News Courtesy of Moz.com:
We held five main hypotheses of what we believed would boost organic traffic before we started this project:
- Longer content with subtitles: Increasing the length of the content and adding relevant H2 and H3 subtitles to give the reader more detailed and useful information in an organized fashion.
- Changing the H1 so that it matched more high-volume keywords using Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
- Changing the URL so that it also was a better match to high-volume and relevant keywords.
- Adding a relevant image or graphic to help break up large “walls of text” and enrich the content.
- Adding a relevant video similar to the graphic, but also to help increase time on page and enrich the content around the topic.
We tracked all five of these changes across all 200 URLs (see image above). After a statistical analysis, we learned that four of them helped our organic search traffic and one actually hurt.
This is a very interesting read from an established business that was looking to increase their websites’ growth. The type of website, an online community and forum, is probably different from what most people manage. However, the techniques utilized shouldn’t be discounted. Content restructuring and combining related topics from separate pages into fewer pages seems to have had a huge effect. Breaking up the monotony of large text blocks with subheadings and graphics did as well.
After paying more attention to Yoast’s readability feature, I’ve learned that it can be just as important as their SEO grading system. Why? Because user engagement (the amount of time visitors spend on a page and website) factors into Google’s ranking algorithm. The longer people stay on your site, the higher the engagement. People want information to be broken down and easily accessible. Limiting the number of words before a subheading allows people to easily skim content if they desire. Remember, your primary audience should always be real people, not bots or crawlers.