Tips for creating quality content to get you to the pole position of Google rankings, drive website traffic, and accelerate digital revenues.
PCS has a great track record for helping publishers increase the number of stories they upload to websites, as well as reducing the time it takes to publish digitally – 10 minutes down from three hours per article. We’ve also helped make it easier for publishers to get an article onto a website by reducing the number of clicks from 50+ to just five.
This results in more stories being published, and therefore more traffic to the website. In fact, one of our customers saw an uplift of 300%.
And because we help reduce the time it takes to publish articles, editorial teams can spend more time on producing quality content, responding to trends, and increasing engagement with the target audience.
After-all, regular, fresh quality content is one of the key factors in getting a website listed at the top of the Google rankings, which is seen as the pinnacle of success. According to research, those organisations listed on the first page of Google receive 95 per cent of the traffic.
With more traffic directed to your website, this can help to drive revenue as you are able to charge more for advertising rates. However, with the constantly changing Google algorithms and the possibilities of incurring penalties always on the horizon, how can publishers stay ahead of the competition?
What are Google’s priorities for 2019?
It is estimated that Google makes 500 – 600 changes a year to its algorithm. With this number of changes, it is almost impossible for businesses to predict whether they will climb or fall down the search engine results pages (SERPs). However, there are some areas that Google is focusing on, and should be part of your SEO strategy this year:
1. Mobile friendly – around 60% of searches are done on mobile devices and Google is now prioritising a page’s mobile version over its desktop version. If you want to know what Google thinks of your website, test it out for mobile-friendliness here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
2. Featured Snippets – Featured Snippets appear above regular results and are referred to as position #0 – so if you can rank for them you will give your website a massive boost. When someone asks a question on Google the Featured Snippet is a summary of the answer extracted from a web page. To be included as a Featured Snippet you have to find the keywords you currently rank highly for and select a page on your website to optimise for a snippet – preferably one where you answer a question. Also, include words like ‘how to’ or ‘easy ways to’ to show you are answering a question, and use numbered lists.
3. Voice search - Thanks to AI assistants like Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant, voice searches on Google have grown 3,500%, and 40% of adults now use voice search once per day. This puts even more focus on mobile optimisation and will work together with Featured Snippets as answers are read aloud. Voice search will use longtail keywords and more conversational phrases, so make sure you add some of these in.
4. Linkless mentions – Gone are the days when you wanted companies to add a link to your website. Google is now able to focus on associate mentions, without there needing to be a physical link – so even testimonials and reviews that don’t include a link are looked on favourably by Google. Don’t neglect links on your website though, as they provide a physical way of people being able to check up on those positive mentions about your company.
5. Security – Google prefers HTTPS (the S stands for secure) sites compared to HTTP and so ranks them higher. They have also revealed they will punish publishers who fail to add an SSL (secure socket layer) to their site. Acquiring an SSL isn’t difficult—all you have to do is purchase a certificate and get your site host to activate and install it.
How to tailor-make your content to ensure it is as SEO friendly as possible.
1. Content is king - It’s a phrase that is used again and again in the world of SEO success. To be on the right tracks you have to get the balance right between quantity and quality. To add some SEO magic to your content you are aiming for regular fresh pieces, and the average content length for page one results is 1,900 words. However, you don’t want to just waffle on for the sake of it – try to ensure your content is relevant, but keep in mind that longer content does rank higher.
2. Distribution is queen - There’s no point in crafting quality content if it’s simply uploaded to a website and not shared. And by that, we mean shared to the right audience via a number of channels. The most effective method of distribution includes social media. All social posts you do should link back to the webpage, include a picture and written in a manner that’s suitable for that social channel, but others will include e-mailers to subscribers.
3. Great user experience – your site needs to be easy to navigate and you should avoid clickbait content. You know what it is – content that’s promoted on social media platforms that intentionally over-promises or misrepresents in order to pull users onto a particular website. Clickbait attracts people through snappy or sensationalist headlines but mostly fails as the content doesn’t have anything to do with the headline. Publishers need to be trusted. Deceiving your audience with the promise of one thing, but delivering something else is not acceptable. It also drags down the quality of your content and your SEO score.
4. SEO your content - Go for long-tail keywords. These are extended phrases that Google looks for such as “Tips on how to entertain the kids on a wet weekend” instead of “wet weather activities”. It is easier to rank high for long-tail keywords than it is for short ones.
Nurture your following on social media as you will attract more followers and more posts. The bigger and more active your social media presence the higher Google will rank you.
Long content – aim for around 1,200 words with at least one blog being a meaty 1,500 words.
Have just one heading – make it creative and punchy. Don’t make your heading too short. Get your keywords into it. Lists are also popular.
In your heading put numbers in as numbers rather than words – even at the beginning of a sentence.
Some good words to use in your heading: Reasons, Ways, Tips, Tricks, Secrets, Ideas, Techniques, Strategies, Facts, Methods, Statistics. Also, use strong adjectives and verbs like “Surprising” “Big” and “Hacks”
Targeted content which solves readers problems will increase your SERPs.
Go over old content and update them, as this gives you a boost. Can you add video, photos? Promote them on social media?
The PCS solution
At PCS we are all about saving you time to ensure your staff are freed up to work on quality content. We do this by removing as many manual processes as possible and give publishers the ability to create once and publish anywhere.
Our editorial solution, Knowledge Publish, can operate with any website because we build the interface needed for a customer’s chosen WebCMS. This means approved editorial staff can publish digital content without leaving the Publish system.
By improving quality and consistency of workflow, Knowledge Publish enables a content-first approach – and helps to give a publisher’s site a push up the Google rankings.
We consistently hear the publishing industry talk about the challenges around digital revenue, so we're planning a webinar to give advice and options for ways to achieve this. To pre-register and be kept up to date with the event information click here.
In the mean-time you can read more about some of the benefits PCS publishing solutions deliver: