The three building blocks of SEO, as stated in a previous blog, are Age, Authority and Content. While Age and Authority take time, patience and building relationships with partners, Content you have the most control over and is the most effective way to build your website’s ranking on the Search Engine’s Results Pages (Google, Bing, Yahoo), also called SERPs. Investing in the time to consistently write content for your website will provide return with more traffic, more leads, more conversions, not just for days and weeks after posting but for months and years.
In the content below, when I refer to Google, I mean all search engines but why do I specifically focus on Google?
“In 2020, Google was the indisputable champion of the world’s search engine market. The latest research indicates that Google has acquired 88.14% of the world’s market share.”– Statista
While adding content to your site on a regular basis is not a complicated task, it can be cumbersome and adds to your already exhausting list of chores and duties as a business owner. So when it comes to content, the most frequent questions are: How often? How long? and What should I write about? While the answers may be specific to your particular industry and brand, I will address these question in a general sense, but more importantly discuss how well written content can improve your ranking on search engine results pages.
How Content can improve ranking.
“Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t.”
Content creation takes some time and patience, a dose of creativity and your unique voice to write in a way that separates yourself from the plethora of content that is out there already. Set aside time in your schedule to write one article at least once a month, but more preferably three or four times a month, whatever you can do according to your personal schedule. The more often you add quality content you add to your website (and onsite blog), the better your SEO success you will achieve and the higher your website will rank on the SERPs (search engine results pages).
*Having a blog onsite, meaning on the website that is promoting your business, is far more effective than having an off site blog (like Blogger, Reddit, Wix, or separate WordPress site for your blog content). Why? The key components of attracting content to your website is adding and revising content consistently, which one of the easiest ways to do that is by adding a blog to your website. Give them a reason to visit and return for new blog articles, so you will see in time returning traffic will increase with a blog. More content means more content that Google has to work with to rank your site on the SERPs (search engine results page). And it shows off your skillsets, expertise in your industry, the personality of your brand and your interest in helping your target audience. Keep the blog onsite!
“Blogs can result in a 434% increase in indexed pages and a 97% increase in indexed links.”
What is an indexed page or link? Indexed pages have been found by search crawlers (like the spiders for Google) and deemed to have enough quality for relevant search phrases. Indexed pages will show up in search results and can drive organic traffic to your site. Link indexing is the inclusion of your link into the Google’s database.
Simply put, when you blog you create more pages for Google to find, to crawl, to rank and to make visible on search engine results for those looking for what you do or what you sell. To illustrate, if you wanted to build referrals from local organization or business leaders, you would make great effort to ensure they understood what you do, how you do it, and why your product/service is higher quality and more cost-effective than your competitors. The more confident others are about your products and services, the more likely they are to refer you.
The same is true with Google, the more content you offer them to crawl, index and rank, the more likely they are to ‘refer’ you to search engine users.
“58% of marketers said “original written content” is the most important type of content, outdoing visuals and videos.”
So the work you invest in writing original content to your website is a surefire way to be seen by new users (and leads), because your posts/pages will start showing up in their searches. If you are writing on a topic that stands out from the rest because of your unique voice, your special set of skillsets or your unique approach to the topic, then you have a better chance of climbing the SERP ranks. Google has become very proficient in determining whether the article was written for search engines versus for actual humans. So write for your target audience about topics that address their needs, their questions, and what keeps them up at night. So avoid writing fluff pieces that is stuffed with keywords and has no unique relevance to your specific industry or skillsets. (And don’t buy content that is mass produced for specific industries and has no unique voice or relevant content for your specific brand.)
Content Length and Frequency
The next most frequently asked question I receive from clients is how long a blog posts should be and how often they should write a new blog. The easiest way to answer both of these questions, is that the more content you write and the more frequently you write it, the more keywords you add to your website’s library and the more relevance and authority Google determines you have.
“The average Google first page result contains 1,447 words.“– Backlinko
Bloggers who write articles of 2,000+ words are far more likely to have strong results. But word count does not always mean quality content, as Google has become very intuitive in positively ranking original and informative quality content.
While 2000 words may seem daunting, content over 1000 words do better on average when ranking in search for highly relevant keywords. So a good benchmark would be to write between 1000 to 1500, but as I say to client, instead of getting bogged down with a word count, focus on the content, telling your full story with all the factors at play, and focusing on the what, the why’s, the how’s and the takeaway. At the very minimum, to be considered a blog and not ‘thin content’, the word count should be between 300-500 words.
