In the earliest days of SEO and content marketing, keywords were everything. It was rightly understood that search engines used keywords to determine how a webpage should be indexed and ranked. For that reason, it was important to make sure the right keyword featured prominently in a given piece of content – be it for a blog, news site or e-commerce portal.
But today, the ranking algorithms are much more sophisticated. Studies have shown that content which is ‘semantically comprehensive’ fares better in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is a rather fanciful way of saying that Google is getting better at placing an article in its proper context and making connections between words and topics.
As Google hones its skills at making semantic connections, it becomes better at anticipating words that may also relate to the topic or ‘main keyword’ of the article. Another way of saying this is that it knows which words are going to be relevant to the topic as a whole, and the more of those words it finds, the better it’s going to rank the content for that topic.
Semantically comprehensive content is naturally going to be of a higher quality. The better the post or article is, the more likely it is to include an entire bouquet of words and phrases that Google expects to see hovering around a topic like this. That, in turn, means that high-quality content is going to perform better in the rankings.
Quality Content Encourages Sharing
Perhaps the most straightforward reason that quality is so important for content marketing is because readers will take a greater interest. If the content you produced is informative, attractive, engaging or even sensational or controversial, people are going to take an increased interest in it. And needless to say, the more interesting or useful a person thinks your content is, the more likely they are to share across their social networks and other platforms.
There is a great deal of research to back this claim up. To begin with, the New York Times commissioned a study which found that upwards of 94 per cent of the people they interviewed said that, before sharing a piece of content online, they give careful consideration to whether their recipients will find it useful.
But why does it matter whether or not users are sharing your content? There are couple of reasons to consider. Firstly, the way that a piece of content is shared and traded across social media platforms creates what are known as ‘social signals’. While previously assumed that social signals factored into a site’s search ranking, Google has since gone on record saying this is not the case. However, it’s probably safe to assume that social signals still have an important role to play.
Beyond that, the more a page is shared on social media, the more people are going to click on the link and visit it. This will inevitably lead to more people linking to the page from their websites and blogs, and these incoming links are extremely valuable in the world of SEO. You want your content to be engaging – and that means it needs to be interesting and useful.
Google Likes Long-Form Content
For years, the general consensus has been that Internet users prefer shorter blocks of content, as these are easier to process in a digital realm plagued by attention-deficit disorder. However, there has been a steady stream of evidence to the contrary, leading many experts to change their positions on this topic. Today, it’s widely accepted that long-form content is the way of the future.
In a quest to better understand the algorithms employed by Google and other search engines, curious minds have conducted countless online experiments. The resulting research suggests that Google rewards longer content with higher rankings. The benefits appeared to take effect at around the 2,000-word mark.
Of course, long content doesn’t necessarily have to be of a higher quality. However, we’re assuming in this case that the long-form articles and posts are actually something that people want to read. In that sense, a search ranking algorithm that rewards long-form content with higher rankings actually doubles as a gauge of quality.
If you’re looking for an SEO and marketing company that can help you create higher quality content for an e-commerce site, business webpage, portfolio or something else, contact Fallen Leaf Web Design. We’ll help you secure a position at the top of the search rankings.