To be quite honest, the world of search engine optimization (SEO) can be tiresome because "what works" is constantly changing. This is the product of algorithm updates and the need to adapt to these updates with revised techniques and strategies. Or, you may run ragged from acting on what our industry’s thought leaders state we must be doing at any given moment.
One thing that hasn’t changed in SEO through the years are the almost weekly mutterings of “content is king.” Have you ever wondered, though, which kind of “content” is king?
Content is More Than Text
Too often, webmasters and online marketing teams misconstrue this statement as “we need pages of copy for every possible keyword we can rank for.” Don’t get me wrong, you need text content on-site.
Despite all of its advances in image search, Google can’t “read” every image without a little optimization help. Searching by image can provide some wacky results.
Google also can’t consume video as well as us humans can. If so, would we still see nice improvements through video SEO, and respective sitemap offerings?
So, yes, we need textual content. But text is only the beginning.
To get back to proper content generation, you have to start between the keyword list finalization and keyword-to-page mapping stage. It is at the tail end of keyword research that you should have found a large list of terms you feel are relevant to the mission of your site.
Your core list of terms should not be an endless list of long tail terms. It should include broad and slightly more defined terms that match the goal of your site.
Don’t throw away the list of long-tail terms though as long-tail terms are highly qualified. They can be used as mentions in site copy…not for their own designated page targeting titles, headings, copy, etc.
Create Quality Content to Engage Your Audience
Instead of this “old SEO” ideology, approach it from a different mindset. Look at each term in the almost finalized keyword list and ask yourself a series of questions.
- Are you writing this page with this term in mind to educate the user as to what you provide, who you are, or are you simply creating a page to target a term to rank?
- With a page created/revised to target this term, could you add relevant imagery?
- With a page created/revised to target this term, could you add relevant video content?
- With a page created/revised to target this term, would the content be savory enough to make others want to share it or link to it?
- Could this term be supported by an article, press release, blog post, etc.?
Answering these questions helps to separate the greed of wanting to rank for every keyword possible in a genre to instead creating quality content on your site. Your textual content is the backbone of ranking for selected terms.
We operate in an environment where universal search lends visibility to images, videos, and news – as well as for those who use these individual search engines. This doesn’t include the ability to be seen on massively searched sites such as YouTube and Flickr and the fact that this type of non-text content is the fodder for social sharing capabilities.
As SEO progresses we must force ourselves to not only look at a ranking report but to look at links to internal pages and bounce rates. I would much rather have a smaller site with content that is engaging and multi-dimensional. These are the types of site pages that are shared, linked to, and present in universal search rather than just keyword targeted content providing an endless array of non-engaging content that gets no love.
Always remember that multi-dimensional content is king. It starts with text content, but that text content can be supported with image, video, news, and social content.