High ranking articles follow certain patterns that set them apart from the rest. A study conducted by SEMrush seeks to address this issue. So, what do we need to do if we want to rank?
Originality and relevance are the two most important factors that determine the performance of a page. Other factors such as visuals, structure, headlines (headings) and word count also play an important role.
Why High-Ranking Article Have Longer Content
Longer content ranks higher because it provides users with in-depth information on the topic. It doesn’t rank simply because it has more words. Factors you need to focus on when you start writing are that you have in-depth research, engaging and unique text and relevant information not how long the word count is.
The study found that articles with over 7000 words get 4 times more traffic compared to articles that have between 300-900 words which have 21% less traffic. However, articles that have average between 900-1200 words have a 44% chance of being shared. Long-form content is more likely to get you traffic, it is important to note that writing longer content that isn’t well researched will not guarantee you traffic or success.
How to Use Headings Effectively
Headings are the most important part of your page. This is the first contact your readers have with your content. It is a deciding factor on whether the reader will open your article or not. Let’s take a look at what has been seen to work for others:
Lists as Headings: lists work better because the information looks well organised and trustworthy from a user experience perspective. Additionally, the information is placed within a classification system or category. The headings standout because they contain numbers. The information is easier to read and digest.
How-to Guides: according to the study, how-to guides drive 38% more traffic. Headings that have a “how-to” give players the illusion that they will answer their queries. Additionally, these headings work because it offers users a solution to their problem.
How Long Should the H1 Be?
Your first heading needs to give your reader a quick summary of what your article is about. Typically, the first heading of your article needs to be somewhere between 5 to 14 words. From the study, we see that longer H1s work better. Longer H1s offer more information about the article. Longer H1s that contain between 10 – 14 words get 76.7% more shares compared to shorter ones. Here are some of the features of the perfect H1:
- Address user intent.
- It should stand out on the page.
- It needs to clearly describe what is addressed in the body.
- Use question words and numbers.
- Make it comprehensive and unique.
What High Ranking Articles Look Like?
Article with complex structure ranks better. These are articles that have H2+H3+H4 and the presence of lists. Using H2s to break down content into meaningful pieces will improve the visual appeal and readability of your content. To rank better on Google, you need to use heading tags because they help the search engine understand what your text is about.
Using Lists in the Text
The study reveals that using lists will get you 70% more traffic. According to the study you will rank higher if your posts contain at least one list per every 500 words. Lists are also great from a user-experience perspective.
The Importance of Visual Content
Visual content has a major influence on how readers respond and perceive your content. Articles with more images enjoy 30% more shares.
Using Images and Videos
Images make your content attractive to your readers and they help to clarify and enhance your content. Images help keep short attention spans interested. From an SEO perspective, you have the potential to rank in image searches and leverage emerging technologies like visual search.
Video content has continued to grow over the years. 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool in 2021. The study shows that content that doesn’t have video get 92% less traffic. Using video in your content can boosting the time spent on page incredibly.