Running a content marketplace has given me some great insight into the trends in content marketing, and as well as what people are doing for their search engine optimization. This study is by no means scientific because of my small sample size, but I think it reflects overall trends in the industry.
Back in 2011 when Chris and I started College Copywriters with a google spreadsheet and an email address, almost all of our clients ordered 300 word articles. Some ordered articles as short as 150 words. These short articles did not leave much room to actually explore topics in depth. Clients cared about things like keyword density and meta descriptions.
With the launch of our new platform, we can tell the industry has changed since we began. A majority of our clients now order 500+ word articles. They ask us to include links to other websites that their visitors will find useful, and other media like pictures, infographics and videos. The topics they choose are also more specific, so that the articles can provide in-depth information using well researched facts. I’m glad I can’t remember the last time someone asked us about keyword density.
Overall, these changes are positive. Because of the advances in search engine algorithms, webmasters no longer have to play games; as long as they provide high quality content they will be rewarded in the rankings.
Neil Patel did a great post studying different content length. Overall, he found that the average first page result has more than 2,000 words of content on it. The post does a great job of explaining length and shows that not only will it rank better, but people will share and link to it more often.
With some of my personal sites I have been adding 500 or 800 word in depth articles to them. I have just added them to the existing 300 word articles I started out with. It works out well because the initial 300 words are very general and then the articles become more specific as the visitors read on. It is also very important to make sure the article is formatted so that it is easy for the visitors to read and find what they are looking for.
Have you increased the length of content on your developed sites over the past few years?