Google has made many updates since this past April which are requiring sites to have high quality content if they want to rank in the search results. Join Marc for our latest Medical Marketing Monday to discuss what determines high quality content and find out why high quality content leads directly to more links and authority online.
“How the right content builds links and authority”, Presented by Marc Ohmann, www.MDWebPro.com
It’s Marc Ohmann with MDWebPro, back for another Medical Marketing Monday! Today, we’re going to continue our conversation we began last week about how many pages it takes to rank in Google and why does page count even matter for a site. If you didn’t get a chance to checkout that video, look on our YouTube Channel. It’s up there, you’ll see it, or checkout our Blog. There should be my post from last Monday and you should be able to get up-to-speed.
So today we just want to continue on that whole thought process on how many pages does it take to rank well in Google and do pages correlate with better rankings. Now for a quick summary of last week’s video where we surveyed plastic surgery websites across the country, in the top 200 major metropolitan areas that consistently ranked the best. The best sites have 409 pages on average which is considerably higher than the page count of the average plastic surgery websites. What that means is for those pages content is giving the sites more opportunity to rank well. These sites are getting more phrases, more volume, and they’re also ranking better for some of the highly competitive phrases because Google is seeing more and more throughout all of the pages what topic the site is about and what topic the site is an authority on. But it doesn’t end there because it’s not simply a matter of publishing content. The content also needs to get shared out there on the web and linked to and that’s also where more pages give those sites an upper-hand. With that said, that is what I’m going to show you today.
Now what happens when you publish content on the site, if we take a look at our site again, which is similar to last week’s site, what we have is a home page with our banner. We have a couple of small boxes and in addition we have a couple of sub-pages within the site. Every page that we publish, each time we publish new content targeted towards our keywords strengthening that target in Google also gives us an opportunity to share that content out on Social Media and to share that content out on email. It provides a visibility for our site and for our content and that’s where links back to our content come into play and those links of course build our own authority of the site.
This Spring Google has released a number of updates, major updates to the algorithm and what we’re seeing is not as many content ranks as well as it used to. It used to be the case where you could buy very cheap content as long as it had the right words in it, the right keywords and spoke on the right topic. The content didn’t necessarily have to make sense, or even be a lot better. Now our content actually has to be better, our content actually has to be real content that people actually want to read. This is good because we don’t want to build sites with cheap content, we want to build sites with engaging content that attracts visitors and converts visitors into leads and leads into patients. So the updates are good, they don’t affect a properly run website, but what we saw and what we continue to see is that when we look at search volume trends for traffic on a lot of sites that we watch, we see a huge spike in search traffic. At the end of 2010, and throughout 2011, is what happens in the beginning of 2012. We see traffic drop-off of many sites that we monitor and what this is right there is when Google started releasing their Panda and Penguin Updates. A lot of these sites dropped from hundreds and thousands of search visits-per-month down to twenties, tens and even zero. This occurred because they didn’t have good content. Google wasn’t as smart as they are now and they couldn’t figure out what was good content back then. Today Google has much better signals on what is good content. One of those signals being social shares and what other people are saying about your content. Now where that comes into play is, as we said, it is one thing to publish the content, but we really need to be engaging with the content and that’s where again social media comes in.
When you publish new pages of content you can share it out to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and other Social Networks. It’s better to only choose a couple that you can actually be engaged in, instead of blasting it out to many and not really adding much value to each. We want to share the content, we want to be engaged with theses social networks so that when we do share new content, people will remark on our content, they’ll comment on our content and they’ll be more likely to share our content. What goes into play there is, we want to identify the right people to be engaged with because there’re a lot of people on those websites with no authority, having no influence, no clout, or very little authority, influence, or clout. We want to find the right prospects that have an audience, an engaged audience with themselves and they have influence with that audience, so that they can share our content, build links, and also drive traffic back to our site. That’s where you need to be very strategic in your social media activity. You want to find social media users, who have their own sites, clout, and influence within their own site which has authority and traffic and is on topic with your topic. Those are the people we want to start to network with and engage with on social media so that when we publish new content, they’re going to notice it and they’re going to comment on it, and share it. Some might even link to this new content from their Blog, with a little nudging from us and that’s where the email component comes in as we build relationships with these and other influencers who have these other sites. We email them and what we end up doing with them is creating more awareness for your content and we’re networking with these individuals who have influence, we’re building relationships and we’re creating engagement with the right people, people who have influence and who actually have the power to create a link back to your site. Linking back to your site builds authority and with that authority you’re going to see more search engine traffic. So content is Step #1, but building this authority through strategic networking on the web will build authority back to your site.
Now last year was also the case where you didn’t have to go through this whole process. For years it worked where you could simply buy some links, Google wasn’t as smart then and it almost seemed Google didn’t care if people were buying links. Another thing that happened this Spring was the drop-off in traffic and that drop-off is directly related to sites that were buying links. These sites weren’t getting genuine editorial links that were built through this relationship, they were simply opening their checkbooks and buying links that didn’t provide users with much value. Now what we see with those sites is Google got smarter, their traffic dropped-off and has become almost nothing in most cases. We call these paid links (Spammy Links) are against Google’s Terms-of-Service, Terms-of-Use. Spammy Links aren’t illegal, but as Google has shown here, Google penalizes sites that use them. So you want to make sure that whoever is working on your site isn’t buying links for you because it will actually end up hurting your site and hurt your rankings. If Google hasn’t caught onto it yet, they’re likely going to! Google is getting very smart in regard to the purchasing of links. We also want to make sure we’re writing good quality engaging content targeted towards our audience. Good and engaging content is key to building this audience. We want to build content that’s targeted toward this audience so that they want to read it, they want to engage with it, they want to interact with it, and they want to bring traffic back to our site because of the content. Gone are the days when you can have just anyone read an article, rewrite it, put it into their own words and publish it onto your site. Google’s not going to give you a whole lot of credit for that article, you won’t get the long-term rankings you used to get and as Google continues to get smarter, things will become even more difficult, but in reality it leads to a better web. We don’t want a web full of non-engaging content, we want a web full of interesting and informative ideas and that’s what sparks and motivates this entire process.
I hope that was educational for you! I just wanted to give a little insight into the changes that have happened this Spring through Google and throughout this Summer. I hope you understand now what it takes to succeed with your website.
Have a Great Week and we’ll talk to you next week! Bye!