How SEO Content Has Evolved

Written by: Levy Online on

When it comes to SEO strategies, content plays a significant role in driving organic traffic to your website. Since the very beginning of search engines and SEO, there has been an ongoing discussion as to whether it’s more valuable to have a lot of short-form content or long-form content that tackles the topics more in-depth. As with most things in digital marketing, the answer is always evolving.

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The More the Merrier?

The early days of SEO raised the argument that a lot of short-form content was the be-all-end-all. Why publish long articles when people have such short attention spans and want quick answers to their questions? Along with this thought process came keyword stuffing as the go-to strategy to improve page rankings.

This approach led to a lot of low-quality blogs being frequently published just to stuff as many keywords as possible into the content. Suffice to say, search engines caught on and made several changes to improve the user experience. Search engines began to value high-quality content over keyword-stuffed articles that offered irrelevant information or incomplete answers.

What is High-Quality Content?

Search engines, such as Google and Bing, are always making improvements to help users have the best experience possible. Complex algorithms are designed to value certain content over others using specific criteria to evaluate whether it’s high-quality or not. In general, that means the content on your website should always:

  • Be concise and easy to read
  • Use proper grammar and paragraph structure
  • Have links that are relevant and helpful
  • Feature original content
  • Use headers to organize and break up the content

According to Search Engine Journal, Google is looking at content quality more than ever before[1]. This means that now there’s a higher focus on in-depth topics, long-form blog posts, ultimate guidelines, and content that features studies and data. We’ve come a long way from the days of keyword stuffing!

Search Engines Look For Readability

When you have your audience in mind, your content will always be more readable than if you write what you think the search engines want to see. Readability is what makes your audience click on your link and stay to read it. Longer dwell times say more to Google than the actual content itself! It means readers were able to find the information they needed in your content, and it was easy to read because they stayed on the page.

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Try using these techniques to make your content more readable:

  • Use bullet points or numerical lists rather than blocks of text
  • Write shorter paragraphs broken into sections
  • Always include an introduction and conclusion

Focus on improving the readability of your content by making it clear, logical, and simple. You want to provide as much valuable information on the topic as you can in an organized, straightforward way.

Establish E-A-T with Your Content

Recent Google algorithm updates put more weight on E-A-T, or expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, with online content. If you are going down the route of wanting to publish higher-quality content, the key is to make sure the content is written by an expert. This means thorough research is done on each topic, and the content provides insightful answers to user queries from the perspective of an industry authority.

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Do your keyword research. Understand what it is that users want to know in your particular industry. Then you can put together a valuable piece of long-form content that explains that topic in detail.

Quality and Quantity Don’t Always Match Up

When it comes to the argument of quantity v. quality, it’s important to point out that less content on your website doesn’t mean that the content is of lower quality. Conversely, just because you publish a lot of content doesn’t always translate to high quality. It’s possible to have multiple long-form blogs on your website that really don’t deliver much value to readers at all.

Rather than trying to hit a specific number of posts per week or month, focus on the quality of the content you are publishing and the relevancy of the topics. You still want to post regularly, but not at the price of forcing lower quality content on your website. If it doesn’t offer value to readers, it won’t help your SEO in the end.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The bottom line is higher quality is the most crucial piece of the content puzzle. Spend time on making sure your content checks all the boxes so search engines see that it provides value to users. SEO has moved on from the days of publishing short irrelevant posts for the sake of stuffing in keywords. Publishing high-quality content regularly will make the biggest impact with your content strategy.

If you have questions about SEO content and how it can help deliver results for you and your business, contact the Levy Online team to learn more. Our SEO experts are happy to walk you through it and provide examples of our successful content strategies.

Sources

[1]McKoy, J. (7 January 2019). 9 Tips for Creating Your Best SEO Content in 2019. Search Engine Journal. Retrieved 24 October 2019, from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/best-seo-content-tips/

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