9 Tips for Crafting High-Quality Content for SEO
SEO is no longer about putting the right keyword in the right place. Now, it's really all about content marketing.
Google expects its top rankers to be providing high-quality content that is relevant, useful, and engaging on a regular basis.
This is good news! No longer is SEO a game that requires black hat tricks to outsmart your competitors. Instead, it's about creating a library of valuable information that positions you as an expert in your field and gives your readers a taste of what you can provide for them.
When you publish Google-worthy content, your business becomes a reputable brand that your prospects will look to for solutions. Only then will you deservingly achieve top rankings.
Why Google Wants High-Quality Content for SEO
In order to understand how to write high-quality content for SEO, you need to understand Google's intent and why they choose to place certain content on their first-page results over other content.
Google's number one intent is to provide the most relevant and useful answers to the keywords and questions people type (or speak) into the search bar. And they want to deliver it to you fast so that the answer is immediately at your fingertips without you having to search further for it.
If you read through Google's Quality Guidelines, you can see that Google is putting an end to the SEO tricks and games that once used to win a spot on the first page of the search results.
Instead, Google wants you to think of your website as a way to market yourself and your company and to demonstrate that you provide valuable, trustworthy, and engaging content that is worth one’s while to read.
Google wants its users to receive all the information relevant to their topic right off the bat so that users are immediately satisfied instead of frustrated.
And it's paying off for companies that are using content marketing. According to Aberdeen, “annual growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers (19.7% vs 2.5%).”
Is your content worthy of being chosen as the go-to piece of content on your topic? Let's dive into 9 tips to make sure it is!
How to Write High-Quality Content for SEO
Give Your Readers What They Want
You can't provide high-quality content if you aren't creating what your readers want to read. And the way you ensure you are giving them what they want is to get to know them intimately.
- What questions do they have?
- What problems do they need to resolve?
- What are they interested in knowing more about?
- What are they passionate about?
- What are they currently reading?
- What is missing from the current content they are reading?
- What words are they using when they talk about your products or services?
To better understand your reader, send them a survey, spend some time on forums, hang out where they're hanging out, and read comments on other people's content. Then, use what you learn to construct content that they want.
Fully Explain Your Topic
The bare minimum word count you want on your blogs and pages is 300, but in most cases, your content will end up being anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 words. This is because most high-quality content can't be presented in a couple of short paragraphs.
The content that ranks well goes in depth to fully explain a topic. Why would Google place your article on the first page of search results if it only begins to touch the surface of your topic?
Remember, Google wants to give its users everything they need to answer their question right away without having to search through article after article. If your article does that, you're much more likely to win a top spot.
Provide High Value
High-quality content comes from high value. The days of writing fluff content just to get a ranking for a keyword phrase are long gone. Now, the content that gets Google's vote is the content that provides the reader with what they want. And what they want is to read something that is valuable to them.
Valuable content is content that…
- Answers their questions
- Shows them an easier way of doing something
- Helps them save time or money
- Entertains them
- Makes them look good if they share or use the content
Google isn't doing its job if it isn't providing the best results when you type in a keyword, so write the best article on the topic (one that would be considered the top resource) to win that top ranking.
Publish Content Frequently
High-quality content isn't something that can be banged out in an hour. Generally, it takes 4-10 hours to produce content that is worthy of first-page results.
But writing one article every once in a while isn't going to cut it either. You need to be writing and publishing content regularly in order to let search engines know that your website is current and relevant.
That's no easy task, and most business owners lack the time to craft high-quality content on a regular basis. That's why it’s worth outsourcing at least some of your content to another company.
The good news is the investment that companies are making to publish high-quality content frequently is paying off big time! Here's a really cool infographic from DemandMetric demonstrating that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and it generates approximately 3 times as many leads.
Be Original, Engaging, & Interactive
With the popularity of content marketing and this “new way of doing SEO,” there is a ton of content being produced. Your content needs to stand out from all the noise.
Don't just rewrite other articles that are already out there. You need to present the content in a unique way so that it stands out. This is important not only for SEO but also for ensuring that your content is read, shared, and enjoyed.
Here are some tips for creating unique content:
- Establish a brand voice and use it in all of your content
- Use examples from within your own company or personal experience
- Approach a subject from a unique standpoint
- Make your article more inclusive than other articles on the topic
- Find a way to make it more relatable to your readers than what your competitors were able to do
You also want to ensure your content is engaging and interactive. When you accomplish that, you'll get more shares and likes, and you'll keep people on your site longer.
The longer you can keep people on your website, the more Google recognizes that your content is valuable. Grab their attention, keep them reading, and close strong. Provide internal links to other pages on your website where relevant so that they go deeper into your site.
Write your content in a way that is entertaining and relatable. When you do that, even a dull subject such as taxes or plumbing can become high-quality content.
Be Accurate & Evergreen
It's impossible to have high-quality content that is inaccurate, so check your facts and cite companies that are trustworthy. Think of each article you write as a way to boost your reputation and your standing in the online community. When Google recognizes your high standing, you're much more likely to get ranked. Plus, it will increase your trust with your readers, making them loyal and getting you more shares to grow your audience.
While there is plenty of quality content that isn't evergreen, ensuring that your content will stand the test of time will add to its value. This means that in some cases, you will need to go back into your content and make updates to keep it evergreen. After all, Google isn't going to put an article that is out of date on the first page of the search results.
Remember That Structure Is Just as Important as Content
You've probably landed on a web page before that has big lengthy paragraphs with nothing to break them up, and you probably clicked the back arrow right away because it felt too tedious to read. Or there's the dreaded website that has a black background and colored text, making it painful to read.
It's imperative that you keep the structure and look of your content in mind before you click “Publish.” No one will read your content if it seems tedious, painful, or just too time-consuming. Here are some tips to help with this:
- Use headings and bullets to break up text
- Keep paragraphs short (even if it's not the proper way to end or start a paragraph)
- Add images to create visual appeal
- Use bold text to add emphasis to important phrases or words
- Make sure your links stand out with different colored and/or bolded text
Promote Only When It Provides a Seamless Solution
Content marketing isn't really there to sell products and services, although it can certainly do so indirectly. A blog post is not a sales page and shouldn't be used as such because its primary goal is to provide useful and valuable information.
If you provide consistent useful and valuable information, you will have gained trust and credibility, and your readers will recognize you as the go-to resource in your niche. Then, they'll think of you when they need what you offer.
That's not to say you shouldn't include call-to-actions at the end of or even in the middle of your blog posts, and you can certainly promote your products or services in your post, but it should tie into the post seamlessly and feel more like the answer to their problem instead of a hard sell. Adding convenient links to things they are looking for that you happen to sell is helpful while talking about your stuff just to push a sale is not.
The Final Test That Ensures You've Written High-Quality Content for SEO
One quick question can sum up how to know if you've created high-quality content for SEO:
Is it something that people would “like,” share, or link to?
Think about it—people don't share stuff that isn't stellar. They share what they think is really awesome and what they believe will make them look good. If your content is worthy of that, you can be sure it's high quality.
Although producing high-quality content for SEO can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, it's important to remember that you're not alone in this task. At Viral Solutions, we offer copywriting services that help our clients spend their time doing what they do best while we take the burden of content writing off their shoulders. Click here for a free quote!