Content is an ever-evolving thing on the internet. When the first website was launched back in 1991, it was just one simple page about hypertext and how to actually create a web page. It didn’t have any images and was simply text and hyperlinks.
Today, the internet is overloaded with so much information; you can research just about any topic. Most content includes images and some even comes in the form of video. Content has certainly changed over the past 25 years and it will continue to evolve.
Google sets the tone for the type of content you need today. In 2016, you can expect new guidelines for your website and blog. Here’s a look at what Google guidelines you should be following for content this year.
Expert Writers Providing High Quality Content
The days of just throwing up any old words strung together for SEO are over. Google has been moving in the direction of expert, high quality content for a few years now and this year it will become more important than ever before.
If you plan to grow your blog and website with content, you need experts capable of producing high quality, authoritative content. Trusting low level writing charging small fees to create your content won’t cut it anymore.
Authority can be Established
If you don’t have access to an expert writer, you can hire a writer capable of producing high quality content and still gain authority. As your writer produces more content within your industry, they will start to establish authority for you. You can also add credentials to your biography, write for respected industry sites and comment in a helpful way in industry forums to establish authority.
Scannable, but Not Short Content Matters
The word “scannable” has been thrown around when it comes to content marketing. It’s a type of content easily scanned by readers including multiple sub-headings, bullet points and images to split up the content. However, scannable doesn’t equate to short.
Content length has become a huge factor for Google when ranking pages and posts. Content over 1,000 words will rank better than content under 500 words, providing its high quality, usable content. Make sure your content is both scannable and provides plenty of useful information, if you want to rank well in 2016.
Understand Reader Habits
Google has been putting an emphasis on the user experience for a few years now. Understanding the habits of readers online will make a big difference in the way you write content. People don’t read the same way online as they do a book or newspaper.
Skimming and scanning content has become a normal habit, especially with mobile internet usage growing quickly. If you cannot grab the attention of your reader in just a few sentences, you may lose them. Along with grabbing their attention, you must keep their attention. Some of the ways you can better engage your readers include:
- Write a strong headline
- Use the first sentence to hook the reader
- Break up your content with bullet points, subheadings and images to make it more digestible
- Tell the story with pictures
- Deliver on the promise of the headline
There’s nothing worse than doing a Google search, finding a great headline and clicking on it only to find the headline was misleading. Make sure you deliver on the promise of the headline and you will be able to better engage your readers.
Collaborations are Becoming Hot
2016 may be the year for collaborations. The development of content may move in a way where it’s no longer written by one author, but collaborated on by a team of authors.
Interviews are Huge
If you get the opportunity or create the opportunity to interview an expert in your industry, it can be a very powerful type of content. When put into the traditional Q&A style, you can take the interview and turn it into your hottest new blog post.
Press Releases are Out
Many content experts have predicted 2016 as the year the press release nearly dies. Major search engines will actual penalize a site for running content similar or the same to that of another website. With press releases designed to spread across the web like wildfire, this becomes a huge issues. Unless you want to write hundreds of unique press releases, this type of content may not provide much value in the future.
Top Types of Content for 2016
This year, certain types of content will become more popular and necessary for the best search engine ranking. Standards are changing and new trends will emerge. Some of the basic types of content expected to become popular in 2016 include:
- Research Reports – This type of content usually takes a long white paper and breaks it down into something more digestible for the reader.
- Longer How-To and Listables – Long form how-to content and listables are already very hot and will just become hotter in 2016. >eBooks – The eBook has already become very popular and will only gain in popularity due to the length and ability to really inform the reader.
The major trend expected in 2016 centers around quality and length. The 300-word blog post will most likely be dead by the end of the year and 500 words will be known as the absolute minimum for most forms of content. Many top websites and blogs have already started beefing up their pages and posts.
If you want to use content marketing as a major marketing strategy in 2016, use these guidelines to ensure you only provide high quality, authoritative content capable of engaging the reader and ranking well on major search engines.