We keep hearing about the importance of content in every aspect of digital marketing and online business right?
“Content is king”
There is a lot of truth to this.
The company I work for tripled it’s impressions, traffic and profits a few months after we hired a full fledged content team along with the SEO team.
If you are a startup wanting to grow your business and expand and conquer your market online, you should exactly try to do the same thing if you want to conquer the SERPs ( Search engine results page)in your industry
So what role does content play in SEO?
What kind of content should we focus on for the best chance of ranking?
SEO CONTENT WRITING:
What is SEO content writing?
Isn’t it obvious? Like the name suggests, an SEO content writer writes content that has more chances of ranking for the target keyword.
Most people often misinterpret SEO content writers as people who are too focused on ranking that they ignore the user’s perspective.
The truth is, if you are a good SEO, you know that google is now smart enough to understand a page way better than human beings. Gone are the days where we need to do keyword stuffing and focus on 10,000 worded articles. Now SEO content writers are more focused towards providing content that answers everything that the
What role does content play in SEO?
Content undoubtedly plays a huge role in search engine optimization of your website. SEO has evolved to a point that what’s in the website (content) is so much more significant than any other “factors” that many claim is important.
When compared to all the ON SITE and OFF SITE SEO factors, the quality of content and the value we provide to our readers is so much more important
Case study 1 : Content is more important than backlinks:
Why don’t you try this yourself.
- Take any webpage with low to moderate quality content in it.
- Do a bit of SERP research for the target keyword for that page : Note down the backlinks range in the top 10 SERP results
- Just keep adding backlinks even from really good authority websites until you surpass all the other sites in terms of backlinks
- Check if you can outrank them
Case study 2: Content is more important than technical SEO factors:
Note: Here we are talking about the technical SEO factors FOR THE PAGE . Like I mentioned in a lot of my other blogs, technical SEO is the foundation for any website. Without a proper robot. Txt file, proper sitemaps and properly fixing redirection issues and crawl errors the website health as a whole would reduce which poses a bigger threat to your website.
What are the general technical SEO factors that google takes into consideration?
- Page speed
- Core web Vitals
- User experience factors
Let’s say we have a page with poor load speed and user experience but with terrific content that satisfies the user in every way possible.
Now, this page will outrank any page with really good user experience but with low content quality.
Case study 3 : Content is definitely more important than ON SITE SEO factors:
ON SITE SEO factors such as keyword density, title tag length, meta description, image alt tags, internal and external linking, readability scores are all just a supporting factor for your content
Content quality is like the engine and fuel for your webpage and Optimizing for ON SITE FACTORS is like the seats and the steering which adds user comfort and direction
So now that we have established that content is the most important factor, let’s jump into the other aspects of SEO content writing
Things to consider before writing an SEO content:
1.Topic competition : Ranking difficulty
2. Keyword research : Topic Potential
3. Market research : The kind of content people seek
Topic competition :
First thing for any SEO to do before writing a content is to decide on the topic that they are about to write.
A blog/article essentially has a target keyword and a bunch of relevant keywords that supports the target keyword.
Take this target keyword and do an indepth research to understand if we can rank for that topic.
For instance look at the SERP and analyze if we have a chance at ranking. Use the various tools available to understand the ranking difficulty.
Domain authority is not an very important metric but it can be used to compare the authority levels of websites in our niche to better understand where we stand from an SEO standpoint. Of course it doesn’t paint the whole picture, but use this metric as well to understand if we have a chance at outranking websites.
Keyword research: Topic Potential
While doing keyword research and SERP analysis we can better understand the kind of traffic we can expect after publishing and ranking for a topic.
This is very important because this gives a sense of priority among the topics that we are about to take up and write for ranking purposes.
For instance, one topic could have moderate traffic potential and moderate ranking difficulty. This topic should have low priority than any article with high traffic potential and low ranking difficulty.
Makes sense right?
Market research : Understanding audience and their needs :
The whole purpose of writing an SEO content is to give as much value as possible to our target audience right?
So to understand what they want better, we need to do a bit of market research. Thanks to the popular Q/A sites like quora and reddit and some niche forums, this can be done easier than ever now!
The questions we essentially need to answer are :
- What kind of questions are going around the target keywords ( Frequently asked Questions)
- What kind of content do people consume the most around this target keyword?
- Videos or images or articles
- Dive deeper and understand if How-to, list topics, Guides, or what kind of topics are most consumed around the target keyword
Things to consider while writing SEO content:
Once we have identified the topics that has good traffic potential and low ranking difficulty for our specific website, we start writing!
So what are all the things to consider while writing SEO content?
This needs to be the first point since everyone in the SEO industry seems to keep search engines in mind while crafting content.
