Search engine algorithm developers can be seen as gods among us, deciding on the fate of the organic results mainly reserved for the wealthy, the cunningly imaginative and hard working. Or more simply put, those that value a position in the top ten can get there if your willing to focus your energy in that direction.
SEO and content strategy are now synonymous so there is no need to second guess the best mathematicians on the planet. The algo devs are only trying to create what you would like to see in the search results yourself. Fresh, relevant, engaging content that is a pleasure not an effort to be understood. So it’s quite simple, produce that on your website and what ever algorithm comes next, no worries, it will be there to promote good quality content and will take down techniques of others who will spend their budgets on anything other than publishing a decent site.
With their large inventories, eCommerce used to rule the organic search because of the sheer volume of product content. The fashion industry has become so competitive for the race to the first pages that they have boosted their presence with blogs and articles with mostly magazine style formats. Pretty Little Thing have opted for a page listed on their main menu called ‘Inspiration‘. With each page consisting of a fashion theme represented by a collection of photographs taken from, and linked back to different fashion websites, blogs and social pages. No doubt these contributors are happy to be featured with a back link from Pretty Little Thing. For such a visual product, a picture led content page can work and the low cost of running this format will mean that regular updates are not an issue, but at the cost of not having original material to publish.
Kew Gardens sell tickets for entry, their events and they have an online shop. This website is awash with regularly updated content. They appear to have taken the position as a leading authority on the subject of gardens and botanical science by promoting information for school children up to experienced scientists. Their blog is updated two or three times a week, as a traditional diary type entry format and relates to various sections of the website which is also regularly updated. They are a great example of how generating new information draws a crowd and keeps regulars engaged. The abundance of well formatted information gives the Kew site a look of a trusted institution and a feel of something more than just a business. Though at the end of the day, anyone with the time or inclination can do this.
Furniture retailer Casafina has opted for a free online magazine and have named it miCasa Magazine. It stands almost like a separate site to their eCommerce platform. Its leading features are “Create the Look” pages that suggest how to arrange a room with different furniture items. Also, “Meet the Designer” interviews and fun articles like how to make decorative items with old paint tins and how to mix a fruit punch. What I like here is that the content and readership is made easier to generate by including lifestyle topics around the products that are up for sale.
While eCommerce / mCommerce can be good indicators of how online success can be measured there are still successful sites like Very and Argos that are basically huge catalogues with a only basic layer of branding and lots of traditional advertising. Shoppers don’t go their sites to get ideas, to feel inspired or to interact. They want to scroll through product descriptions and product shots. For me personally I like that basic environment in a physical shop, so I can get off my feet and away from the queues and traffic with the least amount of fuss. But in the comfort of my own home when I have time, I like to have a good look around. In the case of Kew Gardens, trust can be formed from scratch in record time with such high standards of content delivery. A trip over to their social channels becomes something to be gladly anticipated rather than a risky waste of time into the unknown. Does Kew have more money to spend on content than say our leading fashion retailers? Probably not. Have they built up a long list of lifelong customers who will happily recommend them to close family and friends? Yes, they are a national institution but more the argument that they could sit back and let their customers come to them. However many years of success has manifested itself into their marketing answer, plain for all to see with the content on their website.
Frequently publishing original articles on your website and social is one of the most reliable strategies there is to win the crowd – Drop me a quick line if you would like to start thinking about a campaign of articles and posts.
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Freelance Copywriter (tech) and Content Strategist