A key aspect in all digital marketing undertakings, search engine optimization has come a long way over the past few years and become an essential aspect for all businesses in the digital marketing space. In fact, content is as important as the design and aesthetics of a website as it drives search engine results and boosts page traffic. Gone are the days of publishing high volumes of low-quality, wafer-thin content and expecting the search engine rankings to increase. In today’s content marketplace, publishing SEO-rich content is as much as an art as it is a science. Whether it is medical SEO or SEO for other business sectors, both quality and quantity of content determine the ability to leverage content for business results. Digital marketers and content writers need to analyze the search engine ranking factors, prioritize searcher intent, and publish top quality content that appeals to the users and Google’s algorithms.
Why SEO Is Important in Content Creation
The content that gets posted on a website is the driving force that leads to the improvement of traffic inflow to a website. However, before optimizing the website, it is important to conduct a comprehensive keyword research and categorize the right group of keywords that is relevant to the specific audience group. Identifying keywords strategically and including the same in the content will help gain inbound traction and drive relevant traffic to the website. Once the inflow of traffic begins, it is essential to start identifying leads and pursuing them to gain the desired conversion rates.
Relevance of Writing SEO-friendly Content
When devising a specific strategy to drive organic traffic to your website, remember that content writing and SEO go hand in hand. SEO-friendly content means creating content that search engines can understand. Writing content that carries the keywords you identified will make your website visible to search engine algorithms. The SE robots involved in crawling, indexing, and ranking the website will identify these signals and move the site up in the SERP. Developing content that is better than the competition, and thereafter optimizing it with both on-page and off-page SEO techniques will help your business stand out.
Although there is no secret formula for writing high-quality content, there are certain tips that could help increase blog traffic and search engine rankings in the long run –
- Analyze Search Engine Ranking Factors – Search engines have their own way of working and therefore it is important to understand the foundational signals that search engines look at when evaluating and ranking content. The four most important ranking factors that search engines look for are – content, links, site structure, and HTML tags. In fact, Google has prioritized content as the number one ranking factor. While publishing any specific piece of content, whether it’s a blog, article, or web page – it should provide a comprehensive overview of the topic and provide value to the reader. As per Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Factors, some of the most heavily weighted content ranking factors include content quality, research (demonstrates authority), incorporation of keywords or search terms, freshness of content, and use of multimedia including images, video, or audio to enhance user experience. A proper analysis and understanding of each of these factors and correctly incorporating them is the first step toward writing content that is competitive. When a search engine crawls and indexes a website , it also evaluates other non-content factors like inbound and outbound links, URL structure, page load speed, time on page, and keyword usage in tags to understand what your site is about and how to rank your pages. Implementing linking, site structure, and HTML best practices within your website content makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index the content.
- Capture Reader’s Intention – SEO involves a lot more aspects than putting the right keywords in order. Conduct a comprehensive research on the target audience groups as this will help analyze the main search queries used, analyze why people are searching for those specific keywords and what competitors are offering. Identifying what the searcher is looking for when they type the query into a search bar, and then covering the topic in a way that directly meets their needs is an important aspect of SEO optimization. According to Google’s search evaluation quality guidelines, there are four categories of searcher intent –
- Know – What the searcher wants to find information on a topic to answer a question.
- Do – The searcher wants to learn how to take a specific action.
- Website – The searcher wants to find a specific resource.
- Visit in person – The searcher wants to find a location to go to.
Before developing the content, identify which of the above categories your primary keyword target falls under, and validate the specific category by looking at the current ranking for the content in relation to that specific keyword. Analyze how your competitors are targeting the same type of search intent that you have identified for the query and look at how they structured the content to satisfy searcher needs.
- Use the Right Keywords – Pack your content with “high search volume keywords” that users search for on search engines. Use keyword terms that have excellent SEO worth. Select the most appropriate keywords using these steps – determine which topics searchers are interested in, trace the search volumes for topics, use the search volumes for topics and understand how difficult it may be to rank for a topic. Each piece of crawable content created must have a unique primary keyword target. In addition, it must also have latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords (natural variations of your primary keyword) throughout. The type of keyword targeted need to match the type of content developed. For instance, for blog posts include mid- to low-volume, low-competition, long-tail keywords as they have higher conversion rates and are easier to rank for. On the other hand, for pillar pages shorter-tail seed keywords that have high volume and high competition must be used.
