In the early days, authors, bloggers, and writers published content on the internet and made money.
Then, marketers identified that one solution through which they could make a difference and also stand out from the competition. They identified that by publishing great content they could tap their audience and thereby also increase sales.
So, today not only the bloggers but also the B2C and the B2B marketers have adopted the ”Publish Great Content Strategy.” So, to sum up, we can safely say that “Content is everything on the web.” We are here and reading this article because we too believe that, “Content is King.”
Well, Content alone is not the king. Content Optimization too has an equal right to the throne. Actually, it may not even be equal; Content Optimization has a greater right to the throne. We’ve always wondered why some content ranked at the top of the Google Search Results and why others even though great content/articles by themselves, didn’t stand a chance. Well, this is 2019, and writing great content is just not enough.
We need to break the wheel by publishing SEO optimized content. In general, writing content that ranks is a technique of striking a fine balance between emotions and SEO. In this article, we not only discuss the craft of chiseling compelling and infectious content that ranks but also crack the strategies that most content writers and bloggers use to rank their content on search engines, i.e., Content Optimization. Therefore there are two specific areas – Content Creation And Content Optimization.
Content Creation – So, let’s first focus on how we to churn out great and highly consumable content.
- Find The Topic Of The Article
Well, haven’t got any ideas on the topic of the content yet? What is the primary approach that almost everyone adopts to find the topic of an article that generates searches and shares worldwide and trends? The best answer to crack this deal is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo helps us to find articles that are popular and that generate humongous shares. BuzzSumo allows us to search five keywords or phrases for free and then it costs us $99-$499 for a subscription.
But what if we are broke and we have exhausted the limit of searches? Use Quora. Search for a query on Quora and find out the number of people who have queried and/or written on a topic. And of course, focus on what they have been querying about.
We can also use Google Alerts, we just need to enter the phrase or term, and all the articles and information available on Google related to that topic are served right before us. We can also set an alert for our keyword so that if anyone provides information on that keyword, we get an alert from Google.
Our favorite technique – Visit Other Blogs And Websites In Our Niche, and I bet, we definitely start getting ideas for our post.
- Construct The Title
Well, the title is the first thing that the visitors see. Then, they quickly decide if they want to go ahead and click or not… We believe, that the title must always be catchy and very magnetic such that no matter the spot an article lands in a search query, it always gets clicked, even more than the first spot.
So, how to write that type of irresistible title for a content? Use this Syntax: Numbers + Attributes + Target Keyword + Reason + Promise. To beat the competition, use these words in the headline: Simple Steps, 2019 Version, Complete Guide, Proven Methods
FAST (That We’ve used here). For example, “Ways to Remove the Dark Circles from Eyes”. Instead, use the word “Proven Methods”:
“7 Proven Methods to Remove the Dark Circles from Eyes”. Use the term “FAST”. “7 Fast Ways to Remove the Dark Circles from Eyes”. So, which title generates more clicks? We don’t need to tell. But wait, why have we chosen 7 as a number? Odd Numbers are really attractive, so when we mix them up with our title, we come up with that irresistible title. Also, ensure that a title is within 65 characters; otherwise, only half of the lengthy title appears in the search results.
- Construct The Meta Description
Meta Description is the next big thing after the title that a user gets to see. So, it better be attractive as well. What can we do??…
Generate curiosity gap in Meta Description. Wondering what is that? The curiosity gap is the creation of the feeling in others in which they want to know what happens next. For example, the famous TV show Game of Thrones superbly uses curiosity gap strategy for all their episodes. By generating curiosity gap, we give users a solid reason to click on an article. We must also use the curiosity gap strategy in our article but we must not overdo it, otherwise, readers develop a feeling that they’re being tricked.
- Content Writing
Now in the world of competition, it’s not easy to just write an article, and pray and hope to rank it. It is obvious, that we need to do a lot of research.
Research almost everything. First, search the topic that we are to write on. The top 10 links are of the competition. One by one open the links and look at what they have written. This exercise helps us develop content which is better than the competition.
Create The Structure
Now, we need to sit and create the structure of the post, just the points, and sub-headings. We all want to know at a glance what we are to benefit if we go ahead and read the entire piece. Use the Inverted Pyramid Technique. In this technique, we first give a brief conclusion, about the content and then extend the content. We extend the content by stating the introduction, problems, etc. Structure of an article that ranks –
Tell the readers their problems and tell them how we solve these problems (brief of solution). Here we give them a short conclusion or summary of the post. Format introduction such that it generates a curiosity gap so that the readers feel inclined to read the full article.
The style that clicks in this section – bullet points or steps. No matter how good the content, visitors hardly ever read the long and never-ending paragraphs. They bounce back from the site, affecting the bounce rate. Most visitors just overlook the content piece. In such a scenario what works best are bullet points or steps, so that they are able to get an overview of the post.
In conclusion, we are closing, summing up the whole article. The conclusion is the part where we also ask the readers to take action. We can also share extra tips with the audience or ask them to share their doubts and queries with us regarding the article or related to the article. Moreover, we can also ask them the point/s that worked for them. Neil Patel does that a lot.
A Pro Tip: Request visitors to comment on the post, as the comments not only contribute to the length of the article but also grow the overall engagement of the article and we get proper and exact ideas of the reader’s expectations. Therefore comments also help us to improve our forthcoming articles.
Now, let’s discuss content optimization. The below points are how we optimize content.
- Share An Idea
Do we know why ideas like – quit smoking, do not waste water or plant trees get viral and famous? The trick is to revolve around only one idea but in different ways. The key is to focus on just one idea but use different and creative ways to execute that.
