Google is always trying to improve user experience and having good content is a large part of that. But it also is a key part in ranking your website as these on-page factors will affect your pages rankings. We aren’t going to cover headings or titles as they were mentioned in the previous lesson but they are both very important so if you haven’t read it yet I recommend you do now.
With content length I think there is a happy medium for your niche as well as remaining relevant. I think for the most part it is easier to rank when you have more content than competitors as long as you keep the content super relevant. Remember that your customers are going to be reading this, if it reads like a 5 year old has written it they are unlikely to stay on the page whereas, if the content is engaging and well structured even if it is a few hundreds words shorter they are likely to stay on the page.
I will look at what word count the top ranking sites are ranking with and match (and possibly beat them). I will usually use SEO Quake and an excel spreadsheet to see how many words the first page of my main keyword have. From here I just have a look at the general trend if for example the top 3 pages have 2,000 words but the lower ones have less than 1,000 I will probably go for 2,500 words (as long as I can remain relevant) and see how that goes. If the first three pages are ranking with only 1,000 words then a few ranking below have 2,500 words I might just match the 1,000 words. It really depends on the niche, for example a local service business is unlikely to have 5,000 words on their page whereas a review site or a blog post this would not be unreasonable.
Keyword proximity is where your keywords are placed within the content. As a general guideline I recommend that you use your main keyword in the first and last paragraph as well as your H1 tag. While using LSI keywords and long tail keywords within the rest of your content and your H2+ tags.
Keyword density was more important in the past but it is still relevant today, for the most part I think it is now used as a way to see if you are trying to over optimize the page and if you are then your rankings will suffer. A point to take into account as mentioned by Matt Diggity is that you need to consider the breakdown of your entire keyword phrase. So if your keyword was vehicle repairs and you only mention that 3 times that is fine but if you mention vehicle and repairs 25 times individually in a 500 word article that will be seen as over optimization and your rankings will suffer. If you are struggling with this use synonyms and LSI keywords to reduce the density.
For the most part just try keep your content writing natural but if you are writing your own content this can be hard because you are aware of what you are trying to rank for. In my opinion if you are using an expert writer get them to write naturally and edit after if required as they will often use synonyms naturally.
External Linking (Internal linking will be covered in the next lesson)
When writing content it is recommended that you link to authoritative sites in your niche. This is natural when you look at blog posts by people not attempting to do SEO, they will link out to the source of their information.
When doing this make sure that you are linking out to something relevant rather than doing it for the sake of doing it and also don’t link to your direct competitors site as you don’t want to give them the link juice.
If you are interested on learning more on this there is a good case study here which concluded “Outgoing relevant links to authoritative sites are considered in the algorithms and do have a positive impact on rankings”.
Including images and videos are useful not only for engagement and reducing bounce time but also there has been some data to suggest including this type of media can help rankings. As long as you’re including 1 or 2 per post you are probably getting the full SEO benefits but for engagement from users etc. more may be better depending on your topic. For example if you are writing about Law cases (random example) I doubt adding loads of images will help you time on page but if it is a tutorial for a DIY project I imagine it would.
Search engines cannot read an image and therefore rely upon the title of the file and the alt tag to distinguish what the nature of the image is.
For the title of the file it is better to use a descriptive title such as ‘purple swim shorts’ opposed to ‘DSES1342.’ There really isn’t much to it here just change the image names from generic download names to descriptive file names.
Alt tags are to describe the image to those who are visually impaired, so if you have a photo of a dog catching a ball the alt tag may be ‘a golden retriever catching a ball in the air while in a park.’ That is the way alt tags are supposed to be used but they can also be used for SEO purposes.
In the alt tags for SEO purposes I wouldn’t stuff exact match keywords here as they count towards your keyword density (if your main aim is to rank the image than I would include the main keyword). Instead you could consider using LSI keywords or long tail keywords that you may not have been able to include in your content, while also describing the picture.
When working with local businesses it can be worthwhile geotagging images to their business location for local SEO. I won’t go into much detail here but this can be achieved with tools like Geoimgr.
Now you will learn how to internally link the content so that link juice is passed around the site efficiently.
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