The saying –“content is king” is omnipresent now. We hear it almost every day and everywhere.
It shows the extreme criticality of content in online business. Here content can make or break a business.
When great content is backed up by good marketing efforts including optimization and content amplification, traffic surges and high rankings soon follow.
Thus good content has produced new elite that takes the top ranks in SERPs with big attention and adulation from customers. Now everyone is keen to produce good content. That is a big transformation in the web industry.
Let us look at the prerequisites in making a game-changing blog and the urgency in knowing what to focus.
Quantity versus Quality
Blogs stand out if the content is exceptional. Readers will lap it up when it is simple and can satisfy the curiosity of customers. All business owners and writers need to analyze how well they can serve customers in terms of the content they produce. The content must answer some questions.
How diversified are the topics of blogs? Do they answer the questions of prospective and existing customers? Are the answers in-depth? These questions define the quality index of a blog.
Regarding the quantity factor in blog posts, examine whether a set frequency is set for publishing blogs on a per month basis to notch up rankings and traffic.
Quality and Quantity are Equally Important
In quality as well as quantity, the standard question is which one is more beneficial? Is it posting 10 low-quality blogs a month or posting a single high-quality blog post?
Research findings at HubSpot based on the feedback of 13,500 customers showed the average number of blog posts a company should publish each month.
More Posts Boosting Inbound Traffic
The survey showed that more blog posts elicited higher inbound traffic and inbound traffic got a boost. Then, Hubspot made a breakup of the ideal number of blog posts on a per month basis by linking the metric with company sizes.
Employee strength 1 to 10: Small companies published 11+ blog posts a month and they enjoyed significantly higher traffic compared to times when posts were fewer than 11.
Firms with 11-25 staff: In companies with a staff strength of 11-25 employees a three and a half times jump in traffic was apparent when they published minimum 11plus blog posts a month than a month or less.
Companies with 26-200 staff: There was the doubling of web traffic compared to the lower number of posts in the past. It shows quantity is important.
But these results did not show the big picture. The HubSpot data did not analyze the quality factor of blog posts. It only concluded that more the number of posts, bigger the traffic and better rankings.
But numbers must do justice to good quality. Quality must have an upper hand than releasing content on a tight schedule.
Compared to quality, quantity is a close runner-up. In no way, quality should suffer just because every Monday a new blog has to be published.
Google Monitoring Content Quality
Google is very strict on both content quality and size of the content. The heydays of short content are over.
Brian Dean of Backlinko, in a study, analyzed the word count of top-ranking content and found that longer content performs better than shorter content. Long-form content can solve the problems of users effectively than short-form content. It was a game-changer that forced everyone to reevaluate their approach to web content.
In 2013, Google also introduced a SERP element for “in-depth articles” for ensuring better user experience.
Panda Penalises Bad content
Panda was a conscious crackdown on thin content, duplicate content, low-quality content, content farming and affiliate links.
In quality content, there will not be any deliberate keyword stuffing. All the effort will go in reinforcing the position as an authority website. Quality content will also handle work-related terms in a natural way.
Google has been demoting pages carrying poor content that also uses cheap SEO tricks. They had a shock when pages that ranked in top results in a month vanished in the next month from high rankings.
Panda update penalized blackhat SEO and low-quality content makers severely. But it positively graced users by making them the primary focus. Panda gave the message to bring quality content and that became pervasive.
Panda Impact on Content in 2018
Now Panda is part of Google’s core algorithm and it will keep a tab on five key areas
Content quality: It must be made sure that every page of content published should not be the following.
• Thin content
• Irrelevant content
• Duplicate content
• Auto-generated content
Panda will also watch for signals that the pages are not providing quality content from the given indicators
• Huge bounce rates
• Poor click-through rates
• Low time spent on site
• Falling number of returning visitors
Panda updates have been penalizing poor content for the distressed user experience while navigating with these problems.
• Designs/layouts violating UX conventions
• Site speed
• Poor navigation
• Redirects to another domain
• Mobile redirects
• Too many ads
• High affiliate links
Content Needs More Words
Overall, the demand for short-form content is drying up the long-form content is calling the shots in search results.
This is despite the short attention span of visitors. A study on a million Google search results revealed that the top results had an average 1,900 words. It follows that a high ranking content must have at least 2,000 words.
The length of the long-form content is increasing day by day. People are expanding the word limit and stretching to a size between 3,000 and 10,000 words.
However, be cautioned that the longer content has also triggered some unhealthy SEO practices by many resorting to questionable techniques under black hat SEO which are manipulative.
Escaping Perils of Blackhat SEO
The propensity to produce low-value content under the influence of Blackhat SEO has come under assault.
Blackhat SEO tricks had been in use for long and they are now beaten by algorithm updates by demoting the pages.
The benefit of Call to Action
To make blog posts effective, instituting call to action (CTA) will be a great idea. CTAs hasten conversions. CTAs compel readers to visit other pages for further information and get introduced to the company’s culture, values, contact information, and management.
The Big Message
Content must primarily serve users, not search engines. Use of spammy, underhand techniques in content will be self-destructive. Always make self-judgment to make sure that the content carries the right quality and will stay afloat for long.