In today’s article, I’m going to be answering the question of what exactly makes a blog post good enough? We’re going to be taking a look at two different examples of different articles that are covering the same topic and I’m going to try to help you better understand what to look for when you are trying to answer this question for yourself in the case where you’re running a website.
Example long tail phrase #1: what is a midfielder in soccer
Digging right in, the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to search for a few long-tail phrases to find our examples for today. The first long tail phrase for today is what is a midfielder in soccer. This is going to give you some of these search results for this particular phrase.
And what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and open up a few of these top links. And as I open up these top links, what I want you to do is start thinking in the back of your head, why do I think Google thinks that this content is better than the other website?
Digging into yoursoccerhome.com
So let’s first dig into the first example for today, which is the website, yoursoccerhome.com.
Here you can see that this is probably an income school sort of website. You can clearly tell because they’re using this sort of very cookie-cutter template that they all use. But what you’ll see here is that there is the Soccer Midfield: A Complete Guide and what this post is going into right off the bat are the essential 11 roles of a midfielder in soccer.
As I start to scroll through this content, one of the first questions that I ask myself in what makes a good blog piece good enough is what is it in relation to all the other content pieces around it? So in this situation, what I can see is that they break down a lot of different key principles around midfielders.
They talk about the different types of midfielders, and then they also have subsections for that. They have a section on the 11 things that a midfielder does, and then they also answer questions like why is midfield important in soccer? So taking a look at this post, I want you to notice is how this has a ton of key sections or headers that cover different facets of this particular topic.
This right off the bat is potentially one of the reasons why this post is ranked number one is because it not only covers at a high level, what a midfielder in soccer may do, but it talks about the surrounding topical areas that relate to that question as well. You’ll also notice that in this post, there’s a nice use of a couple of different visuals, and graphics, to break up the text and there’s even different internal links that are being done for this particular website.
And the last thing that I also want to draw your attention to with this first example post is how they have a clear author section of exactly who wrote this post and giving them some sort of attribution behind what their background is around the topic.
The high-level takeaway from position number one for this particular phrase of what is a midfielder in soccer. They have visuals, they have breakdowns in terms of different headers and subsections, and then they also have a lot of auxiliary content around the particular phrase that is being asked here.
When I go into the second section for midfielder why do I think this is really valuable? Well, this is a Wikipedia page. And so these are all crawled pretty well, but the reason why I think this page performs well is because it also follows some of those same principles. You can see at the high level, it covers the overarching topic of a midfielder, and it also digs into some of the key different sections of midfielder. So you can see here, how there’s this content outline at the top of this Wikipedia entry.
What may not make this as helpful though as the first one is that the first example is a good example of writing content for a search engine. Whereas in this situation, a Wikipedia page is kind of like an online encyclopedia. And so it’s probably more so just defining some key things with relation to broader context of this particular phrase as opposed to just digging into subsections where it’s like, what is a midfielder in soccer?
So that’s my first inclination as I go through this is that this Wikipedia page, while it does have a lot of rich information, it’s not going to cover the sort of who, what, where, when, why, and how questions that people have around midfielders in soccer that my first post potentially did. It’s not as directly targeted, in other words.
Digging into Wikipedia
Also, if you look at the domain here this is Wikipedia, as opposed to the first website in which it was yoursoccerhome.com. So in the case of yoursoccerhome.com, you can see that this entire website is around soccer. And that’s one of the themes of Google in the last few years, they will potentially give a smaller website that they believe has more top authority, the first spot, as opposed to a broad website that covers a ton of different topics, like a Wikipedia.
Continuing onwards that we can look at the third spot. And we can see here that this is a website called the stadiumreviews.com. It follows a very similar format to the first website. And the main difference probably is in this situation that the content isn’t as dense. So you can see how each of the sections have about five or six lines. It’s pretty much maybe 75 to a hundred words of content.
And then they just talk about some of the key questions. So overall from a core SEO standpoint, they do a decent job, but what they could be doing better in is going even more deep down the funnel of these particular topic areas as opposed to the first post.
You’ll also notice that this website is called the stadiumreviews.com they started out as a professional stadium review site around parking information, food, and more. And then it seems like they started to venture beyond that when they were starting to cover pieces, like what is a midfielder in soccer. So the reason why this particular website is not ranking nearly as well as the first website is again, because of topical authority and this situation, this website’s core focus is not just soccer.
Digging into sportslingo.com
If we take a look at the last example here, you can see, we are on the site called sportslingo.com. And what you can see is that they do define what a midfielder in soccer is, but you’ll see how this particular post is a lot shorter than the first and the third spots that we just went through in which they’d go over the definition, but they don’t go over some of the related keywords or latent semantic indexing keywords that are connected to what is a midfielder in soccer.
But the key takeaway from this one is there’s simply not enough content on this page for it to command a top position when there are three different websites before it, that cover the topic of midfielders in soccer way more in-depth.
What did we learn so far?
We learned that when you’re looking at answering the question of is your content good enough, the first thing you want to ask yourself is how in-depth is your content? How deep are you going down the funnel in terms of the different sorts of questions that people have around the keyword phrase that you’re looking for?
The second thing is how has your content structured? Are there visual breaks in your content to increase time on page? Because if you can increase the time on page, you will signal to Google that your page has potentially a higher quality page than some of your competitors.
