We all know – to use the oft-repeated phrase – that “content is king” in SEO. But what happens if your site has little-to-no content, or you don’t have the resources to invest in a content marketing strategy?
There are a number of reasons why a site might have little-written content. Most often, it is due to operating in a sector where good UX relies less on text and more on other assets, like visuals and video. If your users are looking for images, for example, it makes little sense to bombard them with blocks of written content. Another reason for having limited content is that you simply lack the resources to produce it consistently and at a high enough quality to compete.
But having a site with little content doesn’t necessarily mean that SEO isn’t a viable marketing channel. Find out how to improve your site’s organic performance without investing in content with the following tips.
Ensure your site is technically sound
Making sure that your site can be crawled is fundamental to getting organic traffic in the first place. While there are hundreds of ranking factors, there are really three overarching ones: links, content and technical considerations. While content clearly plays a role here, if your site is low on content then you’ll definitely want to ensure your site is technically sound by performing a technical SEO audit.
Firstly, your site needs to be accessible to both search engines and users. Make sure that your robots.txt file isn’t stopping key pages from being accessed and indexed, and that your sitemap.xml is up-to-date and matches the structure of your site. Secondly, ensure that your site has a solid URL structure and that you’re not internally linking to broken pages (which return a 404 error) and pages that redirect.
Get the most out of metadata
Metadata is data about data. Search engines use this data to more fully understand what a page is about, while some metadata is used by search engines to give users more information. For example, any web page should have a meta-title and meta-description. The meta-title isn’t visible on a page (so it doesn’t mean adding additional content to a page), while the meta-description is a short summary of a page that is only visible on the search engine results pages (SERPs). If a page is short on content then, at the very least, you’ll want to make sure that it has a descriptive page title and meta description. You can follow a short on-page optimisation checklist to ensure that this is all completed correctly.
Optimise your images
When we’re talking about sites with little content, what we generally mean are sites with limited written content. Such sites may, in fact, have plenty of content; for example, images. Like a website in general, images too can be optimised for search.
There are two main ways you’ll want to optimise your visual assets. Firstly, due to page load speed being an important (albeit indirect) ranking factor, images should be compressed so that they are as small as possible without sacrificing quality. For WordPress sites, this is easily done using a plugin like WP Smush.
Secondly, you’ll need to utilise all the metadata available to make it clear to search engines what a specific image is. This will primarily be done in two ways. Firstly, ensure you name images using consistent, keyword-rich filenames; for example, ‘diamond-engagement-ring.jpg’ is a much better alternative for a jewellery website than ‘product1234.jpg’. Secondly, ensure that you use image alt tags. These descriptive tags, viewable by search engines, give them more textual content to work with, describing the image in words so that it is readable by crawlers.
Add content deeper in your site’s structure
Just because your homepage and main pages are relatively content light doesn’t mean that you have to shirk away from text content completely. One way to maintain a minimal UX for main pages but still provide search engines (and human searchers) with the content they need and love is by adding content-rich pages deeper in your site structure.
Having a blog, for example, is one way to achieve this. You can use the blog to attract organic traffic for information-driven keywords around your products or services. But this blog needn’t be prominently displayed in your navigation or homepage (although, admittedly, this can help). Instead you can link to and from the blog deeper in the site’s structure, using it as a way to funnel potential customers at an earlier stage of the buyer process into your conversion path.
Acquire ‘easy’ links
Link building is a crucial part of SEO but many link building strategies rely on content. Guides, for example, can be great at acquiring links, but they require resources to develop them. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get links to your content light site.
There are a number of link building tactics that don’t rely on content that you’ll need to explore in such a situation. Some examples would be local directory listing sites (you’ll want to make sure your site is listed on these, with all relevant information completed) as well as utilising your existing business network; suppliers and partners, for example, may be happy to link to you in exchange for giving a testimonial or case study on their site, leaving your site free of the sort of in-depth, information-rich content that tends to naturally attract links over time.
If you’d like help with your company’s SEO strategy, get in touch with one of our experts today.