AiroAV Publishes: How to Evaluate Content Length in an SEO Audit - Jonathan Cartu - Advertisement & Marketing Agency.
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AiroAV Publishes: How to Evaluate Content Length in an SEO Audit


AiroAV Publishes: How to Evaluate Content Length in an SEO Audit

Most SEO audits tend to identify thin content to avoid penalties, but what about other items that are technically necessary?

Let’s take a look.

From thin content to image links on a particular page, images that are missing alt text or images that have too much alt text, Flash implementations, and how content is organized sitewide, it would be helpful to know about everything that can impact rankings, right?

Identifying Pages with Thin Content

After Screaming Frog has finished crawling, just click on the internal tab, click on the arrow next to “filter”, and select “HTML”.

If you scroll to the right, you will see a Word Count column.

While this isn’t quite as precise as other methods, it will help you identify thin content pages.

In most instances, you should know that only so many words are taken up by navigation, and then you can mentally assess from there if the page has thin content.

If the site has a heavy menu like 150 words, has a heavier footer at 200 words but not much else, and there are 3,500 words of content on the page, you can generally assume that 3,150 of those words belong to the meaty article on that page.


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If you aren’t sure, dive deeper into the page with the Word Count extension from Google Chrome, and count how many words belong just to the meaty article.


Page Load Speed via HTML

Page speed, in recent times, has become a critical ranking factor to get right.

In fact, Google’s John Mueller quite recently gave a legit number for Google’s Page Speed recommendations.

Mueller recommends that you keep your load time to less than 2-3 seconds.

Using any one tool to identify bottlenecks and page speed issues can hurt you.

That’s why I recommend using at least three tools to check this metric.

This is because Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is not always accurate.

Using more than one tool will help you identify multiple issues that aren’t always identified by Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool.


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Other tools can uncover issues even when Google’s tool says your site is 100% optimized.

How to Evaluate Content Length in an SEO AuditHow to Evaluate Content Length in an SEO Audit

Another tool like WebPageTest will help you identify server bottlenecks, including another issue like time to first byte which can cause longer load times if you aren’t careful.

WebPage Test

You can also identify page speed issues in Google Analytics.

If you wanted to get more granular and prioritize pages based on traffic, you can identify pages that need work in Google Analytics.

Simply sign in to Google Analytics, navigate to Your View, open up Reports, then click on Behavior > Site Speed.

The page timings report gives you a fully detailed analysis of individual page performance.

Making the case for prioritized pages and site-wide overhauls will be easier with all of this data at your fingertips.

In addition, Google’s Page Speed Insights also offers new performance metrics that are analyzed by the Lighthouse tool.

Assessing Content Length Through Competitor Analysis

When it comes to content length, long-form content is often preferred in terms of search results and ranking.

But, did you know that you can assess content length through competitor analysis?

It’s true.

Let’s say that we are doing a competitor analysis for the legal industry.

In the industry, we want to find competitors who are ranking for a term like “California DUI lawyers”.

First of all, we want to use ctrl + shift + N to bring up a new private session.


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This is important when you are doing competitor analysis – because your browser will bring up a private window that has everything disabled and non-logged-in sessions.

This is beneficial for several reasons:

  • You don’t have personalized results muddying the waters that you will when you use your logged in account.
  • You don’t have localized results muddying the waters that you will have when you use your logged-in account or a non-logged-in normal window.
  • You won’t have tailored results in any way interfering with the data that you want to examine.

Using our example crawl from earlier, you can check word count in Screaming Frog by making sure you are on the internal tab > scrolling to the right to the Word Count column:


Simply plug in your top five competitors that you chose for that keyword, and assess each word count for each competitor that you crawl.


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It then becomes a game of beating your competitor in word count, quality content, and quality inbound external links.

Considerations for Content Length on Mobile

People (SEOs, mostly) may think that mobile will harm any chances of getting a potential customer via mobile, and that with longer content, they will simply bounce away like no tomorrow.

This is actually far from the truth.

People will still review long-form content on mobile.

With higher-quality screens in Samsung and iPhones, text readability – for the most part – is not in question.

In fact, Ellen Harvey of writes the following about her research into content length on mobile devices and why long-form content performs just as well (if not better) than short-form content, despite the small device size:

“1. Although short-form articles are more numerous on mobile platforms, long-form articles earn just as many visits. Pew reports that on average a long-form article earns 1,530 interactions from mobile users compared to 1,576 interactions with short-form content, despite long-form content accounting for only 24% of the total article sample size. “This does not necessarily mean audiences are asking for more long-form content as there is a strong likelihood that most users are not aware of story length when they click a link,” reports Pew. “Still, long-form articles do, whether through shares, bookmarks, or other means, find their way to as many initial visitors as short-form.”

2. Readers spend more time with long-form content on the weekends, particularly in the morning. n weekend mornings long-form content attracts 137 seconds of engaged time on…

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