When it comes to website content there is a very thin line between good and bad content. Unfortunately, having bad content on your website can severely affect your Google rank, and being pushed down in the rankings means lost business. One area that can affect your Google rank is thin content. Now you’re probably asking; “What is thin content and how do I avoid it?” Here’s a brief overview.
Thin content will hurt your Google Rank
Thin content is any content that could be considered shallow, not well thought out, badly written, or a copy of something else. There is just some content that should be avoided. A page that is 80% images may look nice but it is not ‘good content’. Likewise just copying someone else’s good content is easily detected and does not help. The same is also said for randomly generated content that is just a mangled mess of words. You must also avoid pages that contain nothing but affiliate links or other types of marketing as those can decrease your overall Google rank.
The key point here is more than ‘be a better writer‘. The thing to take home is that not only should your web content be good but it should also be relevant. A single, original article that is well written and relevant to your website is worth more than 5 pages of badly put together search engine fodder. Identifying thin content can be difficult, but there are methods involved that are a little more scientific than just relying on good taste.
Identification of thin content
Luckily there are tools that can help you produce better content and keep your Google rank as high as possible. Before getting to that though there is an time tested method you should make use of. Have as many people as possible read your content. If they report back that the overall message is shallow or isn’t clear then rewrite the page. After your content passes the eyeball test then you can get more into the nuts and bolts of the process.
Google Analytics: use this to see which pages have a high bounce rate. Any content driving readers away should be redone. It doesn’t matter what the original goal of the content was; if it’s driving readers away it isn’t meeting that goal.
Use software: there are plenty of SEO focused software programs out there that can do a quick report of your entire website based on several metrics. One key one to look at is word count. If a lot of the pages on your website are coming in at under 300 words then they need to be reviewed and rewritten.
Statistics: Keep track of where your traffic is coming from. Keep up on how many hits your Facebook and Twitter are getting. Keep a close eye on social media and watch to see where your content is coming from and what works and what doesn’t.
Fixing thin content
There are ways to fix bad content. The basics are, as always, good editing and review. But there are differing methods on how to fix bad content. What follows are brief explanations of a few of these.
Rewrite: some stuff just isn’t worth saving. When getting content rewritten focus on natural use of keywords, an engaging style, and a focus on what your business or service offers its customers. Stay away from jargon or using too much sales speak.
Combine pages: sometimes the content is fine, it’s just spread out too much. In cases such as these combining material is ideal. One good page is far more worthwhile than a half dozen bad ones.
Don’t abuse links: a page shouldn’t serve just as a link hub to other pages. It should serve its own purpose. If the links are overdone cut them down to only the most critically needed.
Once everything is redone to your specifications and quality is improved the one key thing you must do to avoid having to do this again is to stay diligent. Everything on your website should be useful to the reader so avoid filler and useless fluff articles.
by Aaron Enright