If you have a business and want it to grow, you know by now that you need to have an online strategy to help you do it. And, of course, you also know that a proper digital marketing strategy must have its fair share of SEO. Would it surprise you if we told you that content is the foundation of any good SEO strategy?
Well, it’s true. And don’t just take our word for it! Search for ‘SEO strategy for 2021’, or something along these lines, and you’ll see that virtually in all the search results you get you are told that content (and user intent!) is the basis where everything else stands on.
So, right about now you must be thinking – “OK, so how much content must my website have to please Google and rank high?”
This is actually a trick question! Your website will not ‘rank high’ per se. It can rank higher for certain search queries or keywords and not so much for others, and that’s something you need to keep in mind when you’re optimising it.
The answer to how many words must each page of a website have is not a simple one and it actually depends on a number of things.
Since Google doesn’t tell anyone directly what it wants (which would make all our lives so much easier!), some experts say that you need at least 1000 words per page, others say it’s around 600-700 and others tell you that you should go for a minimum 500. However, they all seem to agree that below 300 words per page, your content is considered ‘thin’ by Google.
Nevertheless, as far as users go, the trend seems to be ‘reading less and less’, right? We all want the info we search for to appear right before our eyes when we open an online resource, like magic! And large blocks of uninterrupted text on a screen (especially if it’s a mobile device one) can be very intimidating for most users, correct? Well, although this is all true, did you know that, according to Forbes, around 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a product or service through articles and good content rather than through ads? And that 60% of them will not make a purchase when they come across poorly written content or content that isn’t mobile-optimised?
Your website’s copy is definitely important and you need to work on it as part of your online growth strategy, so keep the following in mind:
– The content length will depend on the type of business you have. For instance, if your company needs to provide information on its products or services, develop content that explains it, answering your customers’ questions, and make it thorough, since content ‘density’ is actually important for SEO.
– Write your own unique website copy. Don’t go ‘borrow’ content from other websites and sources – duplicate content is a big no-no for Google and it will likely impact your pages negatively, as far as SEO goes. Let quality prevail over quantity, regardless of its length, and use it to convey your message on the products and services you offer, resisting the temptation to use ‘filler text’ just to get to ‘that certain amount of words’.
– The days of ‘keyword stuffing’ are long gone. Use the right keyword for each page but chose it carefully (preferably based on a proper keyword research) and add it to all the right places. Keep in mind that Google is getting smarter and smarter so beware of how you use synonyms. And the most important thing: don’t use the same keyword on multiple pages – competition is hard enough as it is on the World Wide Web without you making the pages of your website compete against each other.
We understand that for many business owners, the sheer thought of having to create tons of unique content for their websites’ pages is rather scary and, truth be told, writing proper website content takes quite some effort and expertise. But just throw yourself at the task at hand and you’ll feel the extra love (and leads!) from Google and its users.
But if content is the foundation of any good digital marketing strategy (as previously confirmed by Google!), what about social media? How much content is enough (or too much) content in this case?
Despite having possibly heard a thousand times that a ‘great post on Facebook should be somewhere around 40 to 80 characters’, you know, deep down inside, that there’s no exact formula for this. So how do we know? How do we go about it?
Start by remembering that social media platforms are not all alike. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc, appeal to different people and will have different targets. You might even have them all on your phone (especially if you are a Millennial!) but you prefer one or two of them, where you choose to spend more time, over the others, right? So do your research, find out who your users on each network are, and how to present your content on each one, not only the way they like it, but so that it performs the best it can there too.
Think headlines and CTAs (call-to-actions) and half your work will be done. According to David Ogilvy, the ‘father of advertising’ and advertising genius “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar”. And this couldn’t be truer than with social media! Though Facebook, for instance, in 2021, gives you 63,206 characters per post, we all know that no one will read 63,206 characters while browsing through Facebook on its smartphone.
Plus, competition is fierce on social media, with everyone rivalling for the users’ attention. A catchy, well thought out headline will capture their attention, compelling them to read your post, and a click-irresistible call-to-action (CTA) will wrap it all up with a nice big bow, sending them to wherever you want them to go.
Know thy audience! Who are they? Where are they? What makes them tick? What do they respond best to? What makes them engage with your posts? If you answer these questions, you can tailor the content you post and make sure that what you share on social media pleases them and keeps them coming back for more. And the cherry on top of the cake is that this will also ensure that your posts will have a wider and broader reach, extending potentially well beyond your existing audience. Add videos, images, infographics, links, even podcasts, whatever works for the people you’re speaking to, and make your posts ‘colourful’ enough to stand out from the crowd and the competition.
In short, produce well-written texts for your posts and social media ads, as sloppy content makes your company look sloppy too. Do your research, so you can speak your audience’s ‘language’. Add as much value as possible into the fewer words as possible to create an irresistible headline and grab your users, and finish off with an enticing CTA to direct them to your online shop, website, blog, etc.
Respect the intricacies of each social media platform, and the perfect length for your social media content will appear naturally before you.
So, content-wise, does size matter? Well, it really depends on who ‘you’re looking for’ and ‘talking to’! But ultimately? Yes, it does!