Many of my clients become friends and maintaining a win-win relationship is always one of my top priorities. One of the benefits my clients receive as a result of participating in this relationship is receipt of the results of research and surveys I perform on an ongoing basis. One of my greatest benefits in this relationship is the willingness my clients have to participate in discussions and surveys I need to complete my tasks.
Three of my long time clients are in the midst of extensive website development or redesign. I no longer accept jobs requiring as much devotion as professional website design or redesign but I do however stay in an anxious frame of mind until I hear the client declare the project a success. In order to lessen my anxiety, I am diligent about sending past and present clients results of my studies.
What follows is the highlights of a report I recently completed on the crucial aspect of content management.
Google now places tremendous weight to not only the content, but how it is presented and the extent of reader interaction and reaction to the content. For years I have preached “content, content, content” to my clients. They have reported to me that their spouses have told them they often talk in their sleep saying “content, content, content.” Sadly now, content is only the foundation upon which everything else rests. You may have superb original and informative content but if readers are not interacting and reacting to that content, Google will by and large ignore its existence.
To emphasize the fact that Google now scrutinizes the delivery of content possibly more than the content itself, consider that each of the following criteria are judged:
Genre: Your content will be classified into a category for which Google has extensive knowledge of readers of that genre. If your content does not match the interest of your readers, of which Google also has extensive knowledge, your content will receive a serious penalty.
Source: Have you yet picked up on the fact that Google is now recognizing content producers – the author(s) of the content. Content producers with little recognition by Google receive far less attention for their efforts than those with Google+ accounts and author microdata within the content.
Focus: Your content can be too generic. It can even be too highly focused. Again, Google knows your audience much better than you. If Google considers the focus of your content inappropriate for your audience, you again will not see the search engine recongnition you desire. Now more than ever, content producers must know their audience and speak directly to each and every one. Content production requires knowledge of your audience location, age group, what other sites they visit, what groups and social media sites they frequent and more.
Style: How is your content presented? Is your content considered to be educational, critical, infrormative or commentary? Is the content presented as straight news, narrative or in feature style? What presentation style is preferred by your audience? Google knows. Do you?
Organization: Organization is closely associated with style but given enough of a critical analysis by Google to warrant evaluation as a category of its own. Google now even evaluates typographic features such as fonts and content layout. Headings, sub-headings and headlines are now aggressively scrutinized. Google time and again has publicly stated that they are creating a search environment that encourages “a professional user experience” and penalizes all others.
Diversity: Know your audience. Produce content for each segment of your audience. You must take into account the diversity of your content and create content according to sex, age and cultural origin.