Being there is half the battle: Blog content must be discoverable to drive results

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One Brafton client learned the importance of giving their custom content a strong SEO foundation - search engines won't find it otherwise.

Industry: Entertainment
Content: Blog posts
Highlights: Jumpstarted site indexing with Fetch as Google tool to give content more visibility

Creating custom content is one of the best things you can do to build a search presence … and a digital footprint in general. In an ideal world, traffic and leads would automatically pour in when writers finish articles and marketers hit the “publish” button. However, it’s a myth that having high-quality content is, in and of itself, the only thing you need to do to reach your bigger SEO goals. The two work together and businesses need to do some basic back-end work to their websites to ensure search crawlers and online audiences can find the content they work hard to produce.

Consider one instance when a Brafton client noticed its blog wasn’t being indexed by search crawlers. The issue wasn’t the content – it was that the website’s architecture prevented Googlebots from finding the updated articles. The blog was set up on a subdomain (blog.website.com) rather than a subdirectory (website.com/blog), plus it was missing both a sitemap and social sharing buttons. This could have a handful of negative implications, such as:

  • The content not showing up in search results
  • Crawlers not finding the blog on the website
  • People who do find it not being able to share it with others

Because website content needs to be discoverable to fuel results, the client’s content strategy team stepped in to find short- and long-term solutions.

1. Tell Google to go fetch (your content)

Using the “Fetch as Google” tool in Webmaster Tools, Brafton’s team submitted article URLs to Google’s index and saw immediate traction. This essentially sends content straight to Google to put it on the search engine’s radar. Shortly after using the Fetch tool for the content, Google was indexing the client’s content at an exponentially higher rate.

After Brafton used the Fetch as Google tool, the client's content was indexed almost immediately.

The Fetch tool was also recently updated so that it can provide a glimpse into the way Google views your web pages by rendering images that show Googlebot’s view of the page.

This took care of the initial problem, because the content could be found in search results pages, but Brafton’s strategists found additional ways for the client to stand out online.

2. Ask your readers to share

Social sharing buttons are a straightforward way to increase content’s visibility. They invite readers to distribute
Social sharing buttons encourage target audiences to distribute content on their own.the articles they find helpful, entertaining or intriguing to their social circles online (and take credit for the discovery). More importantly, they increase the likelihood that content will reach wider audiences than if marketers attempt to promote it alone.

3. Build a sitemap

XML sitemaps make it easy for search engines to find website content and understand how it fits together on a given domain and how often it’s updated. For instance, a sitemap will show Google that the homepage is the most important part of a website, but the blog section was just updated with fresh content.

Marketers who need their websites to attract new leads and drive conversions can’t approach content like a Band-Aid for their bigger search marketing woes. Just like any aspect of internet marketing, custom content needs a strong foundation rooted in best practices to deliver exceptional results. The good news is: There are strategists that can help marketers fill in the gaps to make their campaigns better and give them the audiences they deserve.

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Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.
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