What Not to Do
In the past Google’s algorithms placed heavy importance on keywords, so people would create dozens of websites and fill them with the same keywords over and over again. For example, Chinese food, Tasty Chinese food, Chicken and Broccoli, Beef and Broccoli...you get the idea.
Google quickly became wise to all these bogus sites and actually started punishing websites that used keyword-stuffing. At the same time, Google started rewarding websites that posted unique, compelling content with only relevant keywords.
When Google ranks a website it will either be punished and ranked low on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP), or rewarded and ranked higher. The higher your website ranks, the more likely people will see it -- because let’s be honest, who scrolls to page 3, or even page 2, of Google search results?
So how can you fill your website with unique, compelling content that will help you reach more potential customers?
We’ve got a few tips.
1. Outsourcing Content Creation
There are loads of great websites that offer professional content writing services to fit each website owner’s individual needs and budgets. Here are just a few examples:
Contently: Contently connects freelance wordsmiths with businesses and brands that are seeking strong storytelling for their websites. It uses a combination of specialized software, top-tier talent, and targeted distribution to offer clients detailed analytics and a high return on investment.
Scripted: Launched in 2011, Scripted specializes exclusively in pairing qualified writers with businesses looking for captivating content, and currently has a pool of more than 7,000 freelancers. By asking writers to declare their areas of expertise, it matches knowledgeable scribes with small businesses, agencies, and enterprises seeking content about a particular topic.
Textbroker: Textbroker offers both self-service and managed-service models. With self-service, you can browse content writers yourself, while managed-service lets you outsource your content creation. It places a great emphasis on providing writing that is optimized for search engines, and stands by its writers with a money-back guarantee.
2. Add a Blog to Your Site
Google doesn’t just value quality content; it values current content. This means that people who add new content to their websites on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis have a better chance at ranking high on the SERP. This is where a blog can really come in handy. It gives you the opportunity to post unique content, and keep your site current—two things Google loves.
Moreover, a blog that provides useful information can be a great value to your customers or readers. For example, if you own a restaurant, you can use your weekly blog as an opportunity to post post cooking tips. If you sell furniture, you can use your blog to post home improvement/DIY projects. These are practical ideas that customers and readers can actually use. And when people enjoy your content, they tend to share it—another Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactic that can get your website ranked higher on the SERP.
Now, you might be asking yourself, it’s all very nice to talk about blogs, but how can I actually build a blog on my website? Simple: Use a blog builder, which can be found on great, easy to use website building platforms like Wix, Sitebuilder.com, Web.com, GoDaddy, and Weebly. Because the best blog builders come along within website builders, you’ll want to make sure you choose a site builder that works for you. (We’ll discuss that further on.)
Ideas for Blog Posts
Once you've set up your blog builder, you’ll still need to fill your blog with content. If you elect to create your own content, how can you come up with ideas for blog posts? Here are some ideas:
Feed readers, or news aggregators, are tools that gather and display web feeds in one location.This means you can get updates from multiple websites on a variety of topics in one place, without actually having to individually search for each article. So let’s say you’re a restaurant owner who’s interested in creating a blog—you can use a feed reader to get all the current articles on Top Chef, cooking tips, or whatever else you decide is relevant.
Google has a feed reader that you can add to your Chrome extension, making it easy to stay updated on current trends.
- Reddit is a global community where users can share any type of content on almost any subject that they want. The content is then voted up or down, so you can immediately see which are the most popular discussions. Redditors can also comment on any post, creating a dynamic and ongoing dialogue. As someone who’s looking for blog ideas, you can hop on Reddit and quickly see what the most popular content is on any subject.
- Google Trends is primarily used for SEO, but can also be used to discover new topics and ideas for your blog. To get started you need to set your search parameters (location, time period, and more), and then perform a search. If you search the term “Chinese restaurant,” you will then be shown a list of related searches, giving you relevant blog topics.
