How to Blast Off Your SEO Content and Rankings for 2014 | Express Writers

How to Blast Off Your SEO Content and Rankings for 2014

by | Dec 12, 2013 | SEO | 0 comments

Let’s face it; the New Year is less than a month away and that means it’s time for New Year Resolutions. While most people are talking about the usual — being a nicer person, losing weight, etc. — you should be focusing on how to boost your SEO content and rankings for 2014. If one of your personal resolutions is to make more money through your website, business and better conversions, having serious growth in your rankings is a great start.

 

3…2…1… Lift Off! Launch Your 2014 SEO Content Plan

You’re not the only one creating content. In fact, about 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared on the Internet every day, according to a blog by KISSMetrics. Yes, you read that right. This fact pretty much spells out this next one—if your content isn’t standing out among the millions, you’re probably not going to get very far with your website in 2014.

 

The Future (Or As We Call It 2014)

Content marketing is expected to overtake social media. Content will start to deliver in terms of brand awareness, value, links, discussions, etc. Also, 2014 is likely to bring along some better SEO measurement tools, which means you can see how well your content is doing and not keep hoping it’s doing well.

 

In 2013 it was already pointed out that most businesses and website owners don’t invest in their content. If you’re one of them there’s no need to be ashamed, but it is time to start moving. Content is crucial to the development of your website and brand. Google wants content — if you hadn’t already noticed from their headlines lately.

 

It means that if you want to get more traffic from Google, you first need to satisfy their thirst for content.

 

Your #1 on your New Year’s Resolution list should be to improve your website rankings. So where do you start? Well you won’t have to sift through the Webmaster Tools guides or even read multiple articles, because we’ve assembled the best of the best when it comes to boosting your rank for 2014.

 
editorial content calendar
 

Create a Content Calendar, Seriously

It’s time to fill out a calendar for 2014 and we’re not referring to anyone’s birthdates or appointments. A content calendar spells out what you’ll post and when during each month. All you need to get started is a blank calendar — yes, it really is that simple.

 

You’ll spend some time pre-planning — so don’t write anything down in permanent marker or pen just yet.

 

If a calendar and your handwriting aren’t appealing, there are more comprehensive planning tools available online (some are free), according to Forbes.

A few popular calendar tools to consider are:

 

Plan Themes Monthly — Not By the Seat of Your Pants

There is always a time of the year or month that has something theme-worthy. This month, for example, you will have Christmas, New Year’s, etc. January, the first month of the New Year is the start of something new and fresh – a perfect theme for January blogs.

Month-inspired themes make writing more fun and are likely to attract more organic searches than you think. This is because around these times of the year people are searching about that holiday — and if you’re writing about it you might be seen.

Also, themed articles give you an opportunity to link to other articles in that same theme or keep readers coming back to see the newest post by letting them know to “stay tuned”, according to an article from Unbounce.com.

 

Not sure where to get started for themes? Here are just a few ideas:

  • January – Time for New Year’s Day, starting something new, resolutions for the New Year, winter, etc.
  • February – It’s the month of love, do we really need to give you more?
  • March – Everyone loves St. Patty’s Day -or just theme it on the color green.
  • April – Spring is in full bloom and so are the flowers. Use that for inspiration.
  • May – Summer is almost here and there are plenty of holidays to celebrate.

 
identifying content goals
 

Identify Your Content Goals

What do you want from your content? If you don’t have an obtainable goal, you won’t really have much purpose to your content. For example, if your goal is to get viewers to visit your ecommerce store, do you include links or calls-to-action to encourage them to click over?

Or, for example, if you use your blog to get people to follow you on social media, do you tell them to follow you or include links to your social media account(s)?

Whatever your purpose might be, you need to define it before you write your content. 2014 is all about attracting more attention, but if you don’t know the type of attention you want, you cannot convince the Internet users to give it to you.

Develop your pieces with one of four of the common goals in mind. Don’t try to combine all four goals together. Instead, work all of your pieces toward a single goal each month.

 

The four most common goals for content include:

  1. Getting Shared
  2. Earning Links To Your Content
  3. Encouraging Comments
  4. Attracting New Leads
  5. Making Sales

 

Pick one out of these four and use that as your purpose in your content. Your call-to-action should tell the reader your purpose too.

 
picking your content strategy
 

Pick Your Content Strategy

There are pieces of content that work for all strategies and some that should be left out — depending on the goal you choose. Once you’ve selected from the four goals above (remember you should only pick one) it’s time to decide which content types work for your objective.

 

Think about it: what types of content are shared the most within your goal? What type of content will get the most response?

