I discovered SEO in 2008 when I opened my online shop.
Paid marketing had worked well, but SEO hadn’t brought any traffic.
I cooperated with three well-known SEO specialists, but they didn’t improve my ranking positions or traffic.
I wasted a lot of resources and, more importantly, my time for over two years by relying on others.
I decided it was time to learn SEO for myself.
I soon had colossal SEO-driven traffic, which led to many sales.
My friends asked for advice on how to rank their websites.
Google Cares about High-Quality Content
Google changes its algorithms 500-600 times a year, but the content is always the #1 ranking factor.
You might have excellent scores with other search algorithms (such as authoritative backlinks), strong brand recognition, and a website without technical errors.
But you can’t rank in the top 10 results without high-quality content.
That is why this course starts with the foundation of creating valuable content.
The central part of any content is a text that Google scans to unite with keywords people are looking for in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Content creators write texts first and then optimize them with other website elements: pictures, features, filters, blocks, buttons, etc.
The most crucial elements in any content are simplicity, personalization, and satisfying users’ intent.
We share the best personalization and users’ intent practices in the following lessons.
Let’s get into the essential elements of simple, effective content.
Craft an Intro
You have a few seconds to hook users.
Your reader won’t be satisfied and will want to read on.
The main goal is to give your reader a solid reason to read the second sentence, the third, and so on.
Try to convince visitors that consuming all the content will provide valuable insights, solve their problems, and improve the quality of their lives.
For example, imagine your main topic is how to lose weight fast.
What if we started with something like this, instead of facts about nutrition:
Losing weight is simple.
Eat healthy food, train, and rest.
But 90% of people cannot lose weight.
If it’s so simple, what’s the problem?
Please read the entire article to find out how to overcome this.
I’ll stop here because I am not an expert in this field, but you get the point.
Keep It Simple
Simplicity is an underrated must-have for creating high-quality content.
For an example, check out apple.com. They know how to write simple content that is easy to consume.
People often have trouble reading because of the following:
- Vision disabilities
- Low literacy
- Reading in a second language
Skilled readers also have problems with reading in some circumstances: rushed, tired, stressed, or reading on a small screen.
Webmasters often add almost all their products and catalogs to a home page, but customers hate it and “bounce” away (i.e., leave your website without taking any actions).
Readers only read 20% of your content.
They often scan for something essential.
Subheadings help to retain readers longer and improve readability.
SEO specialists often add long-tail keywords to subheadings or use questions people ask in their search because Google considers bolded texts in algorithms.
It is also essential to use a logical structure in your subheadings.
Include images, infographics, graphs, tables, and other visual items to improve readability.
Website content is not a book.
Multimedia enriches the content and improves readability.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Do not use free stock photos or pictures that are overused online.
Canva and many other online tools help to edit and draw unique pictures.
I prefer to cooperate with designers on drawing and editing.
Simplify Your Draft
Great authors write a draft and then spend time editing.
Read your draft aloud.
If something is hard to read, simplify and edit the text.
For example, cut down on adjectives and adverbs because these modifiers complicate your sentences.
Avoid passive voice as much as possible; it makes reading harder.
For example, compare two sentences:
- I read books every day.
- Books are read by me every day.
The second sentence (written in the passive voice) is much harder to read.
Shorten your sentences and paragraphs.
But do not remove necessary information because oversimplifying hurts content quality.
Model your writing after the copy in this lesson.
Examples explain your point much better than anything else.
Figures of speech also help explain the meaning of texts:
- Love is like fire.
- Bitcoin is gold.
- She broke my heart.
Another effective idea is to use everyday and conversational words.
Readers understand them better than rare and obsolete words.
Also, avoid the following:
- Obscure words
- Complex sentences
- Unfamiliar abbreviations
- Undefined industry-specific terms
Remove Fluff and Focus on the Key Points
Generic information leads your reader to bounce and never come back.
Users have no time to consume something everyone knows.
Uniqueness and sharing value are the primary keys to your content.
Think Like Your Audience
Use the language of your audience.
For example, imagine your audience consists of kids who love playing online games.
The most experienced adult writers cannot create content for this audience if they do not play these games.
Moms, fishermen, sportsmen, and brokers demand different styles of content to secure their interests.
Ask obvious questions, including stupid ones, to provoke simple answers.
Utilize a Q&A Section
It may not be ideal for addressing every question in your main content section.
Many webmasters reply to additional questions at the end of their pages with a Q&A section.
Answers to popular questions bring more SEO traffic and best satisfy your audience.
Add Passion to Your Writing
Do you know why AI tools cannot compete with excellent human writing?
Humans have emotions and need emotions.
Robots cannot touch our hearts.
AI tools are good at writing specifics and might match a mediocre writer.
But experienced writers convey their passion and emotions.
Use Readability Tools
Many great tools check for grammar and reading level:
- Read-able.com – tests the readability of your website pages
- Readable.com – improves readability
- Hemingwayapp.com points out complicated sentences, standard errors, passive voice, and adverbs
- Grammarly.com provides multifunctional text analysis
Edit and Pay Attention to Feedback
Tools help edit texts but cannot replace professional editors.
Book authors hire various specialists:
- Beta readers
- Line editors
- Substantive editors
You do not need to hire every type of editor; at least one expert can provide an improved experience for your audience.
Also, ask your friends and relatives for feedback; they may provide feedback distinct from the experts.
Simplicity is essential because nobody wants to read challenging content.
Do not bore people with how smart you are and how much you know about complicated terminologies.
Keep your content as simple as possible; then, a loyal audience will love your content, and Google will rank it in the top 10.