It’s not sufficient to help you rank a web page to the top, but, soon enough, it will be required if search engines such as Google have their way. And that’s good. The days are numbered where spammers will be able to write junk in their articles and rank highly in the search engines.
Factors Affecting Good Content Writing
It used to be that content writers for SEO had to look at keywords used, the density, and the length as the primary factors when writing articles.
I would say now, you just have to write good content, and secondly, make it look good. The look is important in order to keep visitors because the time a visitor stays on a page is considered a strong ranking factor.
Since the time a visitor stays on your page is important, the length of the article has to be somewhat monitored as well. A long page, assuming the reader reads everything, will keep the reader on your page longer. An article that is about 800 words or more will take about 3 minutes, which currently is considered a good, lengthy time on a web page, according to articles I’ve read about Google.
However, a long article isn’t the only way to keep a visitor. A video may also be used to keep a visitor on a page. So, having a video, diagrams, or other types of content other than the written word can also help maintain visitors on your site. This has always applied to presentations in general. And web content is just another channel of presentation.
What is Good Content?
Good content is subjective to the particular reader. And search engines want to be able to serve their customers who are searching, with content that matches their search.
An important factor of good content is that it matches the title of your article. Take this current article I’m writing about “content writing”. What would a person searching for content writing be looking for?
My method for writing this content of this article was to read other articles about this, take the best, most useful points, and also include my own view on it. I’ve eliminated many points from articles I’ve read because I believe a lot of the information provided wasn’t about content as it was about SEO.
You can tell from the headings what I consider is important to someone searching for this topic and I tried to provide useful, factual information related to the headings in a better way that other articles. “Better” can be to summarize an article into something easier to read, or it can mean it’s more detailed, or it can be corrected or updated information.
I mentioned that making an article look better is also important. Look better can mean the typography such as the font size, the font, spacing, and other elements of the font and how it’s displayed to make it easier for readers to read. It can also mean adding some graphic elements such as images, content boxes, and other graphics (e.g. changing bullet points to use graphic images) to make the content easier or more interesting to read.
Good content is something that the search engine and the author of the article have to have in sync. The reason I say that is, you may write an article that is useful and factual with regards to the topic you have chosen, but, then, you have to rely on the search engine to serve your article to the right people.
So, it’s important to make sure that you have written an article that searchers want. One way to do that is to just do a search yourself and see what the top articles are. The top articles are presumably the ones that people want. Does your article end up in that search? This is a bit of keyword research and your keyword rank analysis.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to change it up a bit and put your own spin. There are too many articles of the same topic that are just re-written. Having a unique spin to your content may get you to the top faster than re-writing other articles. Search engines don’t want the same topic that is just re-written 10 times to take up the first page in the results. That would be terrible for searchers. Unfortunately, it’s going to happen. Many people in the same profession are going to write about the same topic because it’s important for their readers. For example, I’m sure many accountants will write about budget changes, or cash flow vs accrual accounting. It’s just part of their profession.
What’s important is to write it with your own words, your own thoughts, and make it your own. Don’t copy other articles. I’ve read other articles in order to make sure I’m writing about the correct topic and covering what is needed. But, I’m using my own words and my own voice to make it my own. I’m writing this in my style and not someone elses.
With regards to typography, I’m a bit lazy on that and I leave it up to the theme. I’ve chosen a highly regarded theme (Genesis Framework) to ensure that I am using good typography. Even still, I did increase the default font size used by this theme and also made it heavier because I find the font on many articles on mobile are too small and too light.
I use free websites for graphic images such as Pixabay. I also use Google Images and use their Advanced Search to search for images that are free to use commercially.
How to make sure your article shows up based on what people are searching for is another topic that I plan to write about later.
Let me know if you have suggestions or comments in the comments section below.