Great content: a technical perspective
It’s been a buzz phrase among digital marketers for a while now, and has creeped its way into the ears of the most geeky SEOs too – indeed, it’s ‘all about great content’. Whether it’s videos, editorial content or infographics, most people will now tell you the key to a successful search campaign lies with content. And it’s no wonder. Content is much more interesting, exciting and glamorous than subtle technical fixes, link building and never ending Excel files.
However, most marketers draw the line at explaining what they mean by great content. Of course, what makes content good or attractive is pretty subjective from a user perspective. As SEOs though, we are interested in what makes Google interested in your content, because that’s the way to achieve organic rankings and attract natural visits. So, what technical practices should you try and stick to in order to achieve great SEO content?
Although meta descriptions are not taken into account as a ranking factor, they can have a significant impact on a page’s click-through rate. While most webmasters remember to give their pages titles, it’s not uncommon to see missing meta descriptions which is a missed opportunity. Meta titles on the other hand are a major ranking factor. You should ensure your titles are original, keyword rich and within SEO recommended character count limits. Great meta data is a must for great SEO content.
SEO Friendly images
Content and social media updates which include imagery generally generate more views and engagement than that without. Some studies go as far as estimating that blogs with images receive 94 percent more views than those without. While imagery is important for users, it’s also encouraged by Google. Include high quality images in your posts, and remember to optimise them with appropriate image Alt text. You never know, you might even end up getting visits from Google images!
Get the right length
There is a lot of conflicting data out there about the ideal blog post length. Overall, longer posts tend to perform better in organic rankings. It’s only logical, as the more content features on a landing page the more potential reasons to rank it gives Google crawlers. The graph below shows a correlation between content length and rankings. Interestingly, all Page 1 content is above 2000 words in length. Whilst writing long content is no ranking guarantee, it can certainly help.
As Google’s understanding of content develops away from basic individual keyword analysis, Latent Semantic Indexing (or LSI) keywords are becoming an important aspect of SEO content. In short, LSI refers to related or synonymous terms, which help search engines comprehend content themes and provide users with relevant searches. For example, it may help your visibility in ‘jumpers’ related searches to use synonyms like ‘sweaters’, or topically related phrases such as ‘winter clothes’.
Finally, use headers in your posts. There are many types of headers (H1, H2, H3, etc) and they can be a great way to send search engines signals about what your content’s topics. It is a typical mistake and missed opportunity to see the use of proper headers substituted by bold letters. While over using headers is a bad SEO practice frowned upon by Google, it can be a good SEO trick if used sensibly.
How do you rate great content?