5 Ways to Make Your Website Grow
by Tim Rimington
Google’s recent algorithm update, Penguin, is the next step in Google’s commitment to serving quality web content to its users. While Google’s past efforts concentrated on penalising duplicate web content from content farms, scraping and so on, Penguin now penalises websites and blogs that offer little more than (in short) large volumes of inbound links that are coupled with low quality content.
Content marketers are now being forced to rely more on generating quality page content than ever before. As important as inbound links are, they’re now likely to have less impact if the pages they link to feature low quality content. Here’s are 5 ways to avoid Google’s latest penalties:
1. Build engaging page content and provide solutions
Pretty much every business or organisation sells something, and if you started the business, chances are you hold a passion for its products or services. That passion needs to shine through in your page text and images. The content must be engaging and it must provide a solution to a customer’s problem. Create page content that speaks to your customers in a language they understand and will identify with. This translates simply, to understanding your market and writing directly to them. Don’t write to search engines in a veiled attempt to attract attention.
2. Encourage your customers to get involved
Publish user polls and enable user comments on your blog posts. Do everything in your power to engage with your audience. Create discussions and converse with users who post comments on your blog pages. Don’t bury your blogs or user polls deep inside your website, create easy paths to both in an effort to drive traffic to these sources. Customers enjoy new things, so give them reason to return and change your Home page banners regularly, linking them to recent blog posts, user polls, etc.
3. Reach out to your audience and get social
Very few will pay attention to a shopkeeper who remains glued behind the front counter – get out there and engage with your customers. Ask them questions, provide solutions, and make the conversation interesting. By creating lively debate within your blog and web pages, you’re going to attract the more social elements of the web. And the bigger, more lively the crowd, the more people you’re going attract. In practice, this means engaging via the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ (experiment and find a channel that best suits your market), with the ultimate goal of driving traffic to key, relevant pages on your website and blog.
4. Be the authority in your marketplace
Customers go to where the strength is found, so unless you’re putting yourself out there people are unlikely to know that you exist, or even care. By being vocal and providing solutions and insight, your audience will sit up and listen, and use your information as their preferred point of reference. This may also mean becoming involved in relevant industry user forums and posting replies to user comments. Again, by demonstrating that you are the authority and trusted source in your field, people will be more likely to visit your website or blog than your opposition’s.
5. Know thy enemy
There’s no need to be paranoid but any good business keeps close watch on what its opposition is doing. If your key opposition is sporting a fresh modern approach to their website, make sure that yours doesn’t fall behind. Keep your website fresh and up to date at all times and try not to let it slip. Monitor your own website’s performance in Google against your key competitors, and make necessary adjustments as needed. This means accessing your Analytics account at least weekly and keeping an eye on stats and trends – and tweeking where needed. But above all, maintain quality page content and engage with your users.
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