Private Blog Networks (PBN) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

Private Blog Networks (PBN) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

Table of Contents

With Clickable Navigation

PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

What Is A PBN Or A PBN Site? What Is A WBN Site?

Using PBN Links Or WBN To Build Authority.

Buying PBN Links. Why You Shouldn’t Buy Links At All.

Building Quality SEO Backlinks In 2019.

Is SEO Worth It?

Updated August 14, 2019
The short answer is no. A PBN requires a serious amount of time and money. You also take the ultimate risk of being deindexed or receiving a manual penalty from Google. Now let’s explain why this is a bad choice.
 
Private blogging networks are purchasing expired domains, relevant to your content. You will spend hours on an expired domain site. Comparing domain authority, trust flow, checking for spamdexing. Only to find a few if any expired domains which are worthy of purchasing.
 
Once you’ve purchased your domain, you will want to buy an SSL. Then create a website (generally on a website managed hosting platform). Create the content you want others to read, add contextual links back to your main website. Then you will receive credit for one single backlink.
 
Every time you publish new content to your main website, you will need to create a post on each of your PBN’s. This will create another link back to your main website. With content spinners, you will be able to shortcut the time and energy for this process, right? Wrong. Content spinners generally produce very low quality if even readable content. This could flag search engines to your shortcuts, and breach of their terms of service. Don’t take our word for it. Try out the link above for free content spinning. Copy and paste some copied text from an article, and give it a whirl.

What Is A PBN Or A PBN Site? What Is A Web 2.0 Site?

 
Let’s define what a PBN is, and also the cheaper method of creating a similar solution, which is a Web 2.0.
 
A private blogging network, is a process of buying expired domains with authority. Then you create a website with those expired domains. Once you create the website, you place content onto the site. Then, you create contextual links back to your main website. Sometimes, grey hat SEO’ers will create a “walled garden”. A walled garden links all their websites in their PBN together, then back to the main website. This is a quick way to signal search engines to your efforts at gaming the system. This could result in deindexing or a manual penalty.
 
So, what’s a Web 2.0?
 
We are seeing a tremendous amount of Web 2.0’s used currently, as a cheaper way to create the same end result. A Web 2.0 is a web blogging network, which is like a PBN. Web 2.0’s use free blogging platforms such as WordPress, Weebly, Blogger, or many others, to do the same task as a PBN.
 
Both need similar time and effort, in posting content and creating backlinks. We see a lot of large companies using Web 2.0’s currently, which is quite surprising to us. With an algorithm change from Google, these large companies could receive a penalty. Imagine the CEO of a company, explaining to investors their website is deindexed?

Using PBN Links Or Web 2.0’s To Build Authority.

 
There are some companies who will use PBN links or Web 2.0’s to build authority for ranking. It’s an easy way to give yourself a leg up amongst your competitors to organic ranking. Let’s assume you want to use this approach. Let’s look at the steps, and how to achieve the results they are getting from their efforts, using Web 2.0’s as the example:
1. Set up many (10?) Web 2.0’s. Keep track of the name & login information for each blog you create. Each blog should use a different email address for login purposes. Also, use a fictitious name for the authors, which do not match one another.
2. For each article you write on your main website, you will create an article for each one of your Web 2.0 blogs. They should contain no less than 300 words each.
3. To pass Google’s tests, you will also need to create unique articles on your separate blogs. You shouldn’t create links back to your website from the unique articles.
4. Within your articles, you will want to create contextual links to other authoritative sources.
5. If we assume you are using 10 blogging sites, and you publish one new article on your main website per week, use a 3:1 ratio. What we mean, is you will create 30 new 300 word articles per week, besides your main site content.
 
Will this build authority? It will. Without a doubt. For keywords which need 10 or less backlinks to rank organically on page 1, you will succeed. For keyword phrases requiring more than 10 backlinks to rank on page 1, you will have a pretty good start.
Is SEO Worth It?
 
You bet. SEO or search engine optimization, is what makes content rank organically. The amount of money spent on SEO, is generally less than advertising. SEO creates longevity.
 
If we compare SEO efforts & costs, we always point to the obvious elephant in the room, which is staying power. If you pay for placement, your ranking stops when you turn your ad off. With SEO, the benefits stay for an indefinite period of time.
 
If you paid an SEO company to create backlinks to a single article, your website benefits. The article receives the direct benefit. If you hired them to promote a single article, the value continues beyond that single project.

We Would Love The Opportunity To Share New Articles With You.
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

5 Recommendations On How To Nurture Leads Better

Does Your Content Nurture Leads? Most Content Doesn't by GingerHippo. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo)....

Brand Presence Versus Brand Awareness

Is Brand Presence Or Brand Awareness More Important? by GingerHippo. Brand awareness is a term that’s been floating around marketing departments and MBA classrooms for years....

Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

 Google's Mobile-First Algorithm Update Is Hurting Companies' Organic Ranking... A LOT!   by GingerHippo. In the past month and a half, an unbelievable amount of websites...

What Does SEO Stand For? SEO Terms And Meanings

by GingerHippo SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimisation". SEO is how people will find your content and website on the internet. Some people find SEO to be hard, but it isn't....

Top 5 Website Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Website Mistakes Drive Customers Away. Let's Take A Look At Why. by Rain Man. We can't all have websites as sexy and user friendly as lingscars.com. Let's rephrase that. We...

What Does 650 Words Look Like?

Is 650 Words Optimal For Articles And Blog Posts? by GingerHippo. Today, we invite you to take a break from reading up on the current political situation to join in on a...

Private Blog Networks (PBN) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019? Table of Contents With Clickable Navigation   PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?...

Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Cornerstone Content Defines Your Digital Foundationby GingerHippo.Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress, has a check box to define cornerstone content. Most people don't quite...
5 Recommendations On How To Nurture Leads Better

5 Recommendations On How To Nurture Leads Better

Does Your Content Nurture Leads? Most Content Doesn’t

by GingerHippo.
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo).
  • Nurtured leads makes 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group).
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause for poor performance (MarketingSherpa).
We are all in the business of collecting data, offering solutions, and hoping for sales, right? Most of the content we find in search, uses this exact strategy.

What we have found through years of working in the marketing industry, is most companies use the exact same process for creating content. It looks something like this:

  • Have a meeting to discuss what we assume people should hear about our products and/or services.
  • Be directed to ensure the message is sales oriented, which pushes website visitors to click a call to action (CTA), driving them into a sales funnel.
  • Write the content from a storyteller standpoint, without giving much thought or weight to how search engines will rank the content.
  • Add a few offers to our content, which will cause readers in the awareness phase of the marketing funnel to give us their information. We will then subscribe them into a marketing automation drip campaign, which will cause them to put our brand at the front of their mind, when their timing is right.

Did we miss any? There are a zillion more scenarios similar to this, which fit into the same type of bucket for lead nurturing. What we find most often, is that the company isn’t really nurturing the lead at all, rather they are pushing all of their content onto a marketing lead, and hoping they will choose them, only if they don’t push their emails into junk, or unsubscribe.

So, the real question is, what is lead nurturing? How do we nurture leads in a way that will encourage them to both stay engaged, and want to hear from us regularly?

The future of publishing is about having connections to readers and the knowledge of what those readers want.
SETH GODIN

5 Recommendations For Improving Your Lead Nurturing Efforts

Step 1:

Write content that is relevant to their customer journey. By creating buyer persona’s, companies have a tremendous opportunity to give their readers the right content, on the right platform, when they want to read it.

We generally find companies trying to shortcut the marketing process, pushing visitors from an awareness phase directly into the decision phase of the marketing funnel. Even companies with an extremely short sales cycle, still need to provide content that allows visitors the opportunity to build value in their brand.

An analogy of this methodology would be to show up to a restaurant and be seated, then have the waiter/waitress ask for your order, without ever having given you a menu. It just doesn’t make any sense, but you would be amazed how many companies use this methodology.

Do all of your visitors fit into the same buyer bucket? We would take an educated guess that they don’t, which is why buyer personas and customer journeys are so important for building a quality user experience.

Lead Nurturing Seed Stage

Nurturing Your Leads

Closing Nurtured Leads

Step 2:

Being conversational in communication is one of the biggest keys to successful lead nurturing. We all receive emails from companies which are overly “buy, buy, buy” focused. When we want to just buy something, we usually engage with a direct eCommerce solution.

Engaging with prospects is actually the single easiest aspect of content writing. We merely need to ask our readers a question, which is relevant to why they are reading the content. Let’s give this a college try from GingerHippo’s perspective:

Would you like to explore how to nurture leads more effectively and write more engaging content? -> Insert CTA

“Content is King but engagement is Queen, and the lady rules the house!”
MARI SMITH
Step 3:

Write content that is relevant to their customer journey. By creating buyer persona’s, companies have a tremendous opportunity to give their readers the right content, on the right platform, when they want to read it.

We generally find companies trying to shortcut the marketing process, pushing visitors from an awareness phase directly into the decision phase of the marketing funnel. Even companies with an extremely short sales cycle, still need to provide content which allows visitors the opportunity to build value in their brand.

An analogy of this methodology would be to show up to a restaurant and be seated, then have the waiter/waitress ask for your order, without every having given you a menu. It just doesn’t make any sense, but you would be amazed how many companies use this methodology.