And the third thing we looked at is what is the authority of the website overall? Do you have an authority as the author of the piece, as well as for your domain as a whole? We noticed how, in the first example of Your Soccer Home, they ranked the top spot over the third website, which was stadiumreviews.com because Stadium Reviews started out in a completely different niche as their core focus area.
Example long tail phrase #1: what is a backlink?
For our second example today, we’re going to look up the question of what is a backlink and learn all about that. You should know what a backlink is, but in the case where you don’t, a backlink is essentially linked back to your website from another domain that signals to Google that this is an authoritative source on this topic because what they do is they search the web for all the different backlinks in the world and the websites that have the most backlinks are typically the ones that rank higher in the search results.
Digging into WP Beginner’s result
Digging right in, we can see that the first result here is WPbeginner.com. They cover what is a backlink, how to get more backlinks. Backlinko is number two of what our backlinks and Ahrefs is number three, and we’ve got MailChimp as number four.
Let’s go ahead and follow the same process where we start to ask ourselves the same sort of questions that we asked in the first long-tail search that we looked for.
In this situation, we can see that WP Beginner what is a backlink it has a nice little custom visual in terms of explaining what a backlink is. We have that same sort of header formatting being used in terms of the key questions being set as headers or key definitions or sections being set as headers, types of backlinks, you’ll see that they have more of those visuals that help break up the text. You also see how they answered some key questions. And have some supporting visuals as well.
So this is a really short and simple to the point post on what is a backlink. And so overall, this makes sense as to why it is getting the top spot, just because it is going well in depth in terms of this particular phrase, but not too in depth, potentially for the phrase.
Digging into Backlinko’s result
Now, if we go to the Backlinko approach, let’s take a look here. Backlinko also has an SEO marketing hub, and you can see here how they talk about what are backlinks. They also have some great visuals. But you’ll notice right off the bat that this has a lot of visuals. In fact, in this situation, they even have examples of how you can get backlinks. So it’s actually even more actionable than the first post.
So this is a good example of really in-depth content that potentially is not ranking number one but it probably could be if it were just to be updated. Notice how, when we went back to the search results, this hasn’t been updated since 2021. So potentially the Backlinko team just has to refresh their content in order to outrank WP Beginner or what we’ll find as we start to dig through some of the other search results Google doesn’t actually want all of this in-depth breakdown that Backlinko is providing and that Backlinko would actually be better served to cut down on the length of the post.
And that really gets down to the essence of today’s question, which is, is your blog posts good enough? Because ultimately sometimes they are long tail phrases that Google only wants a thousand words for. They don’t want 3000 word articles. And what’s happened is in the last few years, SEOs have found this study that has been frequently cited where longer form content will typically ranked higher up. And so, as a result, they’ve just followed that like the back of their hand, as opposed to actually taking a look at what the search results seem to indicate of what Google was algorithm looking for.
Digging into Ahrefs’ result
If we look at the third example here, we see Ahrefs what are backlinks. All right. It was updated in 2020. So right off the bat, my guess here is that it’s a similar sort of issue with Backlinko in which they haven’t meaningfully update this post and about two years or so. And so what might be happening is they are simply just not refreshing their content similar to Backlinko, but what’s nice here is that they do have their own custom visuals.
They have some interesting graphics as well that only they have, which is a great way for them to really just draw attention to themselves and also potentially build more backlinks because when somebody is researching on backlinks, they might pull some sort of study from this particular post itself. What’s also nice is they have some product marketing here for their respective product and they talk about similar things to what Backlinko was doing.
So very similar. It is still in depth, but what can we see here? Let’s see if we can find when this particular post was last updated. If I want to go ahead and open up the detailed.com app Chrome extension, I can potentially see this information and, in this situation, this was last updated actually in 2019.
So it’s potentially just the case where this has more backlinks. If I want to go ahead and check that though, I can actually pull up the Ahrefs backlink checker to take a look at this particular domain and see how many backlinks it has. Okay, so in this situation, the WP beginner website has 2,588 backlinks with 44% of those being do-follow links to their particular glossary page.
In this case for Backlinko, I can see that they have 9,041. That’s a lot more though. And then in the third case, we can see, do they have 4,000? I mean, this is a really interesting case study, right? It goes to show you that in some situations, the best content might not always just be ranking number one. In fact, the best content might be a little bit further down the fold, but in this situation for whatever reason, Google has given WP beginner the top-ranking even though both of these other websites in terms of Backlinko and Ahrefs seem to be going even more in-depth around the topic.
So what I would guess that would make this different is in the case where Ahrefs or Backlinko were to refresh their pages, refresh their content. I think they could overtake this particular spot.
Digging into MailChimp’s result
But if I were to also look at this fourth example here, I can see MailChimp here we have a bunch of, it’s a lot of similar content, but this is actually inferior content I would say to the Backlinko and Ahrefs example because it’s not as visually appealing in terms of some of the coverage here. So right off the bat, this is also a website in which MailChimp is email marketing, which is a little bit more tangential to backlinks than the other three websites.
And if I go ahead and take a look at this particular post, it does have fewer backlinks than the other ones. And it also has a lower percentage of do-follow links. So that makes sense as to why MailChimp is not ranking above the other three.
Something you should remember is that SERP rankings are fluctuating all the time. So it’s potentially just the case where today I cut WP beginner on a good day. But what they should show you is that even in the second example, we saw instances where all three of the websites were following some of the same core principles. They were having a ton of great helpful headers, they were providing visuals in terms of illustrating the points, or they were positioning their content to be a little bit more unique than their competitors. And they had the authority around the particular topic.
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