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Thin Web Content is a Real SEO Killer

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Article Overview

Writing copy for your website in 2023 is tougher than in previous years as the online space is crowded with information, videos and social media all vying for your attention. To get better Google rankings you must provide content that's unique, engaging, informative and above all super-relevant. Be creative with your content and you'll soon see how effective they are as part of your digital marketing.

Have a look at your website and search all your main pages and be honest: are they thin on content?

Are there only a couple of paragraphs per page that do not clearly articulate your product or service?

Poorly worded web pages that are extremely light on content are going to harm your SEO and Google rankings. No doubt about it….if you think you can scrape by with just a few sentences for all your web pages, then you are in for a big surprise. Google is not going to rank or push these pages. Having really good content that’s over 500 words per page is an SEO winner and NOT an SEO killer. SEMrush elaborates on this in their article 16 Things That Can Hurt Your Site Rankings, when they tell us more about low-quality content on pages and how to identify them as per below:

  • Content is not original or unique. You have plagiarised the content from another site which is a website killer and the first sign that your content is not valuable. Why? Because it’s already been published and why would Google want to display the same content twice? You can see if your content is copied by using the tool Copyscape which will immediately tell you if your content is duplicated.
  • The page does not satisfactorily answer the user’s query. Every detail on the page must answer a question or query. The content must match the page title and the web page should be specific about a topic. Topic variations on your web page send signals to Google because the user has a poor web experience and cannot find the information they searched for. You can read more at Timing for bringing page experience to Google Search.
  • Information is not backed up by relevant and authoritative sources. Many people will tell us vital statistics and information on a web page without backing it up with relevant and trustworthy sources by linking to these crucial pages. Make certain that you always link to the source of your information. Outbound linking to relevant sources adds to a better on-page experience. Search Engine Journal tells us that:’Linking to other websites is a great way to provide value to your users. Oftentimes, links help users to find out more, to check out your sources, and to better understand how your content is relevant to the questions that they have’. But, don’t overkill the external linking and be prudent with whom you decide to link to. Always, link to reputable sites and avoid linking to anything like gambling, adult entertainment, or payday loans as these links will prove to be detrimental to your entire site.
  • The word count is too low with lots of boilerplate content. The jury is still out with the number of words needed for better rankings but when you write an article, address all relevant points and make sure it’s in a digestible format. Never write wordy blogs for rakings. Be as natural as possible and choose a tone that will resonate with your customers.
  • There are numerous grammatical errors. I love Grammarly for correcting all errors which I have recently done with this article on 28 Jane 2023. This article was originally published in 2014 with loads of grammatical and spelling mistakes but Grammarly is a lifesaver. Definitely use this or other software.
  • The language used is tough to understand. Don’t pretend to be something our not and use language that is hard to understand or too boring for your audience. Be real and use language that you understand and that your readers will find easy to scan and absorb. That is unless you are writing for a medical or any specific technical publication that requires you to use a certain style of language.
  • The page is just a copy of an idea already present on the internet. Having a new or unique perspective on issues and news is challenging but creating new versions with a different spin on a topic is a great way to get traction on Google.

OK, So My website has Little content, what can I do?

The first thing to do is get really proactive. Don’t be daunted by the size of the task. The best thing to do is break your website down into main landing pages, that is, the pages that most people are looking at and focus on these in the short term.

Look at 1 page at a time and start by looking at the current content and modifying and adding copy to each page. If it is a services page, look at what you are doing and expand on this. But the key thing that I really want you to get out of this is that you must keep adding content regularly not only to your website but to each individual page.

Because this is going to trigger Google spiders to come around to your website looking for fresh new content to index. The more you publish, the more it will come around and the higher your rankings for certain pages…so on and so forth.

If you don’t update your website there is really no need for Google to come to your site and this will leave the door wide open for your competitors to get in these are start beating you online. This is why you HAVE TO BE PROACTIVE when it comes to adding, creating, and modifying content. The basic rule of thumb here is the more content you add the better off you will be.

3 points that you should be aware of when auditing your website for content and making the necessary amends.

1) Never write more than 2 to 3 blog articles per month

I see companies adding over 10 blogs or news articles per week in the hope of dominating their niche and completely obliterating the competition. This is spammy and can look like you are acting in an unnatural manner. This may be good in the short term BUT it CAN get picked up by Google and you may pay the price for this type of overactivity. Be as natural as possible in this space and the rewards online will follow.

2) Watch out for blogs that start to get repetitive

Over time the more you contribute to your site, the articles may start to sound the same. Watch out for this as duplicate content is a strict violation of Google’s guidelines. If you think that your starting to sound stale, perhaps get a staff member to start writing – this can give a whole new perspective and slant to the way your content sounds. What I like to do is audit old blogs (and yes, that’s blogs going back nearly 10 years) and give them a refresh with new up-to-date content. Plus, I get top prune dead outbound /internal links which can hurt your SEO. It’s a simple SEO mistake to forget about these small details but they all add up and can lead to harming your rankings.

3) Lastly, be original

The temptation may be there to copy and paste content from another source but this is going to be detected and will get your site penalised – try not to take the easy way out with this.

Your web pages need to keep on growing. It is a constant process that cannot be ignored. I am only saying this because I know how quickly content marketing is becoming the favoured approach with some SEO companies – SO if you are not actively adding pages, then the guys who are dominating page 1 will be. The end result is = You lose.

Remember: This rule of adding content should be rigidly applied to all pages that you deem to be thin. Be honest with yourself and never brush this fact under the carpet cause the only one who is losing out is you.

steven waldberg - ceo seo sydney experts

About the author

Steven Waldberg

Steven is the director of SEO Sydney Experts and is one of the founding members ( that’s over 18 years ago). He has one of the longest careers in the SEO and content marketing industry and has written for many prestigious websites, including B & T and AdNews. If you’re serious about working with someone who will dedicate 100% of himself to your business; Steven is your SEO Expert.

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