Shortcuts in the nurturing of leads only leads to one result, which is less return on investment (ROI), aka sales. Don’t be the late night infomercial which tells you to buy the product over and over again, hoping the result will be different, on the 11,842nd attempt to get the sale. While this may work in the short term, we know that it just won’t cut mustard long term, from a marketing strategy perspective.

Does Your Content Start A Conversation, Or Drive Visitors Away?

Step 4:

Keeping your content relevant is extremely important for lead nurturing. At GingerHippo, people will hear us use our Pete & Repeat joke, regarding content:

Pete & Repeat went fishing. Pete fell off the boat. Who’s left?

Repeat…

This may sound similar to step 3, but it is a bit different. Imagine we are selling paint. Let’s look at the different opportunities to engage a potential customer through lead nurturing.

“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.”
ROBERT ROSE
  1. Tell them about the paint, which includes key differentiators regarding your paint, versus your competitors.
  2. The next interaction discusses a highlight or two about one of your product differentiators, or warranty, or something setting your company apart from your competitor.
  3. If you have a 3rd opportunity to engage with a prospective customer, they are most likely interested in your paint, but they may not know how to apply it. Giving them interactive content about using your product will cause further interest.
  4. Are they still reading? If they are still consuming your content, you are doing 90% better than most of your competitors. Are you asking to interact with them to answer questions and gauge their interest? You should definitely be.

These are just 4 different ways to engage with a prospect. There are literally hundreds of different methods to nurture leads of this type.

How do most companies sell paint? Simple. Here’s our paint. It’s better than other people’s paint. It’s now on sale. We guess you weren’t interested in our paint, because you didn’t buy it from us.

Step 5:

Be prepared to nurture a lead for an extended period of time. People make decisions on their timelines, based on their needs. A decision can be instantaneous, but some decisions can take up to 4 years. Depending on the financial magnitude of the product or service, putting a timeline on what we feel may be an ample amount of time, may not fit your lead or prospect.

If you had a million dollar decision to make regarding buying your dream vacation home, how long would it take you to make the decision? If you signed up for the Sotheby’s Real Estate subscription, and after 6 months they dropped you from their campaigns, would you use them as your preferred Realtor when you were ready to make your purchase? Probably not.

Creating fresh marketing campaigns, with relevant content, while keeping new and fresh ideas streaming to your leads is the end all be all of content marketing and lead nurturing. GingerHippo has found even larger corporations are generally using around 20% of the tools they have subscribed to. By increasing frequency, intensity, and measuring results, we’ve helped clients experience exponential growth in their lead nurturing.

Creating A Campaign Strategy

The last area we are going to discuss very briefly is campaign strategy. In our efforts, we have found that companies using campaign strategies experience over 1482% greater closing ratio’s from prospects. Through careful calculation and strategic content publishing, real results become realized. What would an additional 1482% in sales look like for your company? Would it be worth the extra time to fill in all of the blanks?

We Would Love The Opportunity To Share New Articles With You.
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

Private Blog Networks (PBN) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019? Table of Contents With Clickable Navigation   PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?   What Is A PBN Or A PBN Site? What Is A WBN Site?   Using PBN Links Or WBN To...

5 Recommendations On How To Nurture Leads Better

Does Your Content Nurture Leads? Most Content Doesn't by GingerHippo. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo). Nurtured leads makes 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group). 79%...

Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

 Google's Mobile-First Algorithm Update Is Hurting Companies' Organic Ranking... A LOT!   by GingerHippo. In the past month and a half, an unbelievable amount of websites have lost footing on their rankings, due to Google's mobile-first algorithm update. We will...

What Does 650 Words Look Like?

Is 650 Words Optimal For Articles And Blog Posts? by GingerHippo. Today, we invite you to take a break from reading up on the current political situation to join in on a different long-standing debate: how long do your blog posts and web content need to be in order to...

Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Cornerstone Content Defines Your Digital Foundationby GingerHippo.Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress, has a check box to define cornerstone content. Most people don't quite understand what this feature is, or the significance of what it does, so we are going to shed...

Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

Google's Mobile-First Algorithm Update Is Hurting Companies' Organic Ranking... A LOT!

by GingerHippo.

In the past month and a half, an unbelievable amount of websites have lost footing on their rankings, due to Google’s mobile-first algorithm update. We will discuss what the changes are, and how to make the necessary changes, in an effort to boost your organic search rankings or recover from the changes made.

What Is Mobile-First?

63% of all internet usage in the United States comes from mobile browsers, meaning 37% happens on a desktop. Google introduced the mobile-first algorithm update on March 26, 2018, in an effort to offer the most relative content, on the platform by which people are searching for it. This update is not meant to penalize companies’ websites, rather offer the most relevant information to the readers available.

How Will Mobile-First Affect You?

