BVM - April 2016 - page 11

Business View Magazine - April 2016 11
trust. Content that is riddled with grammar errors
and misspellings, uses bogus or outdated sources,
or is poorly organized will not only fail to rank well
with Google, it will not rank at all with consumers.
Before marking any project as complete, take the
time to read the text out loud to yourself. Reading
aloud forces you to go slower and hearing your words
can help you find clunky sentences and other errors.
Don’t be afraid to use tools like Grammarly, Ginger,
or PaperRater. While none of them are perfect, they
will all help you catch basic errors and typos.
2. Did I Follow Proper Formatting Guidelines?
Most people do not have time to carefully read ev-
erything they come across on the web. Instead,
people tend to skim through a page for the most im-
portant details and only go back and read everything
if something clues them in that it’s worth it. Make
skimming efficient by breaking up large blocks of
text with descriptive subheadings and breaking out
long lists into bullets. It is also helpful to keep most
of your web content light and conversational to make
it easy to digest quickly while keeping paragraphs
short so readers are not overwhelmed with huge
blocks of text.
3. Is My Content Useful?
Think about what people are trying to do when they
type keywords into a search engine. Create content
that addresses what they want to do rather than
the particular words they type. In other words, if
someone types “signs of a failing furnace” into a
search engine, it’s probable that her furnace is doing
something weird, and she wants to know if it’s fail-
ing. Don’t waste everyone’s time by writing about a
variety of home appliances while artfully working in
a few instances of “failing furnace” because that’s
your assigned keyword. Instead, be useful and pro-
vide a cohesive list of signs.
4. Is My Content Relevant?
Kardashians might draw a lot of attention, but they
do not have any business hanging around an appli-
ance repair website. Google’s algorithms are pretty
smart, and they can detect when you are trying to
piggyback on a hot topic to draw attention to yourself
and will not be fooled into thinking it’s quality con-
tent. Whenever it works out that a hot topic is rel-
evant to the industry you are writing for, then by all
means, use it. Otherwise, stick to topics that make
sense for the content’s destination.
5. Did I Use Keywords Correctly?
Even if you are writing something useful to support
a keyword phrase like “signs of a failing furnace,”
keyword stuffing will not earn you any love from
Google. Cramming a page with many instances of
a keyword may have been effective in the past, but
now it’s one of the fastest ways to get sent to the
bottom of the pile. Keep in mind that keyword stuff-
ing is not always intentional. If you are writing really
tight, highly-focused content around a particular key-
word, it can be easy to end up repeating it too many
times without realizing it. Do a quick search and if
your content has more than a few mentions, reword
your sentences or substitute synonyms instead.
Always Write for People
Understanding what makes Google give one page
the green light while dumping another is an essential
part of creating content for the Web. Quality content
may be only one of hundreds of factors, but it is one
that we have direct control over every time we cre-
ate something new. The easiest shortcut to creating
quality content is to make sure it is written for real
people who need help solving problems. After that,
check this list for a few technicalities and you’ll be
good to go.
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