Want more eyes on your webpages? Give them more to read. According to Searchmetrics’ Ranking Factors the average word count for articles published by the top 10 ranking sites on Google stands at 900 to 1,000. That’s about double the range of last year’s highest ranked sites, which featured 500 to 600 words per article.
Rich Content Is King
While Google is leaning towards longer content, what you write matters more than how many words you can write about it. According to Searchmetrics’ findings, the search engine is also giving bigger consideration to keyword relevancy. So, if you’re looking to use a blog post to increase your ranking for terms like “shoes” and “high heels,” work those words into content directly related to shoes and high heels. Quick, random plugs for your keywords at the end of piece could potentially be doing you harm, so keep placement natural.
Keep Your Content Reader Friendly
While you’re writing longer, engaging content, remember to make it easy for your customers to consume. Break up text-heavy content into smaller, bite-size subsections to give readers multiple entry points. This allows viewers to skim some of your work now and maybe even click back to your site later for the full story.
Maintaining a reader-friendly format is also important in terms of word choice and sentence structure for increasing SERP visibility. Google’s top 10 ranking sites feature content written at the comprehension level of a 13- to 15-year-old, according to Searchmetrics. Ensure you’re not overwhelming readers by running your copy through a readability calculator. Internal links further play up reader benefits, by allowing readers quick access to further information that will enrich their understanding of your content.
Searchmetrics found that Google’s top 10 highest ranking sites feature articles that include an average of 130 links. Backlinks also play a strong role, according to the survey, with an average of 1,352 backlinks for these top sites.
An Engaged Reader Is A Potential Customer Or Client
Overall, ranking factors have been about giving readers the best experience possible. It’s still uncertain if Google is using social signals as a way to rate just how great of an experience you’re providing. The top 10 ranking sites show high levels of social engagement, with an average of 1,690 Facebook signals, 143 Google+ Plus Ones, 36 Pins and 162 Tweets.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that high social numbers result in boosted search engine rankings. It’s more likely that these sites already ranked high on SERPs, resulting in more clicks and, ultimately, more social media shares. Regardless, a commitment to informative, useful articles is always a good place to start your content optimization efforts.