Most companies are already realizing the effects of not having a mobile responsive website, but some were compensating content and frequency of publication to stay ahead of the curve, making up ground for their losses. This will no longer be a viable option for staying on page 1. Google pushed their mobile responsive update live on April 21, 2015, and has given companies nearly 3 years to make the changes needed for their digital footprint, but some have used the wrong methods for adapting to the previous update. If you are currently using a makeshift platform for mobile, you DO NOT have a choice in making the right changes to conform to the mobile-first update.

We do use H tags to understand the structure of the text on a page better.

JOHN MUELLER

Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google

Which Forms Of Mobile Sites Take Priority?

Desktop Only– Your content will not be found in organic search by mobile users. Your content will only be relevant to desktop users.

Responsive Web Design– There are no changes in this update. Your desktop and mobile experience will hold equal value in search results.

Canonical AMP– The same as responsive design. There are no changes to this form of mobile search.

Separate URL’s– Google will provide more weight to the mobile version of your website (i.e. m.gingerhippo versus gingerhippo)

Dynamic Serving– Google prefers the mobile version for indexing.

AMP and non-AMP– Google will prefer the non-AMP URL’s for indexing.

We will break this down further, as you keep reading the article.

Responsive Website Design Wins The Race

Most Page 1 Organically Ranking Content Has More Than 2,000 Words

Avoid Using Interstitial Ads Or Popups On Your Website

The Responsive Website

There is literally no change to the algorithm for responsive websites. A responsive website merely optimizes the desktop version of a site for mobile rendering. If your site is mobile responsive already, no significant changes need to be made.

Further down in your reading, we will discuss changes you will want to make, in an effort to stay ahead of the curve for upcoming algorithm updates by Google. We don’t know for certain these changes are in the works, but very rarely are we wrong in these areas.

Why? Because the changes we suggest follow a best practice format for ever changing use statistics and methodology.

Canonical AMP

Canonical AMP websites are built using AMP HTML coding. AMP is an open source effort to improve the content ecosystem for everyone. AMP separates content, keeping render blocking content from slowing down the load speed of the main content.

The methodology is to provide content to the reader as fast as possible. Is AMP HTML the best solution for everyone? We say no at GingerHippo. AMP is great for data, but bad for user experience.

If your business model is geared towards user experience, AMP is probably not the best way to push out your information. Some disagree with us on our opinion. We understand.

We Do Use H Tags To Understand The Structure Of The Text On A Page Better

~ John Mueller, Google

Separate URL’s

Separate URL’s offers different content for different platform types. Each page has a page for desktop users and a separate page for mobile users.

We try to ensure digital consistency for clients at GingerHippo, so we work with clients to ensure a uniform approach to website design, navigation, and user experience.

After all, if you find a really cool website on your phone and want to dig deeper into that site later on with your desktop, wouldn’t you prefer to see that same cool content, rather than trying to figure out a new way to navigate through your experience? We would. Brand consistency is something we strive for, and feel everyone else should want in their website.

If we just look at the amount of effort needed to provide separate URL designs for mobile and desktop, we are actually doing at least double the work, in an effort to achieve the same result. More importantly, when making changes to desktop versus tablet, versus mobile, we are required to give triple the effort.

Dynamic Serving

Dynamic serving offers visitors unique content for the device they are using. Instead of reformatting existing content for text font size, imagery reductions, animations, etc., this method will show you a completely different version altogether.

As with separate URL’s or AMP content, the user experience is interrupted and confusing, if the visitor revisits the site on a different type of device.

The winner so far is still responsive design, based on a clear and precise user experience, along with branding consistency.

AMP And non-AMP

non-AMP mobilized content will be served with higher priority than AMP HTML. This pushes AMP content into the category of irrelevance.

This is an outstanding decision on Google’s part, because media companies generally use AMP HTML to serve their content as fast as possible, and gain organic position faster than non-AMP HTML, based on frequency of publication. It seems as if Google made a change we were hoping for at GingerHippo with their mobile-first algorithm change, in the sense that quality is being served over quantity, which allows more defined content to be driving search results moving forward.

For those who have been writing authoritative content and getting beat out by major media, your digital day of limelight has come to fruition.

The Importance Of Using Data Highlighter Moving Forward

We are going to simplify data highlighter and it’s importance. Data highlighter can be found in your Google Search Console, but a little bit of work needs to be done, prior to highlighting your content.

If you really truly want to be relevant and found organically, you will use the data highlighter tool effectively for your content. The way to do this effectively, is to break up your content into market verticals, define your categories, then place the content in the right category for what you are writing. This helps to define the meaning of the content to search engines, and also signals to them that your content is important.

Think of it as a filing cabinet, or more importantly the aisle of a grocery store. If there were no organization or categorization of food items in a grocery store, how would you ever find an item you wanted to buy?

