The Power of Website Content: How to Improve Your Rankings

September 21st, 2012 by Paula Keller French

Today I’m here to tell you a little story about the power of website content. My cardinal rule is “If you want to rank for it, you better say so on your website!” The first step to improving your rankings for a given keyword is ensuring that your website provides valuable information on that topic.

Once you add that helpful information or “content” on that topic, laced subtly with keywords that people may search when looking for the product or service, you have a much higher chance of being found!

About 18 months ago, we started working with Audubon Nature Institute. Audubon is an everyday name here in New Orleans, as every child in the city and many beyond enjoy the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and more. As a result of their prominence, and their .org domain, is an incredibly strong and authoritative website.

Audubon also has many offerings that go beyond the things to do in New Orleans that most New Orleanians and visitors think of each day. They also offer catering, children’s and adult birthday parties, tennis lessons, horseback riding, meeting space, wedding and event spaces, and many other things that one might not immediately think of Audubon for.

We wanted to help Audubon’s presence in search results for these other offerings, as they bring in revenue that helps support their attractions as well as conservation efforts. Their site at the time did have information on these offerings, but not in such a way that was keyword friendly for the search engines.

Through the process of optimizing existing pages and adding new pages focused on our topics at hand, Audubon’s website traffic for non-branded search related to these offerings increased in the triple digits, ranging from over 200% to almost 500% increases when looking at 8 months in 2012 compared to the same 8 months in 2011.

  • 221% Increase in Non-Branded “Party” and “Parties” Related Visits
  • 300% Increase in Non-Branded “Catering” Related Visits
  • 437% Increase in Non-Branded “Wedding” Related Visits
  • 498% Increase in Non-Branded “Venue” Related Visits

Minimal addition of links to these pages was required in order to improve the rankings that led to these increases in traffic.

In fact, before any link-building was done to these pages, and immediately after the optimized content was added and crawled by Google, their rankings for targeted keywords improved. Check out this shot of the top 28 keywords we were tracking. This shows rankings on Sept 1, 2011 compared to August 1, 2011. (The position on Google is to the left of the arrow, and the number indicated on the right of the arrow is the change in position. Where there is a “+,” that means the website is ranking on the first 2 pages for the first time for the given keyword.)

In this case, the power of targeted content is very evident! If you are a well established business with an authoritative website, review the information on your products and services and ensure you are making the most of the information. If you happen to be a smaller website, you should still complete this exercise, but you may need some additional authority-building for your domain as well.

Two Easy Ways to Improve your Existing Website Content:

  • Write descriptive titles and headings.

Before:“Our Services”

After: “Our Accounting Services”

  • Reference your product or service by name instead of using pronouns or generic terms.

Before: “The procedure lasts between 1 and 3 hours.”

After: “The breast augmentation procedure lasts between 1 and 3 hours.”

These are natural ways to reinforce what your website and your business is all about, and to help Google find you more relevant.

Share your experience with us! Do you have any experience with improved rankings due to small (or large) content changes? If you try our tips above, take a baseline to see where you are ranking before the edits, and then let us know how your rankings improve after a month or so!