We ended the last article talking about content, which is a great topic all on its own when it comes to SEO. With the latest Google algorithm, it is more imperative than ever to have good website content. I mean writing something that is informative and useful to your reader. Something that answers the questions that your target audience is asking. But there is a little more than just writing good content for your website to get the Google bots to take notice.
Below are some key ranking factors to keep in mind when you are writing your content so that your pages have a better shot of building your authority in Google.
Website Content Length
Google’s theory on this is that the more information that you offer about a particular subject, the more likely you will better be able to thoroughly answer a searchers question. This type of detailed content builds the authority and expertise of your website and are key overall characteristics that the Google search evaluators are looking at. These days, getting above 1000 words on a page is difficult, especially if writing is not your strong suit and/or you’re too busy running a business anyway. Unfortunately, if you want a shot at ranking, you’re going to need to do this one way or the other. Currently, the average word count of a page landing in Google’s first page results is 1,890 words according to research performed by Backlinko.
You can hire a blogging service or an agency like Kodeak to help you with writing your website content, but no one can tell your clients about your business better than you, or someone within your company can. So try to write some of your content if you can’t do all of it or delegate it to someone within your organization to get the best results.
PRO TIP: Think of the most asked questions by your customers and write explanations and answers to those in your pages. Let your website help you with your sales process to close work quicker.
There’s a known correlation between depth of topic coverage and Google rankings. Therefore, pages that cover every angle likely have an edge versus pages that only cover a topic partially. Doing this really shows Google and your reader that you have extensive knowledge of the matter and really lends to your expertise in your field. Every time you put up new content that is related to other main pages or cornerstone pages of your website (and with the proper internal linking structure), Google sees all those pages as more reliable.
PRO TIP: Blog categories attached to each post are relevancy signals as well. A page that’s part of a closely related category may get a relevancy boost compared to a page that’s filed under an unrelated category. Pay mind when classifying your pages/posts.
Newly posted content that meets the length and relevancy guidelines above, is valued higher than older content in most cases. Since the Google Caffeine update, the search algorithm favors recently published or updated content. According to Google, searches for hot topics that a lot of people are talking about, and recent events will now automatically produce results with updated information.
Posting new content regularly helps Google see that your website is being kept up to date and fresh. Google has been known to give preference to websites that update and post new content on a regular basis.
PRO TIP:Make sure to include your publicized date in your schema so that Google can display the date on your SERP to help get more click through from users that value the recency of your information.
Grammar, Punctuation, & Reading Level
Google’s algorithm is much more intelligent than it was a few years back. The robots used to just crawl pages looking for keywords, but now, it is actually looking fully into the content and how it can be interpreted. Though we are not sure to what level Google is judging your grammar, this will surely have an indirect effect on your rankings if nothing else. Use the Flesch Reading Ease Scoring method and aim for a score of around 60-70 for web copy. Roughly, your text content should be written in a way that a middle school student could understand it. The easier your content is to read for your intended user, the more engagement and lower bounce rate you will have on that page.
Google hates duplicate content! If your content is scraped or copied from another, already indexed page, you will have a tough time getting it to rank, if at all. Google wants to see fresh, original content to serve its users. Other than that, if you are reusing content that has been posted somewhere else, especially if it was written by someone else, you lose a little bit of trust score with Google and possibly your reader.
Here is the factor to know if you are dealing with a professional Tucson SEO expert that is keeping up with the new algorithm changes or someone that is still using outdated methods. A while back, Google’s algorithm could only determine what your page was about based on the number of times a certain set of keywords was used on the page. The more the keyword was used, the higher your page would rank. Today, thanks largely to the Hummingbird Algorithm, Google now understands the topic of every page and can determine if the content will actually answer a searchers’ question.
Now, you still want to use targeted keywords or phrases, but they need to be used in the most natural and organic ways in your content. I can’t stress this enough, it needs to read well. Over using your target keywords will make your content sound or read weird. Users can get confused and then not want to share your content or come back to your page for more. Google bots read your content like a human. You should always write for your reader, not for a bot!
Use of Multimedia
Don’t forget your goals for your website. You want people to perform an action when they come to your website, or at least share or come back to your content. People like visual elements like images and/or videos to aid in the consumption of your content. With attention spans shrinking and time becoming more precious of a commodity, this trend isn’t going away. Users want to be able to consume content as quickly as possible. Google knows this too and rewards those pages that lean into this by embedding related images and videos on their pages. With over 6 billion hours of video watched on YouTube alone each month (50% more than last year), there is no denying that video is a highly desired medium for content. So balance or break up your text with imagery and video when you can. Make sure not to interfere with text so much that it makes it difficult to read.
PRO TIP: Video embedded as website content doesn’t have to be a huge production every time. With cell phones shooting in 4k and a good stabilizer or tripod, you can put together a good video clip every now and again. iMovie is a great editing software for the beginners out there too. Having at least one high quality video production is not a bad investment though!
These tips can be applied to any type of content on your website. Whether it is a cornerstone page or a blog post, your content should follow these guidelines. Keep in mind that your rankings will always be affected by your users’ time on page and bounce rates. So write your content so that it answers their questions, entertains them, and inspires them to perform an action. Make sure to use good On-site SEO tactics when putting together each of your pages as well to help Google and other search engines understand your pages better.
In our next article, we will cover linking structures for internal, inbound, and outbound links. Doing this right is a big quality and relevance signal for Google and involves a number of different techniques. Feel free to leave us a comment below if you have any questions or message us if you want a FREE analysis of your current SEO position and some advice on how to better it.