- Google Alerts are simple to set up and give Google a set of keywords to monitor. Whenever these words appear on a newly published page, you’ll receive an email notification. It makes it easy to get ideas for blog content by having the search giant keep tabs on keywords relevant to the scope of your blog. Plus, you can choose the frequency of the email updates, so they won’t clog up your inbox.
- Crowdsourcing can be done online or by word of mouth-—just ask the people what they want. Facebook and Twitter are forums often used for crowdsourcing, both by individuals and companies, or you can simply ask friends and colleagues for their input. However you choose to do it, crowdsourcing can be a valuable tool to help you keep your finger on the pulse of compelling blog content.
3. Choose an Easy-to-Use Platform
It’s not only your blog that needs fresh, current content, but also your actual website. Which means that choosing an easy-to-use, website building platform is crucial to your website’s ranking. Because even if you have amazing ideas for your website’s content, it won’t be worth anything unless you actually know how to post it.
WordPress, for example, is a difficult platform to use if your background is in something other than programming or web design. On the other hand, Wix, Weebly, SiteBuilder, and Web.com are site builders that are geared for the novice who want a professional-looking website. These sites offer affordable hosting plans, and equally (or more) important, easy-to-use editor tools and functionality.
Easy to use tools and smooth functionality mean that once your content has been created, you can log into the back-end of your site and easily edit or post it. Not only does this minimize frustration, but it increases your likelihood of regularly posting content to your site. And as you know, the more frequently you post quality content, the higher you’re likely to rank on the SERP.
What Features Should You Look For in an Easy to Use Website Builder?
You know you want a website builder that’s easy to use, but what exactly does that mean? In the case of website builders, “easy to use” usually means that the site builder has features that you need.
Here are some features you should look for to facilitate content creation in a website builder for beginners.
- Templates: Which site builder offers the biggest selection of templates? Wix offers hundreds, whereas Web.com offers 2500 and SiteBuilder offers 10,000. Remember though, you only need 1 template, so if you’re the type who gets overwhelmed with too many choices, having a smaller selection might actually suit your needs better. If you’re creative and love the process of finding the perfect template, a site with more options might suit you better.
- Tools: Drag and drop is the easiest tool you could ask for, and you can find it on Wix and SiteBuilder. Web.com also offers this option, but it’s less user-friendly than the other two. Web.com’s flagship offering is its website building service, which you can pay extra for and receive a professionally designed site. SiteBuilder also offers a similar service; the caveat here is to make sure that once your site is set up, you will know how to use it and edit it.
- Easy to use blog builder: As we mentioned above, a blog is key to generating great content, so you’ll want your website builder to come with an equally easy to use blog builder. Web.com offers Wordpress inbuilt applications, which can be good if you know how to use Wordpress. If you don’t though, Wix and SiteBuilder offer much more straightforward, simple ways to manage your blog, so you won’t be left struggling and trying to figure out how to get your post up.
- SEO enhancement: Are you using the right keywords, title tags, meta descriptions? While your content needs to be unique, it should also be relevant and target your audience. Wix plans come with free SEO assistance, whereas only SiteBuilder’s Ecommerce and Premium options come with it. Web.com also offers SEO tools, but plans are quite expensive, starting at $300/month.
Go Out and Achieve Your Goal
Ranking high on the Google SERP is a complicated, sometimes frustrating endeavor, and perhaps more of an art than a science. While content is certainly one way to get your site to rank higher, there are loads of others—backlinks, keyword usage, title and meta tags, how long a user stays on your site, and many more.
To complicate things further, Google is constantly changing its algorithms, so even if you create a website that perfectly conforms to the current SEO guidelines, you may find they are different tomorrow.
This is why it’s important to keep your end-goal in sight. Your goal is not to create a website that Google will love; it’s to reach more people, more customers, and to increase your profits. Ranking high on Google is a means to achieve your goal.
So even though it can get frustrating at times, when you choose one of the best website building platforms and a great blog builder to go with it, you’ll have an easy time loading it up with compelling content. And that means you’ll be one step closer toward achieving your goal.
So what are you waiting for? Get out and create a website with great content today!