By Keith Horwood, Head of SEO at digital agency Found
With more content than ever being produced it can be difficult to stand out. Users may just see it as ‘noise’ and not pay the slightest bit of attention to it. If that happens, they are unlikely to share it, read it, link to it, or return for more in the future.
So how can you make your content burst forth from the screen and wow visitors; the kind of content that creates an instant buzz? You know the type. The kind of the content that is emailed round the office, even by those who would not usually be interested in the subject matter, and is shared on various platforms because it’s informative, on-topic, on-trend or just plain funny.
Interactivity & Creative Video
Often this content can take the form of video or other interactive items. One impressive example is the Old Spice Muscle Music interactive video, in which you could control Terry’s (The Old Spice Man) muscles to create music. Very creative and any content featuring a flame sax is a winner in my book. Have a go for yourself.
Of course this had an immense budget and took some time to create by a highly skilled team. But once you’ve got a method in place for producing regular content, it’s good to have at least a couple of major content projects in the pipeline. Maybe employ freelancers for one-off projects, to help you. You might not get there straight away, but projects that take longer, more effort, and are visually impressive can have a greater impact online.
Where should content by placed, and by whom?
One factor that does affect the content reach and impact is site authority. A great piece of writing by a good author on a poorly visited website is a bit like Lionel Messi playing for Accrington Stanley. If he did play for Accrington Stanley, then it would generate exposure in the real world for the club. You could see Google Authorship in the same way; content authored by a notable industry leader on a smaller blog will generate much more interest than usual.
Don’t Scrimp on Design
Another ingredient that has a huge influence on whether a piece of content is going to be a hit or a miss is design. Having content which is clear and easy to read is what people and search engines value. Content with cluttered designs and too much advertised can be penalised by Google.
But how can you take content design to the next level? Two of the tools available that are being increasingly employed are HTML5 and CSS3D. Content marketing with HTML5 and CSS3D opens up a range of possibilities for businesses. It will enable you to create more interactive and shareable content that users will not only remember, but will keep them coming back.
So what’s going to be hot this year?
On mobile devices the ability to engage with content with a swipe and other gestures will be seen more and more in 2013. I imagine that exploring some data represented in 3D is not too far off being the norm.
Traditionally, to achieve the best possible SEO performance of a page, best practice would be to veer away from these types of techniques, as content was indexed based on textual content, but things have changed and SEO has changed a lot. With the context of links becoming increasingly important, as search engines become more sophisticated, creating shareable, engaging and memorable content will be the key to SEO success.