- Focus on Content Length and Structure – Search engines identify and index websites that carry long-form content. To grab the crawler’s attention, write the content with the appropriate length with the right keywords in the content body as this will help the website gain the traction it needs. Ensuring the right word count and keyword inclusion is critical to ranking high in the SERPs. Including numerous headings, sub-headings, bullet points, and sub-bullet points will help send good signals to the search engine algorithm that is tracking websites. For instance, using free tools on the worldwide web will help identify the right type of focused keywords.
- Obtain Google Featured Snippets – A relatively new search engine feature, “Featured Snippets” are short text that Google selects to appear at the top of the search results. This SERP feature provides answers to a searcher’s query immediately. Google pulls the content on featured snippets from web pages in the Google index repository. Some of the common types of Featured Snippets are lists, tables, steps, and definitions. Make sure to use facts and figures in your answers. Also, answer multiple “People also ask” questions in the content. To get the content appear or feature at the highest position on SERPs, it is important to focus on certain points –
- Search if the snippet already exists for keywords. Use different tools like SEMrush for this purpose.
- Search whether there is a snippet, and try to understand its structure whether it is a paragraph, list, or a table.
- Include a subheading in the content blog with a question and provide a more valuable, concise answer that addresses the problem. The response should be better than the featured snippet in all aspects.
- Focus on Skyscraper Method to SEO Content Writing – Regarded as a link-building technique that incorporates content writing tips, the Skyscraper method helps beat the competition and makes the content rank high in search results. Creating skyscraper content involves focusing on certain steps. Identifying the competitor’s best performing content is one such important step. Before selecting a keyword, search the keyword and analyze the search results. Analyze the highest ranking keywords carefully to understand why they are ranking. Analyze the key reasons why rival bloggers and content marketers are doing better than your content and focus on creating better content. Make sure to write a new article or blog using the same keywords or update a similar post with your competitors’ ranking keyword terms. This in turn will give you an edge over them and improve search rankings significantly. In short, always be strategic about the improvements you make as it should first and foremost add value.
- Focus on High-quality Links – Linking to top credible sites is an important aspect that adds lots of value to the content. Make sure to target authority websites that are highly reliable and relevant to your topic. For instance, when linking to outbound sources in the blog posts and pillar pages, make sure that they are to trusted, quality websites. When seeking back links, target websites that are authorities on the topic you are focusing on. Always remember that back links to the content are one of the most heavily weighted Google ranking factors.
- Apply On-page SEO Techniques – Understanding how to implement on-page SEO techniques is crucial for the best search results. HTML tags are one of the first components search engines look for when crawling a website. Use the target keyword in the content, particularly within the first 100-words of your blog or article post. Over the last few years, the search engine algorithm has changed, with Google incorporating the ‘User Signals’. In simple terms, user signals indicate different aspects of SEO like – bounce rate, time on-page, organic click-through-rate and return-to-SERP rate. Content writers need to analyze the significance of using the target keywords and LSI keywords in the title, meta description, headings, and the first 100 words of a piece of content.
- Incorporate Technical SEO Practices – Optimizing site structure and improving technical SEO is an important aspect that significantly impacts the content’s ability to rank. For instance, aspects like website page load speed, security and crawlability all directly impact a search engine’s ability to index and rank your content swiftly. Over the past few years, search engines have started prioritizing sites that use a topic cluster-driven site structure (a structure that links blog posts targeting longer-tail keywords to comprehensive resources or pillar pages targeting shorter tail, high-volume seed keywords). If your website has poor site structure and technical SEO errors, getting your content to rank is impossible, no matter how well-written it is. Associating with a reliable provider of website content writing services can help develop valuable and unique content.
Correctly analyzing the current digital marketing trends and prioritizing SEO over quality content is crucial for increasing the relevance of the content. One of the best ways to gain traction and maximize content marketing ROI is to apply what you learn, and frequently measure results. Adopting some proven SEO-content writing practices will help you remain calm through all Google’s future updates. Specialized content writing services provided by a professional digital marketing company can help you create SEO-friendly, optimized content that is necessary for your website to achieve higher Google rankings.