Looking for new ways to spice up your content?
Using stats in content is a great way to engage your audience, encourage clicks, and showcase your authority and trustworthiness online.
In this guide, we will explore why you should be using more stats in your writing, as well as the different ways you can incorporate them.
The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business
Why use stats in your content?
There are many reasons to start taking advantage of stats in your content. Not only do they make you an authoritative source of information, but numbers are also a great way to grab users’ attention:
Authority – E-A-T and YMYL Guidelines
Today, it’s more important than ever to be a trusted authority online – that is, if you wish gain any decent visibility in Google. This requirement is mostly thanks to Google’s ‘E-A-T’ guidelines.
So, what is ‘E-A-T’? Google released its ‘Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines’ to the public back in 2015, outlining its core ranking factors when it comes to determining the quality of content. Three of the core points in the guidelines included ‘Beneficial Purpose’, ‘E-A-T’ (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), and ‘YMYL’ (Your Money Your Life).
Though these quality guidelines were always in the back of many SEOs minds, E-A-T and YMYL were resurrected and brought back into focus when the ‘Medic’ algorithm update was released in 2018. This is because the update largely impacted search results related to YMYL websites (finance, health, and safety, news, government).
These guidelines mean that content needs to be factually accurate, published by people with genuine expertise in their specialist area, and include figures from trusted, relevant sources. To be an expert, your content needs to have authority – so ideally, you want people to share and link to your content too.
Including statistics in your content and linking to their relevant, external source is a great way to enhance authority in your content. However, this authority is enhanced even more so when these are statistics from your own research as an expert in your niche.
Acquire natural backlinks
Including statistics in your content is a great way to earn natural backlinks. Why? Statistics are constantly cited by bloggers and journalists – writers need data to back up or enhance their stories, and they need to reference the source of this data.
This can see even more success when it is a dedicated statistics roundup page – for example, a blog post with the year’s top ‘100 SEO statistics’. See more about how you can use dedicated statistics roundup pages to your advantage further on.
Different ways to use statistics in your content
#1. To capture attention through headings
One of the best ways you can incorporate stats and figures into your content is to place them in your headings.
Figures written in numeric form intrigue readers and capture attention, as highlighted in an eye-tracking study by usability expert Jakob Nielsen:
“Because numbers represent facts, which is something users typically relish. Sometimes people are looking for specific facts, such as a product’s weight or size, so product pages are certainly one place where you should write numbers as numerals. But even when a number doesn’t represent a product attribute, it’s a more compact (and thus attractive) representation of hard information than flowery verbiage.”
Additionally, if numbers are being incorporated as a statistic, they can capture users’ attention if they are shocking or surprising (maybe the data is unexpected or obscure).
Consider the following heading, this statistic could be quite eye-opening for some readers, who may be enticed to read more:
‘Did you know that 92% of U.S. organic visits are produced by Google?’ [source]
#2. To support your theory or argument
Going back to authority, nothing backs up an argument or a theory better than reliable data. You are unlikely to persuade your audience of a perspective or conclusion without this.
General assumptions are not trustworthy, therefore, if you want your content to be taken seriously, and therefore, gain visibility, you need to provide the evidence.
#3. To highlight successes
Statistics can be used to support your business’s offerings online. It’s all well and good claiming that you provide unbeatable professional SEO services, but how can a user decide if you are worth trusting? By using statistics that highlight previous customer successes. You need to prove that your products or services are worthwhile and genuine.
Case studies are a prime example of where statistics can work well. You can say that you increased your client’s Pay Per Click conversion rate, but it would be better to clarify and say by how much.
#4. Stat roundup pages
Statistic roundup pages are a type of content that combines together statistics from a range of sources to create one collective hub of information. These content pieces are very popular to create as they can gain a lot of traction and visibility in search.
You may think, therefore, that it’s not worth creating one due to competition levels. However, there is often an opportunity to claim the visibility of an existing statistic hub page, simply by making yours better.
The flaw of many statistic hub pages is that they get outdated quickly, so they need to be frequently updated. Even if this has been done, you will often find that the updates have not been done well, with links to broken pages or research that is 5+ years old. This gives you the opportunity to provide a much better experience.
As referenced previously, statistic-based roundup content is known to drive a high number of links to the page, which is colloquially known as ‘link magnet’ or ‘link bait’ content and is also highly shareable on social media. In fact, Ahrefs did their own experiment to show just how impactful this type of content can be, creating their own statistics roundup page. The result? The page now has 240 referring domains (websites linking to the page).
Take advantage of stats in content
Using stats in your content can be highly beneficial – not only does it entice users to click and engage with your content, it also increases your authority and trustworthiness in your industry niche.
They can help you boost the quality, credibility, and interest factor of your marketing content, leading to more views and conversion opportunities.
Guest author: Adam Blackford-Mills heads up the team at MRS Digital, a leading SEO agency in Hampshire, UK.