Content is Even More Critical for Ranking Success
Google continues to emphasize that content quality is critical for ranking success. Ignore their warning at your own online peril.
But just what does “quality” mean to Google? Is it the length of the content? Is the number of keywords embedded in the article? Is it the number of views that the content gets?
Well, it is all of the above… and more.
EAT or Get Eaten
There is a principle called “EAT” that you should know about. Covered more extensively in an SEMRush article, EAT refers to the following concepts: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These concepts help the search engine to determine if a webpage has useful and quality content.
Many variables in the search algorithms help to determine if your content meets the standards of being expert, authoritative, and trustworthy. And they are modified and changed on a regular basis to keep you guessing (and SEO agencies testing.) But, there are a few core principles that will help to ensure that your published, online content meets these standards.
First, Know Your Audience
The quickest way to lose your audience is to ignore what is important to them. Creating buyer personas, should be one of the first things that you do to help you focus your content. A buyer persona lets you understand what your clients value and what type of content they are looking for.
If your audience is primarily top executives, then they may be looking for information on how to identify and hire the best resources to handle a company challenge.
If your audience is made up primarily of line managers, they may need help finding the right tools to help their team handle that challenge internally.
Giving your audience the right information helps to demonstrate your expertise and authoritativeness.
Next, Understand the Buying Journey
It is not just important to know what keywords your target audience will be looking for. It is equally important to understand their search ‘intent’ in order to provide the right information at the right time.
Is there search intent today to learn or to buy? How they search will determine this and allow you to get them to the best information for their current buying ‘state’. Conduct search intent research will help you map out the consumer ‘buying journey’ and go a long way in building trust with your audience.
Finally, Consider the Medium
As you build a clear ‘buyer persona’ and a ‘buyer journey’, you need to include some research on how your target audience prefers to consume their content. There are different formats available, and each target audience responds differently to each.
For example, if your target audience is teens, video will probably communicate your message best. An older audience may want to consume the written word. Busy execs might want a quick overview of the topic, while engineers may prefer a longer, in-depth dive into the topic.
Keep ‘EAT’ – Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness in mind as you plan and create your website and online content. Always consider backing up your claims with statistics and facts. Link those stats to reputable sites — especially those that are .edu or .gov sites, which are generally considered highly trustworthy. Get backlinks from authoritative websites if possible, as that elevates your website’s credibility.
And keep in mind that this does not create immediate impact for your websites rankings and traffic. But, when it does increase your rankings, it will have long-lasting effect. And that will be some of the best marketing ROI that you can hope for.