Thick and Thin Content

Let’s admit it, we’ve all tried this before…

Chucked in every single keyword under the sun in one paragraph, uploaded it on a website and expected that surely by the next day it will be ranking number one on Google.

If only it was that simple.

What is Thin Content?

One mistake that businesses who manage their own SEO often make, is that they create content that has no substance. In an SEO tactic to rank higher on competitive search engine pages, many companies publish pages that hold absolutely no value to the reader.

“Thin content” has become a major issue for those in the digital marketing field, as poorly written websites are ranking higher than sites producing content that users are genuinely searching for.

The KEY!

There is an assumption that pages with minimal text are last to rank, however it is usually the complete opposite. The phrase “quality over quantity” definitely applies to your SEO.

The tables are turning! Google notices pages with “thin content” and have been prioritising sites with minimal text that hold actual value for what the user is looking for.

The key to high ranking search engine results is to focus on content that provides relevance and quality to your page. Google tries their best to provide the user websites that hold their search intent.

How to FIND thin content on your website?

Alright, we hate identifying problems, but to reach the top of the ranks – it is super important to update what is working and what isn’t!

We suggest going through your website’s analytics and finding the pages that have the

lowest traffic and highest bounce rate

Having these two insights can help a heap when finding thin content, because you see exactly what your readers are steering away from. These are your problem areas and that’s exactly where to begin!

How to FIX your thin content?

So, we’ve found the problem areas – now to work on it.

First, DO THE RESEARCH on what keywords are ranking in your field. Google AdWords Keyword Planner and SEMRush are two extremely helpful keyword research tools that can provide what are the most popular keywords that users are searching in Google.

And these keywords are exactly what to use in your content! Include these words on your pages and see if this helps your reach online!

But remember! Don’t go overboard! This is what thin content is all about

Do’s and Don’ts

Length of content is your first consideration. Too many people believe that just blogging is enough and short, frequent updates can be of value when in fact the length and quality of your blog content is so important. We would recommend a minimum 600 words per Blog post to give you time and space to provide real insight into the topic which in turn provides much more value to the user and scores points with Google.

The content within your blog post is where you can be the most natural as you will include keywords organically throughout the copy without even realising. While you do want the content to include keywords so people can find it, you don’t want to go over the top and obstruct the reader. Consider the following paragraph:

“SEO helps Google find your site and rank it higher. If you’re using Google but a website doesn’t use SEO, you won’t find that website on Google. However, if they had SEO, they would be easily found on Google.”

This was written with the keywords ‘SEO’ and ‘Google’ in mind, so that the blog gets the attention of a search engine. On the other hand, it’s difficult to read, repetitive and gives no qualitative information.

Let’s try it again:

“By using SEO, you are making it clear to search engines that your site is highly relevant for the products and services you provide. Google indexes websites daily, and when it sees lots of links back to your site for particular search terms, it boosts your rankings.”

The keywords are still in there, but they’re more spaced out and the text is both informative and engaging to the reader.

As you can see it doesn’t do any favours by stuffing SEO keywords into your copy and you’re far better off just writing naturally but with some small consideration for keyword mentions. Keyword mentions are known as ‘keyword density’ and as a rule of thumb you want to follow a 2-3% keyword density. So basically in a 100 word piece of text you want there to be a keyword mention 2 to 3 times. 

With the pages that aren’t ranking well ask yourself:

  1. Am I providing quality information to the reader?
  2. If I was a reader, would I find this interesting?
  3. What can I do to change the quality and engage the reader?

Analyse the content by keeping these three things in mind. Alter the content to keep it engaging and make sure the content stays relevant!

Going through your website often and auditing the current content can make a significant difference to your SEO.

Summary

  • Aim for 600 words to gain maximum SEO benefit and greater prospects of shares and guest posting. 
  • Use H1 & H2 tags loaded with target keywords to structure your blog content and organise your paragraphs. 
  • 2% keyword density (mentions of primary and secondary keywords). 
  • No more than 2-3 hyperlinks per blog post. Definitely one hyperlink with your target keyword linking to your target page. 
  • Add a relevant feature image and optimise the img alt tag with your target keyword which supports SEO and also provides the potential to rank in the Google Images listings.

Your specific audience is looking for relevant information and as a business, your goal should be to relate directly to them, focusing on their needs.

Want to know more? Click on the image below to read and download our eBook on SEO Blogging!

Written by Haley Evirgen – Content & Social Media Executive

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