The Importance of Content for SEOFor those of us in business, we tend to find ourselves saying the same things over and over again.  As an SEO agency, this holds true, just like in every other industry. The one thing that we find ourselves saying over and over again is “We need to add more content to that page to get it to rank”.  Sometimes the amount of content isn’t intuitive to what you think will create the best UX (user experience) for your website, but Google eats up content and if you want to rank for even mildly competitive search terms you likely will need more content than you would naturally write for a web page.

Why Is Content Important for SEO?

When you are writing content for your website you are trying to get information across to the user landing on that page, correct?  Well, when writing for SEO you are trying to make sure that Google understands what your page is about so it will favor it in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).  In order to effectively do this, your page will need as much or more content than the pages that are already ranking for that particular search term. Please note there are some exceptions to this, but as a general rule, this is true.  While there is a lot that goes into SEO, having enough content, written with an SEO lens is step one to gaining rankings for the keywords and search terms that you are going after.

How Do I Know How Much Content My Webpage Needs to Rank?

This is fairly easy if you have the right tools.  As an agency, we spend an obscene amount of money on software to help with this sort of thing.  However, I understand that the novice SEO or the DIY person attempting to do SEO for their own small business may not have the resources to pay $1000s of dollars for robust SEO software.

So how do you know how much content you need for your page?  

  1. Google the search term you want to rank for.
  2. Pull the top ranking sites from that search term.  Exclude the “BIG” sites though. (EG. Yelp, Facebook. Twitter, LinkedIN, Reddit, etc)
  3. Open those websites and do a word count on how much content their website has.  You can use a tool like wordcounter.net.  It’s free!
  4. Take an average of that content amount and there you have it, that’s the minimum amount of content you need to write for your webpage to rank.

How Should My Content Be Structured?

This is another question we get a lot.  Many people that have been around since the early days of SEO remember the times when you could keyword stuff an article and get it to rank, meaning just insert the keyword as many times as you can.  This doesn’t work anymore!

Your content should be structured in a way that is easily readable and contains many variations of the keyword that you are approaching.  There is a lot of debate about keyword density and what percentage of the total written content should contain your keyword. As a general rule, I tell people less than 2%, but even that may be too much.  Use as many variations of the keyword as possible and write the content so it is very readable and natural and you are on the right track. You can also use simple SEO plugins like Yoast, however, the functionality of these plugins is limited.  That said, it’s better than nothing, so a great place to get started.

Summary

Content is a necessary evil to gain rankings on even slightly competitive keywords.  As a general rule, the more competitive the keyword the more content it will take to get that webpage to rank.  If you are not sure how competitive the keywords are and don’t have tools to research this, just think to yourself, “how competitive is the industry I am in and the city in which I live”?.  If you give yourself an honest answer you should have a gauge on how competitive your keywords of choice might be.

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