How to avoid angering the Google powers-that-be
Can you remember the last time you made a big purchase without the assistance of a search engine? Data indicates that to find a product or services, 81% of consumers start by searching online. Whether you use search engines to find general information about a brand, to purchase a product online, or to compare prices, it is evident that it has become a common part of the buyer’s journey.
As a whole, search engines have become an extremely lucrative way for businesses to increase site traffic, generate online sales, and connect with new customers from across the world that would have otherwise been impossible to reach.
What Are Google Penalties?
Although Google creates amazing opportunities for putting your business on the map, it can be a bit temperamental when it comes to the content it bolsters. In fact, upsetting Google algorithms enough can lead your business into the sticky situation of being penalized by the platform.
The two types of Google penalties are:
- Manual Penalties: If you are in any way breaking the terms and conditions of Google, real-life Google employees can manually penalize you and blacklist your content. Manual penalties usually surround content that contains spam or attempts to manipulate SEO.
- Automatic Penalties: Automatic penalties occur when Google updates or improves its algorithm in order to rank the most quality content the highest, which can change your rankings.
Even if your business is entirely well-meaning in its content creation, there is still a chance of being punished by the Google “gods,” causing your content rankings to significantly decrease, or even make your content disappear entirely.
4 Ways To Avoid Trouble With Google
Whether it’s intentional or not, getting punished by Google can significantly decrease your rankings and impact your content’s success. Here are four of the best ways not only to avoid penalties, but also to generally keep your content consistently ranking higher!
1. Be mindful of mobile optimization
In this day and age, just about everything can be done from a smartphone. Many consumers enjoy the ease of pulling out their phones to digest content and purchase products. In fact, 25% of companies top SEO tactics involve investing in mobile optimization.
Your content may be ranking high on laptops or other tech devices, but a study found that rankings differ immensely depending on the device you are on. A mere 13% of websites remain ranked at the same level on a mobile device as they did on another device. Thus, it is important that your content is optimized to look polished on mobile devices.
Lucky for you, Google has even created a website to check and see if your website is optimized for mobile devices!
2. The more comprehensive better
Comprehensive (and often lengthier) content has been proven to perform better on search engine rankings than shorter content. Google doesn’t necessarily pick and choose to rank pieces solely by their length, so it is thought that the main reason behind this is the presence of reputable backlinks on long-form content. Backlinks are when one article contains links to another article within their text.
It’s important to note that:
- The highest amount of organic traffic is attributed to articles between 2,250 and 2,500 words.
- 3000+ worded content has more shares (4x), backlinks (3.5), and traffic (3x) than shorter articles.
Overall, fleshing out longer-form pieces is the way to go for ranking improvements. Plus, it can demonstrate to your customers that you are knowledgeable in your industry and possess a lot of helpful information to share with them.
3. Avoid keyword stuffing
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. This is the case with keyword stuffing, which means placing excessive amounts of keywords within your headings and content’s copy to trick the algorithm to boost your ranking. Although it may feel tempting to put as many relevant SEO keywords within your content, you may be causing more harm than good. In fact, search engines are smarter than you think, and using too many keywords in your content is linked to penalization, which will plummet your rankings even lower than before.
At the end of the day, you want your content to provide a meaningful experience to your consumers. Rankings aside, it is pretty easy to tell when a text is littered with unnecessary keywords. Overall, it feels inauthentic and spammy for your consumers to read content that clearly has the sole purpose of boosting rankings.
4. High-quality writing
More than anything, the quality of your content is the most important aspect of appealing to the most important thing… your target audience! In general, search engines reward the content that is a compelling and worthwhile read.
You can improve your content through:
- Speak To Your Audience: The number one task in engaging content is connecting to the consumers you want to reach. Stay true to the values, interests, and beliefs of your audience when crafting content.
- Correct SEO Usage: Despite the danger of too many keywords, SEO is still a crucial element for boosting rankings. With 64% of marketers in a 2020 study using SEO, it’s safe to say that it is still worth investigating. A good rule of thumb for keyword density is to have 2% of the number of words in your copy as keywords or less.
- Hiring a Copywriter: Professional writers have command on language, word choice, and creating content with a powerful brand voice. Writers also have the training to make meaningful use out of SEO keywords without overdoing it.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to content marketing, playing by the rules of the Google algorithms is in your best interest. You really can’t outsmart search engines without hurting your rankings or cheapening your content’s quality.
Make Google Your Best Friend Today
Ready to improve your search engine rankings? Working with Amplihigher grants you access to a team of copywriting strategists with expertise in writing for SEO, and will create copy that ensures your content is as Google-friendly as possible!