By Susan Saldibar
Did you know that searches for senior care are at their highest in October? Hopefully you did, now that the month is almost over. So, how has it gone? Was your content “ready for its close up”?
I spoke recently with Celena Canode, Marketing Campaign Manager for G5 (a Senior Living Foresight partner). They have been doing a heavy focus recently on content. As a writer, that’s something I like to hear, especially given some of the appallingly poor content I see every day on the internet. I’m not sure if it’s written by robots or 4th graders (who would probably do a better job). But Google isn’t liking it.
Celena and I talked about the increasing need to produce high-quality content and how Google keeps finding new ways to sniff out the bad stuff, such as “duplicate content”. Now it’s referred to by the Google Search Quality Rater guidelines as “copied content” and, according to Celena, more dangerous to resort to than ever before.
Google Has Gotten Good at Sniffing out Crappy Content, so Don’t Cut Corners.
G5 has put together an article on content that you should check out. It’s about creating better content; the kind that will garner you higher Google ratings. First of all, it stresses the importance of understanding Google search. If you don’t know the rules and follow them, you run the risk of a reduced rating. And that means the search engines will basically ignore your organization (or worse, blacklist you altogether). With that in mind, here are some points made in the article that you might find interesting:
- The more copied content you use, the more likely your organization is to get a low ranking on Google. And here’s something you may not know: it will happen even if you assign credit for your content to another source.
- Make sure you understand the difference between copied content and duplicate content. (The G5 article includes resources to get more information on this.)
- Before writing copy, consider the keywords that your target clients would use to search for you. Make sure you use those keywords in your copy. But, don’t “stuff” your content with keywords. As important as creating content with keywords is, it’s equally important not to load up your content with keywords just to rank higher in Google SERPS.
- Strive for content that is natural and succinct. You don’t want your copy to sound robotic.
- Avoid spelling and grammar errors. The search engines may decide that copy riddled with errors has been recklessly put together and lower your rating. (No excuse for this one, folks.)
No one’s saying all this is easy, least of all the folks at G5. That’s why they recommend that organizations seriously consider hiring a professional for content production. Before you wave that off as a “hire us to do it” call to action, think about why this probably makes a lot of sense. Third-party writers understand the ins and outs of content marketing. They will (or should) take the time to stay up to date with the various twists and turns of Google and other entities that, collectively, rule internet search. This is especially important for senior living communities with multiple locations. It is easy to get off track and let content grow stale. With that comes the temptation to cut and paste from other sources. And we know what happens then.
Few would argue that today more than ever, content has become a key differentiator. And, as G5 tells us, Google is more powerful than ever. So it makes sense to craft content that recognizes both of those facts. If you can achieve that in-house, good for you. Just don’t put delivering high quality, custom content on your back burner. You’ll get burned by Google for sure.