In part two of our series on how to build a better business based website, we discussed the difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords — and how to properly find and apply them to your website content. Note that systems like WordPress will allow you to manually type in your keywords to help with search-engine optimization. That’s actually the subject of today’s exploration into website-building: SEO
Search-engine optimization (SEO) is the formula that allows some websites to rank higher than others. The problem is, no one knows the exact numbers in that equation. We can only offer our best guess and hope to get it right. That’s not to say no one has any idea. We know that it’s important to provide quality content and keep customers on a page for longer if we want Google to recognize our websites as legitimate.
But what other factors go into SEO?
The answer changes year by year. In 2021, we’re noticing the trend that Google prefers websites that provide a variety of strong content geared to a specific audience — but less of one for websites that divide that content into bite-sized pieces. We can debate all day long whether or not Google should prefer short or long content based on the attention spans that people have in this day and age, but that wouldn’t change the end result. Google likes pages that have more content.
Most high-ranking pages will have at least 900 words. Compare that to the average minimum required to apply for “Google News” rankings (300 words), and you can get an idea of current trends.
Google probably likes pages with more words because that means the algorithm will believe the page is “in-depth.” You can’t competently explore a topic with only a few hundred words. You might be able to achieve that with a short news article, but that’s why news articles are ranked differently (and separately) than traditional web pages.
And that means that the number of words on a given page on your website should be based on what type of business you own. Are you providing news? Then many shorter articles will probably work fine. But if your goal is providing information and/or a service, then you’ll want fewer pages with more meat on them. This is especially true for your home page, because that’s your first chance to grab a conversion.
When providing content online, it’s important to share the knowledge you have — and you can’t do that by assuming your customers already have that knowledge in their brains, which is something we all do without thinking. That’s part of the reason why an established business should consider hiring professional writers who know the subject rather than write it themselves. We know that not every business has the funding to accomplish this — especially newer businesses — but it’s an important goal in getting where you want to be.
Can’t achieve the goal right now? Then do your best and work toward that goal. One step at a time.