You bet it is and the better the content the more likely your website page will rank.
Google has seriously tightened it’s ranking criteria and as of 2011 once they released their Panda update to weed out poor quality websites, the game has changed. Namely quality content is what Google s looking for.
Let’s take it back before 2011 and see what the digital landscape was like so you can get a better idea of what the future holds. Websites pre “Panda update” could rank without any worthwhile content. We use to see pages rank for really competitive keywords where the sites would just be images and a tiny bit of text. Things were so different in those days where pages thin on copy could get to page 1 easily if they had enough backlinks. Incredibly spammy and Google soon picked up on this.
After the Panda rollout, roughly 20-30% of websites worldwide suffered a ranking drop because Google deemed that their web pages offered little information & value to the end-user. As result businesses and companies had to make some serious decisions about their website and how they wanted to be perceived online. Thus began the era of SEO copywriters, bloggers and news artifices on websites. From that point onwards Google wanted to see value is content throughout the site. Even pages that people didn’t really search had to have valuable content.
Related article: Website copy: Always write unique content
All of a sudden you had websites where there were pages and pages of copy presenting the reader with another issue; why did they have to read so much information to get to the nitty-gritty of what they were looking for. Trawling through pages of irrelevant content, just to satisfy the Panda algorithm was now the norm and this was presenting Google with an issue. How to rank websites with quality content while at the same time giving readers a better experience. The answer was ‘bounce rates’. Google now looks at what people do on your site, how long they stay and what they do when they land on all pages. If they exit the site quickly then these bounce rates will be high and your rankings will suffer.
Hence, web designers and copywriters now have to work together to not only deliver really good copy but also a pleasurable online experience. Google wants to ensure the results that they deliver to page 1 are what people are searching for.
Essentially, they want people to land on your page, look around and then go to other pages for more information and ultimately hit the contact us or buy now buttons. It is all about the user experience and Google are watching this very closely. Content is one part of this ranking equation so make sure that whatever you publish on your website is a dam good read!
Never plagiarise website copy
One point that needs to be highlighted here is copying content from someone else website. You may think that writing unique great copy is far too hard for you. So to save time and the expense of hiring a copywriter you just decide to rip a whole lot of content from someone else site. This is not going to work and will penalise you. Google’s algorithms are far too sophisticated for this and they can detect this type of duplicate copy very quickly. So if you even remotely tempted to plagiarise copy….DONT!
How many words per page are best for SEO?
This is a great question and while there is no definitive answer for this each page in our opinion should be between 500-1500 words depending on the nature of the topic. Obviously, if you’re in the medical field and your writing about some research or important medical breakthrough, the copy required will be more than if your an electrician talking about service your offering. Needless to say, it doesn’t matter what industry or niche you’re in, the content has to be informative and answer the reader’s questions.
Featured snippets and questions
If your wondering what to address when writing copy Google has made it easy for you by providing featured snippets and questions. For example when I search ‘ how much should I pay for SEO’ I get a list of questions that people also ask about this topic. So, ideally, you should also be addressing these type of questions on your web page.
Having said that I should really address a few more questions as per Google’s recommendation so here goes…..
What is high-quality content?
It’s content written to answer users specific questions and not written specifically for ranking. The copy should be topic-specific, unique and not syndicated on many other sites.
How do you make your content more SEO friendly?
– you have to plan what you’re going to write and have a strategy in mind.
– make sure you use heading and break the content up into easy to read paragraphs
– have links on the article to other pages within your site
– make sure the titles and descriptions are fully optimised for the reader
– make sure you post regularly and keep updating your website with relevant content. This tells Google that your site is alive and it will keep on sending its spiders along to reindex and crawl the site – some people feel strongly that this does help in your SEO efforts.
– if your adding any images to the page they should be optimised with current alt titles
If you’re still wondering why your web pages seem to consistently fail online and why your attempts at content marketing seem to be falling flat, I’d be more than happy to take a look at what’s happening with your content and ways in which you can improve your online visibility.