If you're not sure what thin content is, it's basically webpages or articles that don't provide any real value to users. They might be short, or they might not have much information on them. Thin content can hurt your website in a few ways: first, it can cause your website to rank lower in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Second, it can make people less likely to trust your website. And third, it can lead to fewer conversions and sales. In this blog post, we'll discuss 10 signs that you're producing thin content and what you can do about it!
What is thin content?
Ever been on a website and find yourself reading an article that is only a few sentences long? Or worse, just a paragraph? And you think to yourself, "is this really all there is on this topic?" Well, that my friend, is what we call thin content. Essentially, it is any type of content that doesn't provide much value to the reader.
This could be due to a variety of reasons such as the content being too short, not well researched, or just poorly written. Thin content is often used by websites in order to quickly fill up space or generate ad revenue. However, visitors to these sites quickly become frustrated and leave without finding the information they were looking for. In order to avoid thin content, make sure that any page you make is answering the question it poses, and that your readers will leave feeling satisfied.
How can you tell if you're being penalized for low quality content?
If you produce low quality content, it's likely that you'll be penalized by Google. There are a few telltale signs that your content is not up to par. First, consider the engagement metrics for your page. If people are quickly leaving your page, it's a sign that the content is not relevant or interesting.
Second, take a look at the organic traffic to your page. If there is a significant drop in traffic after you publish a new piece of content, it's possible that Google has downranked your page. Finally, check to see if your bounce rate is high. A high bounce rate means that people are landing on your page and then immediately leaving; this usually indicates that they didn't find what they were looking for.
If you're a very bad repeat offender, Google Analytics or Search Console may give you a notification that a "manual action" has been taken against your site. This is the Google "thin content" penalty and it is very bad news. With a Google thin content penalty, you'll need to do some major reworking, or potentially abandon the project entirely. Your site will be blacklisted.
Luckily, most genuine sites won't ever need to worry about the Google thin content penalty, because most genuine sites won't try shady tactics like:
- Doorway pages - pages that are meant to funnel you into a specific action before giving you access to the rest of the site
- Thin affiliate pages OR low quality affiliate pages - pages where the entire point is to get people to buy an affiliate product
- Duplicate content - the same 80-100% of content just recycled onto duplicate pages
- Keyword stuffing - reigned before the Google Panda update - just pages upon pages stuffed with comma separated keywords (e.g., banana, banana cream, cream pie recipe...)
If you don't know what any of these are - that's probably because you'd never think to do them! Great! You're already producing high quality content for your web pages.
Will affiliate content kill your site?
No, affiliate content will not kill your site. In fact, affiliate content can be a great way to supplement your income and provide valuable information for your readers. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you choose to use affiliate links on your site.
First, make sure that the affiliate links are relevant to the content of your site. Otherwise, your readers may become frustrated and less likely to return. Second, don't overdo it. A few well-placed affiliate links will be more effective than a cluttered page full of links, and it'll feel better to the search engines, too.
Finally, be transparent with your readers and let them know when you're using affiliate links. If you follow these guidelines, you can use affiliate content without harming your site. But thin content pages plastered with affiliate links? THAT will kill your site.
Sign 1: You're not providing any value to your readers
If you're not providing value to your readers, then it's likely that you have thin content. This is a common issue for bloggers, especially those who are just getting started. When you have thin content, it means that your posts are short and lack substance. This can be a turn-off for readers, who are looking for information that is valuable and helpful.
There are a few ways to tell if your content is too thin. First, take a look at the length of your posts. If they are all under 500 words, then they probably don't offer much value. Second, see if you're repeating yourself or covering the same topics over and over again. If so, then your readers will quickly get bored. Finally, check your Analytics. If there's a lot of bouncing, readers aren't getting what they need from you.
Avoid automatically generated content
In recent years, the rise of automatically generated content has led to a decline in the overall quality of online content. This is because automatically generated content is often low-quality and stuffed with keywords in an attempt to game search engine algorithms. As a result, web users are bombarded with poor-quality articles and clickbait headlines.
