Quality Content Makes Every Page A Landing Page
Every page is a landing page. There is simply no way to predict how someone gets to your site or where they land first. Search, external links, and other methods of sharing can bring customers into any page and it is from there that they must decide whether to spend any more time with you.
Add to this the Panda update to Google. Panda changed the search algorithm to better rank sites by quality. A quality site works for users first, search engines second. It is judged by its authority, editorial focus, and relevance. The Panda update limits the usefulness of such shortcuts as keyword stuffing, links from link farms, and content that had little to do with the website’s topic. Some highly ranked sites lost most of their rankings at once while other, better quality sites moved up.
Fortunately, there are 4 elements that you can improve to increase your site quality:
Increase Time on Site
Google and other search engines measure how much time each visitor spends on your site. Longer visits signal higher interest. It isn’t enough to generate a lot of traffic; that traffic must stay for awhile.
What to do:
Design a clean, uncluttered, appealing website.
Use reliable web-hosting with fast response times.
Put reader questions, problems, and concerns at the forefront of your content
This is where having a constant stream of quality content comes in.
It must be content visitors want to stop and read.
The content must also be persuasive.
Quality content is related directly to your topic, product, or service. Using a scattershot approach to content creation and curation will harm your rankings. By listening to your customers and visitors and placing their concerns first, you can tailor your content to the exact specifications of your clientele.
Use narrowly focused long tail keywords.
Create external links from other quality sites, not from link farms.
Tweak your content as you measure visitor reaction to increase “stickiness.”
Treat Every Page like a Landing Page
Each and every page must have clear navigation. It is up to you to steer your visitors in the right direction to find the content best suited to their concerns and to make that transition easy. Every page must carry a clear indication of what you are about: what you sell, what your expertise is, how to contact you, and more.
Intelligently using internal links can gently guide your visitors from one page to another in a sequence that leads them closer to converting. Don’t forget to make it easy to go back as well as forward.
Use Smart Link Structure
The use of links is an excellent way to keep visitors at your site. One of the reasons some sites can feel like “time sucks” is because they have links that lead from one interesting thing to another. Suddenly you have been on the site for an hour without noticing.
Link to your quality content, your “cornerstone content.”
Highlight your best thinking, your best advice, and your best answers to visitors’ pressing questions.
Link to quality content landing pages.
Link to favorite posts on the topic.
A caveat: be sparing with the links. Don’t stuff content with links every few words or sentences. Make the links count by only placing them where they lead into a logical sequence of information.
None of this is new. Savvy SEOs and content creators have been following these steps from the beginning. Shortcuts don’t often work for long before a search algorithm change negates their effectiveness. There are no fast and easy gimmicks because search engines are getting better all the time at weeding out sites using them.
By using highly focused, thoughtful, sticky, quality content, you will actually do less work over time to maintain your rankings while becoming the “go-to” place for information on your specialty.