So your site was hit by Panda. Then it was hit by Penguin. Then, Hummingbird came along. Don’t worry, all is not lost, my friend. It’s just that the old SEO techniques that you’ve used over the past few years need to be thrown out the window and replaced with ones that work after these three major algorithms changes. The beautiful part about new SEO is that the changes will make your site look more professional and they will be more likely to weather new Google algorithms.
For years, people have been saying, “Only post content that is between 350 and 500 words. Search engines like short because no one will take the time to read longer pieces.” This simply is not true! There are people out there craving in-depth information, and after Hummingbird, the sites providing large slices instead of little tastes are getting Google love.
Entrepreneurial genius Neil Patel recently did some research on this. He found that pages with over 2,000 words had higher page rankings. The higher the word count, the higher they ranked. You can read his entire post here: How Content Length Affects Rankings and Conversions.
Pretty shocking, huh?
Now, just adding words to your content isn’t going to cut it, either. Each piece needs to be chock full of interesting, engaging and helpful information. For example, you could write a quick how-to blog post or you can give your reader the how-to, the whys, upkeep tips, advice on where to find supplies, etc. To keep it all engaging, use your voice. Talk to the reader like you would a good buddy. Stiff and business-like text is what bores readers, not long text.
You used to hear that having people link to your site was the key to getting more Google love. This is still true, but giving others link love is almost as helpful, now. Add a couple of outgoing links to content to get search engine friendliness. These links will help add usefulness to your article by referring readers to information they need. That’s why Google likes sites that offer outgoing links.
Grab the Mojo by the Tail
Another old SEO tip was to fill your content with short keywords that people may use to find your article. People took this to heart and created content so full of keywords it was a bunch of gibberish. Panda was almost solely created to wipe out sites that overused keyword stuffing.
Not only is keyword stuffing out, short keywords are also out. It is all about long-tail keywords now. That’s right, the keywords that everyone told you not to bother with before are now the key players in the search engine game.
So from now on, don’t think of keywords, per say, think of phrases. For example, one website I used to do a lot of SEO work for focused on drawing techniques. One of the most popular terms used to find articles on the site weren’t “drawing” or “art,” it was “how use oil pastels.” The article I wrote to draw in people who searched for that term reaped over 100,000 views, which is a massive amount for art related content. Even back before Panda, phrases were a great way to draw in traffic for sites that typically weren’t big traffic pullers.
Like I mentioned before, keyword stuffing is the death of website content. SEO should come organically, meaning, don’t worry about jamming your article full of keywords. If a keyword ends up in your article, great, but don’t plan to put a certain keyword in every hundred words or whatever. If it happens it happens. Search engines are smart enough to find your content without all the keywords.
Seize People’s Attention
Bounce rates have always been important to search engines, now more than ever. A bounce rate is the percentage of people that leave your site after visiting only one page. There are plenty of ways to lower your bounce rate and encourage your visitors to head on over to other parts of your site:
· Separate your long content into two or three pages so that your visitor has to click to the second page to read to the end of the content
· Add a “For more information” box at the bottom of a blog post or article that links to content on related topics
· Add a list of your most popular content to the sidebar of your blog or site to entice readers to click
Google+ to Boost Google’s Ego
· Make a Google+ page for your site
· Add your site to your links on your personal Google+ account
· Share new posts on your Google+ page