You can spend hours improving your website’s SEO, but if you aren’t focused on the right factors, it is all time wasted down the drain.
SEO is not like most other skill-based practices. Just because you do more of it doesn’t mean you’ll benefit from the extra effort. Instead of a wide-net approach to SEO, you are likely to receive greater benefit from targeted and intelligently-crafted minor changes to your existing web copy and content.
SEO is more like brain surgery and less like cutting down a tree. Small, controlled changes go a long way towards improving your site’s performance.
One way to improve your site’s SEO is to revamp your content completely. This article will explore the common reasons why your content isn’t delivering and what you can do to improve it.
Is Your Content High Quality?
Quite literally, your content is the pathway GoogleBot takes through your website to determine if it is high-quality, relevant, and authoritative. But what does high-quality, relevant, and authoritative mean in this context?
What Good Content Means
- Not spammy/keyword-stuffed
- Not duplicate
Let’s explore each one of these in greater detail.
Avoid Spammy, Keyword-Stuffed Content
Being the reigning king of search for the past 24 years, you can safely assume that Google knows how to detect and punish all of the tricks, hacks, and black-hat SEO tactics that used to dominate the space.
The Google algorithm is quite adept at burying sites that practice keyword stuffing, which is the practice of oversaturating content with the keywords you want your page to rank for. Not only does this practice receive a penalty from Google, but it leaves your content sounding strange and unnatural.
Here is an example of keyword stuffing. Our keyword here is dog sitter.
“Do you need the professional services of a professional dog sitter? Our dog sitting professionals have years of experience professionally dog sitting. Trust our team of professional dog sitters to look after your dog.”
The glaring awkwardness should be enough to deter any legitimate business owner from using this tactic. If you have hired a professional who produces content like this, it’s a huge red flag.
Make Your Content Thorough and Relevant
How much is enough? How much is too much? Your content should be as long as necessary to cover all the important points of a search query. Some search queries don’t require much context or explanation. Others will need considerably more to be considered thorough enough.
Think of the search query, “junk removal near me.” The pages that get chosen as most relevant for this search will likely be short service pages from local junk removal businesses. The content doesn’t need to be long here.
Compare this to the search query, “how do I set up a homemade pottery store on Etsy?” This query has much more substance to it. The content that best answers this query would have to cover several topics to hit every angle.
How Long Does The Content Need To Be?
There isn’t a set answer for this question. One way to get a good ballpark estimate is to use Google search to see the length of competitor articles. Look at the top three and see how long these posts are.
Google selected those posts as the most thorough, so these are a good gauge of what you should target.
Thorough Doesn’t Mean Extraneous
On the flip side, you don’t want to cover irrelevant, extraneous information just to “beef up” your content. Google can tell whether or not your content is semantically related to the keywords within the post.
For example, if you are writing a post on setting up a store on Etsy, and you start covering the history of eBay, Google will see this as not directly relevant to the topic. Your content needs to be relevant and thorough.
Again, look to the SERPs to see how your competitors cover the same topic. The top results are considered model examples by Google.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Google penalizes websites that have duplicate content across their pages. If the copy for “Junk Removal in ______” reads the same across all thirty of your location pages, and the only difference is the location, then Google will penalize your website.
You need to put some effort into making each page unique. This goes beyond mere switching sentence order and using synonyms. You should perform genuine rewrites for each service page.
About the Author
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey. She writes on behalf of CMOX, a service that connects businesses with fractional CMOs.