If you want to enhance your search engine results, you are going to need to consistently produce helpful content. I am frequently asked by prospective clients to help with their content and SEO so they can rank higher on Google. In this blog, I hope to shed a bit more light on exactly why consistent content is one of the best ways to improve your organic search rankings and drive traffic to your website.
Long gone are the days of simply optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, dusting your hands off and resting easy. These things still hold a level of importance. However, Google doesn’t value these tactics as much as it previously has.
With this change, it has unfortunately trained many to think of SEO as a button that a developer pushes on the backend of the website and—boom!—you are optimized. Simply put, Google has developed new ways of ranking websites, with consistent and relevant content being one of the best signals.
So how do we know this? First I’d like to mention that I am not involved with Google so most of our education and information available to our agency is based upon public knowledge, context clues shared by a community of digital marketers and our own agency’s results for clients.
What is Your Freshness Score?
According to MOZ’s research based on Google’s filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, freshness is a score Google looks at when ranking a web page. The ranking is first gauged by Google’s inception date—or when Google becomes aware of the content. Over time, this link or page may slowly erode in value, but Google does track this while generating a ranking.
You may ask, "Do I have to change the entire page or just parts of the page?" Google’s algorithm is smart enough to detect subtle changes vs. entire page updates. Information suggests that entire webpage updates are scored higher than subtle changes on the website. In addition, the algorithm actually prefers updates to the body copy of the webpage over updates to footers or sidebar links.
We wouldn’t recommend updating your web pages weekly. But we do recommend using common sense to review your content. It's also important to make sure it is up-to-date and helpful to your prospects. Most importantly, make sure you have a strategy to produce fresh content on a regular basis.
SEO vs. Content, or SEO and Content?
The first thing to know is that SEO and content marketing are two separate things. Let’s not confuse the two by combining them or ignoring one or the other. However, as Neil Patel explains, SEO is nothing without content marketing, and content marketing is not enough unless you have the content optimized.
But what is the difference? For one, SEO is more technical. According to Patel, SEO is "about more than just blog articles, keywords, and linkbacks. SEO is about optimizing the robots.txt, enhancing metadata, utilizing proper tags, and constructing a strategic sitemap." Basically, SEO is mostly focused on outputting information to search engines so they promote the content on the page.
On the other hand, successful content marketing is more focused on the human experience. Not surprisingly, UX is a huge factor in the success of content marketing efforts. But readability is perhaps the most important part of the equation here. While SEO is about submitting signals to Google—such as tags and strategically placed keywords—content marketing focuses on making sure the copy is of good quality and simply makes sense.
Our best advice is to make sure you are working with a partner that understands how to balance these two strategies and how they work hand-in-hand.
When Can You See SEO Results?
So you've committed to creating relevant and helpful content. What’s next?
My conversations about SEO always lead down the path of “When can we expect to see results?” This is always a great question, but it isn’t exactly easy to answer from a business development standpoint. However, through our agency’s experience, we have some clues.
The general consensus is that it can take Google anywhere for four days to six months to crawl a new website. Sorry for this bit of unfortunate news! This is why we make sure our potential clients understand that SEO isn’t a quick win, but instead, a long-term commitment. Despite taking a while to generate results, there is a reward if you can achieve organic ranking success. Moz reports, “On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60 percent of all the clicks, and the results from six to 10 account for only 3.73 percent.”
Can We Share an Example?
In our experience, usually around month nine, we start seeing results through Google Analytics that our efforts are producing more web traffic due to higher ranking web pages. Below, you can see an example of a local law firm client where we aimed to produce relevant and consistent blog content that was optimized for SEO.
Nine months to get ROI? Yikes.
That’s the common response I typically hear. We do have great news, though. While we are trained to think the moment we stop efforts, our momentum will stop as well, that's not the case. If you take the time to develop this content and decide to stop or take a break, your results won’t vanish into thin air.
In fact, we’ve seen content produced for clients five years ago still producing their highest web page traffic to this day. For example, we have a blog post for a local plumber that produces a ton of website traffic. This example doesn’t show the same type of bell curve as the law firm in respect to web traffic. But it does show that consistent content with SEO in mind can produce great website traffic over time.
This client saw roughly 60,000 website visits in October 2017. I sure hope those weren’t all for clogged toilets! All jokes aside, effective SEO isn’t just a pipe dream. It works, but it just takes time and the right partner.
Learn More About Our Content and SEO Offerings!
This approach isn’t the end all, be all of a high performing website. However, through our experience, we have determined ways to help improve repeatable traffic. When it comes to content and SEO, there are so many contributing factors. But our main point is that one of the most important factors is consistently producing helpful and relevant content.
If you would like to learn more about ProFromGo’s approach or have content and SEO questions don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation!