Search engine optimization and writing quality both play huge roles in the content performance. Swinging too heavily to either side usually leads to negative results.
SEO ensures that web users can easily find your content — a properly optimized article appears on Google’s first page and is similarly visible on other web sources.
So, if many people leave your webpage within seconds of opening it, Google realizes that you offer no value and pushes you down the pecking order. To prevent this, here are five straightforward steps to create content optimized for both search engines and quality. Follow these guidelines to steadily churn out satisfying informational content that potential clients can find easily.
Five Steps to Produce Valuable SEO-Friendly Content
There are five simple steps to create excellent SEO content. Regular adherence to them ensures that good-quality content creation becomes a routine for you and your team.
Your research starts with finding the search intent for your keywords. Mind that these are keywords identified by reliable tools (Ahrefs, Moz, Serpstat) or qualified experts.
- When you identify the search intent for your designated primary keyword, you have a clear topic for your article.
- The search intent is the main intention of the thousands of web users who searched for that keyword. For example, if your in-house expert identifies “how to start a blog in 2021″ as the main keyword, you have to figure out why your target audience searched for that phrase. What do they want to achieve with the information they derive from their search?
- Search intent is categorized into four areas:
- Informational. When the user wants specific information on a topic, common words are “tutorial,” “guide,” “how-to,” “best,” and similar words, commonly traceable to featured snippets and FAQs.
- Navigational. When the user wants to find a particular webpage, common words are brand names and services, traceable to internal links.
- Commercial. When the user wants to ascertain whether they’re buying a quality product, common terms are “review,” “cheapest,” and “comparison,” traceable to Google and shopping ads.
- Transactional. When the user wants to make a purchase, common terms include “buy,” “coupon,” and “price,” also traceable to Google and shopping ads.
Considering these categories, we may say that our earlier example has informational intent.
Additionally, it’s necessary to understand the search intent for the most important secondary keywords too. If a relevant secondary keyword is “top ten marketing software USA 2021,” you’ll have to find out why your audience added “USA” to their search. Naturally, it’s because they live in the USA. Therefore, your list has to focus on marketing software usable in the United States.
You may then proceed to draw up a rough draft from all the information you find.
Your article structure determines whether your keywords are properly used. Also, it plays a key role in the value of the article. Your content may contain helpful information, but it won’t be of much value if the structure is unintelligible. Readers shouldn’t stress before they can gain value from your content.
- You’ve already identified the right content type in the first step. Is your article a guide, a review, a comparison, or a shortlist? Find logic in all the subtopics you identify while researching your search intent.
- Proceed to make a reasonable and easy-to-follow outline. If an article is informational, good search-intent research tells you whether the users are already familiar with the topic or want to start from the base.
- Suppose “introduction to online ads” is your main keyword; you have to start with a section that tells the reader about digital ads and their core elements. You can’t jump into identifying the best marketing tools of the year without an adequate introduction.
A helpful tip is to open the first ten pages on Google with similar published content. Note the outline at each site and brainstorm how to make the navigation even simpler for your readers. You may review the outline to remove redundant information, then add valuable information in return.
Keep in mind that you’re not writing for Google or any robot. You’re creating content for people in need. Your content has to satisfy their pain points.
Suppose the available keywords don’t fit the article’s context. You may replace them with more natural and logical choices — help your readers know that you care about them and what they’re learning from you.
Excellent content has to follow a few general rules too. These regulations keep you in line with your goal:
- Build consistent logic. Good content avoids shuffling between numerous concepts. If you’re discussing social media content creation, it should remain your theme. Don’t introduce email marketing when your heading says, “Proven Steps to Social Media Marketing Dominance in 2021.”
- Short and simple compositions. Make the content easy to read and understand. Complex sentences and long paragraphs tend to stress readers. Your users must understand everything at a glance.
- Remain lively. A lively tone keeps you human, while rigid, robotic tones bore casual readers. Avoid your article reading like a physics conference paper. You can achieve liveliness with the use of colorful words, relatable metaphors, and real examples. This also requires you to write what your readers will understand. Avoid technical jargon if you’re not writing for Ph.D. holders in the field.
- Answer the most important question.The most vital question is the main idea of your topic. Your content must address all the concerns of the reader about that particular concept. Don’t veer off the track.
Having created content that contains a value (information), the next steps highlight how to help your readers find it easily.
Check whether your content complies with basic SEO rules:
- Keywords and anchors. Ensure your keywords and anchors are present in the article. In addition, are they spread out and used naturally? Awkward and unnatural keyword usage may disturb the reader’s flow as they digest your content.
- Table of contents. This is a big necessity, and it must be concise. Don’t include H3 or H4 headings in your table; readers want the ease of just glancing through it for a general idea. Don’t make them scour the table of contents before finding the section they want.
- Featured snippet. It’s essential to provide relevant answers in the snippet with your main or secondary keywords. Google automatically pulls an excerpt from your page if it answers a question well.
- FAQ schema. Sift through various blogs to collect the most recurring frequently asked questions from users, then answer them underneath your article. You may also call the section “People Also Ask.”
- Internal links (backlinks). These link to other helpful articles on your website. Suppose you’re discussing how to day trade cryptocurrencies — an internal link to an article on the best day trading crypto wallets would be a smart choice. Analyze backlinks to ensure all your internal links are appropriate.
SEO doesn’t end with the considerations above; your formatting matters too, and that’s what we will look at next.
Formatting deals with the style and appearance of your content. Check out these factors to ensure your text follows a unique and appropriate format.
- Headings and subheadings. Both have to lead the reader on; it’s helpful if they ask questions. For example, a title such as “Mozilla Thunderbird: What Are the Best Alternatives to This Email Software?” evokes more responses than “Other Email Apps Like Mozilla Thunderbird.” Research by Semrush shows that content that includes H2s and H3s performs better in traffic and backlinks.
- Add illustrations. These include lists, tables, or bullets that may help the reader understand better. They also prevent people from getting bored.
- Edit your paragraphs. The ideal paragraph contains three to five rows of text. Simplicity attracts readers and holds their attention, while long paragraphs look overwhelming and feel boring.
- Introduce visual content. Pictures, screenshots, graphs, and videos contribute to SEO ranking and enhance readability. Give your visuals witty captions for better effects, but be sure they relate to your content.
SEO-friendly content attracts potential clients easily. However, your article also needs to be valuable. Readers should conveniently find what they want in your publication. To achieve this, define your keywords, identify the search intent, and create an appropriate format. You may then put the finishing touches on the right keyword placement, backlinks, table of contents, and FAQs.
An article that properly utilizes SEO applications and equally contains helpful information is invaluable.
Roman Shvydun writes informative articles mainly about everything related to marketing, business, productivity, workplace culture, etc. His articles focus on balancing information with SEO needs, but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read. See a few more examples of Roman’s articles by visiting his Twitter: https://twitter.com/Roman27561221