In some ways search engines are the gatekeepers to the Internet. They organize the web and try to connect every person who is looking for things with the best possible results. They are rewarded with repeat searchers to whom they can serve advertising. It is not a perfect system, but the idea is clear; if ministries or nonprofits want to get traffic from search engines the best thing we can do is provide the best answers to people’s questions.
Learning SEO algorithms and technical nuances matter little compared to creating the best possible information. With that said, I want to give some insight into five ranking factors that go hand in hand with creating the best content to rank in search results.
- Copy Length. More is not always better. But a 1000-word web page will usually rank higher than a 100-word page about the same subject. A 2,000-word article will often do better still. There is a point of diminishing returns, but if you want to provide the best answer to people’s questions, being thorough is usually rewarded to some degree. But if the quality suffers because you are just stuffing in more words, Google can tell that also and will penalize you for it.
- Video. Search engines can detect if you have a relevant supporting video on your site that people spend time watching, and they will reward you for it. Any old video does not help much though, it has to be something specifically connected to the focus that people want to watch and do watch. The longer users stay on your page, the better for search rankings as well, so having a video can do double duty by adding a few moments to the average time spent on page.
- Category Authority. The more quality pages, blogs, articles, etc., you have on the same subject, the higher Google will rank your website and all your content on that subject. You develop authority in that category which can give you a sizable advantage. But it takes time and focus.
- Your Competition. If others are writing about the same things you are, then you are competing with them in search results. The more competition you have, the harder it will be to rank in Google. But if you can find niches or topics that have low competition, you can rank higher more easily. However, areas with low competition often have low search volume, so you must find a balance.
- Having Something to Say. This is not just about writing good content, it is about providing insight that matters, that helps people, that strikes a chord. If your content does that, then it will affect a dozen other ranking signals that will cause search engines to prefer your content over longer, more bland articles about the same topic.
Want to talk more about how to help your work rank higher in search results? We would be happy to chat!