Of all the advice you receive about using SEO to improve your ecommerce website’s performance, the simplest and probably the most difficult to achieve is this – create compelling content.
With the Panda update, Google has altered the way it ranks pages. Long tail and broad keywords with plenty of inbound and outbound links will still help, but that’s not enough anymore. Google is now placing less value on links and more value on quality content. It’s why you’ve probably heard the often-repeated phrase, “content is king.”
For example, Google is now ranking shallow pages aimed at long tail keywords much lower. And simply adding in a handful of deep, quality pages to your site isn’t enough. Google is measuring the overall content quality of your site, so in some cases, removing shallow content might serve you better than building new.
Unfortunately for many SEO specialists, who have for years been able to focus on things like keyword density and link building, determining what is a quality piece of content is a far more qualitative measure. There are some guidelines to follow, however.
First of all, write for your audience. You may post a long, deeply researched, highly technical piece of content on rocket science, but if your audience doesn’t care about that, Google will see the bounce rate, the lack of interaction with the content and rank you lower. Conversely, if you’re able to connect with your audience, that will likely lead to sharing on social sites and help it stand out. See another post on SEO research for help on identifying the right topics.
Moreover, the more content you create that identifies you as a thought leader, the more you become an authority, not only in the eye of the public but in Google’s eyes as well.
It’s not only about page rankings either. It’s almost universally true that quality content increases conversions on a website. People who trust what you say or write are more likely to trust your products. Quality content is more than just plain text as well. It might include a video. A compelling video can make for a great piece of content. Many ecommerce websites are doing just that, especially for their product detail pages.
Finally, quality content results in greater link building, which means more traffic and better results. It’s a win-win.
Ultimately, there’s no magic bullet for creating quality content. It’s a matter of having the right background knowledge, the right writer or spokesperson and delivering it in a way that’s easily consumed by your audience. In fact, I think the best piece of advice I can offer is to tell you to stop writing for the search engines. Write for your audience and the rest will follow. Google and the other search engines are going to continue to adjust their algorithms and the more they make adjustments the more they’re going to reward ecommerce sites that give their audience what they’re looking for, not sites that look to take advantage of a particular facet of an algorithm. Write for your audience and you’ll win in the end.
Want to learn more about SEO? Read the other articles from our SEO Strategy Series: