Getting traffic to your website is always a high priority. And as a responsible business leader, you want to drive traffic to your company website as affordably and efficiently as possible.
You know that SEO has been proven to increase traffic levels, when done properly, so you want to use the best practices out there to get more traffic to your blog.
One of the key factors that content marketers focus on here is word count — i.e. the length of your blog posts or articles. What is the ideal word count for a blog post that readers will want to read and share and that search engines will boost in the search rankings?
Well, word count matters, but it only matters within the larger content of article quality. So with that in mind, here are three things to focus on that will improve the quality and performance of your web pages.
1. Create In-Depth Content for More Search Traffic
When it comes to your blog content, it all starts with longform, in-depth content. While your word count itself might not seem to be that important, the truth is that search engines – and many of your readers – consider longer content to be of higher quality.
When readers are looking for short nuggets of information, entertainment and inspiration, they generally look to social platforms that are tailored to that kind of content, such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
But when they head to the internet and start looking at blogs and articles, they want something with more detail and in-depth information. Word count is one important ranking factor that search engines use to help them understand whether or not your content contains a lot of helpful information.
While there are no magic formulas for finding the ideal word count of an article, most experts agree that the bulk of your blog content should be in the 1,000 to 2,500 word range. You can go longer or shorter on some posts, but statistically, content in the 2,000 word ballpark tends to perform better than shorter content.
2. Use Proper Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar and Word Choice
Providing well-written content is another way to provide quality to your readers. With the rise of affordable, digital technology and the internet, there is a flood of new content writers all vying for the attention of businesses large and small. Literally anyone with a laptop and internet connection can hang up a virtual shingle and call himself a content writer.
But high-quality content is not always cheap. As you boost your content marketing efforts, don’t let your writing quality slip just to push out a higher volume of articles with a higher word count. The writing quality still needs to be there, or your results will suffer in the long run.
Grammar and spelling are ranking factors with Bing — though not with Google — but the point is that content riddled with these errors can cause readers to lose trust in your company, and that can impact your traffic and conversion levels.
3. Avoid Outdated SEO Tactics
Just a few years ago, SEO methods like keyword stuffing, over-optimized anchor text, duplicate content and even spun content worked really well to drive traffic and conversions. At one point, many marketers would intentionally water down their content in order to force readers to click through their links to find the actual, helpful information. But those tactics don’t work as well as they used to, and in most cases they will actually lead to penalties from search engines.
So ditch the outdated marketing hacks. Stop cutting corners, and don’t try to fool search engines into sending traffic to low-quality content. Put the good stuff out there. Provide quality content that human readers will actually enjoy reading. Focus on pleasing your readers, and the search engines will start to take notice too.
Focus on Providing Value to Your Readers
So the main ideas regarding article quality can all be summed up in one word: value. When you are more focused on pleasing search engines than you are on meeting the needs of your readers, your article quality will suffer. And the ironic thing is that your search rankings and traffic levels will also suffer eventually as search engines figure out that you’re over-optimizing your content for fast traffic gains.
So focus on providing content that meets your readers’ needs and offers them a lot of value. Write in-depth content that offers real info and solutions rather than short, teaser articles that only scratch the surface of the topic. Hire skilled writers to communicate your ideas clearly and accurately with proper English. And stop trying to game the search engines with spammy tactics that only deliver short-lived results.