A few years back, the worst web content was written solely for search engine robots rather than humans.
Today, with improved technology and techniques, search engines are becoming smarter and more sophisticated. They’re increasingly reliant on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to improve results.
Because of this, content creators have to change tactics to resonate with search engine robots and human readers alike.
Basically, instead of focusing on creating SEO-driven content, you should instead focus on content-driven SEO. If you don’t know how to do this, here are five research-backed methods that you should consider using.
Start by focusing more on your target audience. To create content that resonates, you must first understand your audience’s needs and what they really care about.
Here are some helpful questions you should ask yourself:
- Who exactly is your audience? (i.e, their interests, hobbies, demographics, etc.)
- What kind of information are they looking for?
- What kind of keywords and keyword groups are they using?
- How exactly do they search for inspiration? (i.e via Google, Bing, or Q & A forums)
- Where do they spend most time online? (i.e. social media)
- Why should they pay attention to your content?
- What added value can you provide?
Once you’re done with this, you need to position yourself brand-wise, which is a combination of:
- Your brand’s expertise
- Your target audience’s needs
- Your unique insights
Afterwards, leverage free and paid tools. These include the popular Google Keyword Planner, Google auto-complete, Quora, BuzzSumo, and AnswerThe Public. All of these will help you better understand the topics that resonate the most with your target audience.
Worried about your competitors and are dying to know what they are up to? Well, here’s a trick: Start your competitor research by going “incognito.”
An incognito search essentially prevents your browser history or cache from having any effect on the results. This gives you a more accurate view of the search results surrounding your target keyword topics.
After typing your target keywords in the search box, check the results for content gaps. See what you can add in terms of quality, relevance and value.
As you do this, check long-tail keyword variations you can use to write content your visitors will find valuable. That way, you can boost your site’s rankings.
Now that you have the perfect topic and an idea of what your competitors are targeting, it’s time to craft your piece.
First, you need to outline and document your content goals. For example, your content mission can be boosting the rank of a keyword by 20 spots in a month or so. Once you’re done with this, creating the perfect content should be a breeze.
After creating your content, think about how you’ll organize the content on-page and send the “click-me” signals to searchers.
Organizing content is an important part of any SEO strategy. It involves working on some technical on-page SEO elements such as:
- Title tags
A title tag is simply the title that searchers will see in the SERPs. Try to place your target keyword near the beginning of the title. In addition, keep it at around 600pixels so it does not get truncated.
- Header tags
Use headers to organize your content. That way, it’ll be easier to scan for both readers and search engine bots.
- Meta descriptions
The meta description is a 160-character snippet. You can also think of it as a tag in HTML that summarizes a page’s content.
Search engines show it in search results when the phrase being searched for is in the description. It’s your one shot to hook your visitors, so make sure it delivers value and contains the target keyword.
At this point, you might think the tough job is over. Actually, the real work begins right after you publish.
For one, you need to constantly check your site’s metrics. Some of the important things to keep an eye on are your impressions and clicks.
If the bounce rate is high, consider keeping it down to boost your conversion rate. If
there is no clear call-to-action to keep them on your website, consider creating a compelling CTA.
If you want to see your site ranking high on search engines, there’s only one thing you should do: Craft content that people will want to read and search engines will see and crawl easily. It won’t take long before you see positive results.