How do you measure the success of your content? It is no secret that quality content drives organic traffic. As such, ranking highly on the SERPs and gaining organic traffic marks the success of your content writing strategy. The problem with this is that creating content that attracts organic traffic is a challenge for most marketers.
If you have poor content, your pages will be lost somewhere on page 70 of the SERPs, where no client will ever find you. This is why content writing is essential for any business website. When you approach content writing with SEO in mind, your content writing will still set a strong SEO foundation, create valuable content, and attract new audiences. To help you stand out, you must include crucial elements in your website content, blog post, or articles. This will make it easy for search engines to find your content and improve your search engine ranking. Here are some steps for SEO content writing.
Target Multiple Keywords
Research and choose topics that can target multiple keywords. This allows your content to drive traffic through organic search consistently. Digital marketers know that they must have a target keyword. However, most of them forget to maximise their content’s potential by targeting secondary search terms or long-tail keywords.
Secondary keywords are enough to increase your ability to attract more organic traffic in a powerful way. The best thing about secondary keywords is that they have the ability to attract hundreds of search queries. Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to identify keywords you can target for your content. Place your keywords on strategic places in your content like the title tag, meta description, and header tags (H1, H2, etc.). You can have a broad topic but break your content into sections using headers to make it more valuable to your target audience. Using related keywords is another important way to improve your content writing. Through RankBrain, Google can now recognise and understand pages that target several related keywords.
Research Your Topic
Writing excellent quality is non-negotiable in SEO. For you to achieve this, you must know your audience and the topics that they value. If you already know your audience, you must plan and provide answers to questions that they have. You can use tools like SEMrush’s Topic Research Tool to help you get started. This tool will help you find what your audience loves and will provide you with several related topics, popular article titles, and questions that people ask in relation to your primary keyword.
Try going deeper by using long-tail keywords with your topic research tool to find different topic facets. Take notes of any interesting topic you can cover in your content. Combine these into topic clusters and identify the ones you wish to cover. Use these topics to draft a short-term content plan. Topic research is a high-level process, and we may not go into a lot of detail. However, the primary idea is to allow enough time for divergent research.
Define Search Intent
Search intent refers to what your target audience is searching for. Google teaches its algorithm to evaluate user intent correctly. This is why Google advises content creators to answer questions with accurate answers. The content format you choose, the message you display, and your call-to-action should depend on the search intent for your keyword.
There are four types of search intent; informational, navigational, commercial and transactional. Understanding the different types of search intent will allow you to write content depending on what searchers want. Another way to identify search intent is to type your keyword into the Google Search bar and check for any SERP features that can help identify the keyword type. The SERP features include featured snippets, the “People Also Ask” box, website links, Google Ads, and Google Shopping Ads. After identifying your search intent and keyword type, you can now choose a format to write your article.
Improve Your Readability
One of the areas that Google looks into when ranking pages is engagement metrics, and readability affects user engagement. As a result of this, you must learn how to engage your readers and keep them on your page for longer. Over the past few years, changes in Google’s core algorithm have made the user experience a significant thing. After all, Google’s primary objective is to satisfy users. Here are some tips to help you improve your content readability;
- Format your content for skim readers
- Break long paragraphs
- Use short sentences
- Use subheadings, bold text, and whitespaces to highlight essential parts of your content
- Use active voice
- Use transition words to direct your readers
If you use WordPress, install a plugin like Yoast SEO to guide you to improve your readability. Ensure your content is free from any spelling or grammatical errors. Use tools like Microsoft Word’s spelling/grammar checker or Grammarly to make your content foolproof.
Format Your Content for Google Answer Box
When researching on Google, most users pose their searches as questions. As such, it is only wise to include sections in your content that can answer question-based searches. Besides the usual ranking factors, Google has different factors in play for this search listing. The best thing that you can do is ensure that your content is well-formatted and can adapt to these queries. Here are some signals that Google uses to rank pages that answer questions;
- Pages that provide the most accurate answers to queries
- The number and quality of links pointing to the page
- Engagement metrics matter
For you to optimise your content for Google Answer Box, you must include a question in your header, provide an accurate and direct answer, and ensure that users find this section easily.
Add Visual Content
Images and videos are essential components of content writing. These visuals help convey information in a better way. Visual content like infographics, checklists, and templates can help add value to your content and deliver your message in a catchier way. Visuals are also an excellent way to engage your audience. Remember that the more valuable, engaging, and relevant your content is, the more backlinks you may get. Backlinks make your content trustworthy for Google, allowing you to rank highly.
Another advantage of visual content is that you can rank high in the images and video sections of Google and also get into Featured Snippets, attracting valuable traffic. Here are some of the things you must do to optimise your visual content;
- Reduce the image size
- Create descriptive image names
- Add alt tags
Consider Internal Links
Interlinking helps readers move from one page to another on your website. Having a solid interlinking structure ensures that you point readers and search engines in the direction of valuable, relevant pages with other content to reference. Google discovers some of your pages by following links from a known page to a new one. Internal linking passes authority between pages and may improve your ranking. For instance, if a page has an authoritative external link pointing to it, that page will have built up a PageRank score. You can pass this authority to another page by way of internal linking. Internal linking is something that you should constantly do. However, do not add too many links to your content. A few links are enough to allow Google and users to navigate your website.
You probably know that there are millions of posts being published daily. With such expansive content on the web, it is challenging for users to find something uniquely valuable. For this reason, looking for ideas and information that people rarely find elsewhere is important. The objective here is to give your target audience something they did not expect in your content. However, you must include something that is surprisingly practical, actionable, useful, or original. Some of these things include personal experiences, case studies, surveys, and combining or connecting other people’s ideas to create your own.
Aim to Convert
Every content you create must have a goal and serve a purpose. Most digital marketers create content to rank highly in the SERPs and gain more organic traffic. However, they often forget what to do with the traffic they get. Some of the things you can do with the traffic you earn include;
- Attracting more leads by exemplifying your brand’s expertise
- Building relationships with other publishers and influencers
- Consistently educating your target audience
After earning followers, now it is time to sharpen your skills to remain on top. Ensure that you focus on educating your audience, solving their problems, and encouraging them to take action. Also, always monitor your SEO activity through tools like Google Analytics. Check things like your page views, average time spent on a page, and bounce rate to know how users interact with your website. If you see a high drop in the time spent on a page, it is an indication that your content was not relevant. Looking at these metrics will tell you which content pieces are well received so that you can replicate these efforts in future.
Content writing is a crucial factor when it comes to your SEO strategy. It is essential to use quality techniques to ensure you rank highly and engage users. With the help of an SEO professional, you can learn how to maximise the value of your content and give your customers what they want!