’t erase them from the internet you can “drown out” negative press by ensuring your company is doing positive things and receiving positive press too.
Tim also recommended that you should never underestimate negative press as Google will always trust external comments about your website or company over the internal comments. Not only is Google interested in your professional online presence, but also your personal online presence. Ensure you understand how you appear online both professionally and personally to avoid losing points resulting in a decrease of ranking. Even with fantastic content, it needs to be delivered well. One thing that reviewers will be asked to look at is how many followers you have as well as the amount of likes and shares you get.
3. Put yourself in the reviewers shoes
If some of the above advice may seem contradictory, you can’t have too little content but you can’t have too much and so on, and might leave you a little bit confused. The best thing you can do if you are feeling like this is view your online presence from a completely impartial view, and really put yourself in the Quality Raters’ shoes. This is a point that Tim relayed throughout the talk.
It might seem like an obvious point, but it isn’t something that we will all be consistently doing. Tim points out how many ratings the Quality Reviewers will be doing. It is important try view yourself through their eyes and make sure you are ticking all the boxes and scoring all the points possible. As mentioned before, one of the easiest ways of doing this is making all the information you want them to see readily available to them. You have to remember that all the positive attributes you know about yourself and your company, they won’t know. By viewing your online presence in a completely new way, it can really highlight what you could be doing better and what you are already doing well. By implementing these improvements you can only improve your Google ranking.
Tim pointed out some areas which are often underestimated and therefore neglected that Quality Raters are interested in. These included your about page, awards, qualifications, good reviews, press mentions, bios, social profiles. Tim highlighted that last two, bios and social profiles, often are neglected but do contribute to the score as much as the other sections although they still contribute to your rankings and are areas which are easy to manage and improve. Tim advised throughout his talk how to put yourself in the reviewer’s shoes, and score the highest score you can resulting in higher Google rankings.
Tim’s talk summarises how you can easily improve your Google ranking and emphasises the importance of Google Quality Raters and how your ability to put yourself in their shoes could have noticeable effects of your Google ranking.
- Do you agree with all Tim’s points?
- How do you use content to improve your rankings?
- We’d love to hear your views – please comment below!
Blog post by Holly Wyatt, jrc.agency Digital Account Executive