I told you I was serious. Yes, I’m serious about eradicating the monicker I’ve so unmercifully bestowed upon myself – SEO dummy, that is. Just so we’re on the same page here, self-deprecation is not something I eat for breakfast on a regular basis. But I know my limits, and I realize it’s better that I stare at this ugly truth in the eye now and be done with it.
SEO has been the one thing I’ve struggled with ever since I started blogging. I have no problem with content (well, not for the most part, at least), although I must admit I haven’t been publishing as much content as I had during my first six months in the blogosphere.
But that’s understandable. Things have gotten in the way, with freelancing another of the things to occupy my very little time nowadays.
Matt Cutts himself has said it. Google’s newest Panda update is aimed at leveling the playing field. After all, readers look for quality content, not overly optimized “junk” blogs that outrank practically everyone in the Google SERPs.
Understanding the problem
I think you will agree. The first step towards progress is accepting there is a problem. And once you’ve come to terms with this fact, the next step involves research, lots and lots of research, towards finding a solution.
Okay, I have to concur lots and lots of research is a whole lot. But hey, there’s no shortcut to anything that’s bound to stay for the long haul, is there?
Now, the first bullet point I’ve listed in SEO from a Dummy’s Perspective is content being king, which I’m going to expound on in this article. This line has been mentioned a million too many times in the blogosphere sometimes it’s easy to believe we got it right when we actually didn’t.
What makes good content
Matt Cutts himself has said it. Google’s newest Panda update is aimed at leveling the playing field. After all, readers look for quality content, not overly optimized “junk” blogs that outrank practically everyone in the Google SERPs. That said, what exactly makes good content?
1. Good content is properly written.
Looking at the other side of the coin, aside from poorly constructed sentences (my favorite blogger from oceans away calls this bad English gratis), bad content also equates to bad spelling, misplaced or missing punctuations and spun articles that give readers a bad case of tension headache.
2. Good content addresses questions.
I’m guessing you’ve gone this far because you, too, would like to generate traffic to your blog. Otherwise, you would have already fled in horror at the first sight of the word SEO. Now, it’s a given that readers come to a blog because they’re seeking to find answers to questions.
And if the question “Why in the world should anyone care about what I’ve got to say?” is something you yourself cannot honestly answer at the end of each article, it’s perhaps time to consider rewriting your article.
3. Good content is backed by research.
For readers to take you seriously, you have to provide credible content. Meaning, everything you say (those that are supposedly based on facts, at least) should be supported by trustworthy links and other resources.
4. Good content is well-structured.
Paragraphs are made for a reason – readability. Think about it. Won’t you have a hard time reading a page-long one-paragraph article? Well, I sure will. Break down long text into paragraphs and, if possible, provide each a subtitle. This way, your readers see the main idea right away.
Contrary to popular belief, good content isn’t free. Nope, not at all. Just because you can do it yourself with no high-tech gadgets involved, it still isn’t free. It requires a LOT of time and effort.
And finally, before you go about believing you’re done here, it’s important to remember that coming up with killer content doesn’t mean anyone will give a darn. Blog exposure is another hurdle to clear, something that’s probably as important as creating good content.
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