Working in online marketing is like stepping into a world that, on the outskirts, looks very small, but in truth is bigger on the inside than most consumers imagine.

There are SEOs, crawlers, tags, keywords, and other jargon which you probably know by heart now if you’ve worked in the field for some time. However, trying to turn jargon into reality is difficult, and even more difficult is knowing which techniques to use, and which to avoid.

Right now in the content marketing world, a lot of marketers are asking how to get their content to rank well on Google.

With all the new algorithms coming out in the past few years, how can you post content that will raise your rankings for Google searches instead of lowering them? What are the top content marketing strategies that Google loves? To begin with, marketers need to be aware of some of the major changes Google has made to how content is ranked.

Pandas, and Penguins, and Hummingbirds, Oh, my!

You might have seen these words showing up all around the internet in relation to Google, and thought, “What do animals have to do with marketing?”

However, these are not cute, cuddly animals. These are web algorithms that have created major changes in the way Google ranks different web pages, and they have a critical impact on what consumers see when they perform Google searches. Without going into technical details, in 2011 Google came out with their Panda algorithm that reduces the rankings of low quality content farming sites.

In 2012, Google created their Penguin algorithm that reduces keyword stuffing and other website spam, which reduced several websites’ rankings. Hummingbird, which rolled out in 2013, is considered to be an update of the Caffeine algorithm, which increased Google’s raw speed, and better optimized its crawl speed.

google panda, penguin, hummingbird

These updates made posting web content more difficult by changing what would raise your rankings and how your content would be filtered. From changing how the crawlers would go through websites, to deciding what was or was not spam, these updates are important to pay attention to, as they will have a very strong impact on what content is ranked well by Google.

Here are a few tips on what techniques Google prefers for websites to use in order to increase their rankings.

Avoid Web Spam

What is web spam? Web spam is posting keywords out of context solely for gaining hits on the page, as well as using “invisible text” and posting multiple links to raise the website’s rankings.

These are tactics that websites have used in the past, but no longer work now due to Google’s newer anti-spam algorithms. So, how do you use keywords without being overly spammy?

develop content that is not spam

Be Concise and Accurate

By all means, use keywords, tags, and links, but make sure they are relevant to what you post. Don’t post keywords and links that are out of context, and don’t use them more than you find necessary. Keep it simple, and to the point.

keep content concise and accurate

Make Sure Your Content Has Accessible Web Script

Google’s crawlers, though highly efficient, cannot always pick up complex content, like Java based pages, or other content that has less web script and more visual aspects.

Google’s crawlers can only read the HTML of your page; it can’t see the visual effects that interested consumers might see. If you don’t have readable or interesting HTML, Google will not see your page as useful or valuable.

Content like Java is highly interesting to viewers, but Google can’t read it. If your page has more visual content than content that Google can see, Google might not rank your site, or worse, might write it off as spam. As a general rule, the more simple your layout, the better.

make sure your content is accessible to web crawlers

Interact with Viewers

Google is interested in using content that appeals to viewers. If you interact, Google will notice. Spam websites or websites that are not geared towards users are less valuable to Google, as the sole purpose of Google’s search algorithms is to bring content to consumers that fits their wants and needs.

Interacting with consumers shows Google that you are there for your consumers not just posting random content to increase your rankings. This leads into my next tip.

Consumer or Community Content

By allowing consumers to comment on, or even post content on your website, you automatically increase your content in both relevancy and volume.

The positive interaction of consumers with your page helps increase your page’s rankings, and the fact that consumers are interacting with your page also proves the relevancy of your content. Not only does this make less work for you in regards to having to post content, but this also helps keep you abreast of what is trending in your field of work.

Network with Other Companies

The more links back to your page, the more likely you are to have people visit your page. However, to avoid spamming the internet with context-less links back to your page, you need to network with other companies and websites. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”

Offer to guest post on their page to generate interest in your own work, and then offer to let them post on your page as guest writers to generate interest in their page.

By building a network with other companies and working with them to build interest in each other’s work, you draw attention to your website without posting spam links.

This is a legitimate way to draw interest to your page by using links without Google’s algorithms down-ranking your page for spam.

network with other companies to produce content

Go Mobile

With smart phones and tablets becoming the preferred form of web browsing for so many consumers, it is highly advantageous to your company to make your website easily accessible to consumers.

By making your content more accessible to users, you increase your web traffic numbers, thus helping increase your rankings online.

Going mobile is a highly effective way to increase web traffic, and it puts you ahead of the curve for many businesses, as companies are still discovering how to make their content easily accessible for tablets and smart phones.

make your content mobile friendly

Create an App

Apps are hot right now. Everybody wants the latest app, and Google Play is an awesome tool for marketing your apps.

Not only will these apps make your website even more accessible to mobile viewers, they can actually become a source of income, as people will pay for various apps.

By listing your app on Google Play, you can also post a link back to your page, and use that to gain hits from consumers.

create an app to promote your content

Utilize Outside Websites

Now, this isn’t going to pages and randomly dropping off a link. Instead, this is using websites Google favors to bring more exposure to your website.

Yelp is a good example of a website you can use to advertise your company. By claiming your business on Yelp, or setting up your business, you create exposure for your content without spamming.

Because you are using the site’s tools while following the site’s rules and stated purpose, you are creating viable links back to your page that Google will accept and use to rank your page.

Other websites you can use are LinkedIn and Yellowpages. Because these websites are geared towards satisfying consumer’s needs, Google considers them acceptable websites to use for gaining web interest.

Use Images

This may seem like a contradiction to what I said above about keeping things simple and readable for Google crawlers, but images are actually a good way to draw attention to your website, both for search algorithms, and for consumers.

Images attract the eyes of consumers to your content and helps keep their interest, while the tags that you can label your images with attract crawlers and makes the images visible to the them. These tags can then help increase your rankings in Google.

use images

Utilize Fandoms

Businesses don’t always utilize fandoms, but when they do, it often brings in a lot of web traffic. Fandoms are groups of people who are highly enthusiastic about various movies, cartoons, TV shows, or bands. Combine your product or service with trending fandoms.

For instance, if you see something related to your field of interest in a trending show or movie, give consumers more information on it. Let consumers relate your name to that fandom.

By using this technique, you will draw interest not only from your average interested consumers, you will also be getting interest from fandom members who are thrilled to learn more about anything to do with their fandom.

At this point, fandoms are a very powerful force, with millions of people obsessing over Harry Potter, Sherlock, the Hunger Games, and Doctor Who. These fandoms are not only powerful, they are also worldwide, showing up all over Youtube, Facebook, Google+, and other networking sites.

While utilizing fandoms might not directly raise your rankings on Google, the interest you will gain from fandom members will. Remember, find a niche and use it. Fandoms are an excellent place to start.