Common Mistakes For Mobile Sites

 

  1. Blocked Javascript, CSS, and Image files. Be sure you are allowing the bots to crawl your website both completely, and as a user would. Fetch your site on Webmaster tools regularly, for both desktop AND mobile, fixing errors found.
  2. Ensure your video content is playable. Use HTML5 standards for your animations, and embed video content that is playable on all devices.
  3. Eliminate faulty redirects, and ensure your redirects match the designated URL for the desktop version. Interrupting a visitors user experience by causing them to navigate to a page they don’t want to see, creates a negative user experience.

4. Correct your mobile only 404 errors. When someone reaches a 404 error, there is a 97% chance they will lose value in your messaging and content. Make sure your 404 errors are eliminated on both desktop and mobile versions of your website.

5. Avoid Interstitials. The overlay pop up ads to join a mailing list or download an app will cause website indexing disruption, if not done properly. The correct format for interstitials is to allow navigation and consumption, while recommending the app download, similar to LinkedIn’s mobile rendering out of their app on a mobile device. If you are causing disruption in navigation and user experience, your indexing and ranking will reflect the disruption.

Content Guidelines To ALWAYS Follow

Make sure your room is clean. What does that even mean for websites and content? Let us share with you EXACTLY what this means:

1. Make sure your content is both informative AND answers the visitors questions or solves their problem. Writing incomplete or shortened content causes content irrelevance, which leads to it not gaining authority.

2. ALWAYS use H Tags in your subheadings, and use ALL of them. The H Tags identify the form and flow of your content. We constantly hear arguments regarding the importance or weight of H Tags in our industry, and we can’t stress the importance of using them enough. Using H Tags further identifies the importance and meaning of your content, and while there are no significant case studies regarding the weight for or against, even Google’s John Mueller has plainly stated they are relevant.

4. ALWAYS use alt image attributes for imagery. This is an area we see tremendous opportunities in for a majority of the digital world. Using relevant imagery to the topics, and defining what those pictures are, could be the difference between gaining ranking organically or not.

5. Optimize the imagery for your website. The smaller the file size, the faster your page load speeds are. The faster your page load speeds are, the better your content will rank. Test your page load speeds here.

6. Important, but not overly relevant to this specific article, is to reduce or minimize the amount of gated content. Content gating deters engagement, if trust and value haven’t been established. Visitors will give you their valuable information only when you have gained their permission, and never before. Predatory gating techniques always devalue your brand.

7. Most content that ranks organically on page 1 of Google, has at least 2,000 words. Google wants to help readers answer questions and solve problems, without needing to search multiple sources to form a conclusion. The days of 300 word articles ranking on page 1 are nearly gone; along with the relevance of the emails people receive from overseas firms, claiming an ability to gain page one ranking organically, regardless of the content type, length, page load speeds, website errors, and publishing frequency.

GingerHippo’s Last Piece Of Advice

Be sure to ask your website developer, marketing company, SEO’er, and every single person about the significance of what we talked about in this article. If their response is to discourage the importance of what is above, find a different employee, contractor, or consultant. Anyone who tells you that anything stated above isn’t important, run as fast and as far away from them as possible.

If you take our advice on running away and are looking for a new solution, GingerHippo would truly love the opportunity to sit in the emptied seat. We are never more than a phone call or email away, and we are always grateful for every opportunity we receive.

We Would Love The Opportunity To Share New Articles With You. Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

Private Blog Networks (PBN) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019? Table of Contents With Clickable Navigation   PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?   What Is A PBN Or A PBN Site? What Is A WBN Site?   Using PBN Links Or WBN To...

Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

 Google's Mobile-First Algorithm Update Is Hurting Companies' Organic Ranking... A LOT!   by GingerHippo. In the past month and a half, an unbelievable amount of websites have lost footing on their rankings, due to Google's mobile-first algorithm update. We will...

What Does 650 Words Look Like?

Is 650 Words Optimal For Articles And Blog Posts? by GingerHippo. Today, we invite you to take a break from reading up on the current political situation to join in on a different long-standing debate: how long do your blog posts and web content need to be in order to...

Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Cornerstone Content Defines Your Digital Foundationby GingerHippo.Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress, has a check box to define cornerstone content. Most people don't quite understand what this feature is, or the significance of what it does, so we are going to shed...

Brand Presence Versus Brand Awareness

Is Brand Presence Or Brand Awareness More Important? by GingerHippo. Brand awareness is a term that’s been floating around marketing departments and MBA classrooms for years. It’s considered fundamental to the promotion of a product, and companies like Coca-Cola and...

What Does 650 Words Look Like?

What Does 650 Words Look Like?

Is 650 Words Optimal For Articles And Blog Posts?

by GingerHippo.

Today, we invite you to take a break from reading up on the current political situation to join in on a different long-standing debate: how long do your blog posts and web content need to be in order to gain SEO traction? And do you need to worry about word (50 words) counts at all? What does 650 words look like?

