Google loves content - specifically content that’s fresh, interesting and unique. Getting Google to love your content however, can sometimes be tough.
So to help you to get Google to show you some love, we here at Orchid Box have created 12 hot tips of the best writing practices for creating sharable articles, that search engines will love and people will want to read and share.
It is worth being aware that these things will be in flux and – for example – it is believed that in the not too distant future Google will place more and more importance on articles over 1000 words and content will need to show more thorough referencing to legitimate sources.
Guidelines for writing great content
Tip 1: Article length
The article needs to be a minimum of 500 words. Google loves longer articles because they have more content to crawl and index.
Tip 2: Write naturally
Make sure you write naturally for people. Writing content with just search engines in mind isn’t going to engage your audience and it won’t get your article the exposure and readership you want.
Tip 3: Write a compelling title
Make sure you have a great and compelling title – e.g. ‘Top 10 London churches for a fairy-tale wedding’ is great, ‘Churches for the best wedding’ not so much!
Tip 4: Get your readers hooked
Make sure your opening paragraph is compelling enough. People take less than a second to decide if your article is worth reading so get them hooked right away!
Tip 5: Break it down
The article should be broken up into smaller sections, using subtitles or bullet points where appropriate, making it easier to digest for the reader.
Tip 6: Include sacrifice links
The article must include 2 sacrifice links (These will be links to other non-competitive sites – such as Wikipedia or News sites – which will serve to make the main link you insert look less advertorial in nature) See the Outreachr guide on sacrifice links for more information. We are adding sacrifice links to make sure that our client link isn’t the only one in the article.
Tip 7: Make use of images
The article must include at least 1 - 2 pictures; more may be added if appropriate. You must ensure that you are allowed to use the pictures in your articles. One way to find free to use images is by using Google image search, entering your search term, clicking search tools, usage rights and then selecting ‘labelled for reuse’ from the dropdown list. You can also use Wikicomms and Creative Commons.
Tip 8: Research your audience
Always check out existing content on the site that the article is expected to be hosted on, before writing! This ensures you write content that’s relevant and useful to the sites audience.
Tip 9: Location, location, location
Always keep in mind the sites geo-location. If the site is an American audience ensure that you write in American English instead of British English. Google analyses this in its complex algorithm so make sure you get it right.
Tip 10: Put your client first
It is better to add the client link at the beginning of the article. This gives Google a strong signal that the client website is strongly correlated with the subject of the article.
Tip 11: Sound like an expert
Including uncommon words is better! The latest Google penguin algorithm update favours pages with more sophisticated content. Therefore it is advised, if appropriate, to make use of uncommon words in your articles. Uncommon words are words that are less commonly used than the top 3,000 in the English dictionary.
For example instead of saying “out-of-date” you could use “obsolete”
Here is the list of the top 3000 words:
(http://www.lextutor.ca/freq/lists_download/longman_3000_list.pdf <<< this is a great example of sacrifice link!)
Tip 12: More is More
After Google Penguin 2.1 update, there are rumours that Google rewards articles with more syllables per words and words per sentence with higher rankings. With this is in mind it is best practice to write as expertly as possible.
Check out this article (yes another sacrifice link right there!) for more information on how Google Penguin 2.1 is using readability tests in its algorithm.
The good, the bad and the ugly
Check out this article it’s a perfect example of someone who has written just for the search engines. It’s not hard to see why it’s so bad, for any human reader it’s an awful read and was made with the purpose of trying to rank well for the phrase “small business CRM”.