The primary purpose of adding content to your website is usually to improve your search engine ranking, which will drive traffic to your site. The current Google algorithms favor original content that is intended to be read by humans rather than boilerplate verbiage meant to read by search engines. The primary challenge with establishing a content creation budget is determining the minimum amount of money needed to increase your traffic to the desired level.
A search engine algorithm uses various criteria to determine the order in which pages will be displayed when a user performs a search on a key phrase. Google Panda, released in February 2011, was the first Google algorithm to affect the ranking of an entire website rather than individual pages. Panda also flags keyword stuffing and excessive linking.
The goal of Google Penguin, launched in April 2012, was to lower the ranking of websites that don’t comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This generally means that it’s no longer beneficial to have content that uses black-hat SEO techniques to improve page ranking such as keyword stuffing and duplicate content. Google Penguin also penalizes pages that use link schemes such as linking to spammers or excessive reciprocal linking, in which two sites link to each other.
Keyword density is the frequency with which a key phrase appears in the content. Calculate keyword density by dividing the number of words in the key phrases by the number of words in the article. Early Google algorithms favored the use of keyword densities of 5 percent or more, while Google Panda and Google Penguin generally favor keyword densities below 2 percent.
Website content services typically charge by the word, although the specific rate can vary greatly. This wide range in cost can make it difficult to determine what you should pay for your content. It is often helpful to request several pieces of content at various price points within the current range. You can then eliminate the word rates that do not provide the quality you require.
The remaining articles will require careful analysis to determine if the increase in quality is worth the increase in cost. You may want to conduct a trial by placing the articles on separate pages according to their cost. This will allow you to compare the performances of articles with different costs, so you can determine the word rate that provides the best value for you.
Emmet M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.