Content is crucial for the success of any small business. Have you ever wondered why some brands can exponentially grow their organic traffic through digital content more than others? Content expert and founder of Earned Media, Nick Brogden reveals all.
If you want your brand’s content to shine, it’s important to stay up-to-date with Google’s ever-changing algorithm and see how other brands respond.
Let’s explore what’s happening and how you can make your online content stand out.
Setting the stage
Within the last year, Google rolled out two significant algorithm updates, these being:
- E-A-T stands for ‘expertise, authority and trust’.
- Helpful Content Update prioritises content that’s truly helpful and valuable to readers.
The recent algorithm changes all boil down to one thing: Google wants to see businesses create better content.
On the surface level, it seems like a piece of cake or something you can brush off. But the truth is, creating quality digital content is trickier than you might think. Many factors are at play that determine what makes great content, and it takes time and effort to get it right.
Tech expert Tracy Sheen explains Google’s E.A.T algorithm:
Now, let me let you in on a little secret. Smaller brands can save big on digital marketing by studying what larger competitors are doing.
Say you need to make a landing page. Then find a brand that has invested millions into A/B testing their landing page with ads, and create a similar page that will likely boost sales and convert better.
The same concept also applies to content. This leads me to my next point: what simple yet effective lessons can you easily apply to your business right now?
Showing expertise, authority and trust
One thing I’m seeing more common is that brands showcase a writer’s expertise (or sometimes several writers).
1. Use multiple writers
Many brands nowadays use multiple writers to draw on expertise.
In the example below, you’ll notice that this article from Ahrefs was co-written by two experts: Joshua Hardwick (head of marketing) and Sam Oh (VP of marketing).
Google is also using multiple writers sometimes too.
2. Provide unquestionable author credibility
Cats.com is an affiliate website that caters to all things about cats. While many affiliate sites have been smashed with organic search rankings, many seeing a massive decline in web traffic, Cats.com is crushing it.
That’s because all of their digital content is written by licensed professional veterans.
It’s not just Cats.com showcasing a writer’s credentials as a key difference in content quality. Plenty of other brands are doing this, for example, Stockspot.
3. Add a helpful content widget
Another trend I’ve been seeing is that more brands include helpful content widgets in their content.
This strategy is not only clever but also empowers viewers to provide valuable feedback on specific content, which can help improve accuracy and relevance by flagging missing, outdated, or incorrect information.
But it also ties into Google’s Helpful Content algorithm update, as its primary aim is to enhance the overall usefulness of content for readers.
Here’s an example from Kinsta, from their website’s technical knowledge base section.
Google also does this with their support articles, which even has an additional section for people to get more help.
4. Analyse your metrics
Have you checked on one of your pieces of website content lately and noticed that it’s not doing as well as it used to in Google Search rankings?
To get your content back on track, let’s investigate what might be causing the drop in rankings and find ways to improve them. There may be room for improvement or adjustments to help it perform better.
- Was any of your content created by ghostwriters or AI?
- Can you add or show expertise to your content?
- Do any of your blog articles have a high bounce rate?
Bounce rate importance
Recently, I noticed some pages with good rankings had dropped significantly. This was due to a high bounce rate.
Under one analysis, I found a long-form piece of digital content written by an expert that did not match user search intent. This meant that people quickly exited the page and clicked on other pages after viewing that page. This signalled to Google that the content could have been more helpful, resulting in the page getting devalued and pushed down in rankings.
So, what was wrong?
Basically, the content was a bit too long and didn’t quite answer people’s search queries, so people weren’t sticking around to read it. The page needed to be slimmed down and made more concise to fix it.
Nowadays, it’s super important to make content that shows you’re a real pro, that you know your stuff, and that people can trust you. And to top it off, it’s got to be useful to your readers too.
Here are some key takeaways:
- Look at what some of the bigger players in your industry are doing. Don’t stop at Australia; look at what big companies in the States are doing too.
- The importance of a writer’s expertise and credentials should be considered. If your content does not share expertise, then consider hiring an expert (e.g., a journalist, a veteran, etc.) to write for your brand.
- Consider adding a helpful content widget to get user feedback to improve your content.
- If a page has a high bounce rate (i.e. people clicking on a page and leaving quickly), then take a closer look at that page to find out why that is happening. Then fix it.
I hope you found this article useful (no pun intended). It would mean a lot to me if you could leave a comment below, letting me know if the article helped you out in any way.
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