We are often asked to perform Search Engine Optimisation on sites that have little or no meaningful content, i.e. relevant text. Images are great but if you have a site and want to boost your natural rankings, you need to give the search engines a clue about your site’s purpose. You should create your content in the same way as any other marketing medium, i.e. for your visitors.
The one question we get asked time and time again is how much content do you need to put on a website? There isn’t a word count magic number. For blog post length many studies say that 1000-1500 words are ideal, but it is not as straightforward as that.
Start by searching on Google for the keyword you want to rank for and then see how many words the competitors have on their pages that are ranking. This will then give you the quantity and quality of content you should aim for. You then need to write content that is better written and more informative than your competitors in order for you to outperform them. Understanding your audience and writing in a style that will engage them and encourage them to investigate further will be far more beneficial than loading text with keywords.
Here are a few pointers that you should consider when writing content:
- Research the competition
- Write until covered everything you need to
- Don’t repeat yourself and add fluff just for the sake of meeting a word count
- Write naturally, i.e. the text should be created with the visitor in mind not SEO
- Despite the reference to writing ‘naturally’, keywords that your page is about need to appear on the page. Sounds obvious? It is, but equally surprising how many times this has been over-looked
- Use Header Tags, where appropriate. Break your paragraphs down with header tags which help with both your natural rankings and your visitors when they are reading the page
- Internal linking helps with SEO, i.e. don’t use ‘Click Here’ or ‘More’ for internal hyperlinks. Try to use the title (or close variant) of the target page.
The copy you write will be available for all to see, not just the search engines. In fact if you earn a decent search engine ranking and then leave your visitors disappointed with lifeless yet optimised copy, you are unlikely to see any benefit. When writing on a subject, keywords and their synonyms should naturally find a home in your content.
In summary, certainly think about the structure of your site and the way your content is developed but make sure you read it back. If it doesn’t flow naturally, consider changing. If you get tempted to ‘stuff’ keywords in to your copy, don’t!
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