SEO Content Writing: What’s Google Up to Now? The Latest Changes You Need to Know about to Stay Current
Since the Hummingbird update last August, Google hasn’t done a “major” update – at least not one that freelance SEO writers need to be concerned about. As a reminder, Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times per year. Some are major updates, eg, Penguin and Panda. Others are mere tweaks that most of us never even hear about.
So that’s a relief, right? But, there are still a few things I notice that too many freelancers aren’t doing to their own copy (which means you might not be alerting your clients to it), that I want to address here.
I. Long-Form Content
Remember the days of writing a 200 or 300-word post, sticking in some keywords, and having it rank well? Well, those days are gone. While it’s still possible for short content to rank well, Google is rewarding longer form content more often than not.
The post, Why Long Copy and Content Ranks Better in Google’s Results, explains why, stating:
Long posts have a longer shelf life due to higher quality. They enable you to demonstrate your authority and people tend to share them more because longer content is more valuable and credible. …
Looking at the average top ten results on Google, the higher up we go on the search listing pages the more content each page has. All of them are around 2000 words in length.
Google’s latest additions to their search algorithms mean that they’re better at picking out higher quality results, and it’s hard to deliver that quality in a short form when you’re dealing with big questions.
Seeking Guest Posters for this site and it’s parent site, InkwellEditorial.com: Details.
II. Title Tag
Yes, it still matters. Why? Simply because it’s what shows up in search results. It determines whether or not a page gets clicked on to a large degree. As described on the uber-popular tech site Moz.com:
A title tag is the main text that describes an online document. It is the second most important on–page SEO element (the most important being overall content), and appears in three key places: browsers, search engine results pages, and external websites.
So write good headings/titles for your clients, as this is what’s most likely to be used in the Title tag.
III. Google Authorship
Google wants to rule your web world – and one of the ways they’re doing is by rewarding you for claiming your content.
Google Authorship is a way for Google to verify “connections between content on the web and the creators of the content. This gives Google the ability to identify quality, human-created content and distinguish it from content that isn’t quite up to par,’ as explained in the post.
Learn more about the impact of not building your Author Rank.
As a freelance SEO writer, if you guest post on blogs, or write content for your own blog, or contribute content to article directories – wherever and however you distribute content on the web – set up and use your Google Authorship profile because Matt Cutts, Google SEO guru, has confirmed that things like Author Rank is “a factor” in ranking content.
IV. Properly Name Images/Media
More and more of us are using mixed media like infographics, slide shows and video. And that’s because Google likes to return results featuring this kind of content.
So be sure to “keyword” these too. How? By simply using the keyword inyour description. For example instead of naming an image .jpg1, be more descriptive.
If you create an infographic detailing how to write a press release, name it accordingly, eg, sample press release, press release template, press release format – all great keywords for this subject.
The good news is, Google hasn’t had any major shakeups in its algorithm lately. So take advantage of what they’re telling you to do now so that you won’t be too far behind WHEN they do another update … because there’s always another one, right?
Share Your Thoughts
Are there more tips you can share on about writing SEO content nowadays? Please share in the comments below.
Following is what was published on InkwellEditorial.com, this blog’s parent blog, this week.
Last Friday: The weekly Quick Tip for Freelance Writing Success (we post one every Friday; this is the most recent one).
P.S.: It’s Almost Time for the SEO Copywriter Training Class in Jamaica. Have you registered yet?
FYI, did you know that the average salary of search engine optimization writers is $66,000 as of this writing.
That’s $15,000 above the median household income in the U.S. right now.