by Jason Hennessey, CEO of Everspark Interactive
Every website, especially small businesses needs some tender love and care when it comes to finding success and garnering business. For many small businesses across the country, an internet-savvy website can often be the breaking-point between a potential sale and going bust.
There is no arguing the saying that “content is king”, but in the digital landscape that we all live in today, how can small businesses maximize their online presence and avoid the common website content pitfalls that many unfortunately face?
To help shed light on common content mistakes that small businesses should avoid, here are five mistakes to avoid:
1. Poor Quality Content.
In May, Google provided a large list of guidelines that, if followed, differentiate high-quality content from low-quality content (the stuff Google was and is trying to weed out). Since these guidelines were released, many webmasters have outsourced copywriting efforts in an effort to ensure that they are able to syndicate high-quality blog and article content; there’s nothing wrong with this, but it is simply necessary to avoid looking at this outsourcing as a useless expense that you can find for cheap.
2. Keyword-Stuffed Content.
Speaking of optimization, there is a fine line between optimizing an article and just packing it with keywords. Keyword-stuffing is frowned upon. Just don’t do it. A keyword used in a meaningful way is much more useful than a keyword thrown into a sentence just for the sake of having it in the copy a certain number of times per paragraph. Relevance is also key. Gone are the days when you could simply throw keywords in wherever you wanted, related and contextual or not. Your content should make sense, flow, and provide meaningful information – and your reader should not be distracted by the continual reappearance of some random words that do not make sense in the context.
3. Factually Incorrect Content.
Google wants users to view high-ranked sites as authorities. Therefore, factually incorrect content is a big no-no. The obvious implication here is that Google wants you to provide content that is informative, factually correct, and publication-worthy. This is what the search engine considers high-quality content. Paying attention to detail means going in-depth, checking your facts, and creating content you would be proud to see published in a magazine or book.
4. Unoriginal Content.
Nothing detracts from a site’s authority more than a lack of original content. It makes sense, after all; if those running the website truly belong at the top of the rankings, than they must have something original to contribute. This ties into Google’s question/guideline: “Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?”Here’s where you should be careful to avoid duplicate content. Publishing duplicate content is a surefire way to ensure that your rankings plummet.
5. “Spammy” Content.
In May, Google asked as a guideline: “Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?” Basically, you should probably avoid having too many ads interspersed with your articles and blogs – if you have any ads, make sure that they are not distracting or off-putting. Content-farms have been eliminated due to their low-quality content – and you should do everything in your power to avoid looking like one.
Jason Hennessey is an internationally-known Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert. Over the past seven years, Jason has been a vigorous student/practitioner of search marketing – dissecting, testing, debunking, and reverse engineering the major search algorithms. As CEO of Everspark Interactive, Hennessey oversees search marketing campaigns for high profile celebrities, lawyers, politicians and Fortune 500 companies. Within the industry he is known as “The Secret Weapon” people call on when they want to rank for extremely competitive terms in short periods of time. Hennessey has played an instrumental role in turning Everspark Interactive into a $1.2 million agency in only three months.