Write content of 800-2,500+ words, add keywords in your content and meta tags, tada!
Not any more! Over the years, search engine optimization (SEO) has experienced a massive shift from what it used to be.
In the 2020s, coupled with Google’s recent MUM update, SEO is increasingly more about the user behind a search than the key phrase they used, its search volume, or difficulty.
User intent, user experience and ending the search journey are what matter most now, and this calls for a new human-centric approach to SEO.
Images, infographics, podcasts (audios) and videos are among the most important ingredients you cannot afford to go exclude from your content strategy. Posts that will bring more context and ultimately end the search journey of a user on your page will need to include all these different aspects – reading, auditory and visuals.
Some people prefer to watch videos; others would rather read or listen to an audio recording. All these combined (especially videos) give that richness to your content that makes humans and search engines rally around it.
Cisco predicted that by 2022 videos will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic.
And that’s no surprise, as videos are a great way to show off your products and services, explain complex concepts and humanize your brand.
Additionally, they can increase dwell time on your page, keep people engaged and help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
But it’s not just about slapping a video on your page and calling it a day. You must ensure your videos are high quality, engaging and helpful to users.
Here are a few tips for creating videos that will wow your audience:
Ideally, readers shouldn’t have to read other posts on a given topic. Exhaustive content tends to be longer since its goal is to create content that has as much information as possible around a topic while staying under a word count.
In 2012, serpIQ analyzed the ranking position of 20,000 keywords. This study concluded that the top 10 results had at least 2,000 words, while the #1 spot results on the Google SERP were around 2,416+ words long.
Now, even though this study may not be the most recent, it is significant because it proves that, in order to rank in Google’s top 10, your content needs to be comprehensive most of the time.
But what about today? How does the average content length of the top 10 results compare to the average content length of the top 10 results from 2012?
To answer this question, I conducted a study of my own. I checked the first page of Google results for 1,000 random keywords, and the average content length of the top 10 results I saw was around 2,500+ words.
This means that the study of 2012 still holds water, and to rank in Google’s top 10, your content comprehensiveness matters.
So, what’s the takeaway?
In the 20s and the foreseeable future, you need to ignore word counts and pay closer attention to the completeness of the information you provide.
Whether you review top-performing content on your site or elsewhere else, you’ll discover that top posts that adhere to this principle perform best.
You also need to ensure you’re publishing genuinely helpful content to your audience. That means giving them what they need, not just what you think they need.
The days of keyword stuffing and churning out low-quality content are behind us. We now live in a world where Google’s RankBrain and MUM algorithms are more important than ever before. If you want your content to rank well, you need to focus on providing value and solving your audience’s problems.
So how can you make sure your content is comprehensive and valuable?
Here are a few tips:
Once you are sure you have valuable and comprehensive content, your page performance can either mean retained users or a high bounce rate. To complete the full circle of SEO, your on-site and off-site needs to be in place, and page performance is one of the core aspects you can’t ignore.
Neil Patel analyzed 143,827 URLs of ranking content on Google and discovered that speed impacts Google rankings.
There are three types of page performance you need to look into:
Page speed is how quickly a page loads. You can use the PageSpeed Insights tool to check the page speed of your website. Of course, you want your website to have a page speed that’s as high as possible as this improve the user experience.
Make sure your website has valuable and comprehensive content.
Ensure your website has a clean, mobile-responsive and user-friendly layout.
Another fundamental new approach to SEO in the 2020s is identifying the value of the keyword you wish to rank for versus the search volume of that keyword.
If a keyword is valuable to your business but has less search volume, it’s just as valuable as one with massive search volume, possibly even more so.
You can identify the value of a keyword by its commercial intent. A keyword with high commercial intent is a keyword that someone is likelier to type into a search engine. These are the types of keywords you want to target because they have the potential to bring in more revenue for your business.
Some keywords have high commercial intent but low search volume, while others have low commercial intent but high search volume. Therefore, it’s essential to identify which keywords are valuable to your business and target them.
Quality content is key, but a lot of it has to do with quantity too. More content means you will quickly build topical relevance and cover more grounds.
When you’re looking to scale your content, it’s also important to consider your audience. What type of information would they find valuable? What are their interests? What are their needs? Once you have a good understanding of your audience, you can start producing content that is relevant and interesting to them at scale.
Once again, you don’t want a half-baked SEO or content strategy. Quality content is definitely worth a lot, but also:
The highest evolution of SEO will be to provide the best results to satisfy people’s search intent. By implementing in-content multimedia into your content strategy, scaling exhaustive valuable content, improving website performance and walking the fine line between keyword volume and value, your ranking will skyrocket produce successful results for your business.