On the one side of this discussion sits traditional marketers, who say that hitting a word count doesn’t matter. They advocate for writing to the audience and allowing the copywriting to be whatever length it ends up at to best communicate the message.

On the other, we (100 words) have the hard-core SEO folks. These guys and gals insist that crawled content is consumed content, and that writing to Google’s specifications is the best and only way to get the web hits and traffic that modern marketing demands.

Here at GingerHippo, we say: you can have your (150 words) cake and eat it too. Good content writing can accomplish both goals. And the best way to do so is to bring your copywriting team into your conversations about SEO early. After all, when writers understand how SEO and content marketing work together, incorporating word counts and other SEO best (200 words) practices into the process simply becomes part of creative content writing.

Writing content to create a complete solution, will cause the content to rank well.

BRAD “RAIN MAN” BATDORF

What’s the best length for SEO copywriting?

Once you’ve established that paying attention to word counts will simply be part of content writing at your company from now on, the question becomes: which length is best? Is 300 words the (250 words) minimum for blogs? Or do you need to shoot for that elusive long-form content?

The good news is that you can accomplish your SEO and stylistic goals at almost any length, whether your article is 300 words or 1,200 words. The important thing is to choose your focus and supporting (300 words) keywords wisely, and then build them into your content with context. Google knows when your content is throwaway, written only for the sake of keyword inclusion. And using keywords that don’t apply to your focus keyword will only increase bounce rate, which, in turn, lowers the trust ranking of any (350 words) given post.

There are many factors that contribute to how your content ranks in the search engines, and length is only one of them. Although longer form content (1,500 words+) has some solid research behind it to demonstrate its effectiveness, you can still rank with shorter form content when you (400 words) correctly tag your articles and make ample use of headlines (H-tags are important!). If you’re not sure what all needs to be included in content to make it SEO-friendly, working with an SEO content writing services agency can help, at least to get you started.

Articles With More Than 2,000 Words, Consistently Rank Page 1 Of Google Search Results.

Long Form Content Has A Greater Probability Of Earning Quality Backlinks.

Longer Content Gets More Social Shares.

Consider length in content writing (450 words), don’t live and die by it

I tell my clients that a good approach to content is to create a variety of content that demonstrates expertise at every level. You’re going to need weighty content that helps solve your customers’ problems, and that’s where long pieces like white papers (500 words) and in-depth articles come into play. But you can also support that content and help boost your overall digital brand presence with shorter pieces that lead customers deeper into the buyer journey.

The truth is: it’s hard to be attention-grabbing at 1,500 words, but it’s equally hard to offer real (550 words) value in 150. Yet to successfully communicate your message and create a digital footprint, you need to do both.

You need to generate content and generate a lot of it, so if one piece of content you write doesn’t hit the word count you were going for, it’s simply additional (600 words) incentive to write another piece that does. And when

writing content, it’s a good idea to have a sense for how words look on the page so you know how to build out your blog posts and articles accordingly.

So what does 650 words look like?

It looks like this. (650 words).

Facts About Content Length And Search Engine Rankings.

  • Articles with more than 2,000 words, consistently rank page 1 of Google search results.
  • Long form content has a greater probability of earning quality backlinks. (Hubspot)
  • Longer Content Gets More Social Shares. (QuickSprout)
  • Google likes to reward long form content with good search positioning. (Backlinko)
  • Only 18 percent of companies’ blog posts are 750 words or more. (Curata)
  • 75% of content pieces receive no likes or shares, whatsoever. (Forbes)

We will expound on these statistics below. Have no fear.

75% Of ALL Content Written Receives No Likes Or Shares Whatsoever.

Article Length In Relationship To Ranking.

Let’s put everything written above aside for a moment, and talk about how YOU determine what to click on for searches you make. When you are researching a solution to a question or problem, there are 2 factors in determining which result you choose:

  1. Does the title make you believe the content will answer your question.
  2. Will the content answer that question completely.

The last thing anyone wants, is to have to read through multiple articles to answer their question.

The short answer to the subheading above, is that most questions can’t be answered in short articles, therefor they aren’t read or shared.

Why would anyone share information that didn’t completely solve their problem? Would you ever share half of a recipe for your favorite food? Could you write out your favorite recipe and baking instruction in 650 words or less?

The more thorough the content is, the better it will rank, regardless of how long the content is, because other people will share and link to your content, deeming it authoritative.

Long Form Content Has A Greater Probability Of Earning Quality Backlinks.

Building on what we said above, think about how you consume information for a moment. What was the criteria for what caused you to share the last article or link to it?

The good news is that 75% of the content being written is substandard, which causes it to not rank, or be linked to as authoritative.

