Editor's Note: These are Captain Obvious' tips on how to create quality content. But it is precisely these tips that customers should not forget. Therefore, we decided to publish the translation and comment on it. You will definitely find it useful!
SEO is a strong cocktail of changing tags, planning, creating paths to find your pages quickly, and carefully linking authoritative sites to gradually climb to the top (and much more).
Content creation alone will not increase traffic, as good content will not always be visible (the magic word “distribution” will help you). But we must not forget one important thing: a small amount of mediocre content on the site limits your ranking.
Think of your content as a potential ceiling for your page rank (the more content, the higher the ceiling). And about SEO-strategy - as a magic map for bringing a page and a site to the top.
Even if you have an impeccably optimized site, category B content will likely not get you to the top spot on Google. On the other hand, A+ content without SEO can start to become outdated and grow moldy on the second page of Google search results.
Set aside the search engine requirements guide and optimization guide for just a minute. Let's talk about the basics of SEO friendly content that will get you in the top spot.
1. Add variety to your content
Two different people are looking for the same thing in a search engine in different ways.
Some people like detailed comprehensive descriptions and instructions, others want simple and bright explanations. There are users who only want videos, pictures and audio files on sites, while others get distracted and run from such content without looking back.
Depending on the site and the target audience, it would be appropriate to add pictures or videos to the text.
Don't overload your page with unnecessary files, but keep in mind that content diversity will allow you to meet the demands of more people. This means that the video along with the text on the same page will attract more visits.
Content variety combined with polished text and healthy content depth will help you increase your average time spent on a website page. Do you remember the importance of behavioral factors for ranking? The higher the average time spent on page, the better indicator of what you are creatingundefined interesting content and good user experience.
If people linger on your page, this is a good indicator that can be achieved by adding useful content types.
2. Make sure your text is well crafted
What does the content creation process involve? Creation of certain triggers in the text, hooks for which the reader's eye clings. On average, people read about 20% of the words on a site. Because it's almost impossible to tell exactly what words they're reading, you can't write just a few sentences that would be your trump card. Therefore, make sure that ALL WORDS become a trump card.
Difficulty: Not everyone can suck a huge amount of crystal clear prose out of their fingertips. Even if you can, chances are you won't have time to write copy for the rest of the pages on your site.
Solution: If you're in a rush to publish a blog post before moving on to something else, a little good editing can help you create SEO friendly content.
You can use any editing program that does not concern the style of presentation, but indicates errors and minor flaws that you can change yourself without changing the structure of the text.
For more detailed SEO recommendations, you can go ahead and run your copy through programs like SEMrush's SEO Content Template.
Comment by Tatiana Zhevega, Head of SEO Department at Sprava «Справа»
“Working with content is a continuous process of improvements and improvements, analysis and tests, including services for working with content. At the moment, the most used tools in our piggy bank are MegaIndex and Pixel Tools, Ahrefs and Miratext, Istio and TextAnalyzer services. And, of course, common sense. After all, if the text, the content of the landing pages is not interesting to the author himself, then how can such pages be liked by the target audience?!”
Note: Polished text does not have to be uniform. To write business blogs, comedy sites or news articles, you need to use a different tone of voice, writing style.
If you're trying to break into a competitive niche, push the boundaries of acceptable content. Add humor, wit, intelligence, confidence, sarcasm, or charisma. Dilute the text with metaphors:
- Add sound bites in text for more interactive content.
- Trim paragraphs and use bullets.
- Use simple and varied language.
- Find a unique and enticing tone that mimics the local language.
3. How to create useful SEO content: short text or long?
In the early days of the internet, short content helped increase your market share with just 100 words. You could write a huge number of articles with a small amount of words, and you could do it to get more traffic.
Now that Internet users are plentiful and experienced and demanding, Google's algorithms have begun to favor longer content.
In 2019, Brian Dean collaborated with BuzzSumo to analyze 912 million blog posts and concluded that long content gets more inbound links. And links are the most important ranking factor, proven by his own 2016 study. In fact, Google itself has repeatedly stated that links remain a priority ranking factor. Longread posts get 77.2% more incoming links than short posts. Long content becomes the perfect link building solution.
If your goal is to satisfy a search audience and you have to choose between a 250-word article or a 3,000-word article, the second article will most likely contain something that satisfies the search requirements.
Despite this, sometimes even a 250-word article gives an accurate answer in a beautifully packaged form, and the remaining 2,750 words are no longer needed, much less will not be read.
According to numerous studies, the ideal content length for ranking pages should be around 2,000 words. This is a good starting point for estimating the number of words on a page, but such a statement is only a guide, not an absolute truth. Therefore, you need to conduct an A / B test to understand what kind of content appeals to your target audience - short or long.
Another solution is to use a mix of content of different lengths, regardless of visitors' preferences, because users may like one type in good weather and another type in bad weather. I also suggest auditingundefined content to see which text length has been more successful in the past.
4. Understand the difference between authority and originality
If you've been in the SEO friendly content business for quite some time, you've likely noticed a fundamental paradox in the advice you're given about SEO and the way Google ranks pages.
On the one side, you have been told many times to value citations, authority links, expert advice, and verified data. On the other side, you were advised to value original research and content that includes brand-new claims. Essentially, you need to avoid copying and unverified assertions.
Keep relying on the experts, but try to outdo them. Never rewrite links and research, but add something new and original, something that exactly your target audience would like to see.
Yes, you need links and sources to validate your content, but you also need to go beyond those sources to tell a compelling new story, not just another “How to do X with Y and Z tools.
A few creative links and a compelling story will help your content balance authority and originality.
5. Consider responsive layout for your content
In the US, mobile traffic outnumbered PC traffic by 60% to 40% in 2018. But the total time on the network went over to the side of the PC, which outweighed the time on the network from phones with the ratio exactly the opposite: 60% to 40%.
Missing mobile traffic is losing money, although keep in mind that mobile searches are usually specific and more specifically targeted than desktop searches.
For example, a query in a mobile search would be something like this: “Pizza in Kyiv”, or a tag related to the latest news, or a simple question about a muffin baking recipe. Phone searches are usually more integrated into people's daily lives and related to things people do all the time.
If your content is more suitable for desktop searches, concentrate all content on the full version and the more informative content on mobile. The key is to meet the needs of both parties and not litter the mobile version with long content.
Comment by Tatiana Zhevega, Head of SEO Department at Sprava «Справа»
“It turns out that the author of the article encourages site owners to reflect essentially different content for PC and mobile. I think that this is not correct, given that Google's Mobile First Index for ranking sites takes into account the content of the mobile version of the site. Therefore, if the content is "cut off" on Mobile, then the ranking results will not be as expected, as you would like.
Therefore, we don't recommend missing any content (with the exception of large and weighty media files), but thinking about how to present it correctly, display it on different types of devices, so that both the user is as useful as possible and search engine robots appreciate our sites”
6. Form and content must correlate
There is no one winning web page or blog layout. When we talk about form, we are primarily talking about:
- the number of words;
- content structure;
- the tone of the entire text;
- HTML tags;
- titles and meta titles.
If you understand exactly what message you want to convey with your content and what kind of search it is designed for, you can design the form of the page depending on the content.
If this is a technical article about plumbing or stock trading, add the most important information already in the first paragraph. If you have a comedy article, it will be a little easier for your audience to forgive you for a slow start.
Google's advice to make "pages for users, not for search engines" is still the best advice you can get. Creating a good structure for your content will help keep your page consistent.
The best articles should not read like just a good essay. They should look like a clear picture with tags, titles, font and headings that together create a cohesive whole.
Did you know that we not only create and promote websites, but also help create great content.