Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is incredibly important for marketers. When you optimise your web pages (including your blog posts), you’re making your website more visible to people who are using search engines to find your business or service. But does your blog content really help your business organically rank on search engines?
Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers’ questions. Blog posts that use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and make your site more appealing to visitors.
Learn how many people search for estate agents in your area and what you can do to improve your website’s ranking and lead gen capabilities.
Although dwell time is an indirect ranking factor for Google, it’s a critical factor in the user experience, and we know that user experience is equally important when it comes to SEO. Dwell time is the length of time a reader spends on a page on your blog site. From the moment a visitor clicks on your site in the SERP, to the moment they exit the page is considered dwell time. This metric indirectly tells search engines like Google how valuable your content is to the reader. It makes sense that the longer they spend on the page, the more relevant it is to them.
However, there’s a reason this metric is an indirect indicator for SEO — it’s completely subjective. The search engine algorithms don’t know your content strategy. Your blog could be focused on short-form content that takes just a minute or two to read. You might also include pertinent information at the beginning of your blog posts to give the best reader experience, which means less time spent on the page. So yes, dwell time can affect SEO, but don’t manipulate your content to change this metric if it doesn’t make sense for your content strategy.
Visual elements on your blog can affect page speed, but that isn’t the only thing that can move this needle. Unnecessary code and overuse of plugins can also contribute to a sluggish blog site. Removing junk code can help your pages load faster, thus improving page speed.
More than half of Google’s search traffic comes from mobile devices. On an individual level, your blog site might follow that same trend. There’s no way around it — optimising your blog site for mobile is a factor that will affect your SEO metrics. But what exactly does it mean to optimise a website for mobile? The industry rule-of-thumb is to keep things simple. Most pre-made site themes these days are already mobile-friendly, so all you’ll need to do is make a few tweaks here and there to cater for both types of visitors.
Search engines aim to provide the most relevant and accurate information available. A factor search engines use when determining what’s relevant and accurate is the date a search engine indexes the content. Indexing means a search engine finds content and adds it to its index. Later, the page can be retrieved and displayed in the SERP when a user searches for keywords related to the indexed page.
A good idea is to update your blog pages regularly with year updates. With most website builders, you will then be able to update the publish date too.
Recent data, another indirect ranking factor of SEO, should be included in blog posts. Recent data gives visitors relevant and accurate information which makes for a positive reader experience. When you include a link to a credible site that has original, up-to-date data, you’re telling the search engine that this site is helpful and relevant to your readers.
Have a Secure and Accessible Website
A massive SEO ranking factor is to do with having the right kind of URL. Specifically, that’s a URL that Google’s bots can easily reach and crawl.
In other words, Google has to be able to visit the URL and look at the page content to understand what that page is about. To help the bots out, you’ll need:
A website created with a well-coded website builder
A robots.txt file that tells Google where it can and can’t look for your site information
HTTPS isn’t a factor in deciding whether or not to index a page, but Google’s own John Mueller has tweeted that it’s a “light-weight ranking factor” and that “having HTTPS is great for users.”
Optimised Keyword Content
SEO is one of the most important search ranking factors (right up there with user experience, links).
Google’s search algorithm relies on keywords. These are the words and phrases searchers use when they’re looking for information. They’re also the words and phrases that describe the topics your site is about.
Ideally, those will match up. That’s why it’s so important to use keywords in your content.
One negative SEO ranking factor to be aware of is duplicate content. For SEO, fresh, original content is always best. And if you do have content that’s similar, tell Google which one should be ranked as most authoritative by using canonical URLs. Read why you should blog and how it will improve your estate agent’s website.
Understanding Search Intent for Content Optimisation
Search intent is also important when optimising content. That means understanding what people are really looking for when they type in search keywords.
For example, let’s say you’ve identified “London estate agent” as a keyword you want to rank for. You might think that writing content for people looking for real estate in London is a good idea. But if the people searching for that term also include estate agents looking to sell in London, then your content won’t meet their needs, and your page won’t rank.
Through a series of low click-through rates and high bounce rates, Google will pick up on the fact that your content isn’t matching their user’s search intent.
Sometimes, it’s clear what people are looking for. For example, if they use the word “compare,” they’re likely trying to decide between buying a product. And if they use the word “buy,” then they’re looking to make a purchase.
The keywords they use will change depending on whether they want to:
Find a particular website (navigational)
Get the answer to a question (informational)
Research information before making a purchase (investigational)
Make a purchase (transactional)
Well-optimised business sites will include content for each of those search types.
So how do you go about making sure your keyword matches user intent? Go straight to the source!
