Blog: SEO

Content Planning for Your Website

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is an SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps established businesses rank higher through his web agency. Lockedown Design.

Now that you’ve done all your keyword research and have plenty of ideas of what to write about, now comes the hard part.

Creating content and sticking to the content schedule is the most difficult part of any SEO efforts.

As we talked about before, it takes time to develop a voice for your business. It takes a lot of answering questions establish authority on a subject.

Google respects sites that stick to one central topic, and over time, elevates pages that deliver the best answer to specific questions. This is what it takes to make your site more credible in the eyes of the search engines.

There Are No Shortcuts

There is no shortcut to great content or rock-solid SEO.

Many business owners wish there were a trick or a tactic they use to rank #1 in Google overnight, but there simply isn’t.

Someone — preferably someone within your organization — must dedicate time and effort to keeping a consistent content publishing schedule.

The type of content that you will need is not a weekly 300-word blog post that you write just to hit your quota. Nope, nope, nope.

You will need to dedicate resources to creating quality content, that answers questions with as much information as possible. The deeper you go into a particular subject, the better.

People Crave More Information, Not Less

Longer articles tend to rank in higher positions on Google then shorter articles.

Independent studies by Brian Dean of Backlinko.com and serpIQ show that the average length of a first page search result is over 2000 words.

Additionally, on the first page, the higher the average result ranks, the more words the page tends to have.

For example, the average #1 result has over 2450 words, and the average #10 result has over 2000 words.

What does this tell us?

It’s not that the search engines are counting how many words are in your article. The fact is that people who search tend to get better, more in-depth answers from these long-form articles.

Longer articles tend to be filled with more extensive research. These include references, citations, and links to relevant proof.

Case studies, scientific research, anything that gives the searcher more information than they’re asking for is a sign of high-quality content.

You Will Have to Make Time to Create High-Quality Content

Most business owners realize that they have to have high-quality content in order to rank well on Google. What they lack is the time to create it. This is going to be your biggest struggle.

But like we talked about previously, you’re armed with your keyword research. You have been collecting all the questions you receive from your customers over the phone, and emails, or even face-to-face. You have the knowledge of what people are looking for.

The only obstacle is sticking to a content creation schedule for your website.

Smaller businesses may not have a dedicated marketing team. In these cases, the business owner is usually very knowledgeable of their specific industry. It is important for the business owner to set aside time to create written content, videos, or even a podcast.

You do not need fancy tools to create great website content. All you need is a desire to market your brand, and the dedication to setting aside time to do it.

Businesses that do not commit to a content publishing schedule are the businesses that struggle trying to rank or gain ground in the search rankings. Their competition usually has a more robust array of relevant content on their websites.

Practical Tips for Publishing Content

So, the big question. How do you put stuff out on a regular basis?

Some people are good at writing. Some people are good at talking. It’s important to know what your strengths are. How do you communicate with people best?

If you have a hard time writing, one thing that you might do is use a handheld recorder or even your phone to record speech. This is how I’ve started doing a lot of my blog posts as of late.

My method is to use the Notes app along with Siri on my iPhone.

I dictate notes using the microphone button, then email to myself for editing. Now I have written content.

This is a bit quicker than writing stuff out. Alternately, some people are good at writing, and can outline the points they want to make an article, and then flesh out the article based on your outline. Know your strengths, then play to them.

Creating videos is not too hard, either. You can get a professional camera and sound set up. But you can also use the webcam on your computer, along with a $200 microphone to create professional looking videos. YouTube allows you to do a live recordings which publish right to YouTube. You can invite other people using Google Hangouts. This is how I’ve been able to put out a videocast twice a week throughout 2016.

The video content from YouTube can then be downloaded to create podcast content.

Whatever method you’re using to create content, it’s important to stay on topic, and publish consistently.

Consistency is the key to building authority.

That said, make sure you are addressing the questions your customers are asking. It is better to do one in-depth article per month than to turn out four paper-thin blog posts that say nothing and speak to no one.

Don’t Steal Someone Else’s Articles

Another shortcut to avoid is plagiarizing content.

I have seen some businesses do this. They simply copy and paste an article that someone else wrote, without giving proper attribution, and trying to pass it off as their own work.

While personally, I don’t worry about plagiarism, I believe it is far better to have your own unique voice. Here’s why.

Copying other people’s material just reinforces the idea that they are the expert and not you. It’s good to use other people’s research to back up your case, but it’s important to develop your own voice when writing or speaking.

Additionally, you can get a DMCA notice from the original author, for violating their copyright.

Google also tracks how DMCA takedown requests a website or brand receives. This is part of their ranking algorithm. If you get too many DMCA takedown notices for violating other people’s copyright, your website will be downgraded in search results.

Plagiarism is just plain lazy. Avoid it at all costs.

Teaching Customers Increases Your Authority on a Topic

Another important part of the content publishing schedule is to keep teaching people, and keeping things focused in a definitive pattern.

Just like you’re currently reading my mini-series on SEO, you can do similar things within your industry. Don’t be afraid to go down the rabbit hole of teaching people about a particular part of your service.

The more you educate people about an aspect of your service, the more they are going to recognize you as an expert.

In fact, the whole point of publishing content is to educate customers as to why you are the best choice for their needs. The more you can educate customers, the clear-cut choice you become.

Content Publishing is Brand-Building

So much of this SEO is about building your brand as an authority for what you do. One of the only ways to do that is by publishing content.

Whether that’s putting out articles, recording videos, putting out a podcast, doing webinars, offering white papers, or setting up an email newsletter where you give people tips. All of these are forms of publishing useful content.

Publishing content on your site is what is going to give you more chances to be found in the search engines. The more you publish, the more chances there are for people to link back to your site. If you don’t publish anything worth sharing on social media, or for other people to reference, then there’s not a lot of reason for Google to rank your site number one.

The Importance of Great Website Content to SEO Health

Content is one of the biggest parts of SEO, along with back links and user experience. You cannot win a SEO battle without great content on your site.

Many of you get tempted to get caught up in doing busy work and never making time for marketing. But if you only do one thing for marketing each week, focus on creating content for your website. You will not see the returns right away, but if you faithfully create great content for your customers, you will eventually be rewarded by the search engines.

Do not underestimate how difficult it is to stand out with content against your competitors. It is vital that you treat this as one of the most important things you can do to market your business. Content creation cannot be understated.


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Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is an SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps established businesses rank higher through his web agency. Lockedown Design.

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