6 Ways to Quickly Rank
New Websites With Thin Content
POSTED BY THE ALGERNON
12.29.2017 | SEO
Everything else being equal, getting a website with thin content to rank well on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) simply can’t happen because if a visitor has little to read, they’ll leave. But this doesn’t have to be a forever issue.
And “quick” is relative in that the website will be operational for years. My goal is to rank websites well within 5 – 6 months max of launch. It can be done sooner if the conditions are right, but if your client operates in a competitive market, it will take longer. So here we go:
1. Loads Fast
Your website will never rank well if it takes so long to load that potential visitors hit the back button before the page is rendered. The longer it takes to load the more people will click back to the search results. And when search engines see this, they ding the page in their rankings.
So how fast should the site load? There are a lot of statistics regarding page load speeds, but having your web pages load in or under 2 seconds is what your goal should be.
Google has a nice website analyzer that will not only test your site’s speed, but will also offer suggestions to get it to load faster. WebPageTest is another useful website performance analyzer that allows you to test for each of the most popular browsers.
Don’t forget that your website needs to load fast on mobile too. Users have slightly more patience waiting for content to load on these platforms, but that margin is coming down, especially as cell carriers improve their network capabilities.
What does responsive mean? In short it means your website better look good on mobile devices such as phones. Long answer is that the layout of images and text on your website move around to accommodate screens of various sizes. If you’re reading this article on a desktop or laptop PC, you can right-click and hold on the corners of your browser window and resize it. Your content should move around and be easily readable no matter the size of the browser window.
Here at The Algernon we often design for mobile first, then build out that content for larger screens such as desktop monitors.
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, or https, is the secure version of http. This is the protocol in which data is sent from webhosting servers to your browser window.
If you have an eCommerce website you should definitely be securing it with https. This helps by encrypting payment transactions between your website and your customers. But even if you don’t have an eCommerce site, all websites can benefit from utilizing security in other ways. If you have login authentication and other types of verification, https helps secure this traffic too. And from the standpoint of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), google favors the rankings of website that use https.
4. Image Optimization
As we discussed earlier the pages on your website need to load fast. One common issue that can slow down page loading time is pages containing large image files. To be clear we’re not referring to the XY dimensions of an image, rather, we are talking about image file size.
We often come across slow loading sites and see that they contain images with file sizes greater than 500K, and often times over 1MB. This is a good sign of a lazy website developer, or an inexperienced one.
Images destined for your website should be reduced to the smallest file size possible, while still remaining pleasing to look at. Sites like tiny png makes this easy by reducing your image file size then offering it for download.
People aren’t going to find your product if you don’t properly utilize keywords. In the old days of SEO it was quite easy. If your website sold purple socks, you could outrank your competitors by placing the keyword phrase “purple socks” on your website more often than your competitors, a practice known as keyword stuffing. But Google, and similar search engine algorithms, caught on to this long ago, and if you are caught keyword stuffing today, Google would drop your website’s ranking into a black hole.
Writing copy today requires keywords as it always has, but the copy must be written in normal human language. When considering your keywords also consider similar keyword phrases. More and more searches contain questions, not just a keyword or two. So how you talk about your product or service should answer questions you feel your customers may have.
It’s also important where you utilize your keywords. Having them as part of the webpage’s name is a considerable ranking factor for SEO. Also utilizing them in content headers is important. Just remember to do so honestly and not keyword stuff.
6. Publish Content Regularly
So, your website is thin on content. Ok, there’s nothing you can do about that now, but there is certainly something you can do about it moving forward.
Google favorably ranks websites when they see content added to them on a regular basis. This could be once a day, once a week, or perhaps once a month. Regardless, come up with a plan and then stick to it. I’ve worked on sites that publish new content to their website only once per month, but it’s done every month and it’s quality content (i.e. something their potential customers find valuable).
If the thought of coming up with content sort of scares you, I have an easy way to break this into smaller, more manageable tasks:
First, write out ten topic headlines that you think visitors to your website would like to know. Next, write out bullet points beneath each headline that relate to your headline. These bullet points will be the structure of your article, that is, they will make up the paragraphs. So now you have a list of ten headlines with accompanying bullet points.
When you are ready to write, simply pick a topic then start writing to those bullet points. Think of each bullet point as subheadings. The words that follow will make up the paragraphs, and so on.
If you’re still overwhelmed at the thought of creating all of this content, at The Algernon we’re good at this and will gladly help you out.
Your website may be thin now, but that’s actually setting an easy to build upon baseline moving forward. While there are many factors search engines take into ranking every page of your website, starting with these six will give you the most return for your effort. And remember, depending on your industry, this can take time, so be patient and keep adding content to your website.