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If you want to rank well on Google and drive organic traffic, it’s essential to know how to create content that’s optimized for search engines (SEO content).
SEO-friendly content is fundamentally different from conventional content, which means there are some caveats you need to consider if you want your blog posts to rank.
In this article, I will give you five practical SEO tips for creating content that ranks.
Why is SEO content important?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important because it can place you on the top of search engine result pages, improving your online visibility and driving more organic traffic to your website.
To do that, you need to create content that’s engaging and valuable to humans and also optimized for search engines. It’s the only way to land on the first page of Google and attract the right audience you can later convert to customers.
Here’s how you can create quality SEO content:
1. Write with a keyword in mind
Before you start writing, you need to pick a keyword your audience looks up on search engines. You can use a keyword research tool to find relevant keywords with a good balance of search volume, relevance and competition.
After you select a keyword, type it into Google and read content that ranks for it. Analyze these top-ranking articles, reverse engineer their structure, identify common themes, and learn why Google views them as valuable.
Then, use these insights to craft your article around the target keyword. This method ensures your content aligns with search intent and has a better chance of ranking high on search engines.
Writing an article first and attempting to fit a keyword afterward is a common SEO mistake. But it’s like fitting a square peg into a round hole — it just won’t work.
2. Write for robots and humans
Creating SEO content is all about striking a delicate balance between writing for search engines and your target audience.
Writing for robots means strategically incorporating relevant keywords throughout the text, optimizing meta titles and descriptions, and using header tags. These and other SEO strategies help search engines understand the context of your content, improving its chances of ranking.
While writing for robots is crucial, Google’s primary goal is to deliver valuable content to human readers. That’s why you also need to craft engaging and helpful content that matches the search intent of your audience.
One important tip is to structure your SEO content to improve readability. That’s because users mostly scan articles instead of reading every word. You need to write engaging subheadings, bullet points and short paragraphs to help the readers quickly find the information they’re looking for.
3. Start with a content outline
Creating a coherent article without a proper outline can be challenging, even if you’re an expert. That’s why having a content outline to guide you can help with the article’s flow and prevent content overlap or repetition between different sections, improving the quality of your content.
An outline helps the writer know exactly what information they need to provide to meet the search intent, creating a more straightforward writing process. This ensures a well-organized article that conveys all the necessary information.
Creating an outline doesn’t need to be complicated. You can just Google your main keyword and analyze the structure of top-ranking articles of your competitors. Use this information to create a winning outline, covering the most important points and your unique insights.
4. Create high-quality content
Today, Google is a lot smarter than it was in the early 2000s.
Back then, you could get away with writing short-form, mediocre blog posts and still manage to rank and drive organic traffic.
Today, however, unless your content is as high quality as possible, your chances of ranking are very slim.
Here are some simple SEO techniques that can help you create better-quality content and improve your online visibility:
Focus on long-form content: Although Google has mentioned that word count isn’t a ranking factor, long-form articles tend to rank better. That’s because this type of content is more likely to satisfy search intent and tick all the right boxes with search engines and readers alike.
Outshine your competitors: Identify gaps in the existing content of your competitors and include additional explanations to provide more value to the readers.
Use simple language: Write in clear and simple language, avoiding jargon that may alienate readers. Make your content universally understandable to cater to a broader audience.
Include visual elements: Create a better user experience by including images or videos to improve engagement and understanding of your content.
Leverage compelling data: Use data, statistics and expert quotes to enhance the credibility of your article and position yourself as an authority.
Cite high-quality sources: Referencing reputable sources to back up your claims makes your content more trustworthy and provides additional resources for your readers.
5. Focus on content velocity
Content velocity refers to the frequency with which you publish new content. You want to increase your content velocity as much as possible to improve your authority and your chances of ranking high.
Your content can’t rank if it isn’t published, so you need to establish a regular publishing schedule with as many articles as possible. If you don’t have the time to focus on this strategy, working with an SEO agency can help you increase content velocity.
Publishing content regularly signals search engines that your website is active and authoritative. However, it’s essential to find the right balance — while quantity is important, you should never sacrifice quality for quantity, because your content simply won’t rank if it’s bad.
SEO content is important because it helps search engines understand what your website is about. By optimizing your content for search engines, you increase the chances of ranking high.
You can create better SEO content by starting with a content outline, writing with a keyword in mind, writing for robots and humans, focusing on quality, and increasing content velocity.
Use these five tips to take your SEO content to the next level and start ranking high on Google.