improve search ranking with great content

One of the best ways to improve search ranking is to create great content.  Great content that other websites will want to link to.  It is especially good if the search engines consider these websites to be authorities on a topic you are targeting.

Recently the Blender website experienced just such a lift.  Popular lifestyle blog Life Hacker linked to a tool hosted in the Blender website that calculated costs for a cloud storage service.  Of course visitor traffic went through the roof increasing by several orders of magnitude when their post went live.  More interestingly, search traffic both in the form of impressions (searchers seeing the Blender webpage in their search results) and visits nearly doubled.  The content of my website hadn’t changed, but Blender looks a little better now.

Links from authoritative and topical websites are gold. Long gone are the days when SEOs would litter the internet with thousands of links to a website in a bid to game the search engines.  Sometimes referred to as search engine spam it is now considered ineffective, and likely a ranking liability.

There are many great blog posts and guides out there with suggestions on link building strategies, which I’ll link to below.  Post mortem:

  • I chose a topic I was knowledgeable about and I thought would be of interest to others.
  • I wrote several posts on the topic of linked them together.  Interested visitors continue to read about their topic of interest visiting more pages, showing search engines there was content at Blender worth sending people to read. (reference: silos and bounce rates)
  • During my research I found a tool for calculating storage costs.  It was open source and useful so I integrated it into my website (careful to give full credit).
  • The structure created search traffic, the likely source of the Life Hacker writer.  The content was useful, so she linked to it.

Hopefully the increased traffic, both directly from the article and indirectly from the increased search engine visibility, will lead to even more links. In extreme cases this would be what is referred to as having gone viral, meaning without further promotion traffic continues to increase.

Some links to get you started:

Beginners Guide to SEO

Link Building vs Content Marketing