Category: Communication

Pillar Pages and Winning SEO Strategy

Topics and pillar pages are increasingly important concepts  for search engine optimization. Both are ways to rank highly under latest refinement to search algorithms, which react to the way people today search.

People Use Phrases to Search

Today’s search engine user submits queries that reflect plain language, conversational style. This is becoming even more prevalent as voice searches (“Siri, find me a…”) become more common.

Today, 64% of searches are four words or more. Rather than searching for general terms, people use these longer search queries to find the exact information they’re looking for.

Organize Content Around Topics

To rank in search approach your content differently. Choose the broad topics you want to rank for, then create content based on keywords related to that topic that all link to each other.  Organizing around content and linking URLs together will help more pages on your site rank in Google and help searchers find information on your site more easily.

Next, Implement Pillar Pages

Pillar pages broadly cover a particular topic. A pillar page covers all aspects of a topic on a single page. Additional related pages and posts then link into the pillar page.

Pillar pages generally have more content than other pages and posts because they cover all aspects of the topic you’re trying to rank for. They should provide general information and address common questions about a particular topic. They also serve as a hub where all related content is linked.

Adopt the Right SEO Mindset

To success with SEO, you need to think about the topics (rather than keywords) that you want to rank for. Of course, these should be central and congruent with your brand or business.

With the topic in mind, you can create your pillar page(s). You can then research the keywords related to your topic and build out more content to link to the pillar page.

Resolve to Be More Visual

Great content is more than words. You also need great visuals. None of us have the budget to create custom visuals for all of our content. The good news is there are many royalty-free image sites that you can mine for the right images to pair with your great words.

Caution: many of these sites also promote paid options. You may decide you want to pay for an image, but make sure you are intentional about selecting a paid image over a free image!

Ten Best Practices for Digital Communication

Guest Post by Susan Hoffman, Blog Editor

Digital communication such as websites, blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have made it much easier for you to reach a global audience. But using digital communication to effectively reach your audience and motivate them to take action requires some work as well as social etiquette.

Here are 10 best practices to follow for digital communication:

  1. Double-check everything before publication.It is all too easy to accidentally make a typo or forget to check a fact before you publish. But your audience will quickly point out any errors they see, especially on social media. It is much easier (and less embarrassing) to double-check your content before it goes online.
  2. Write in a format designed for Web readers.According to a study done by user experience experts Nielson Norman Group, Web readers often skim through an article by reading in an F-shaped pattern. Your headline, sub-headers and first paragraph must quickly grab their attention.Also, break up your paragraphs into two or three sentences. Paragraphs of this length are much easier for your Web audience to read, especially on mobile devices.
  3. Learn search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to help search engines find your online content.Moz offers an excellent beginner’s guide to SEO. Remember that SEO changes over time, so keep up with the latest changes to understand how they will affect your writing.
  4. Use Google Alerts to monitor and manage your digital reputation.Set up a Google Alert so that you are quickly informed when someone writes about you or your company. It only takes a short amount of time and you’ll be able to easily see what readers say about you.
  5. Let online relationships develop before asking for favors.Take the time to get to know your audience and their needs, rather than asking for favors right after you meet them. Digital communication makes soliciting favors easy, but it’s also considered rude to do the “ask” too soon.
  6. Once you have online relationships, nurture them.I often send notes to my LinkedIn connections, just to see how they are doing or commend them on a recent achievement. Even sending a short note saying “How are you doing?” or “Congratulations!” can be very meaningful to the person receiving it.
  7. Remember that a lot of your audience may read your online content by using mobile devices.Help your mobile readers and ensure that your content is pleasing to readers’ eyes.Use a lot of blank space, break up your paragraphs at times with bulleted or numbered lists, and don’t overload your webpages with text. The Australian educational website Open2Study offers a useful free course in Writing for the Web to help you understand what Web readers prefer to see.
  8. Double-check your content after you publish.Sometimes, technical errors may occur with your online content or photos may suddenly disappear. Be sure to review any content you post after it’s live, so that readers see it in the way you intended.
  9. Use plenty of visuals.Photographs, infographics and short videos are a great way to liven up your content. They aid your readers in understanding what you’re communicating and often offer greater insight than just telling a story with words.
  10. Check for copyrights.If you quote someone else’s text, be sure to give them proper attribution. And if you’re using visuals such as photographs, it’s best to use your own or use images that are public domain. Many images on the Web are copyrighted and you could get into legal difficulties if you use them without the owner’s express permission.Digital communication is a fantastic way to make people care about issues, to teach them new information through stories or to show them the human face of a company. However, doing careful work and following proper etiquette makes digital communication much more effective.