Ask even the most seasoned Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists and they’ll tell you that the rules of the game are constantly changing. Your website is at the mercy of the search engines and their algorithms. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask – they all keep their cards held close to their chest as far as what, exactly, causes one website to rank higher than another in their search results. Aside from Bing looking at what Google’s results give in order to augment their own results, nobody really knows the rules of the game.
But one thing that is clear is that your website content, i.e., the words on the page and behind the scenes (metatags, titles, captions, etc.) play an important role. Besides helping you rank higher in the organic search results, the words on the page are also crucial in influencing the people who actually wind up on your page – however they wound up there.
Google’s Adwords, for one, does a wonderful thing that naturally results in better web content for everyone. One of their key search criteria is relevance. Is the copy on your page relevant to the search terms that you have paid for? Relevance can only help the organic, non-paid results as well. If you are writing your content with an eye toward Google’s relevance criteria, you can only make your copy better.
High-value website content accomplishes 5 things:
1. People will stay on your website longer.
2. Creates a feeling of trust on the part of the reader.
3. Encourages people to share your page with others.
4. Increases the likelihood that other websites will link to yours.
5. Improves your SEO.
But besides checking your organic rankings from the search engines, how do you know if you have succeeded in creating engaging content for your website? You need to be monitoring visits to your page and how long visitors stay, where they go and what they click on:
Time – how much time to prospects spend viewing various pages?
Depth – do prospects read one page and leave your website or do they click links and delve further into the site?
Storyline – are they following a directed path according to the content, or do they click around aimlessly?
Interaction – are you engaging your visitors repeatedly?
Social – is your content being shared in blogs, on Twitter, Facebook and other social sites?
Opt-in – if you have gated content, what percentage of visitors is choosing to sign up to view it or participate?
Referrals – are visitors only coming because you emailed them, or are they being referred to visit from other prospects, via Twitter, Facebook or other sources?
For a more in depth discussion of the topics listed above, see this blog from Marketing Interactions.
You should always be monitoring your website for relevance and paying attention to your analytics in order to gauge the success of the content. If you aren’t firing on at least 5 of the 7 pistons listed above, you’re website content engine is misfiring.
At bloomfield knoble, we are passionate about analytics – researching our clients’ needs from the beginning so that we deliver relevant content and then following up with more research and analysis to make sure our deliverables remain relevant. As fast as the rules change, it’s important to know where you stand every second of the game.