A big misconception about getting content to rank on Google is that there is a set formula one has to follow when writing it. In fact, there are whole ebooks dedicated to this topic. Is it really that complicated? Is there a magic word count one should do per post? What about keyword density? Does all this really matter?
Let’s break this all down one by one!
Note: I may link out to tools and services below that I use. Some of them may be affiliate links and I may make a small commission if the links are clicked on or bought through. Having said that, I will never recommend something I don’t use myself!
Who’s your audience?
The first questions we need to ask ourselves is: What is the purpose of our content? There is still this notion that content should be written to please the Google bots, but nothing could be further from the truth.
When you write, forget Google. The only thing on your mind should be the people you’re trying to attract. Are you providing enough value to attract new readers? Will they enjoy reading your content and – more importantly – will they enjoy it enough to read future content of yours?
A good question to ask yourself is: Would I share the content I just wrote if I were to read it for the first time on someone else’s blog?
My whole point is not to go hard on yourself and spend hours upon hours editing your posts. Some of us naturally already do that and it’s not necessarily a good thing.
My point is simply this: If you write with the reader in mind, you are guaranteed to do better in the long run. Not just in retaining your readerbase – but also in attracting more readers.
And that is the whole point, isn’t it?
Let’s look at the first myth:
There is a general rule of thumb that your post should be at least 300 words in length. I know you always have to decide how long you want your posts to be if you order content and most lazy writers will try to fit whatever they’re trying to say into that set number of words.
If you order content for your money site (because you suck at writing or because you simply hate it), try ordering at least 400 to 500 words per post. If everyone else is trying to get by with 300 word posts, step it up a notch and order just a bit more.
The easiest way to outperform your competition is to outdo them in all aspects possible. So – when it comes to content – try outdoing them in terms of length of posts, quality of posts, and of course the frequency at which you post.
As hinted at in previous posts, here are a couple services I have used quite a bit in the past to get content written for my niche and PBN sites.
If you write content yourself – like I am for this blog – don’t count your words. Don’t try to fill a quota of set number of words per post. Instead, focus on making your point. If you managed to do that in less than 300 words, great (although I would recommend expanding a bit if you could or compensate with graphs, videos, etc).
If it takes you 2000 words, fantastic. Just make sure it’s a solid post and not all filler content.
There is no set number of words you have to abide by, but I personally do prefer a little longer posts just because it tends to get the readers engaged more. When they get more invested in your content, they tend to be more open to sharing it. Making it a double win for you!
A lot of SEOs will tell you to have a keyword density of about 1 to 3 percent. They also insist that the keyword appear at least once in the main title and at least once in a subtitle. Although this is what quality on-topic content often times works out to be, don’t start counting words now.
Instead, focus on creating a solid piece of content that stays on topic and delivers the exact information someone would be looking for if they searched for your keyword. Of course having the keyword appear once in the main title and once in a subtitle is a good idea – but don’t make it spammy by including it in every subtitle.
Same goes for the content. If the keyword does not appear at least twice in your post, go through the post ONCE YOU’RE DONE WRITING and find a couple fitting places to insert it.
If you need help finding worthwhile keywords to pursue, check out LongTailPro – my favorite (and currently the only) keyword tool I use.
If you asked me the chicken vs egg riddle (in this case: content vs keyword), I would say the content came first. Always work on the content first, then find a way to naturally insert the keyword once or twice.
That’s it. Don’t worry about the percentages. As long as your content is highly relevant and includes the keyword a couple times, you’re golden. Don’t complicate this!
Adding media, title tags, styling, etc
Adding highly relevent media like images, graphs, or videos is always a great idea. Same goes for styling (creating subtitles, bolding, italicising, underlining, etc) where appropriate. Here again it is easy to optimize each of these elements for what we think the search engines would like to see, so it is important to keep the reader in mind as you add them.
Add any or all of the above if it enhances the post. In other words, if it adds to what you’re trying to say or helps bring your point across, add it.
The whole thing here is, make the content as user friendly as you can. Make it easy to read!
For example: You will see me create a million new paragraphs in each post. My english teachers would have crucified me if they had seen a paper as spaced out as what my blog content is. So why do I do it? Because it is easy on the eyes and people are not overwhelmed by just looking at it.
I care more about userfriendliness than just about anything else. I have a feeling it will pay off in the long run. *fingers crossed*
If there is one point I have been driving home in all of my recent posts, it’s this: Just do it!
Don’t complicate this internet marketing stuff. Just get out there and do it. Keep it simple. Don’t get overwhelmed by it.
Sure there are a lot of things you can do to help rank your site – especially from the content perspective – but don’t get overwhelmed by it.
Always write with the reader in mind. It’s better to have a hundred engaged readers than a thousand who can’t connect with what you’re talking about. So, aside from the 3 pointers I gave on top, don’t worry about SEO or what the Google bots will think of your content. Instead focus on what your readers will think.
Google is spending fortunes to educate it’s bots to identify engaging content vs rubbish filler content. Which is why the concept of writing “SEO content” is stone-age thinking.
Focus on value. Focus on ease of reading. Focus on the reader. In the end, nothing else matters!
Thanks for the valuable tips Konrad. I’ll be sure to incorporate them in my blog posts…