chapter 5

The Importance of Content and SEO

Video transcript

So as we were talking about, if you want to get your site ranking in Google, content is absolutely critical. Google is getting better over time at focusing and understanding the content of a page. Back a long time ago all you had to do was fill out some meta-tags, fill out your title tag and your site would get ranking. But now Google is very good at evaluation what good quality content is, and they do this in a number of different ways.

We know that they have a whole bunch of patents on understanding content and text patterns, we know that grammar and spelling is important, but Google also hires people called Quality Reviewers to help understand what those signals of quality look like in content so that they can train the algorithm to make better decisions on what good, quality content is.

So what does this mean for you when you are trying to get your site ranking in Google?

Well basically, create content that people like! Create content that people are interested in, and create content that makes you look like an authority in your space. For example: if you are in fashion, if you sell something like jewelry or clothing, then you are actually really well positioned to produce a lot of good, quality content that people actually want to read. For example, in fashion you could talk about current trends, colours, seasons, how to accessorize, how to coordinate. What are famous people wearing? What are the current trends? What were the trends ten years ago? There’s a wealth of content that you could be producing to make yourself the centre of authority around your product.

One thing to be aware of is that many times people are selling products that are the same as what other companies are selling. For example if you were to sell shoes, then the shoes that you are selling might have the exact same description as the ten-thousand other websites that are selling those same shoes, and more importantly - you might have the same description for that product as the manufacturer! This is a bit of a problem because Google doesn’t appreciate or value something called duplicate content.

Duplicate content is when the text and the content on your site is the same as what somebody else has already published. You want to avoid putting duplicate content on your site because it’s not a good signal. It’s not a signal of trust and authority, it’s a questionable signal. So when you have products on your website that are generally the same as what everybody else is selling, or what even one other website is selling, then re-write the descriptions of your products in your own voice. Put your own spin on this product, don’t say: “This shoe is a size (blank), and (blank) colour, with (blank) kind of features”, because anybody else can say that. Instead put your own spin on it, say: “Imagine yourself running or jogging in these shoes, you are going to fly! You are going to feel great! You are going to be so comfortable. They are this size, they’ve got these features, they are going to let you breathe!”. Talk about the features of your product, what makes your product better - and the only person who can really describe what makes your product better than someone else’s is you, because you understand the value of what it is that you are selling. So make sure that your product descriptions are unique just to you.

Another thing to be aware of are e-commerce reviews. As we have mentioned, Google has stated publicly that they are interested in rewarding merchants that have good reviews, where the user experience or the customer experience is positive with these companies. They want to take sites and companies and stores that have bad reviews out of the index, because they don’t want to send their customers to websites that aren’t going to treat their customers well. So try to encourage reviews on your products. There is lots of data to suggest that positive reviews can actually help sell your products, but they also tell Google that this is a currently updated site, that people are actually using this website, that people are actually buying from your store and having a good experience at your store. Try to encourage customers of your store to do reviews of your products once they have purchased.

And finally (but not least) is a blog. Consider having a blog attached to you site. This is good for writing that traffic generating content. It’s good for writing content that people are actually interested in. It might not be direct sales content, you might not be talking about why to buy a particular shoe, but you can talk about all the benefits and why it’s important to have a cushioned sole when you are going out jogging to avoid being injured. All of that surrounding content that people who are interested in your products are also going to be interested in reading - that’s great for your blog.

A blog is also good for social signals as well. It’s good for getting people to subscribe to your content so that you can market to them on an ongoing basis, and a blog can be updated on an ongoing basis. If you update and new article on your blog every week, then Google knows for sure that your website is still in business, that your store is still running, and that it’s being maintained and updated - and that’s the kind of content that Google wants to show to it’s searchers.

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