Since Google’s Penguin updates, there has been a lot more emphasis on quality over quantity. It isn’t about how much keyword-rich content you have or about how many sites are linking back to you. If the quality of your content and back links is bad, not only will you not rank well, but there’s a good chance you might be penalized as well.
While it’s been a while since these updates, there are still a lot of sites that have yet to recover. There are also sites whose owners have followed outdated advice and methods and as a result have also been hit by algorithmic or manual penalties. If you happen to own a site that’s one or the other, here are some content marketing tips to help you repair your site, improve your content, and hopefully regain a good chunk of the traffic you are used to getting.
Get the Basics Out of the Way
One of the first things of order should be to get the basics out of the way. Click Intelligence UK recommends:
Look for poor quality backlinks, broken links, over-optimized anchor text and other known factors to determine what’s causing your site to take a hit.
After all, you may not actually be getting hit by a penalty, but those small things can still impact your position in the rankings. Think of it as putting the children to bed so you can focus on your work.
Create Valuable Resources That People Will Want To Link To
When people think of content creation, they think of writing a whole bunch of articles. However, some kinds of content are more easily promotable than others and it is these kinds of content you should try to focus on if you want people to link naturally to you fast. According to Pratik Dholakiya of Search Engine Watch, a resource or “linkable asset” as he calls it, should have two or more of the following qualities in order to be elevated above ordinary content:
* Emotional Impact
Dholakiya lists a few examples of such assets:
* Slide Presentations
* Video Marketing
* Press Releases
* Case Studies
* Helpful Content Guides
These are the kinds of resources that people naturally want to link to and produce exactly the kind of user behavior that Google and other search engines just love. Many of the best websites are built around these resources and it keeps them coming back.
Blog to Build an Audience
Most internet marketers are already aware of the importance of blogging for an audience. However, a lot of them tend to focus on marketing their brand, product or service. This shouldn’t be the case when it comes to blogging if you want to generate a following. According to Content Standard:
The way for content marketers to fix or avoid problems created by the Penguin 2.0 updates is to write their content with human readers in mind and let the targeted keywords appear naturally in the copy. Avoiding overly promotional or “filler” content that is simply there to ensure more usage of a given keyword is important – not only to avoid potential negative search performance, but also to ensure that the audience actually engages, learns from, enjoys and shares that content.
One good piece of advice is to think of your blog as a media outlet rather than a sales channel. It certainly sounds counter-productive, but you won’t come off as genuine if the entire blog serves as one big advertisement. Think about your readers’ needs and wants rather than your own to keep them coming back and sharing your content. Keep in mind that a blog takes users away from your sales page. Your blog needs to offer significant value to readers to keep them on your site then include a call to action every now and then for relevant articles so your sales page receives some loving too.
Augment Your Link Building
While creating linkable assets and generating quality content will naturally build links for you through user behavior and other sites picking up on your content to link back to it, this can still be a bit slow. Of course, you can speed the process up a bit as long as you don’t do anything spammy. Pratik Dholakiya says on E2MSolutions:
While our link building efforts are founded on basic principles, and we continue to rely on mainstays (like guest posting), we update our link building strategy each month. It’s important to experiment and use different approaches if you want to earn the hard links. Likewise, you should reevaluate your link building strategy based on where you are in the SEO cycle. Any particular strategy ultimately faces diminishing returns. You need to ‘move up a level’ every once in a while in order to keep showing meaningful results.
Grow Your Referral Traffic from Sources Other Than Google
For most sites, Google is often the single largest source of traffic. However, if you were to be hit by another update or for some reason Google went under, you would be stuck in a bad position with little other referral traffic to rely on. Dholakiya also says:
Other than the obvious fact that it’s not good to rely on Google alone for your traffic, referrals generate all kinds of positive signals that Google can pick up on. These ‘legitimize’ your site and allow it to pass through various Google filters.
Whether you’re recovering from a manual or algorithmic penalty, it’s important to have patience. Rushing your SEO was what got you into that trouble in the first place, so rushing your recovery will be just as unproductive and possibly as damaging. It’s not worth blowing your recovery budget on another high risk move that might dig an even deeper hole than you’re already in. It can take anywhere from weeks to months to resolve all the issues on your site depending on just how bad it’s gotten.