January 1, 2016

The latest SEO move for better Google ranking? Quality content.

Lee Steely

If you’ve already been down the rabbit hole of learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)—the keywords, the link building, page titles, site crawlability—you might be surprised at what the latest update to Google’s search algorithm prioritizes most: simply, quality content. It’s a tweak that should make sense to anyone who’s ever regretted wasting time on a clickbait article, or been disappointed by poor information in a top search result, but the update will catch some SEO and marketing experts off guard. Most of the old tried-and-true SEO methods will still be important for page ranking, but to get the highest ranking results, your website’s content will need to aim a little higher than just “adequate.”

To understand what the new ranking values in content, we can turn to the Quality Rater’s Handbook put out by Google for clarity. They introduce the shorthand “E-A-T” as a quick way to remember they’re emphasizing the importance of a website’s “expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.” While this can sound intimidating, it’s actually a great opportunity to showcase your business’s knowledge base.

For example, if you have a website for your plumbing business and are struggling to update with regular content, you don’t have to burden yourself with trying to dream up “viral” content that somehow ties in with fixing pipes. Instead, you can focus content on what you already do well—share common household plumbing problems and their solutions in blog posts, address the most commonly asked questions you hear from customers, and, if applicable, focus on local plumbing concerns. To rank well, you don’t have to try to be Buzzfeed—you just need content that demonstrates your business’s expertise, and satisfies visitors to your website with information they’ll value.

You know your business better than anyone, so you probably have some idea of what information your visitors and potential clients need. Make sure you’re getting that knowledge out of your head and onto the website—whether that means writing some of it yourself, or giving your marketing team targeted direction from your position of expertise. Your page rankings will thank you.