Open a Google search in your in-private browser and type in your keyword. See which results are currently ranking and determine whether or not your content would be a good fit. If not, you need to restart your keyword research. If so, take this opportunity to see why certain pages are ranking high.
You can do a competitive analysis of the top 10 results in the SERP to see how you can make your content even better. Then you can fully optimise your content by making it an improvement over the current search results.
Is Content Length an SEO Ranking Factor?
Yes. Google wants content to be quality and have some length to it. While writing more words just to stretch out the length is never advisable, if a subject calls for depth, give it depth.
The research suggests that content over 2000 words gets more top ten positions in Google search engine rankings.
This isn’t a rule set in stone, and there are certainly some exceptions. But as a general rule of thumb, your content should be around the 2k word mark or more if you really want to be competitive on the SERP.
Longer content attracts more links and shares too, which are 2 other important ranking signals we’ll cover shortly. Read this for more tips on what to consider for SEO.
Using Video to Improve SEO Ranking
According to Cisco, video content will represent a whopping 80% of online traffic in 2021.
People are watching video across all age groups
Some 79% of people would rather watch a video than read a blog post
People are using video to help them make purchase decisions
Start to include videos in your content strategy. Video gets watched, shared and linked to, providing plenty of signals to amplify your search ranking.
We said earlier that getting the code right is one aspect of optimising content for better search engine rankings. This can be intimidating, especially if you’re more of a wordsmith and less of a “techie.”
Here are some of the aspects you can control even if you’re not a coder:
Add keyword phrases in page titles, which is where Google first looks to determine which content is relevant to which search
Use header tags to show content hierarchy starting with your title at h1 and then use h2 or h3 for subheads
Create a meta description that both entices readers and includes your keyword phrase
Keep those meta descriptions short and catchy at around 160 characters
Use keyword phrases in image alt tags to show how those images are relevant to the main content
Include alt tags also help people who are visually impaired enjoy your site with screenreaders
Use schema markup to tell Google what kind of content you’re producing
Learn More About Our SEO Services For Estate Agents
User Experience (RankBrain)
For a while now, Google’s been using artificial intelligence to better rank web pages. It calls that signal RankBrain. This includes other signals that affect your search engine ranking. These include:
Click-through rate: the percentage of people who click to visit your site after an entry comes up in search results
Bounce rate (especially pogo-sticking): the number of people who click on your page and quickly go back to the search results
Dwell time: how long visitors stay on your site after they’ve arrived
If people land on your site, don’t like it, and bounce away, then Google will think it’s not relevant to their needs. If enough people do this, then you might find it more difficult for your site to rank higher in search results.
This is probably a good indicator that your content isn’t matching the searcher’s intent. You may need to go back and target a more effective keyword.
In contrast, if people click through to your web page and stick around for a while, that tells Google your content is relevant to their search.
So when you optimise titles, descriptions, and content to get the clicks and deliver value on the other end, you can boost your search engine ranking.
The web is built on links. So, naturally, links are a crucial SEO ranking signal. There are three kinds of links to think about:
All three are typically tied to a descriptive anchor text.
Google uses inbound links as one way to help determine how authoritative and relevant your content is.
The best-case scenario is where an authoritative site includes a relevant link to yours in a piece of their content. You’ve likely heard inbound links referred to as “backlinks.” Your goal is to get as many highly authoritative sites to link back to you. That also means you want to have very few inbound links from low-quality domains.
At the same time, you want to show that you’re creating quality content for your visitors. That involves using outbound links by linking to relevant, authoritative sites in your niche.
So does that mean you should just give out tons of outbound links to boost your authority? Absolutely not.
All it means is that as you’re doing research, you should only pull from reliable sources with high domain authority. To be honest, for your users’ sake, you should probably be doing this anyway to ensure you provide the most value.
Finally, linking to your own content can help tie pages together for both Google and your visitors, making each page more valuable. If you have an authoritative page and link to another page on your site, that helps your visitors find the other page and also passes on some authority.
When people share your content on social networks, that’s another sign that it’s valuable. Cognitive SEO’s study of 23 million shares found a definitive link between social shares and search engine ranking.
Google’s official word is that social shares are not a direct ranking factor. Links from Twitter or Facebook aren’t counted the same as links from other authoritative websites.
Still, there’s no denying that the highest-ranking pages in Google search results usually have a lot of shares. Though this is probably due to a few related factors:
More social shares generate more traffic to the page itself
More shares also make your content more likely to build backlinks
Because of that, getting more social shares does help your search engine rankings, if only indirectly.
I hope this helps!
Learn about our services. Marketing & Lead Nurturing | SEO | Content Marketing