A couple of years ago, businesses across the world went a bit SEO-crazy. It was understandable –SEO promised to deliver the Holy Grail of prizes – high visibility on the search engines; which in turn, meant more click-throughs, enquiries and sales.
Thankfully, things have calmed down a little. Companies now appreciate that SEO isn’t affected by just one thing, but by of a number of different factors. They also realise that these days, it’s not about writing for Google, it’s about writing for your customers.
How Content Affects SEO
A huge number of things determine how SEO-friendly your site is. This includes site speed, keywords in the title and description tag, how well optimised your images are, and much more.
Content also affects your SEO results; but it’s a lot more complex than what’s on the page. Let’s have a closer look.
- Content length. Numerous SEO experts have tested content length, to determine what the ‘perfect’ page length should be. Results differ, but generally speaking, it seems that Google values content that is genuinely informative and useful. This tends to be longer content, but there’s no hard-and-fast rule.
- Duplicate content. Copied content is bad news for SEO – especially if it’s cut and pasted from another site! In addition to being poor SEO practice, it’s also unethical; so if you’ve got duplicate content, get it off your site pronto.
- Bounce rate. Bounce rate refers to the length of time someone spends viewing your site. If they’re interested in your article, they’ll linger for longer, which reduces your bounce rate. That’s a good thing. If the article sucks, they’ll leave immediately. Your bounce rate will go up. And that’s not good at all.
- Freshness. Search engines like fresh content. It demonstrates that you’re providing regular, up-to-date information for your users. If you fail to keep your site updated with new content, it can adversely affect your SEO results.
- Readability. Again, this one is contentious. Some believe that if it’s easier to read, it’s better in terms of SEO. A number of people have put it to the test, with varying results. Our approach? Write for your audience. If you’re appealing to academics, you should use appropriately sophisticated language – regardless of what the ‘recommended’ readability is!
- Layout. Layout can impact your SEO. If it’s difficult to read (i.e. long paragraphs, no sub-titles etc.) this can deter people from reading it, which increases your bounce rate. Always think of your readers and tailor your content accordingly.
How Much Should You Care About SEO?
It’s worthwhile keeping SEO in mind. After all, online visibility can make or break a business. However, we’d recommend against getting too bogged down with it. Focus on providing readable, engaging, informative content – on a regular basis – and you’ll already be ticking plenty of Google’s boxes.