Creating engaging, quality content is becoming increasingly important for website owners looking to improve the search engine rankings of their sites. The problem is that many webmasters are completely clueless when it comes to performing on-page website structure. Without using the proper words, your site may never rank properly for the keywords you are targeting.
Here’s a few tips for creating a well-balanced piece of content that Google will love.
1. Don’t repeat your target keyword too many times.
This is known as “keyword stuffing.” For example, if you were trying to rank for the keyword term “spaghetti recipes,” you wouldn’t want to keep repeating that keyword term over and over. Steven Clark, Owner at Hazel SEO recommends to keep the density to around 1% to avoid getting over-optimized for your target keyword.
2. Make sure your content is at proper length
The online social media service, Buffer, suggests that the recommended length for a blog post is 1,600 words long! That is about 9 minutes of reading. Google is starting to look for more thorough, well written, and in-depth content for their search engines. Creating high quality pieces will allow for much higher user engagement and search engine rankings. A great way to build longer posts is to create posts focused around lists. Going back to the cooking example, if you were looking to create longer posts about recipes, you may write a blog post titled “26 Spaghetti Recipes You’ll love.”
3. Start getting more specific
Again going back to the earlier cooking example, how about going down one level deeper? “Here’s 14 Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipes.” In this example, we’ve included the keywords “homemade” and “sauce” which will be much less competitive for the keywords that we are trying to rank for. We will still be able to pull traffic from people who are interested in spaghetti and cooking. A great way to find out how many people are searching for particular terms is by using Google’s free keyword planner tool.
4. Provide real value for your users
Neil Patel over at quicksprout.com is the master at this. Every single post on his blog provides incredible value for the readers. He makes use of visuals (which have proper and relevant file names and title tags) and uses lists very often.
5. Create easy to skim content
One factor that Google is increasingly keeping track of is how long a user is spending on a website. Websites with high bounce rates will lower your search engine rankings very quickly. If a user clicks on your site and then clicks right back, Google sees your website as not relevant to the user’s search. Start breaking your content up into little digestible chunks so that readers can read your content at their own page. Avoid using gigantic walls of text and make use of images throughout. A good rule of thumb is one image per 300 words of content.
6. Provide relevant resources for users
Adding links to relevant (and trusted) websites is extremely important for providing context to your website. Linking out to other authoritative websites will make your content become more trusted in the eyes of Google. Link out to at least one other website for every 200 to 300 words of content that you create.
7. Inner website linking
Linking to other relevant pages inside your website will help to boost the rest of your content. If you are using WordPress, you can do this automatically with a plugin called “in-text SEO internal link building.” It creates relevant links based upon the keywords that your content contains, similar to Wikipedia.
The trend for content creation seems to be heading in the direction of writing for people and not trying to optimize for search engines. Considering that Google is now looking at time on page and bounce rate as ranking factors, it is more important than ever to start sharpening your content marketing strategy if you plan on surviving in 2016 and beyond.
If you’re new in your market, a good starting point would be to write one 2,000+ word article every single day on your blog. It may seem like a lot at first, but you will eventually get the hang of it and it will begin to come naturally. Once you have a quality piece of content, you will want to reach out to influencers in your industry to try and promote it. We will get more into that in our next article on search engine marketing! Outreach can be a powerful way to market your business online.