Not only is this annoying, but it also makes it difficult to find reliable information online. Even worse, some unscrupulous website owners use automatically generated content to spread misinformation. For all these reasons, it's important to be careful about the sources of the information you're reading online. If an article seems to be full of errors or meaningless phrases, it's likely that it was generated by a computer program.
The programs are out there, but if you're going to use them - be sure to invest heavily into editing for your voice and for high quality.
Sign 2: Your content is shallow and doesn't go into depth
We all know that feeling when we're scrolling through our feed and come across a post that looks interesting, but when we click on it, we're disappointed to find that it's just a surface-level overview of the topic. This is one of the signs that your content might be too shallow.
If your posts are mostly superficial, it's likely that you're not doing enough research or that you're not going into enough depth when you are writing. As a result, your readers aren't getting the full story, and they might not be engaged for very long. If you want to keep people interested in what you're writing, it's important to make sure that you're providing them with information that is both accurate and detailed.
One great way to take your blogs to the next level is to provide new research or collect research into a portal for people to use. This adds something new to the wealth of information that's already out there.
How do I produce deep content for ecommerce sites?
Producing deep content for e-commerce sites can be a challenge. You just want to sell poop-stools: do you really have to talk about gut bacteria? Well - yes. If you want to excel in SEO, you need to excel in content marketing. And that means producing a whole bunch of related, useful content, to draw your potential customers in.
Sign 3: You're not including enough images or videos
According to research, people are more likely to remember information if it is presented alongside an image or video. In fact, our brains are wired to process visual information more efficiently than text-based information. For this reason, blog posts that include images or videos are more likely to be successful in terms of engagement and reach.
If your blog posts are lacking in visual interest, it could be a sign that you need to start incorporating more images and videos. Luckily, there are a number of ways to find high-quality images and videos that you can use for free. Once you start incorporating visuals into your posts, you're likely to see an uptick in traffic and engagement.
Don't use stock images without customizing some of them
Using stock images is a great way to fill up your site, but don't rely entirely on them. Take those photos into Canva or Photoshop and add your own text, spin, or decoration. Your readers will thank you.
Sign 4: Your headlines are boring and don't grab attention
You know that feeling when you're scrolling through social media and come across a headline that makes you want to keep reading? But then there are other times when you find yourself quickly losing interest in an article because the headline was uninspiring. If your headlines are falling flat, it might be one of the signs that your content needs some work.
In order to writing effective headlines, try to avoid using common phrases, make use of active verbs, and include numbers or lists when appropriate. It's also important to remember that your headline should reflect the main idea of your article. So take some time to brainstorm a few different options before settling on one. With a little practice, you'll be able to write headlines that grab attention and get people excited about anything.
Use a free tool like MonsterInsights to improve your H1 tags
Monster Insights has a free headline analyzer tool that you can use to make sure your headlines are up to snuff. Go ahead - give it a spin?
Sign 5: You're not using visual media to its full potential
In today's world, it's more important than ever to use visual media to its full potential. With the advent of social media, our consumer base is constantly bombarded with images and videos. In order to stand out from the crowd, it's essential to produce high-quality visual content that captures attention and drives conversions. Here are a few signs that you're not using visual media to its full potential:
- Your visuals are low-quality or outdated. In order to captivate your audience, your visuals must be high-quality and up-to-date. Outdated visuals can make your brand seem dated and unprofessional.
- You're not utilizing negative space. Negative space is the empty space around your subject
- You never include video because you didn't produce it. Who cares? Choose the best TikTok or YouTube video and let it SHINE on your page
Sign 6: Your blog posts are too long or too short
Another big sign that you need to give your blog a makeover is if your posts are either too long or too short. On one hand, if your posts are constantly running on for several paragraphs without a heading, chances are that your readers are losing interest pretty quickly.
Remember that people generally have fairly short attention spans when reading online, so it's important to make your points succinctly. On the other hand, if your posts are only a few sentences long, it's likely that you're not providing enough value for your readers.
