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Archive | July, 2017

SEO Tactics – Content

Stop Creating Content That Google Wants

Any blogger will tell you their number one concern for their blogs is getting traffic to them. It’s a valid concern because, without that traffic, blogs will fizzle out. You need people to consume your content, and that requires traffic.

To get that traffic, bloggers try all kinds of schemes and tricks. They try to trick the search engines into rewarding their blogs with high rankings. This, in turn, leads to more traffic, or at least in their minds. One current misguided piece of advice is to create long-form content. All the influential bloggers have touted the benefits of creating long-form content. They all point to tests that report that Google likes it better than short-form content.

These influencers are probably correct, at least in the short term. The reasoning behind why Google wants longer form content makes sense. They can gather more information about what your post is all about. This, of course, assumes that the long-form content piece has a narrow focus. This is where it all starts to get a bit fuzzy.

There are several problems with this long-form content movement. The first is adhering to a word count primarily because Google wants it, becomes a purely academic exercise. This has the potential for the content to suffer in quality. Imagine you are a blogger, and you create a post that succinctly tells what you want to tell. It turns out to be 500 words. Then, because of this long-form movement, you decide to fill the post with a bunch of fluff. But, at least you got your word count to come out to 2,000 words. The question is, will your readers be happy with what you did?

Another potential problem is the fact that the metric will fade as more people jump on. As more bloggers realize they need to create longer posts, more will create longer posts, whether it’s warranted or not. They hear that Google wants longer posts and that is what they provide. Therefore, it will be commonplace, and the benefits will fade over time.

If you can create long-form content naturally and without filling it with nonsense just for the sake of a word count, then, by all means, go for it. However, if you are creating quality content for your readers and they appreciate what you are providing for them, it’s difficult to imagine Google will penalize anyone for doing this.

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SEO Tactics – Good Story

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Story?

Are you a good story teller? If so, your SEO efforts are going to see some great benefits because of it. People love stories. It’s been that way since the beginning of time (think cave people drawings).

It’s easy to connect with people who overcame some problem or has some personal challenges they were able to cope with. For instance, if you struggle with weight loss and read about someone with the same problem who is now in great shape, you will take an interest in that story.

What if you aren’t a good storyteller? Does this mean you are out-of-luck when it comes to creating content? It does help if you have the gift of the gab, but it is something that you can either learn or employ someone else to help.

An important factor when telling stories is to make sure it’s real. If you start making up stories for your blog (unless the blog is about fiction) you risk alienating your audience if they find out your secret. Another problem with fabricating stories is you won’t capture the true feeling of what a real person is going through.

You don’t have to be the one the story is about. You can reach out to others who have experienced what you are trying to get across. You may want to give them some benefit, such as a byline or it can even be cash. Be aware that cash can be interpreted by readers as forced incentive. In other words, are you paying them for their story so that you can sell a product? The best scenario is to tell stories from your experience, but it’s not completely necessary. Just be aware of this possible situation.

If you want to learn more about how to tell stories, try your hand at creating short stories. Anyone can learn how to do it by reading more books on the subject or by taking courses. There are plenty of free resources available that can help.

Another benefit to creating short stories is that you can sell them on places like Amazon.com and other outlets. After you get good at creating them, you can build up a portfolio of assets that can earn you decent residual income. As you master the skills of storytelling, you can become a teacher yourself and earn from your lessons. You can certainly use this notoriety to funnel readers back to your website.

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SEO Tactics – Social Media

Don’t Forget to Use Social Media

It’s amazing how many bloggers do not include social media as part of their strategy. The popularity of social media continues to grow and is likely to do so well into the future. Therefore, not using it is keeping you from recognizing your true potential.

It’s also widely believed through testing that search engines are incorporating social media signals into their algorithms. That means when someone searches for something, the search engines will factor what kind of influence social media has on that search term. It’s important to become aligned with what you are targeting with these signals.

On the flip side, do not rely solely on the impact of social media. It should be a part of your strategy but should not be the entire focus. Share because you believe your followers will appreciate what you shared, not because you think it will sell. That’s an important distinction, and you need to keep that in mind whenever you share on social media.

People don’t like to be sold to, especially on your Facebook timeline. If you don’t believe me, think about the last time a friend started promoting his or her wares on Facebook. Chances are good, they received plenty of unfriend requests. You may have been one who takes that action yourself. Instead, create an environment of sharing useful
information.

When you share, don’t be afraid to use other people’s content. Your friends will find it useful, and the people whose content you are sharing will appreciate you for it. They will be much more willing to share your content in exchange. It also gives you plenty of publishing power in case you run out of ideas on what to share. Find content that has a minimum of promotional information.

While sharing other peoples’ content is important, don’t forget to share your own. The point is, you want people to click on the links within your social shares. This will take them to your website and will garner the attention of search engines. This, in turn, should increase your ranking with those search engines.

Social media is a long-term strategy, and you need to keep with it to see any benefits. It will probably take much longer than anticipated which means it will seem like it’s not working early on. You have to believe that it will make a difference and keep with it. When it does take off, it can flood your website with high-quality traffic.

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