Rather than reiterate my presentation at the Boston SEO Meetup, I asked my friend Nancy Wolff Leary to offer her take-aways from my talk “Panda-monium: How to Panda-proof your content now & for future algo-evolution.”
By Nancy Wolff Leary
I attended Suzanne’s recent presentation “Panda-monium: How to Panda-proof your content now & for future algo-evolution” at the Boston SEO & Internet Marketing Group. I am a passionate advocate for online usability, so Suzanne’s recommendations to focus content on the user were music to my ears.
As a small business owner, I can’t afford to gamble on risky techniques, even if such methods might occasionally reap big rewards in terms of my online visibility. As algorithm changes, such as Google’s recent Panda update show, those risky approaches can land you in the bottom of search engine listings.
I advocate use of disciplined content-building techniques that will continue to work even when Google decides to flex their search algorithm muscle. Creating a process to provide an ongoing source of interesting, original, user-focused content for your blog, website, and social media profiles will keep users engaged and your traffic growing.
Suzanne discussed use of quality content tools
Building quality content means creating fresh, relevant, and useful information for your users. It can be a challenge to keep the creative juices flowing.
By establishing Google Alerts for relevant terms – including your competitors’ products – you create an idea stream to employ in your social media comments and blog posts.
Another way to engage users and create a dialogue is to ask questions of your users, perhaps using the new Facebook polling feature.
If you aren’t sure what questions to ask, try using LinkedIn Answers – yet another of Suzanne’s suggestions. See what questions are being asked on LinkedIn, answer them, and then build blog content around topics of interest to your target audience.
Quality content tactics
Another area of Suzanne’s recent presentation that really resonated with me was the use of quality content tactics. By creating an editorial or content calendar, you can extend the life of a story, both repurposing content effectively and leveraging it in social media to broaden the online reach of the story.
Just as a traditional newspaper continues reporting on a story for days, providing new tidbits of content, you can use techniques to extend the life of your social media or blog post:
Tease the story, tell the story, ask for (and respond to) opinions and tell about the outcome of an event or story.
Engaging keyword use
Use of relevant terms, or keywords, can help boost your search engine results, but you need to maintain a user-centric focus. As Suzanne mentioned in her presentation, it’s important to not keyword-stuff your content.
Here’s a technique to balance the need to maintain a user focus with the use of relevant terms for the search engines:
Try using your website analytics to see which terms customers are using to find your site, so you can create content that is both keyword-relevant and customer-focused.
By using quality content tools and tactics, you won’t have to worry about aggressive pandas who want to chase your company off the search results pages.