Feel free to test this theory out. Write an instructional article about how to tie your shoes, then copy the text, and use this free word counter tool to see how many words it took to convey your instructions.

Most Content Can’t Rank Well, Because It Isn’t Written To Rank.

You read that subheading correctly. Most content isn’t researched well, written well, or conveyed well.

Well…

In the absence of quality content, lies opportunity to do it better, rank better, draw more visitors, and convert more prospects. It’s almost like a field of dreams. If you build it, they will come.

Where do you start? With an idea for an article.

What do you do next? Search for existing content, and determine how you can convey the top 5 results to readers better.

Be sure to check out the infographic below, regarding SEO and ranking. If you lost count on how many words we’ve used in this article, the number is 1300 words. Did all of them have meaning? Did they answer your question or solve a problem completely?

SEO Content Length Infographic

We Would Love The Opportunity To Share New Articles With You.

Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

Private Blog Networks (PBN) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?

PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019? Table of Contents With Clickable Navigation   PBN (Private Blog Networks) | Are They Worth Building in 2019?   What Is A PBN Or A PBN Site? What Is A WBN Site?   Using PBN Links Or WBN To...

5 Recommendations On How To Nurture Leads Better

Does Your Content Nurture Leads? Most Content Doesn't by GingerHippo. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo). Nurtured leads makes 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group). 79%...

Google’s Mobile-First Index Algorithm Update

 Google's Mobile-First Algorithm Update Is Hurting Companies' Organic Ranking... A LOT!   by GingerHippo. In the past month and a half, an unbelievable amount of websites have lost footing on their rankings, due to Google's mobile-first algorithm update. We will...

What Does 650 Words Look Like?

Is 650 Words Optimal For Articles And Blog Posts? by GingerHippo. Today, we invite you to take a break from reading up on the current political situation to join in on a different long-standing debate: how long do your blog posts and web content need to be in order to...

Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Cornerstone Content Defines Your Digital Foundationby GingerHippo.Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress, has a check box to define cornerstone content. Most people don't quite understand what this feature is, or the significance of what it does, so we are going to shed...

Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Using Cornerstone Content To Build Your Website Foundation

Cornerstone Content Defines Your Digital Foundation

by GingerHippo.

Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress, has a check box to define cornerstone content. Most people don’t quite understand what this feature is, or the significance of what it does, so we are going to shed some light on how to use this tool properly. By using this powerful SEO tool, writers have an ability to both define what their most important content is to search engines, but also stop competing with themselves for keyword rankings. Enjoy the article, and let us know what you think.
 

Cornerstone Content Defined

The definition is as simple as defining the word cornerstone and the functionality of what it does.

cor·ner·stone ˈkôrnərˌstōn
noun- an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.

Well, there you have it. We don’t need to explain this any further, correct? We wouldn’t do that to you. We are going to give examples of companies competing with themselves for ranking, and all kinds of other good stuff.

Without identifying the foundation of your digital footprint, search engines can only be confused.
BRAD “RAIN MAN” BATDORF

When NOT To Use Cornerstone Content

Have you ever heard the story of the little boy who cried wolf? We will assume everyone has. If you haven’t, by all means, you can Google it.

The biggest problem we see with copywriters and other content creators, is they feel that every single piece of content they write is building a foundation, which is far from the truth.

Even popular content, which is being shared socially (or even viral content), isn’t necessarily the foundation of your digital footprint. Establishing what your company “should” be known for, is sometimes very different than what is driving people to your website.

But, all traffic is good traffic, right? <shrugs> Sure. Traffic can boost your Alexa ranking, but how many conversions are you getting from the content piece? How many REAL customers are you gaining?

Cornerstone content is meant to be relative content to your business. Relative content drives visitors to the top of the marketing funnel, encourages them to engage, giving you the opportunity to convert. It’s actually that simple.

Identify Your Market Verticals

Use Keyword Planning Tools

Help Search Engines Make Sense Of Your Content

Competing With Yourself For Keyword Rankings

Most companies don’t even realize they are competing with themselves, every single time they produce content. This is one of the biggest areas of improvement we see, when we take on a new client at GingerHippo. Using the picture to the right as an example, let’s discuss how this happens:

1. Companies keep telling the same story, over and over again, expecting a different result. Pete and Repeat went fishing. Pete fell off the boat. Who’s left?

2. Copywriters feel they have created every form of content surrounding their market verticals. This is never true. Generally, we find this to be the case with companies who don’t use a content calendar for planned publishing.

3. A company’s marketing department is subservient to the sales department. When sales rules the roost, a sale needs to happen from every visitor (in their minds), which is counterproductive to nurturing leads. More sales are lost than won with this tactic, because not every visitor is at the decision phase of the marketing funnel when they visit your website.