Of course it’s important to do the keyword research to understand which keywords and queries have been asked for the most and cover it all but our content shouldn’t revolve around keywords.
- What is the user intent?
- Address their pain points and issues and dive deep into each and every single thing.
- Give them what they want and don’t stop there. Take it to the next level and guide them through the next steps.
- Give them guides and links to resources that would genuinely help them
Think of your blog to be a platform to help people in need. Not to make money or grow your business by getting organic traffic, but genuinely helping people.
With the introduction of rank bran, time spent on our page is a very important factor for our rankings to hold.
Even if we have done everything right and start ranking at the top, but we don’t get our introductions right, and people lose interest right at the beginning, then they exit immediately which can really drop our rankings
Low user interaction also means that our competitors get more traffic and more interaction because right after a user exits our page, they are going to our competitors page and when they spend a lot of time there, google would assume that their page is serving the users better than ours and drop our rankings.
Content length :
Aim to write a value packed blog which is better than the top 10 results we see in google right now
Longer articles rank better than shorter articles but again, focus on value rather than word count.
Are we able to answer all of the questions that our users ask around the topic of interest. How well are we able to answer it and is there a better way to express it?
A content without structure is completely redundant. The attention span of people these days are dropping and no one would read through a 500 word article without any subheadings
So break the content up with proper H2 and H3 tags
While excessive linking to external and internal pages might come off as spammy, it is essential that we link to related pages in our own website and reference or resource sites in our articles that would provide more value to our readers.
Also search engines might use these links to understand what your page is about a little better.
Images add more visual value to your blogs and also blogs with images have proven to have better engagement and better ranking over the years
Make sure to add alt tags for the images as well.
Any SEO writer would know the importance of keeping the audience engaged.
While different niches prefer different tones while writing and communicating with their audience, make sure the content is engaging.
Even if the topic is very bland, add videos or quizzes or podcasts or something to make your audience spend as much time in your page as possible
Don’t overdo keywords:
This is something that a lot of SEOs do in order to improve the rankings of a page that’s losing the number of ranking keywords or dropped keyword positions.
Rather than trying to update the content by researching the SERPs for that keyword they are trying to revive, they just stuff more of that keyword in the article which just makes it look more spammy.
Please don’t worry about the keyword density for any page.
If you are just new to SEO, this is something that everyone just can’t seem to stop talking about. Even the latest updated version of YOAST SEO plugin has keyword density in place there.
First try to serve justice to the audience and their needs. We can talk about keywords and everything else later on.
Post publishing SEO content checklist
Once the article is published, we can’t do much but wait for it to rank right?
But there are other things we can do immediately after publishing an article:
- Add structured data at the end of the article
- Add an summary section
- Add FAQ section
- Design an infographic after publishing
- Add “Download as PDF option “
- Quick links : Have a list of social bookmarking and article directory links for quick links
Check for indexing issues:
Googles John Mueller has stated that it’s totally normal for 20% of our website to not be indexed at all
So indexing issues are quite normal especially if we have any low quality pages in our website.
So go to search console and enter your blog URL to check if it’s indexed if not request indexing.
Plan at least 3-4 guest posts around the blog topic to both promote the blog and gain a few authoritative links from niche websites
It’s advisable to build a relationship with other websites in your niche to cross post on each other’s websites ( Actually valuable content)
This could quickly get some page authority to help rank the content
Promotion across Q/A sites ( Quora, reddit, niche forums)
If you go to ahrefs tool and enter the Q/A sites domain, you can get a look at the top pages there.
In the search option available there, you can enter the target keyword, and all the related pages for your target keyword will come up.
In these links you can go ahead and actually answer their question and enter the blog link for more information.
Be careful about spamming links everywhere tho. Answering 3-4 questions per day wouldn’t do much harm.
Once our pages slowly gain authority, we will start ranking for related keywords.
- It’s important to make a list of relevant keywords for the target keyword of the blogs
- And just note down the ranking positions of the keywords periodically to better understand which keywords need a bit more support
- Using this data we can update the content and use the anchor text of the keywords.
Core web vitals and Page speed:
Just head to your search console and check if your page has any core web vitals/ mobile usability or any technical seo issues
If there’s some problem, you can go ahead and add appreciate plugins and use script editors to remove unnecessary scripts to make the page more smooth and fast without any user experience issues
Next Subtopics ready:
For any webpage to have long lasting success it’s very important that we keep it fresh and updated as time progresses.
Even if it’s an evergreen content make sure you add a few more subtopics as time passes so that the quality of the page keeps increasing.
Makes sense right?
This is everything one needs to know about SEO content writing. I am not sure if there’s anything left to do.
But hey there’s always scope for improvement so suggest some more tips if you have any to help rank better!