Old search algorithms perpetuated the belief that there should be plenty of keywords, and the longer the text, the better. Many will argue this is nonsense, and modern search systems evaluate many more parameters. In particular, they try to determine through a combination of factors whether a page addresses a user's needs or not. If the search engine determines that the site's usability is not user-friendly or it's impossible to accomplish the key action, all other parameters won't help. However, I believe, and my personal experience in promoting websites suggests, that the length of the page is just as important as the keywords on it.
Why is the page length important?
Opponents will argue that no one reads long-form content and will likely close the page, leading to a deterioration in engagement metrics. A search engine might decide users don't like your content if they leave quickly, pushing you lower in the rankings. But wouldn't the same happen with a short text?
We know modern users first scan a page, and then read it if they find something interesting. This means the text length should be long enough for users to scan. Here are some important factors to consider:
Tricks for Determining Optimal Text Length
1. Headings and subheadings: Users will primarily scan these. If they contain relevant keywords and engaging phrases, users might linger on certain paragraphs. But there are a few tricks.
2. Use of media content: Users process visual information faster and more efficiently. Incorporate images, infographics, or even short videos to illustrate key points. This not only retains attention but also breaks up large chunks of text into digestible sections.
3. Emphasis and highlights: Use bold, italics, or underlining for key points. Such elements stand out during scanning, drawing the user's attention.
4. Quotes and expert opinions: These not only lend authority to your text but also serve as additional focal points for readers.
5. Interactive elements: Include polls, quizzes, or interactive charts. These allow users to interact with the page, deepening their engagement.
6. Testimonials and real-life examples: People trust other people. Including real stories or reviews can keep users engaged with your content longer.
7. Logical division: Even if your text is long, it's easily digestible when logically structured. Introduction, main body, conclusion - each section should seamlessly follow the previous one.
8. Include links to relevant content: By directing users to other pertinent articles or pages on your website, you further engage them. This encourages a deeper exploration of your site, making them stay longer. In addition, internal linking helps distribute page authority and boost the SEO value of linked pages. Just make sure that the linked content is genuinely relevant and adds value to the reader's experience.
Yes, text length matters, but it's also essential to remember the quality and relevance of content for your audience. Modern search systems are evolving, becoming more intelligent, and can "understand" the value of your content for users. So, invest time and effort not just in keyword optimization, but in creating substantive and engaging material.