Instead of focusing on word counts and meeting a specific number, just write content that asks and answers questions that your target audience is often asking you, on topics that keeps them up a night, and about subjects that are relevant to your industry and that you have the skillset and experience to write about.
“43% of people admit to skimming blog posts.”
If your content is long, considering breaking your blog up into subheadings, sections and lists, for example, ‘the top ten reasons your business should invest in content marketing’. Each of the 10 reasons could be 10 headers with subheadings breaking down each point into more specific ways to implement those reasons into your everyday business. If one stands out to the user, they can easily scan to find that reason to explore and skip the others that may not apply to them.
“Titles with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic.”
Even your blog titles should be well thought out, written to grab attention and provide a question or an answer to your target audiences’ most popular questions. Titles that are in that 6-13 word count range have a better chance of providing a well-defined synopsis of your post and if keyword rich, provide Google with keywords they can match the article effectively to users’ searches.
“Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%.”
In fact, some statistics show that Blog traffic generation increases once blog reaches 20+ posts. How long will it take you reach the 20 blogs? Four months, six months, a year or more? If you are just starting out and your website has not yet achieved sufficient domain history with Google, then writing frequently is even more imperative to improve your ranking and increase traffic to your new website. Most new sites are climbing an uphill battle to rank well on Google, especially in those first 3-6 months, as your website has no domain history (age), usually a small number of relevant and authoritative backlinks (authority), and a modest library of content.
“90% of consumers who used the internet are looking to find a local business in the last year”
As one SEO book I’ve red illustrated it this way, when you begin dating someone, it takes time to get to know them and trust them and promote that new relationship, until you have gotten to know their deeper thoughts and intentions (content), met their friends/family who can vouch for them (authority or backlinks), and you have known them for long enough and spent enough time with them to determine their character (domain history or age). Google is using those same barometers to ensure you website is trusted, relevant to your industry and has authority by being linked from other trusted, credible sites. Until it can determined these factors, your site will not be ranked well enough to receive a substantial amount of organic traffic.
“90.63% of pages receive no organic search traffic from Google”
Unfortunately, too many sites are not getting enough traffic via organic SEO and hence not showing up in searches with your chosen and logical set of keywords (longtail or shorttail). Client’s websites that I work with where I have designed their website, optimized their content, trained the client how to manage their content, and consult them on internet marketing are at least getting between 50-60% of their visits from organic acquisition. The goal with each website I design and developing, is building an online presence that is found on Google searches, being clicked on by users and engage users long enough to click for more information or convert.
How to determine content topics
“89% of content marketers used blog posts in their content creation strategy in 2020”
Now we know why we want to regular have a content marketing strategy, how long and how frequently we want our blog posts to be, and how our content can improve our success when it comes to traffic and conversions, especially if we are just starting out on our internet marketing journey. So the next big question is: “What do I write about?”
Often when I’m working on an internet marketing proposal, I dig deep not into their products and services the company produces, but also their
- (1) target audience including gender, age, location and interests;
- (2) their list of target keywords for their particular industry and niche;
- (3) topics that relate to their industry and that would provide interest to their target audience but are not just written to directly sell those products or services; and
- (4) ways to engage the user to either convert, learn more or build trust in your brand.
For example, a yoga studio can definitely write about the health benefits of yoga which directly relates to their service, but the could also write about the best equipment, clothing, mats and accessories that could improve their workout. Someone that is interested in yoga, may also be interested in alternative healing articles, recipes for raw or vegan dishes, natural ways to find relaxation, how yoga can be implemented at different ages and health issues, natural ways to eat right and lose weight, the best places in your home or in your area to practice your yoga in a peaceful, serene setting, the type of music for meditation and music, the history of yoga, case studies of yoga students, and so on and so forth.
The opportunities to teach, to engage and to draw traffic in never ends by getting to know your target audience and their particular interests (that are relevant to your industry). As the seasons change, trends change and circumstances in our local and global world evolve, there is always something to talk about and share.
Why it’s a Challenge and How we can Help
“65% marketers find it a challenge to produce engaging content. 62% don’t know how to measure the ROI of their campaigns. And 60% say they can’t produce content consistently.”– Optinmonster.com
Granted taking the time each month to sit down and write 1000+ words of content is not easy especially for business owners who do not have the time, hate the process of writing and are not sure where to start. So, you’re not alone if you feel content marketing is an obstacle that you’re not sure you want to take on. We can help motivate, train or manage for you.
Learn more about our Content Marketing Services and how our services are unique, affordable and personalized – each article we write is specifically tailored to the client and never resold or reused by anyone else, period, end.