Good content is still a top ranking factor for delivering pages in search engine results. Short, thin content won’t cut it, your pages must have a purpose and answer people’s search queries. The articles you publish can be used to educate your audience, generate leads, drive social engagement or more. Search engines are looking for quality content to deliver.
When creating new content, focus on the following elements.
SEO-Friendly Title & URL
Begin with your keyword and place that close to the beginning. Google’s limit for titles and URLs is about 60 characters long. Make your title descriptive and engaging.
Structure the URL of your article or page to reflect what is on the page. Three to five words long is optimal, even if the article title is long, just use a shortened version with the keyword in the URL. Google only gives weight to the first few words of a URL so there is no need to include the entire title.
Page Description (Meta Description)
The page description is important for your click-through rate (CTR). State what is on the page, include the target keyword, be informative and include a call to action.
Use Images or Video
The use of images and video has a positive impact on the reader’s dwell time. (Dwell time is the length of time a visitor spends on a page.) When a visitor spends more time on your content it signals the search engines that this is a good answer to the query.
Plus, images make articles more visually appealing and can help break up a long post.
Including links to other sources as a reference is good practice. Outbound links help readers find additional information and help search engines understand the relevancy of your content based on what you link to. Use authoritative sources to maintain credibility.
By linking to other pages on your site you help visitors and search engines navigate your content.
Social Media Shares
It is important that readers can easily share your content. Social shares are not a direct ranking factor, but they do help improve your exposure. Placing “share” icons on your blog simplifies the process. If you are using WordPress be sure to upload a featured image to improve your post’s look on various social platforms.
There are many points of view on how long articles/blog pages should be – from a minimum of 600 words to a minimum of 1,500 words. The best answer is to make it long enough to properly cover the material. The length will differ between industries and topics.
Don’t focus on quantity over quality. It is better to have fewer, great posts that will satisfy your visitors rather than many posts that don’t provide good information. Think about your audience and decide if your article will satisfy their query.
Use these steps as a checklist the next time you write a blog post and create a well-optimized, SEO-friendly article.