As an old SEO mantra, Content is King. The subject has been talked about by a lot of people and it is likely one of the first things you ever heard about when you started learning more about search engine optimization. The fact is that content is still king, even though there are other areas that you can improve upon, such as quality backlinks, social signals, and other off-page items. None of these off-page items will ever create as big a bang or as big a hole in your optimization efforts.
What makes it King?
Content tells people about your site and as such, it tells the search engines about your site so they can help people find the right site for their search. Low amounts of content make it difficult for people and search engines to figure out what you do, sell, or otherwise why your site even exists. This is a major factor not just in your rankings, but also in your conversions. You want people to visit your site, find what they want, and buy something or complete a form.
What can I do about the content on my site?
This has changed over time, so what you used do on your site in terms of content may not be adequate anymore for what is necessary today. Lengthy content is very important in today’s search as you can provide a great deal of information in only a few pages. How long are we talking about? This is debated, however, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,700+ words will show some pretty good results, as long as you’re not writing fluff pieces just to pad the word count.
Remember that what you say is even more important then how much you say, so make sure that you speak to your customer’s interests and focus on why they should be interested in learning more about your company and what you can provide them. A great way to do this is to relate to them in some way. For example, if you sell shoes, you may want to discuss feet in a way that is interesting. This could draw them in and they see that you’re not just trying to discuss your product for 1,700 words. They are already on your site, so you should have calls to action already on the page they are on. Therefore, you can focus on being informative, yet entertaining.
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You could also write buzz-worthy content, which is made purely for entertainment purposes, to attract readers and then keep them engaged by making them interested in learning more. You then have links on the entertaining content to an informative page. There, you can try to convert the reader. The buzz-worthy content needs to be free from sounding like you are trying to sell something. That’s the information page’s job.
What about existing content on my site?
You’ll want to go through and evaluate the content on each page to figure out its purpose. Is it meant to just be informative? Is it meant to be slightly entertaining? Is there a page completely devoted to entertainment? These are things you’ll have to look into. Specification pages are definitely meant to just be informative and that’s a good thing. The problem arises when you find yourself surrounded by informative pages and nothing else. You need to engage people, so perhaps you could turn some of those informative pages into informative and entertaining pages with the intent on moving people to another, even more informative, page.
You may also find out that you have a lot of pages that barely have any content on them at all and that is certainly something that you need to address. You want to make sure that if a page is accessible by a person, that page should have something of value on it. There will always be some pages that are designed to have little content on them in the form of text. Galleries are a prime example of this. A Gallery page may need a little information to set the tone for the images, but not much. It is simply important to make sure that low content pages get beefed up.
Why do I have to do so much work for content?
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. That’s something that many adults have said at one point or another. It’s true though. Writing good content on your site isn’t easy and it takes time. However, if you’re willing to put the effort into your site and write content that’s much better than your competitors, then that alone will set you apart from the herd. There will always be someone out there saying that it is too difficult and they don’t have time for it. That could be one or more of your competitors.
Don’t just be good, be better. Much better.
Everyone can create “good” content, so you need to be better—much better. This means doing the research, putting in the effort, and writing something you’d feel good about sharing with your clients via social networks and newsletters. The content that you create for your site can have further reaching opportunities if you’ll take the time to make the effort. Let all that hard work pay off by having people engage with it on social media, visit your site from a newsletter, and ultimately stick around to learn more about what you can offer them.
You will take out some of your competition simply because this isn’t easy, you’ll improve your social engagement, and you’ll find that Google and other search engines now know more about what you do so that they can better answer user questions. This can translate into better rankings and we all want to rank better in the search results. Just remember that the user experience is very important and that is really your focus here, not just using keyword phrases or just adding fluff to increase the length of pages. You want users who see your content to stick around and learn more about you. That’s the goal, and that goal will help everything else you are trying to achieve.
–Doyle Clemence, SEO Manager