Content is a catch-all for everything you add to your website—text, images, videos, blog posts, etc. The content on your site affects your search engine ranking in two distinct ways:
- The content on your site directly affects your search rank because search engines scan the content to figure out what your site is about and how you rank for various keywords.
- Your content also indirectly affects your search rank because people who visit your site may link to the site if they like what they see. Search engines will begin to rank your site higher if people with reputable websites link to your site.
Keeping in mind both of these points, you want to make sure that the content on your site is friendly to search engines but also engages your visitors. On the one hand, if your site is filled with keywords, you may have a high ranking but anyone who actually visits your site will leave immediately. On the other hand, if you don't put any emphasis on getting your site recognized by search engines, no one will visit your site and see the exciting content that you've created.
Below, we briefly discuss keyword density and fresh, unique content.
Keyword density refers to the percentage of the text on your site that is specifically designed to attract search engines. Generally, 1 to 3 percent of the words on your site should be keywords or phrases that are relevant to your site. In other words, for every 100 words you write, 1 to 3 of them should be keywords or phrases.
Keyword density is no longer considered the pinnacle of SEO as it once was. Although it's still important to use keywords so that people searching within your field can find your site, modern SEO efforts typically revolve more heavily on quality content and inbound links (i.e. links from other sites to yours).
Tools like SEOquake can analyze the text on your website and give you advice about improving it for search engines.
Having an extremely high percentage of keywords on your site will cause it to be penalized by search engines.
Fresh and Unique Content
The best way to ensure that your website ranks well in search engines is to create unique content that people want to share. That isn't easy.
Whatever your website is about—a business, a band, a barracuda—consider what makes it unique and what would make someone want to come there. What can you offer that no one else in the world can? What stories do you have to share? What beautiful products do you sell? What awesome pictures have you taken? What are your talents?
Once you find your niche and start to get a regular following, keywords and minor SEO tweaks become much less important—no SEO campaign can make a website popular faster than a devoted following can. More important, finding a few fans from reputable websites who will link to your site goes a long way toward getting search engines to recognize your site as important.
It's difficult to give specific advice about what content should be on your site, but make sure that it's you. And once you've figured out how to get that you-ness on to the internet, continue to update your website frequently, because both Google and the people who love your work like to see that you're still around making more awesome stuff.
Read our blog article about creating great content for hints and ideas on how to improve your site.