After all, why would they want to come back to read something that can be summed up in just a few lines? Instead, aim for somewhere in the middle: around 500-800 words per post should suffice for a direct answer post, and up to 3,000 words for a longer, more in depth post.
Unhelpful affiliate content doesn't improve a short word count page - so don't do it.
Don't make an entire (short) page dedicated to one product. And, if you're going to make a product review page, you better make sure the review is helpful. You should have actually experienced the products. Consumers are smart, and they can tell when you're playing games.
Sign 7: Your posts are outdated or irrelevant
One key sign that your blog is in need of a makeover is if your posts are outdated or no longer relevant to your target audience. If you find yourself constantly having to explain what certain terms mean or why something is no longer relevant, then it's time to consider an update.
Additionally, if you're regularly publishing new content but still have old posts at the top of your blog, it can give the impression that you're not keeping up with current trends. A quick way to remedy this is to add a "Recent Posts" section to your blog's sidebar, which will ensure that your most recent content is always front and center. By keeping your blog updated with fresh, relevant content, you'll be sure to keep your readers coming back for more.
Original content is great. Original content from 2003 is not great.
When I first started looking into content and niche websites (and SEO), I thought I could rescue a blog I had in my youth. I had 365 posts on it, after all. Surely some of it could bring me traffic. It was a hard truth to realize that no, most of that content has been rendered irrelevant by time.
Sign 8: You're not using keywords well - your writing is unfocused
As a writer, it's important to choose your words carefully. Not only do you want to communicate your message clearly, but you also want to make sure that your writing is focused and easy to read. One way to do this is to use keywords effectively. Keywords are the words and phrases that best describe your topic. When used correctly, they can help to focus your writing and make it more accessible to your audience.
However, if you use too many keywords, or if you use them in an unnatural way, your writing will appear unfocused and difficult to read. In general, it's best to use keywords sparingly, and only when they genuinely add value to your text. If you're not sure whether a particular keyword is necessary, ask
Creating content that is focused is hard.
Writing is as easy as speaking nowadays, but writing well? That's challenging. Stick to using short sentences, lots of headings, and no more than 3 or 4 sentences per paragraph. That's the standard for the web, because it makes things a lot easier to read.
Sign 9: Your headlines are artsy and not informative
In journalism, the headline is one of the most important elements of an article. A good headline will tell readers what the article is about and entice them to keep reading. However, a bad headline can leave readers confused or even cause them to skip over the article entirely. So, how can you tell if your headlines are effective? One sign is if they are more artsy than informative.
While a clever pun or play on words can be enjoyable, it should not come at the expense of clarity. If your headline leaves readers scratching their heads, it's likely time to revisit it. Another sign that your headlines could use some work is if they are excessively long. In general, shorter headlines are better as they are easier to read and digest. Monster Insights suggests 10 words, max, for a blog headline.
Gone are the days of the "what I had for lunch" blogs - they just confuse Google.
Your headline should ask (or answer) a question, describe exactly what it is, and how useful it will be to the reader.
Sign 10: You're so focused on content that you forget your audience
As a writer, it's important to keep your audience in mind. After all, they're the ones you're writing for! Unfortunately, it's easy to get so caught up in the content of your writing that you forget about your audience entirely. You may be too focused on the content if you're letting some things slip:
You find yourself constantly making changes to your work in order to make it "perfect." perfectionism is a common trait among writers, but it's important to remember that no piece of writing is ever truly perfect. Constantly revise your work and you'll never be able to please everyone.
You overuse technical terms and jargon. While it's important to be accurate, using too much technical language can alienate your reader and make them click away. Stick to simple language, and think about what your reader will like best as you write.
If you don't have a clear idea of your audience, you've already lost.
Content is king, but so is the audience. So keep your readers in mind as you pick what content you're going to craft.
With so many great things to write about, it's hard to imagine why anyone would ever fill up a website with thin content. But, it does happen. So try to cut down on thin pages, and keep search engines (the "gods" of the internet, if you will) happy.
Follow these tips and you'll be sure to rank just a little bit (or a lotta bit!) higher in search results. Until next time!