You’ve probably heard a lot of conflicting information about your content strategy and how it supports search engine optimization (SEO).
Many brands are asking themselves the same questions: How long should each piece of content be? Does Google prefer more or fewer web pages per site? How often should we be publishing new content?
In this post, we’ll tackle some of the commonly held beliefs and misconceptions about content for enterprise SEO. You’ll learn best practices for your enterprise content strategy today and get up to date on the latest developments in SEO.
Does longer content perform better in Google Search?
It’s not quite that simple. As John Mueller from Google says:
“From our point of view, the number of words on a page is not a quality factor, not a ranking factor. So just blindly adding more and more text to a page doesn’t make it better.”
That being said, Google Search does tend to rank pages higher if they have longer content (2,000+ words). When serpIQ studied more than 20,000 keywords, they found that the average number of words for the #1 ranked URL was 2,416.
But, it’s not simply word count that makes these pages rank well. Google wants to give searchers the best and most trustworthy answers, so when long-form pages provide comprehensive and relevant information they support Google’s goals and rank accordingly. Pages that are repetitive or contain the same information found elsewhere are exactly what Google wants to avoid showing in search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s just not helpful for the searcher.
A top-ranked page with longer content also tends to earn more backlinks. Other websites will want to link to valuable content to reinforce their ideas. Google sees backlinks as endorsements of that page because they show that the content is considered relevant to many other sites. In a similar way, organizations often share high-quality, long-form content on social media to confirm their authority on a certain topic.
So, will longer content always rank higher? Not necessarily.
The key is providing what is most valuable to a searcher. Short content is sometimes called thin or useless, but that’s not always the case. Short content can easily rank highly if it’s extremely valuable, timely, relevant, or unique. In other cases, an authoritative site can provide short content that ranks high because the rest of the site is known to be trustworthy and valuable.
The takeaway here is to create content for where the customer is at in their journey and will benefit the reader. Are they on the go and looking for a quick answer? Are they making a big-ticket purchase and want to compare their options? Is it a long sales cycle and they need to share in-depth information to get their colleagues bought into one choice over another? The nature of the question or situation will determine how long or detailed your content should be.
Does having more pages help you rank higher in Search?
Not necessarily. Big websites with many pages tend to have high rankings because a few of their pages are performing very well, which distributes trustworthiness across their sites if the pages are interlinked.
What does this mean for multi-location brands? Your website may have lots of pages, but they won’t help you rank well locally if you don’t have a local page for each location or service area. Local Pages are a vital part of a local customer’s journey and are key to converting online to offline traffic.
What information should appear on a local page? Customers are not necessarily looking at the closest location to them. They value the best online reviews, low prices, and detailed information.
Make sure your local pages are mobile- and voice search-friendly, feature relevant local information, and have clear calls to action.
Optimize your content for unbranded search. New customers may not be familiar with your brand, so make sure your business comes up when your products are being searched for.
Download the free Local Pages Playbook for more power-packed tips for optimizing your brand’s location pages.
How often should you publish new content?
In a conversation between Martin Splitt of Google and Lily Ray of Path Interactive, Splitt gave some guidelines for the frequency of new content.
Splitt said content should not be uploaded just for the sake of producing content. There’s only so much to be said for certain topics, and rambling from article to article will not be useful.
What is useful is posting up-to-date news regularly about industry-specific topics where relevant information is coming out all the time.
Splitt iterated that simply publishing new content frequently is not a sitewide ranking factor. However, continually updating your blog with industry news can enhance your authority with visitors who need that information.
Is More Content Better for Enterprise SEO?
Yes, more content is better for enterprise SEO, if it’s new, hyperlocal, or super relevant. Is it redundant and just a space-filler? Then definitely no.
What are the key takeaways? Relevance and usefulness are still vital for high-ranking content. Think of the experience you’d like each searcher (and prospective customer) to have, then create content to deliver it.
To learn more, download the guide: Local Content Marketing Strategy for Enterprise & Multi-Location Brands.