Business owners, website managers and marketing directors are constantly told of the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but how much of a bearing does website content have on an SEO campaign? Whilst the definition of good website content will always be subjective, search engines will always have a set of best practices when it comes to content on your website.
Any website that embraces direct and actionable information will be favoured by search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. High quality, legitimate and credible content is a must in any SEO campaign by any company that aims for a sound online presence. No matter how big or small the business, it is key to provide a reason for people to spend more than a few seconds reading your website.
All this talk of ‘developing quality content’ may ring in the ears of those owners, managers and directors but it finds itself a cliché for a reason – it is crucial. Every search entered into a search engine has a function, be that to find, learn, solve, buy, fix, treat, or understand. Search results are crafted to suit the intent of the searcher and a website that has equally crafted meticulous, high quality content will find its chances of climbing search rankings considerably higher than a website that hasn’t.
Search intent could be the following:
- a transactional search where a local business is identified and a purchase or enquiry is made;
- a navigational search where the destination is a pre-determined website and the user is simply obtaining the correct URL;
- an informational search where a user is researching non-transactional information and (hopefully) getting quick answers.
How a website satisfies the intent of a searcher is directly affected by the content on that site – quality content will limit “bounce backs” and increase conversions.
The creation of good content does not have to be laborious or painstaking – if the right words are used and the quality of titles and links are kept at a high standard then content creation for your website should become second nature.
But the quality of content alone can be considered just one aspect of good content – content must also be fresh and updated regularly. Search engines will recognise original content and sites can benefit from Google’s Query Deserved Freshness (QDF) by producing pertinent content that matches the real-time pulse of their industry.
The quality of site content is fundamentally measured on three benchmarks; engagement metrics, machine evaluation and linking patterns.
A search engine can determine how much a user has engaged with a website and the information it has delivered for them – if a user immediately hits the ‘back’ button to try another link, it becomes clear that they did not find the information they wanted or needed. A huge pool of data is collected daily for search engines to measure their results. Google’s Penguin update in 2011 saw a significant shift in how a website’s quality was assessed; algorithms were adapted to accurately predict how a human user would judge a low quality site. As a result, Google found 20% of all its search results repositioned. Linking patterns can be directly affected by the quality of content on a site; search engines determine that good quality websites and content will attract links from other good quality websites which will improve the credibility of the site receiving the link.
In short, quality content equals quality SEO. There isn’t one without the other. For more help and advice with content writing, talk to a search engine optimization company such as Digital State Marketing.