It can be challenging to regularly create good, usable content that helps people while at the same time, demonstrating to search engines that your content should be served up regularly in response to user queries.
So, how do you create high quality content for SEO? These tips can help guide you to make the most of your efforts.
Good SEO content should be easy to scan
Virtually no one is going to go to your website expecting to see a wall of text. Long, thoughtful, beautifully written content has its place, but on a webpage, users are looking to get information as quickly and easily as possible. To do that, you need to help them achieve that goal by:
- Bolding keywords and concepts to make them stand out
- Bulleting important points to draw attention to them
- Putting the good stuff first – organize content from most to least important
- Using engaging visuals that make your message clear
Keeping these points in mind will help you organize your content in a more scannable and consumable way, making it easier to read and offer value to your audience.
Good SEO content should be E-A-T-friendly
We’ve written before about the importance of E-A-T, and it’s worth reviewing. Google is looking for expert, authoritative and trustworthy content to deliver, and your audience is, too! How does E-A-T improve the quality of your content? E-A-T-friendly content means:
- Error-free: Create content that has no typos, is factually correct and well-presented.
- Credentials matter: How is the expertise of the content creator communicated? If you are an expert in your field but aren’t a great writer, try creating video content instead.
- Regularly updated: You can’t create one piece of content once and expect it to convey your expertise and authority. If you’re an expert on a topic, it’s expected you’ll have a lot to talk about on that topic! Regularly adding high quality content adds value from both a Google and user perspective.
All of the usual E-A-T recommendations also apply: sharing testimonials, awards, and other proofs of expertise, authority and trustworthiness boost the value of your content.
Good SEO content answers the questions your audience is asking
Every minute of the day, someone is asking a question that you may be able to answer, so use those questions as a jumping off point to creating valuable content. Here are a couple of ways you can determine what your audience might be asking:
- Ask Google a question – query for content that you are already well versed in, and see what other related questions appear on the page – and then create relevant content that answers them.
- Check out social media – people often turn to social media to get answers to their questions. Sites like Quora offer an endless supply of questions on virtually every topic, making it a great place to turn to for inspiration. Similarly, see what’s trending on social and look for a way to add your own take on the questions you find that are relevant to your business.
- Find a forum – find a forum dedicated to the subject you’re writing about, see what the members there are asking and answer those questions on your own site.
- Talk to real customers – your existing customers are happy to let you know where your content has gaps that they wish were filled. Bonus: people love to feel like their input is valued, and may turn into brand ambassadors merely because you asked how to make their experience better.
Good SEO content should be linkable
The best content – SEO or not – is content that has a unique angle. And when users find that content, they want to link to it, share it on social media and generally drive people to it.
The best linkable content:
- Has a unique viewpoint – if you’ve done primary or secondary research, that adds to the uniqueness of your content.
- Has a visual element – whether it’s an infographic or data visualization, visuals enhance the value of content and improve its linkability. Keep in mind that you still need SEO basics for that visual element, such as alt tags and descriptions, captions, and sources, and the key data points in the graphic should also be captured in the text.
- Draws attention to itself – this can be done by “ego-baiting” (name-dropping someone influential as your source), or creating best-of lists that will be shared by the people or companies listed.
- Has a hot take – contrarian viewpoints, if well-reasoned and not outrageous, are highly linkable as they provoke debate on a subject.
Good SEO content should have variety
There’s an old saying that goes When you’re a hammer, every problem is a nail, and content creators (like me!) often fall into this trap. When you’re a writer, the written word often feels like the only approach to conveying information. Of course, it isn’t, and good SEO content should branch beyond a single format, making it more appealing to a broader audience. Here are some examples of ways you can create good SEO content that has variety:
Depending on your subject, this can be a how-to or explainer video, an interview, discussion or debate, a product announcement or demonstration.
Whatever it is, plan to host it on YouTube (which is the second-largest search engine in the world), and make sure you use a keyword-rich title, description, and video file name. You should also make the video’s purpose clear within the first 10 seconds, and be sure to add captions.
User-generated content (UGC) offers numerous SEO benefits. Not only is it content someone else has taken the time to create (score!), it’s also a great source you can mine for ideas, new approaches, and questions to answer.
UGC can take the forms of:
- Social proof
- Comments or Q&A section on an article
- Forums and discussion boards
- Responses to your call for input that can be shared as a source
The key thing to remember about UGC is to give credit where it’s due, and to promote its use as a way to thank the creator(s) for their time and contribution.
Remember to ask yourself: what content format makes the most sense for the message I’m trying to convey here? What formats rank higher on the SERP (search engine results page) for this query? What content formats can I realistically produce?
Great SEO content doesn’t happen by accident: it takes critical thinking and analysis, creativity and hard work! If that sounds daunting, you may want to consider outsourcing this work to a reputable organization that specializes in great content for SEO, has the tools and talent to identify, create and measure the impact of the content, and the time to work at it constantly.
If you’re ready to hand off your SEO content creation to the pros, give us a call for a free consultation, so you can work on the things that you are an expert at!