Not All Content Is Created Equal, Here’s Why: SEO Content Writing In 2021 and Beyond

content writing in 2021 is about length and breadth

If this writer has had to underscore the importance of SEO content writing once, they’ve had to do it a thousand times. Simply put, if you aren’t putting long-form writing at the heart of your marketing strategy, you’re not going to achieve search engine rankings and people aren’t going to find your business.

And, if you’re not being found for relevant search terms and keyword phrases – be that to do with plumbing, women’s shoes, or cryptocurrency – you might as well pack up and go home. I’m being blunt, but ask 100 SEO experts and they’ll tell you the same.

In fact, here at Embryo, we have such a faith in copy that targets relevant keywords and exceeds one, two, three, or even four thousand words, that we created an Embryo Word Count Study which analysed over 24,000 keywords. You can view the full study by clicking on the link but the main takeaway was this – to rank on page one, position one, for virtually any keyword (remember we studied tens of thousands), you need to write long-form content in the realm of 2800 words.

So with that fact established, let’s look at why not all pieces of work, even if they are the same length, are almost never equal.

Why It’s Important to Write Blog Articles and Other Pieces of Copy for Search Engines and Actual Humans

SEO content writing in 2021 is no longer about writing a list of keywords – that is so early to mid-noughties. Today, it’s much, much harder to get some work on page one of the major search engines and that’s because the algorithm is far more sophisticated.

While it’s harder, there is a greater reward in creating high-quality content. Because organic search engine algorithms are cleverer, they understand nuance and will recognise quality, and ultimately reward it with stable, page one rankings.

However, all that above information lives alongside the fact that around 3.5 BILLION search queries are made on Google, in the UK, in just ONE day – mindblowing, right?

So, just because it’s hard to rank, doesn’t mean you can just avoid it unless you want to just knock on strangers’ doors every single day for the rest of your life.

The way to think about virtually all types of content, beyond the fact they need to be at least 2800 words, is that search engines reward work that provides the best value and user experience. At the end of the day, search engine’s make their money by offering an impeccable service, so if you can provide the content that does that, they’re going to thank you in the form of high search rankings (call me cynical, but I’m right).

All that should be in your mind when blog or article writing, or when you’re creating any piece of content.

This is why the length is so important because it gives you as big a chance as possible of covering as many industry-related topics. A 500-word blog isn’t going to provide a user as much information and insight as a 5,000-word piece, or a 25,000 word SEO glossary – it’s that simple.

More words allow you to answer more searched questions in more detail, including more headings, more links, more… Well, you get the idea. You’re widening the scope of your already compelling content marketing, and creating pieces of work that will include and target a greater range of keywords.

you need more than 2800 words to rank on page one

Writing for SEO: Why Some Pieces of Content Are Better than Others

Everything we’ve just described is true, but that doesn’t mean that one 1,000 word article is going to perform as well as another 1,000 blog post. Yes, you can include the same keywords and focus on the same broad topics, but if you don’t have a few SEO basics included in your blog post, it isn’t going to perform anywhere near as well.

One of those key things is SEO ontology, which is the practice of including adjacent terms and phrases which may not rank on their own but help to, A, make you sound like an expert on the topic, and B, help the target keyword for your piece perform better.

Confused? Don’t worry, I’ve put an example below.

Let’s say that I’m writing a page about Olympic swimming, and I’m targeting the keyword of the same name, which currently receives around 2,100 monthly searches.

A non-ontological piece of original content might include something like: “Olympic swimming is a sport that is made up of several individual competitions completed by either individuals or groups during the Olympic games. It is a very popular programme of events and many people have been successful in the sport.”

Sounds fine, but not particularly ontologically relevant. Here’s an example of a piece that is filled with more ontology, and thus, will perform better.

“The Olympic swimming programme is held in a 50-metre pool every four years during the Olympic games. It encompasses several individual and group competitions such as 100m breaststroke800m freestyle, and 200m backstroke. Swimming has been in the Olympics since 1896, over 120 years ago and initially just had freestyle and breaststroke events. It wasn’t until 1904 that backstroke was introduced. The most famous Olympic swimmers include people such as Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, and Mark Spitz.”

In the second paragraph, I’ve bolded all the ontologically relevant phrases and terms. It’s clear to see just how much more richer and valuable the latter piece of work is when compared to the first.

If you’re ever stuck, just read any Wikipedia entry. The style of those pages should be the primary goal when it comes to thinking about how all your types of content should look like.

6 Tips on Improving a Piece of Content So That You Can Rank on Page One of Google

  1. Have a strong heading structure that features your targeted keyword 50% of the time.
  2. Ensure you have a low heading per paragraph ratio. Each header should have at least 200-300 words underneath it.
  3. Look at the ‘People Also Ask’ feature on Google when researching your target keyword.
  4. Use AI research tools such as Frase to cut down your research time and make you sound like an expert content writer in minutes, not hours.
  5. Use an array of internal links and external links throughout your content, this will help Google, et al, understand your page, blog post, or article within the context of your site.
  6. Have fun with your SEO writing and make it sound natural and normal. An attractive writing style is something Google and your target audience will like.

6 ways to improve your seo

Alternatively, You Could Let Our Ideal SEO Content Writers in Manchester Do It

We hope this blog has helped you and will make your content strategy much more straightforward and focused.

If it all sounds a bit daunting, or you’re concerned you don’t have the time to do it all, you could always let our amazing content team do it instead. With years of collective experience, there are few Manchester SEO and content agencies that are better suited to help your business be seen by your audience.

For a free SEO industry report, or to chat more about our services feel free to get in touch by phone on 0161 327 2635 or email us at info@embryodigital.co.uk.