These pages aim to win organic search results, so they need to be well optimised for search if they’re to stand any chance of doing so. Adhering to best practice will, therefore, be vital:
containing your core keyword(s), and reflect the hierarchy of your site
Meta description should be between 150-160 characters and act as a perfect teaser to the content inside (these aren’t ranking factors but they do show in SERPs, so they have a big impact on whether someone clicks through)
Header tags (H1s and H2s) should be used to identify header (and therefore important) text
Internal links should be used to help humans navigate around your site and to help search engines to crawl and index it, and understand how your content pages relate to each other.
Social sharing buttons encourage people to share your content, encouraging more eyes on your content, and more positive ranking signals
Once you have someone on your site, you’ll usually want to keep them there! As such, this type of page usually has a lot of possible ‘on-routes’, to push visitors deeper into the site. Research has shown a big correlation between organic ranking and length of content, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule for shooting to the top of the SERPs (just ask Rand Fishkin). Length helps rankings in so far as a well-researched, well-written piece is usually longer and a better resource for the searcher, so is, therefore, more likely to rank. This doesn’t mean that content will rank highly just because it’s the longest, so don’t waffle on for the sake of growing word-count or you’ll see a very high bounce rate – and so will Google!
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