We can also use quotes in-between an article to engage the readers. But what if we do not have a relevant quote to share? In that case, we can quickly take the help of an online slogan or tagline generator. We need to input the term in the text field, and immediately a list of options is shown to us. We can then select 5 to 7 phrases from this result, then by using all these phrases, we can DIY a new quote for our content.
A Pro Tip: Use Grammarly when penning down an article. It is essentially helpful when we are not very strong in grammar or want to enrich the article with a good vocabulary.
Surveys have established that a higher content-length is one of the key factors that work to rank an article on search engines.
Well, if we have an article of more than 3000 words, it puts us well ahead of the curve of the other shorter articles.
- Content Updation
Google loves fresh content. There is an algorithm named QDF which is an acronym for Query Deserves Freshness. The QDF prefers fresh content and hence ranks it higher than the old content. However, the QDF works well only when there are a lot of searches for a particular query. So, if we have updated the article in 2019 and someone had updated their article in 2013, we’re certain to surpass them.
- SEO Optimized Content
Keywords Research: Keywords Research is one of the most crucial steps when writing an article. But it is better to conduct keyword research after having written the article. “Content should not be structured on Keywords.” In fact, the biggest mistake that everyone commits is that they fill up the content with a whole lot of keywords. This is called keyword stuffing. And if we engage in keyword stuffing, Google Panda, Google Hummingbird, and Google, in general, penalizes us and lowers our rank.
Know-how to find Keywords: Google itself provides its keyword planning tool known as the Google Keyword Planner (GKP) which works for us. We can also use the LSI Graph tool and the Keywordtool.io for the keyword research. Both are free.
If we focus on the 2018 SEO updates, one should focus more on Long Tail Keywords. Reason?… Because Google gives more weight to optimize search results based on the voice search. A trick to find Long Tail Keywords: Go to YouTube, write something on the search bar and then view the displayed suggestions, these are the long tail keywords.
Now about the Frequency And Location Of Keywords. We should use the keywords wisely and not try to feed in the keywords unnecessarily…For example, the keyword “ways to rank” and “methods to rank” are considered as the same keyword. So, only one of them should be used at a time. If we use both of them in the same article, then we probably might face Google penalty.
What is the Optimal Keyword Density?
There is no optimal keyword density for content. Many SEO tools show the frequency of a keyword. However, it is no longer a useful metric. Keyword stuffers use the same word, again and again, and it would not just bore the audience, but also lower the site rank.
Images & Infographics
Images make understanding easy. Moreover, when it comes to providing evidence, nothing works more effectively than images. We retain images in our brain longer than text. So, it’s a good practice to have our focal point presented in the form of an image. Infographics, too if properly used can create a strong impact on users. We construct the whole idea of the article in an image – called infographic. We can use hundreds of freely available and easy to use image designing tools for this. The best of the lot is Canva and PicMonkey.
SEO Of Links
A typical mistake that we normally do is ignore links. We do not optimize our links. Suppose, we searched for party wear clothes and now if we had to choose one of the below links, then which one do we choose and click?
www.abc.com/party-wear-clothes or www.abc.com/p=?47890
We know for sure the link that gets clicked in this case. So, now we see and understand why the optimization of links for SEO is critical. We can optimize links in two ways –
A. Select The Permalink Structure
Permalink Structure is the structure of all the links that we have made. Go to WordPress, Select Settings>Permalinks. Choose the Post Name option for the links. This shows the topic of the content and is a great way to rank.
B. Stop Using Stop Words
Stop Words are the words that do not have any value in the URLs like “and,” “the,” “of,” “but,” etc. If we use these words in our title, we make the URLs lengthy which is a big no-no. However, we can use them if the URL is short, but it adds zero value to the rankings.
- Inbound And Outbound Links
When it comes to the web, linking matters. Google notices the time people spend on a site. So to have inbound links in the article is the best way to engage a user visiting the site.
But that doesn’t mean that we should not have outbound links. Outbound links are used as much as inbound links. Think, how good we felt when we had got that link from another site. After getting linked, we probably checked that site’s content or even shared the site’s content.
So, the chances of being shared are higher for an article if it has both the inbound as well as the outbound links. Moreover, the Link Analysis Algorithm called HITS (Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search) Algorithm focuses on both the inbound and outbound links. This confirms that both inbound, outbound links are important to have a win-win rank.
- Share Buttons
We believe, that an article is nothing without the share buttons. It is extremely useful to provide the social share buttons like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Whatsapp, etc., within an article. What best can be done with these social share buttons? These share buttons can be placed on all the images and infographics. This makes it easy for readers to share useful information.
- A Faster Page
Google focuses on mobile indexing. So, the page must not just have fast speed on a desktop but on mobile as well. What if we need to publish the post now and the developer needs time to optimize the site for phones? We can then go in for Accelerated Mobile Pages also known as AMP. This speeds the loading process and decreases the page load time. Thus this helps to have a better standing with Google and with other search engines as well as with the target audience.
Do We Publish Regularly?
How are the Google search results affected if we post regularly? Bloggers believe that publishing content regularly is beneficial.
If we’re an expert in any particular niche then we can publish articles pertaining to that niche on our site. If we have a visitor on our site, we then need to ensure that the visitor gets all the knowledge and information he/she wants. Over and above, the visitor also gets something extra. …But that doesn’t mean we need to post regularly. In 2019, no one needs to publish content regularly.
If we follow all of the above, we not only have quality content but score with SEO as well. And we also improve our search engine rankings and get to the first page and more.
And finally remember publishing content is not the last step, optimizing content is.
We hope you liked this article. Please let us know what clicked for you and do comment for queries.