Good content ranks highly when it comes to the factors affecting SEO and a well written and comprehensive article is one of the best ways to attract people to a web page and rank higher with search engines.
What is good for people is also good for your SEO and search engines take note of well written and comprehensive articles. They rank higher in search results than short articles that are light on content.
You want your articles to become the authority and go-to resource for a particular subject. Let’s take a look at the most important factors.
How long should articles be?
The length of the article is clearly important and it should not be too short, but how short is too short?
You should try to aim to write a minimum of 500 words for a post and any less really isn’t worth it.
Each post should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words, although those nearer 2,000 are usually better.
Articles that are longer than 2,000 run the risk of losing readers because they might abandon the article before they reach the end. Long articles take a lot of time and effort to read and people tire easily.
However, it does depend on how interesting you can make the article. If you can hold people’s interest without waffling then try longer articles, up to 3,000 words.
There is nothing magical about the word count and it is really just a measure of how thoroughly a topic has been covered and how well you have covered the points that people are interested in.
Short articles tend to be light on content and skim subjects rather than going into detail. They are not satisfying to read and they may leave readers with questions.
Longer articles cover subjects in more depth and that is why they usually make better reading and rank higher in search engine results.
It is a bad idea to ramble on about nothing in particular or to try to pad out an article with superfluous words and repetition in order to hit 2,000 words. It is common to see rambling articles and they are a turn-off. It is not the number of words that matter, but making every single one relevant and useful.
Use writing aids
There are tools available that will improve the quality of your writing. Even if you have a good standard of English/American, you might make typing slips where you accidentally hit the wrong key or you don’t press a key quite right and it does not register.
Microsoft Word has on-the-fly spelling and grammar checkers, so it is useful to write in this Office app before copying and pasting it into a WordPress post.
(Tip: Copy the article from Word and paste it into Notepad or TextWrangler, then copy it from there and paste it into WordPress. This strips out Word formatting that can mess up your WordPress post.)
Get a free account at Grammarly and you can type in or paste articles into it and it will check the text for problems like spelling, grammar and meaning.
Grammarly is not perfect and it is not always correct.
Use it to get advice on potential problems, but use your own knowledge and common sense on when to apply the fixes it suggests.
Hemingway Editor is another useful writing aid and it is free to use. When you visit the site there is sample text in the editor, but you just delete it and then paste in your own text.
Problems with the grammar and spelling are highlighted in various colours and on the right it tells you what those colours mean.
For example, it highlights sentences that are hard to read, complicated words or phrases that have simpler alternatives, passive voice and more.
Let the mouse hover over certain types of problem and a suggested correction is displayed.
As with Grammarly, it is not perfect and it is not always right. However, it is still a very useful tool and it often gives good advice.