What Competing With Yourself For Keywords Actually Does

The picture on the left is a tremendous eye opener. Due to diluting their authority for their name, competitors are gaining ground on their name.

By not paying attention to the big picture, a medical aesthetic clinic is gaining ground quickly for their name. This is the worst possible scenario for a company, being their content should justify a #1 ranking organically in search for their name.

NovuHealth is NOT unique, unfortunately. They are merely the example we are using for our article. Let’s talk about how to NOT follow in their footsteps.

Never Use Blind Writing Techniques, And Expect Content To Rank

1. Delineating Your Market Verticals

Regardless of your product or service, there are thousands of different searchable topics to cover. By delineating your verticals AND your products/services, you can plan your content “months” in advance. Don’t believe me? Let me give you an example.

Chia Pet:

Let’s assume we are writing content for Chia Pet, the pottery that we spread chia paste all over a pottery head, water it, and watch it grow. What are the different areas we could create content for, which would draw readers to our website? Can you think of three, or ten, or even hundreds? I bet you can think of 50 topics to write about, in a matter of 10 minutes or less.

Let’s figure out their verticals. Off of the top of my mind, I’m thinking their verticals are pottery, chia seeds, and watering. Using just the three verticals, how many articles could they write for different topics about the construction of their pottery? How many articles could they write discussing different uses for chia? Watering techniques and water quality? Heck, I’m pretty sure they could create a chia pet liquid fertilizer and market the product as an add-on sale, if they produced the right content to build enough value.

Or, they can just keep on showing the 20 year old commercial on television during the holidays. Chu-Chu-Chu-Chia Pet!

2. Use The Right Tools To Determine Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes we see in the content world, is what we call “writing blind”.

Writing blind is when companies don’t research their content in advance. There are numerous keyword tools available on the market, and while some are free, paid keyword planning tools provide better data. We recommend the platform Ahrefs to everyone, and we aren’t an affiliate of theirs, nor do they ask us to mention them. Their platform allows complete dissection of keywords, backlinks, organic rankings, AND competitor data.

The only complaint we tend to hear about regarding Ahrefs, is their user interface is droll. I’ll take functional over pretty, every day of the week.

3. Help The Search Engines Make Sense Of Your Content

Are we telling you to write content for the search engines instead of the readers? Absolutely NOT! Always write content for the reader, but do so in a way that encourages search engines to promote your content as being the most valuable to read.

What In The Holy Sam Buckets Does That Mean?

If we are writing a piece of content about “Cars”, we are required to write the content in a manner that delineates whether the article is about automobiles or the Disney movie. If our content mentions Steve McQueen or racing, we may confuse the search engines regarding which one we are talking about, and while the content may rank higher at first, it will sink in organic rankings over time, if people aren’t linking to our content.

4. Make Your Content Visually Appealing

In the picture on the left, we are providing an example of ugly content. We need to agree on the absolute fact that people engage more with visually appealing content, than they do with just words.

At GingerHippo, we always recommend giving readers a picture to use as an example of what they are reading, so we can create a desired feeling for a reader. If we are writing an article about juicy cheeseburgers, wouldn’t a picture of a juicy cheeseburger drive the messaging home? If we are writing that same article, but use a picture of a pickle, we probably aren’t going to get the same desired effect.

5. Allow People The Ability To Share Your Work

We pick on the content key holders, who gate their content, A LOT at GingerHippo. Let’s take a moment to imagine that we’ve just created a piece of cornerstone content, which defines the meaning of our company and brand, then force new visitors to give us their name, email, phone number, and an IOU for a potential kidney donation if we need it. Believe it or not, we see this happening more often than not, in our world.

Cornerstone content should never be gated, and should always be extremely easy for readers to share, on the platform of their choice. Notice that all of our articles have a super cool sharing icon for multiple platforms on the left hand side? We don’t have a preference on who sees our content, or where they find it. Neither should you.

It’s Time To Start Writing Cornerstone Content!

 

Let’s do a quick recap of our article, just to make sure we are tracking on next steps:

 

  1. Clearly define your market verticals. Make sure the content you are writing as cornerstone content sets an absolute foundation for your brand.
  2. Use keyword planning tools to further define what you are writing, how difficult it is to rank for those keywords, and who you are competing against.
  3. Write valuable content for both the readers AND search engine rankings. Most top 10 front page articles are at least 1200 words in length.
  4. Make your content visually appealing. Add images that create the desired feeling for the reader, for the message you are conveying.
  5. ALWAYS allow people the ability to share cornerstone content. NEVER gate content which defines your core business.
We Would Love The Opportunity To Share New Articles With You.
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

SEARCH
Your Customer Journey Has Been Forever Digitally Disrupted
SELECT
5 Website Mistakes And How To Fix Them
SOLVE
How To Nurture Leads Better

Pin It on Pinterest