Having useful, SEO optimized content can help launch you to the top of the SERPs. But is all content created equal? How can you create engaging content that helps drive organic traffic and leads? The answer lies in your content marketing strategy and how you approach content creation.
“Content is King,” a marketing truism that was first coined by Bill Gates in 1996, took new meaning to digital marketers with the rollout of the Google Panda Core Algorithm update in January of 2016. The Panda update was specifically incorporated into the core algorithm to reduce the amount of low-quality and thin content SEO marketers were using to game the system.
Since the Panda core algorithm update, digital marketers shifted their approach to SEO by focusing on creating and publishing quality content that users engage with and answers their search queries. To separate the wheat from the chaff, Google analyzes page content by a few quality ranking factors:
- Holistic Content: Instead of focusing content on one keyword per page, Google now favors content that covers topics thoroughly and is based on similar and related keywords.
- Length of Text: Top-ranking results now average around ~1,000 words per page.
- Readability Score: This factor takes into account how easy it is to read the copy on the page. Content marketers use the Flesch readability scale to rank copy from 0 (very confusing to read) to 100 (very easy to read). The scale measures the length of a sentence and the number of syllables per word. For non-technical web copy, a Flesch score of 60 – 70 is recommended.
- More Images and Videos: Having additional “rich” media on a web page like image files and video embeds can influence the ranking potential of a webpage. According to expert analysis, top-ranking results usually have 6-8 pieces of rich media on a webpage.
- Less Intrusive Ads: Having ads on your website that interfere with the user experience (UX) are considered intrusive and can devalue your webpage’s ranking potential. These types of ads include forced pop-up and interstitial ads. We recommend keeping the ad to content mix at about 30% ads to 70% copy, and to avoid placing too many ads above the fold of a webpage.
Regardless of the Google algorithm, focusing on user needs to inform your website and blog copy is just good practice and can lead to higher engagements and conversions. So, how do you create quality user-focused content that also catapults you to the top of the SERPs?
Here are 5 actionable tips to help improve your content performance.
1. It’s About Intent
As experts in SEO, we know that your business has a few “golden goose” keywords you’re hoping to outrank the competition for. Usually, these keywords have an astronomically high monthly search volume, but the intent behind this traffic could be questionable. A huge uptick of traffic can amount to nothing if users are not finding what they are looking for on your website and bounce off immediately.
To siphon off the right type of traffic from these high volume keywords, it’s important to understand the intent behind their searches. When your customers are searching for answers to their queries, experts recognize four types of search intent: informational, investigational, navigational, and transactional. Creating content and incorporating long-tail keywords and search queries that directly addresses this type of intent can really help improve your website’s on-page metrics and can secure higher quality, and high converting traffic to your website.
2. Focus on the Headline
Let’s get real here, most people only read the headlines of articles, websites, blogs, or any other form of content and skim through the rest. This fact places ever more importance on crafting a solid header for your content. Remember, the H1 tag is one of the key areas where you should be optimizing your SEO keywords anyway.
When sitting down to write your headlines, keep user intent at the forefront of your mind. Does the header describe what the topic of the content is about? Does it set up realistic expectations on what will be answered in the article?
The usefulness your content provides to readers helps establish trust with your brand and can help keep your brand in mind when it’s purchasing time. Instead of trying to lure the reader in with a clickbait title, shift your attention to using powerful wording to create irresistible headlines that don’t deceive the audience once they land on the page.
3. Go With The Flow
When creating SEO content, it’s easy to just pull together a hodgepodge of paragraphs addressing one topic without any rhyme or reason. However, the old way of SEO content is dead and buried, your SEO content needs to be as useful and easy-to-read as anything else published on the web. The overall organization and flow of the article must make sense to the reader or else they will click off and search for another resource.
Outline your content in a way that makes logical sense to the reader. If you hooked them with a well-crafted headline, you can further guide your readers through a resource by breaking down sections with subheaders and strong transitions from section to section. Again, considering reader intent is key to informing how to organize a useful piece of content.
4. Pictures (and Videos) Are Worth a Thousand Words
Big walls of text can be a turn-off for many website users. Not only that, Google favors content that includes 6-8 pieces of rich media. Embedding videos and images throughout the body of a webpage can help to maintain a steady pace for your content.
A recent study by BuzzSumo suggests that articles with images placed between every 75-100 words got twice as much engagement as similar articles with fewer images. When planning your content marketing strategy, set aside time to create rich pieces of media to accompany articles you produce.
5. Give Them a CTA They Can’t Refuse
Good quality content has the power to inspire action. All you need to do is give your readers the opportunity to take the actions you want them to take. Keeping user intent in mind, make sure you take every opportunity you have to tie well-placed CTAs throughout the body of the content.
Using strong and persuasive language in your CTAs can inspire your readers to click further into the content marketing funnel. Including attractive graphics or buttons within the CTA is definitely a plus. A compelling CTA can drive up to 47% – 93% of leads generated from a piece of content.
Are you ready to do more with your website’s SEO & content strategy? Let the experts at Cape & Bay turn your website content into highly converting gold. Get in touch today and unleash the transformative power of &.