What Is Google Really Looking For?

This is an online archive version of an email I posted to my subscriber list. If you’d like more content like this delivered to your inbox, use the signup for on this page.

No time to read? Listen to the audio version instead.

I’m testing whether podasting is a good fit for me, so you’ll see the podcast episode embedded below – it’s the same audio, of course.

Google is pretty fussy about the content it likes. 

Image

One thing is fairly certain, a thin 200 word article isn’t likely to rank on page one on its own.

And even if you have half a dozen such posts there’s a lot of competition trying to keep you off page 1!

There are niches with limited competition for certain keywords, so you might rank for those with poor content. But that can be hit and miss.

When we talk about ranking in Google it’s easy to forget what happens if you DO rank in Google. What happens is that a real human visits your site. And if they don’t like what they see….they leave. You’ve done it, haven’t you? If you click on a site that’s not interesting to you what do you do? You probably don’t stick around for long. We want our visitors to “turn the page”.

Image

To keep a human happy, which is what Google wants to do so they can sell advertising, it’s a good idea to

  • Post RELEVANT content for your main niche. Got a sewing site? Probably don’t talk about how to store wine at the right temperature.
  • Produce quality content, which is very often longer content. With longer content you can give people more information and more options. It’s suggested that 1,800 words or more is better these days.
  • Add some life to your content! Plain text can be pretty boring. Come on, it’s 2020. Add videos, audio, images and rich media of all kind. Mix and match media types and use more than one on a post. Give people something that looks good because we DO judge a book by its cover.
  • Don’t make your visitors leave! Technically a low bounce rate means your visitors don’t hit the back button to go search again in Google. If they do that’s a sign to Google that YOUR content didn’t meet THEIR needs for YOUR keyword.
Image

If you take care of those factors you’ll already get a boost in the search engines. But they’re not the only ones. A good and quality backlink strategy is important, but even if you got on page one with JUST your backlinks, you still have to keep your visitors with the content. Publishing on social media to engage new viewers and draw them back to your site is a good idea too.

The majority of your site content needs to be onpoint to your site’s topic. Well, duh. But you can use content that is related, even if it’s technically a different topic. As long as Google thinks it’s related, it should be fine. A pet site might cover some gardening tips, for example, to warn owners about plants that are toxic to pets.

Image

Does this sound like too much work? Good. That means your competition will feel the same and many won’t put in the needed effort. That’s to your advantage.

Content should contain other forms of media. Great, so how much is that going to cost you? Well you can pick up images for free at a number of sites (check the p.s.) And you can even pick up some free video clips that you can use as well. 

Add a voiceover, make a few adjustments and you can have something that looks really professional. A page with rich media is likely, all other things being equal, to rank more highly than a plain text page.

To avoid people bouncing off your page it is critical to offer your site visitors content that is interesting and useful. You recognise good content when you see it, don’t you? So will your visitors.

Next time I’ll suggest some ways to create more content in less time. Less is sometimes more, right?

p.s. You can get free images at

pexels.com

unsplash.com

pixabay.com

2 Comments

Leave a Reply to Chris Cancel reply