 

Some common web content types to choose from include:

 

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Info graphics
  • Slideshows
  • Articles
  • Tutorials
  • Press Releases
  • EBooks
  • Landing pages

 

If you’re not writing in the content category that appeals to your goal, you’re wasting time and money.

What you’ve just read is a quick rundown of what makes a good content strategy. At Express, we’ve discussed
content strategies in detail quite a few times, but hopefully this refresher jogs your memory for 2014.

 

Go Long!

No, we aren’t talking about football. We’re talking about the length of your content. These days’ content matters and the days of writing 200 to 500 words are over. Search engines like to see length, because to them length is more in-depth and quality than a short 200 word blog.

So how long should your blogs and articles be? There’s no magic number really. However, Google is favoring longer blogs and guides by labeling them as “important” and ranking them at higher authority than those posting 200 to 500 words.

This doesn’t mean you have to write 10,000 or even 15,000 word blogs daily. But you should have a mixture of long and short posts on your website. Consider writing one or two posts a bit longer (somewhere over 1500 words) posts per week and leave the rest of the week to your short, sweet posts.

 

Quality Above All Else

Even if you post a 2,000 word blog, if it doesn’t have quality information you won’t get very far with the search engines.

Quality is #1 when it comes to Google. If your 2,000 word blog is nothing but you jabbering on and on about squat you won’t get a high rank for 2014.

Google’s Hummingbird sent a clear and direct message to all content marketers: Focus on the content — don’t worry about the keywords.

Even Google’s quality guidelines state they’re looking for pages that are written for users, not search engines. They want readers to learn and not be deceived. Also, web pages that use tricks to encourage higher rankings will be blacklisted.

 

So what is good content?

Write content with a purpose. Your content should have a purpose to it and the reader should be introduced to that purpose. You can be as complex or as simple as you’d like — but you need to deliver a message.

Create content with real value — not fluff. Your content should be engaging and useful to your target reader. This mean you will need to have entertaining and positive content that sparks a response of some sort from the reader.

Back up what you say with high-quality links. Links aren’t dead — regardless of what you’ve heard. Your content should be well-researched and attributed. If you use statistics, quote your source and link to a high-quality website. This will not only build your credibility with your readers, but those links to high-ranking sites can help boost your rank too.

 

If these don’t spell it out enough. Consider these attributes of fine, quality work:

  • Quality content is something Google feels is worth sharing.
  • Quality content has real answers to real questions.
  • Quality content is something people want to read and keep reading.
  • Quality content is something people are looking for and would talk with friends about.
  • Quality content gets shared after its read.

 

Unfortunately quality can be highly subjective. What you consider quality might not be what others consider quality. So where do you start? Your content should be quality as it is defined by your brand. What would your target or current customers expect from your brand’s content and products? The answer to this question is the answer to your level of quality.

 
preparing for 2014 content strategy
 

8 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for 2014

You have gotten the basics above about what 2014 has to offer. Now it’s time to give you 12 tasks that you should complete before December 31st comes around. By preparing for 2014 now you’ll be a step ahead of the competition (the people likely to wait until January 1st to start optimizing properly).

  1. Invest Now – Higher quality means you need to invest more. Bottom line. It’s time to hire the best writers and best graphic artists to create your content for 2014. If that means boosting the budget for content creation for 2014, find a way to wiggle a few extra bucks over to the content creation column.
  2. Create a Calendar – Decide when and how often you’ll post and write those dates on your calendar. Stick with them — Google expects it from you.
  3. Change Up Your Strategy – If you haven’t seen a budget in your rank for 2013, don’t expect much difference in 2014. Instead, change up your strategy and create a new one for 2014.
  4. Get to Know Your Readers – Do some research and decide who your readers are. What do they want to read? What content talks best to them? Then, implement it.
  5. Check for Duplicate Content – Run all of your content through a plagiarism checker and make sure it’s 100 percent unique.
  6. Use SEO-Friendly Content – Still use keywords, but don’t stuff your content with them or write for the keywords only. Instead write for the reader first, search engine second.
  7. Use Long Form and Short Form Together – Have a mixture of long and short posts in your content strategy. Try to integrate at least one long post per week to help boost your authority.
  8. Quit Using Poor Quality Backlinks – Axe the backlinks and start focusing on how you can link to other high-ranking sites naturally.

 

By implementing these tips and preparing before 2014 comes around, you’ll be ready for whatever changes Google plans on making for the New Year. Also, by starting on a plan for 2014 now you can strategize and budget more efficiently, which means you won’t be scrambling like everyone else when a new change does come. Remember how Panda and Penguin hit websites hard (in some cases wiped them out)? Don’t let your website go down — boost it up for 2014.
 

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