In 2008, the world crisis destroyed my financial company. It was an offline business, and I lost all my investments and even more; my debts equaled 3,000 average salaries. I was looking for ways to recoup m y losses.
At that time, there was a burgeoning interest in e-commerce projects. Seeing the potential, I decided to open my online shop. Five years of hard work eventually showed massive SEO traffic and sales, and consequently my shop’s popularity grew and I paid off all my debts.
My friends asked for help with directing traffic towards their websites as well, and through word of mouth, soon more and more people were asking me for SEO advice. I realized that helping people’s websites flourish was more rewarding than running my original site, so I switched my attention to the SEO agency that keeps growing today.
Many things have changed since this time, but the foundation is still the same: the #1 ranking SEO factor is content. Contrary to popular opinions about SEO, you can’t “beat” any algorithm by just scattering certain key words or rephrasing content from other popular sites. Aspiring SEO pros have to know how to create high-quality content or update old content to climb the Google ranks.
So that’s going to be what we cover first: how to make eye-catching content that is also friendly to Google indexing.
Create Content For Your Target Audience
You should be thinking about this before you even start writing. I always tell my clients to forget about search engines while creating content because all search engines serve humans. If people love your content, then search engines will pick up on that. Of course, SEO consists of many techniques that can help optimize content for search engines, but it only works if people seem to be drawn to your content.
The quality of content is subjective. For example, my 11-year-old son loves content about famous soccer players and nature, but doesn’t care much for content about online games. My wife is passionate about pets and interior decorating. I love learning about business, marketing, and self-improvement.
Soccer content is not “quality” for my wife, and interior decorating is not interesting for my son and me, but we all love pets.
Picturing the range of people whom you think your content will appeal to and writing for them will raise readers’ opinions of your content. Put a lot of thought into who might benefit from your content and what the overlap of audiences might look like.
The second measurement of quality is satisfaction.
The internet is absolutely saturated with content. There are 1.88 billion websites online with over a trillion pages. In addition, Google lists over a million results for almost all keywords – and as we all know, most users do not open the second page of Google.
It’s impossible to wade through the jumble of search results unless they’re prioritized in terms of what people want to consume. High-quality content satisfies users better and helps them more than most relevant content.
The real question becomes: how do we write high-quality, satisfactory content for our target audience? Here are some tips.
Share Value in Your Context
The best design does not save content without value. Your site content has to be all four of the following things:
- Unique. Creating “unique” content isn’t just passing a plagiarism tool check. Many websites cannot get high-ranking positions because they’re just regurgitating rephrased content from the websites on the top-10 results. The main problem is that people have seen this content already. Changing words and rephrasing paragraphs don’t bring anything new to the table. Think of what your competitors in the top-10 results have not shared yet; e.g., breaking news, new technologies, ideas, checklists, methods, etc.
- Useful. Your content should be tailored to help and support your audience. You should be able to preemptively identify your audience’s problems and then address them in an engaging way. Remember that “new” information is not necessarily “useful” information. Your content should share value and educate or entertain the audience as much as possible.
- Accurate. This is also crucial because even the best content can become obsolete in a day if it’s not updated properly. Webmasters pay a lot of attention to creating new pieces of content, but forget about updating content that is no longer relevant. Popular websites recheck their old content once a year because the audience ignores stale content, and Google indexes updated content higher in its results.
- Inspirational. Inspiring content gets three times higher engagement on social media and also ranks higher on Google. Your content should provide information that gets your readers’ wheels turning as they imagine the possibilities. Your content should not just inform, but inspire action.
Even if your content is well-written and engaging, you have to hook your readers with the right introduction and an easy-to-follow structure in order to keep them on the page.
Write Compelling Titles & Descriptions
Ten people read the headlines, and two of them read the content. When users search on Google, they do not know what kind of content you have and have no time to open all pages in the top 10 results.
Therefore, your title should give a solid reason to unlock the content, and the description should explain what kind of value they can get. Use the UNmiss Headline Quality Calculator that estimates your meta information score with the following:
- The average length
- Using numbers
- Adding prompting, emotional, provoking words
- Capitalization of Words
Create Content Structure
I remember when my school tutors taught me to write the intro, the main part and the conclusion. Almost everyone gets the same foundation to consume a similar structure that is everywhere: videos, books, audio podcasts, and of course, website content. It is more visible in blogs, which bring 55% of all SEO traffic.
Your structure should have logical transitions between sections. For example, subheadings help connect chapters because most users scan content for related information.
Content creators also often use “bucket brigades” that help to retain users longer, such as:
- Keep reading, and…
- That’s not even the best part.
- Here’s the kicker:
- It gets better –
- That is only part of the story.
- Picture this:
- You might be wondering…
Your potential readers will instantly click away from content that is littered with errors or inaccuracies. As such, before you publish, make sure you do the following:
Online fraud is over a hundred billion dollars a year. Most users are skeptical about online content because of misleading propaganda or other scams. Linking to online studies, authoritative resources, citing experts, and original places where you get information helps to increase trust.
Edit Your Content
Check for an Easy-to-Follow Design
Our brains focus 90% on visual content, processing it 60,000 times faster than text. A sleek design retains the audience longer with the following elements:
- Images, photos, infographics
- Audio podcasts
My upcoming lessons will share other essential elements of high-quality content, such as simplicity, personalization, writing styles, editing, and designing.
High-quality content is the #1 ranking factor on Google. There’s no way to game the system with special key words or rephrased content from other sites. Your main SEO goal is to help create better content than your competitors by providing your readers with valuable, interesting, and distinctive content.