Essential in SEO – Quality Content

Few aspects of good SEO are as important as quality content. Unfortunately, most newcomers to the internet marketing world think of quality content as text that is stuffed with keywords. While keywords are an essential aspect of SEO, overuse is a good way to get penalized in the way of lower rankings, or banned altogether from the listings. Many new marketers are so excited to get a website up quickly and as cheaply as possible, that they resort to text – any text, as long as it is loaded with keywords, never giving thought to the importance of quality content. Today, Google places a great deal of value on good content that offers value to the reader. In fact, unique, high quality content is fast becoming a priority over text that is primarily written to optimize the page for keywords.

What is quality content, really? Simply put, it provides information that the reader finds useful or of value. The content could be news-related, how-to information, or anything that captures the reader’s attention, leaving him or her more informed than before reading the content. For years, the saying “content is King” has been popular as it applies online; this is just as true today as it was a decade ago. Considering the fact that the entire internet is made up of content, it’s easy to see why today, quality is becoming more important than ever as search engines strive to deliver the most relevant, useful information to searchers.

When you think about it, quality content just makes good sense for a marketer, even if it may be a bit more difficult to write. The word “marketing” means to offer a product or service that would be beneficial in some way to your target audience. In order to convince or persuade your visitor to buy, the content must be enticing, persuasive, a type of “warm up” to the sell. Content that is simply stuffed with keywords will not be effective in marketing your product, as visitors will leave quickly when they find nothing of value on your site. Quality content, in essence, can literally take some of the other aspects of marketing out of your hands, as other websites, blogs, and members of forums may link to your great content, effectively marketing your website for you. All because of great content.

While it’s easy to zero in on keywords, this is not the only thing that matters when you want to achieve success as a marketer online. There are many aspects of effective SEO, but quality content is hard to beat both in terms of search engine ranking, increased sales/leads and higher conversion rates. No, internet marketing is not easy, and is in fact a balancing act. That being said, while keywords are important, it’s quality content that will help you beat the odds every time, so that your internet marketing career soars to the highest possible level of success.

Essential in SEO – Unique Content

Whether you have been around the internet for 10 years or 10 minutes, as a marketer you probably know that duplicate content is a definite no-no online. However, unique content is inextricably linked to this issue; in fact, while the entire internet “universe” is very familiar with the term “unique content,” it’s likely that this came about as a result of the whole issue of duplicate content, and what exactly that means. Chances are that if you read about the definition of duplicate content on a forum, blog and website, you would get three different definitions. This seems to be an area that is a bit “gray,” so to speak, as it doesn’t seem that anyone is 100% positive regarding what duplicate content actually is.

What is clear is that when you take website copy straight from another site and place it on your own, it is duplicate content (and plagiarism, in fact). For years, marketers have argued back and forth about article directories, and how placing a single article on several article directories results in duplicate content. In fact, this is NOT duplicate content – it is syndication. Other webmasters use article directories as a source of content for their own websites, however they will not be penalized for duplicate content. Duplicate content actually applies more to your own website than others. If you put a page of content on your own site twice, and those pages are exactly the same, it is considered duplicate content.

Now, on to unique content and its importance. Many marketers feel that if a piece of content (article, web page, etc.) passes CopyScape or other plagiarism software, they have unique content. And this is true, to a point. However, an article can be “spun” in a way that while it says exactly the same thing, the words are simply switched around or synonyms used so that the text passes CopyScape. Is this unique content? That’s questionable.

In our view, unique content is pure content, text that is truly original and that has been written from scratch rather than spun from other content. Many marketers may visit several different websites, take a paragraph here and a paragraph there from each, then put their own “spin” on it. Is this unique content? It’s hard to say, but it seems that in the true sense of the word, unique content would be content that offers a perspective, opinion or fact that has not been already discussed to excess online. Regardless of the true meaning, unique content is what helps websites rank well in the search engine results.

In all honesty, unique content is likely a comfortable medium in between two extremes; a new perspective that is freshly written by a real person, even though it may cover ground that has been discussed before (this is particularly true in competitive or popular niches, where it’s hard to find a subject that hasn’t already been covered thoroughly). Content that is well written, informational and written from a fresh perspective vs. rehashed content that is the “same old thing” every other website in your niche offers is highly recommended if you want to succeed online.

SEO Keyword Placement – Throwing Keywords in Your Content Haphazardly is a Mistake

You know enough about SEO to know that you need to use your targeted keywords in your content. If you’re writing content for your website, perhaps you’re attempting to achieve 3% or 4% keyword density for the page. So, if your web page is 600 words, you can just throw your chosen keywords in about 20 or 25 times here and there and be done with it, right? Not so fast. While a good keyword volume is important for achieving higher ranking in the search engines, where you put your keywords can make the difference in whether your website lands on page two, or that highly-coveted first page for all to see.

While titles don’t necessarily ALWAYS have to contain the keyword (particularly on blogs, where it can begin to look a bit redundant to the reader), it is a good idea to use your keyword in the title of an article, or the title of a web page, for example. Even on blogs, use your keyword in your titles frequently, just not every single time. Your content (including titles) should flow in a way that is natural to your reader, not forced, as content written for SEO purposes can often sound.

So, where should you place your keywords when writing a page of content? When possible, it’s a good idea to use your keyword in your first sentence if it works in well. Some SEO experts also advise to use it again in the last sentence of the first paragraph, as well as in the final sentence of the article. Other than those specific places, it’s recommended that sprinkle your keywords naturally throughout your text, in a way that is comfortable for your reader and that won’t stand out like a sore thumb. Depending upon your keyword, it may be that the beginning of a sentence sounds more natural. What you want to avoid is content that reads like a garbled bunch of gibberish to your visitor – nothing will run him/her off faster!