Have you ever been at a party and found yourself stuck listening to somebody talk at length about some topic or other they clearly know nothing about? Tedious, isn’t it? Almost immediately, you begin to wonder why this person – who may very-well look like somebody that should know what they’re talking about – can be so far off topic. After about thirty seconds, you start looking at your watch and hoping that someone will step up and take you away.
We used this little analogy because we’ve all been there. In addition, it’s a great tool for explaining why thin content (poorly-conceived or poorly-written web marketing content) can be disastrous for your site and authority.
When it comes to beefing up your web presence and improving your search engine rankings, content is still King. Content drives the web. This fact has never been so apparent than after the Google Panda and Penguin updates of 2011-2012 when low-quality, keyword-stuffed, spammy sites and pages were targeted. Those who errantly thought that posting “unique” content of any sort would serve them well immediately saw their rankings plummet. The lesson learned was that cheap, poorly-written articles bought from off-shore content farms were downright caustic to otherwise decent web sites. Those left standing in the wake of Panda and Penguin were thankful that they had taken the time to create original, high-quality content that “spoke” to their markets.
Not all content is good content. And bad content can destroy your site authority. The proof of this is easily seen in site analytics. Sure, if you post a unique article to your website – even if it isn’t any good at all – you may see a brief influx of search traffic. But look closely at the analytics data and you’ll also see that the Bounce Rate for traffic driven by poorly-written content goes sky-high. In other words, the bad content piece you bought from a chop-shop content farm outside the country may have drawn some traffic to your site, but those visitors immediately bolted from your site as soon as they saw that the author of the article didn’t know what they were talking about or didn’t understand the needs of the reader for that given topic.
Unfortunately, if you buy and publish enough poor-quality content on your website, and visitors continue to flee in numbers, Google (and the other search engines) will begin to push those pages down in rankings (and the authority of your site along with them). That’s bad.
Here are a few things you need to know before you develop web content (new site pages, blog articles, whitepapers, etc.).
Unique content is absolutely essential, but great content is the only kind of content that will benefit your website in the long-run. Writing great content is as easy as writing a five-paragraph essay for a college course. It begins by identifying your topic, your audience, and what exactly you think the audience would like to know about your topic. In addition, your content will benefit from a little planning, thinking, and research. Every article, page, or paper you publish to your website should begin with a title that is descriptive of the content to follow and an introduction to the subject. Make sure you include support and development around your topic and end with a conclusion (or a call to action). Simple as it may sound, if you can do this for every piece of content you write for the Web, you’ll never have to worry about getting “dinged” by current or future search engine algorithm changes. In addition, writing content that “speaks” to your market audience encourages sharing in social networks. This is also part of a good content development strategy.
This article is brought to you by Rank Fuse Interactive, which serves both businesses and agencies alike as a provider of search engine marketing (SEM) programs, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising (PPC), social media marketing, content marketing, mobile web marketing, and search-friendly web design.