Adding Content Provides SEO Benefits

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Two websites that I edit have both recently benefited from the addition of new content. While it cannot be determined from a sample size of two whether the search engine bump is due to having additional content pages on the site or if it is due to visitors being more engaged and Google rewarding the improved metrics, the net result is that the addition of new content pages led to positive search engine results.

The two sites are Coursemarking and ShoppingBasketsPlus.com. CourseMarking had obtained the top position for the term “course marking” within a few weeks of launch. However, little work had been done on the site over the last few months, and it recently fell to second for the term “course marking”. It may have been a victim of the change to the algorithm that Matt Cutts announced that will reduce the value of domain names that exactly match a search term.

Last week, we doubled the number of products offered by CourseMarking, which significantly increased the number of pages on the site. Page views per visitor and time on site both increased and the bounce rate decreased. Within less than a week, the result was a return to the top spot on Google for the term “course marking”. There was little else occurring that can be identified as being likely to have improved the search engine ranking for this site, so the evidence seems to point to the additional content leading to the change in Google rank.

While the changes to CourseMarking.com were made primarily with a focus on increasing sales by expanding the product line, the changes to ShoppingBasketsPlus were largely driven by search engine considerations. We added new webpages intended to bring additional traffic to the site from visitors searching for shopping baskets by color. Thus, we created a new page for every basket color we offer, An example of one of these pages is Black Shopping Baskets. Not only have these new pages worked to bring in additional traffic and sales, they recently led to an order from an agency for a massive corporation that needed baskets of a specific color (sadly, I have not been able top obtain authorization to mention the corporation’s name).

Another product addition to ShoppingBasketsPlus that was largely made to increase the size of the site and add unique content has led to an unexpected bump in sales. Traditionally, a  set of shopping baskets includes 12 baskets, a metal stand and a header sign. Well, due to height of the stand, it is feasible to fit four extra shopping baskets into the box. Thus, we created “Extra Value Sets” with four additional baskets in order to be able to offer more webpages on the site with unique content. Much to our surprise, the extra value sets have turned out to be a good selling item, generating about 1/4 as many orders as the traditional 12 baskets sets. So a product additional that was created largely for a search engine benefit has led to a nice (and unexpected)  increase in average dollars per sale

Conclusion

In these two examples, adding additional content to the site has produced search engine benefits. As caveats, these are both small sites in categories that are not fiercely competitive. It is also likely noteworthy that the new content was unique and led to increased visitor engagement with the site in regard to page views and time on the site. However, regardless on the size of a website and the competitiveness of the category, adding unique new content to a site is likely to be a good SEO tactic