When it comes to SEO, a common misconception is that to be successful, you must “trick” the algorithm. Actually, it’s about having a grasp on the key elements of the algorithm and aligning your content strategy with these SEO considerations in mind, while also optimizing for your readership.
Check out these simple ways to create high performing content that can also help improve your search rankings.
1. Start with keyword research.
One piece of content should have 1 primary keyword target and 5-10 additional keyword targets. Think about what your audience might be looking for and what questions they ask online to help determine your primary keyword. Generally, the most successful keywords have high search volume and low difficulty. Keyword difficulty refers to how much competition a keyword or phrase has. The higher the value, the more difficult it will be to compete with others using that keyword as well. It can be difficult to identify the sweet spot of seed keywords (high search volume + low difficulty) but when you do, it can have a great impact on your overall success.
2. Determine search intent.
Search intent refers to the primary goal a user has when performing a search query. Oftentimes, users are searching for a specific answer or research. To identify keyword search intent, look for clues in SERP titles. For example, if someone is looking for:
- Informational answers, they might use: guide, tutorial, how, what, tips, steps, etc.
- Navigational answers, they might use: brand name, product, service, etc.
- Commercial answers, they might use: best, cheapest, top, review, etc.
- Transactional answers, they might use: buy, price, coupon, promo code, etc.
Once you’ve determined the intent, you then have to identify the proper format to go along with it. Conduct research by checking the top 10 articles in the results page. What formats are other sites using, what are their CTAs and what are their titles and descriptions?
3. Optimize meta titles, meta-descriptions and H1s.
A well-optimized meta title:
- Corresponds to identified search intent
- Contains target keywords
- Consists up to 60 characters
- Persuades users to click to your website
- Includes a CTA
A meta-description encourages users to click on the SERP links and should:
- Be unique
- Be 1-2 sentences
- Describe the page
- Include target keywords
- Play to a specific emotion
- Include a CTA
H1s introduce your content to your audience, so you want to make it catchy. You can create the best performing H1s by:
- Describing what is going to be discussed in the body of the text.
- Include conversational terms such as how, what, why, etc.
- Include numbered lists (Top 10, Best 5, etc.)
4. Structure content to make it easily digestible.
This is why it’s important that online content is structured to be easy to scan and read. Since you never know who might stumble upon your site, you don’t want them to immediately bounce because your content is confusing or includes too many technical terms to be easily understood. To break up your content, use multiple levels of headers and ensure it’s easy to tell which content belongs to which header. Additional best practices include:
- Only discussing one topic per paragraph.
- Avoiding lengthy sentences.
- Highlighting main ideas by bolding, italicizing or changing fonts.
- Include bulleted or numbered lists.
5. Include optimized visual content.
Visuals like images, videos, infographics, checklists, templates, etc. break up your content and allow readers to digest content quicker. When including visuals, be sure to optimize their size, names and Alt tags. These practices will ensure quicker page load times, make your content unique, more descriptive and
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