Content is the backbone of an effective SEO strategy. Search engines such as Google are designed to provide searchers with the best experience. Without high-quality content, it is almost impossible to get a high ranking.
Many factors come into play when creating optimized content. In this article, I shared seven practical steps to improve the performance of your high-quality content in search.
1. Optimize the answer box
Google answer box or Featured snippets Is a unique result that stands out from other listings on the search engine results page. It usually appears at the top of the page, with some text and website links:
Google provides Answer box Help searchers find answers to questions immediately—no need to click through results. The format of the text varies, including a list, a table, or a paragraph.
When optimizing the content of the answer box, pay attention to two things-the answers to the questions people ask and the properly formatted list.
Answer specific questions
First, you must know the question to be answered. Not all searches will trigger featured snippets. When the search contains words related to the question, many answer boxes will appear-who, what, where, when, why, and how, usually at the beginning of the query.
with Appropriate keyword research, You can see what questions your audience is asking. Once you find those relevant curious searches, you can create your content to answer these questions.
You want to be thorough answer, But you need to be concise. Featured snippets are short spaces to answer the searcher’s questions.
To answer why and what type of questions, please include a concluding answer at the beginning or end of the content.
Optimize list content
Listicles are very popular and an effective way to get answer boxes.
Featured snippets of the list display bulleted or numbered lists on the results page. They are great for “best” and “how to” searches. Through the list, searchers can get quick and easy-to-understand answers.
For example, this is a Bulleted list of digital marketing certification:
Some simple structuring techniques optimize the posts to display them as featured snippets. This is how it is done:
- use correctly title And format: The H1 tag of the title should describe the content of the article and match the target query as much as possible. Each step in the list should have an H2 tag.
- Use HTML list elements: In this case, set the title of the list to H2, and set each list item to H3. Use HTML List Elements (UL) to wrap your list items.
- Use list elements and named anchors: Extend the above technique by adding anchor links to each list item.
- Use the operating method architecture: The how-to architecture is a form of structured data that clearly tells Google that your content contains a list. It also allows you to specify what the steps are.
2. Improve internal links on important pages
Internal link Play an important role in SEO and user experience. They build a hierarchy for the site, help visitors navigate the site, and spread link juice between your pages. Descriptive anchor text and internal links can help Google better understand the content of the page.
Internal links also help to show the contextual relationship between the two pages. Search engines are beginning to understand that the first page is related to the second page. This establishes page relevance.
You want to create a strategy to add contextual links to the most important pages-pages on your website for the main keywords. They usually have the most backlinks from external websites.
List popular pages based on your strategic focus.Then, create Subject group By identifying relevant content. You want to link all kinds of related content back to the homepage. This shows that the homepage is the most authoritative.
An effective way to track and manage internal links is to use internal link reports Google Search Console. It tells the total number of internal links and the top internal link page. If you are implementing your strategy, your most important pages will be at the top. When you click on a page, you can drill down to see a list of all other pages that link to that page.
3. Check for orphaned content
Orphaned content is a page that does not have any internal contextual links from other pages. It is difficult for search engines to find isolated content. It can be accessed through the site map, but not when the site is crawled by a search engine.
Therefore, the ranking of isolated pages is usually not very good. Visitors are also more difficult to find them, and overall engagement is lower.
Going forward, make it part of the content creation process, adding links to new posts immediately after publishing. When you publish a post, add the link to some older posts to make sure it is not isolated.
How to create SEO-friendly content (the ultimate checklist for 2021)
How do you create engaging and SEO friendly content from scratch? We have identified 12 key steps that need to be taken to optimize your copy for users and search engines. Use this guide to plan the entire process-from keyword research to copy optimization and content review. Download your free SEO writing checklist.
4. Add alternate text and captions to pictures
Optimize your image Can greatly improve your SEO performance. Google looks at various factors to understand the subject of the image and its role in the content. One of the most important variables for image replacement text.
Alternate text is a written description of an image, intended to help people who cannot see the visual effect. Google uses alt text to better understand your images and related keywords. If used properly, alt text can help your image rank in Google Images, thereby driving high-quality traffic to your website.
Let’s see some Good and bad examples from Google:
Note how examples of bad images omit alternate text or overfill keywords. The better examples clearly identify the subject of the image, while the best examples use relevant keywords and describe the action.
Although the titles did not get much attention, they were included in all images. They do not directly affect SEO, but they help improve the visitor experience. When customers spend more time on your website, they will show Google that your content is valuable.
In addition, search engines crawl the title, which provides another opportunity to include your target keywords to make the image more relevant to the priority search terms.
5. Use keywords strategically
Google relies on the included Key words To determine whether your content is relevant to the query.The most important place to include keywords is title And title. If possible, include them in the first few hundred words. Many SEO experts believe that Google pays more attention to the beginning of the content. (This makes sense, because the reader is the same.)
Your content should include a healthy combination of primary terms, secondary keywords, and any related keywords. The main keyword is the main focus of the content. Secondary keywords are variations of the main keywords. Related keywords are terms related to the context of the content. For example, if you write a post about the phrase “how does baseball work,” the words baseball glove, batter and pitcher will be related keywords.
6. Enable comments
Many people give up allowing comments because they think they provide little SEO value. Others want to avoid reviewing comments, including spam.
I don’t recommend giving up Annotation For several reasons. First, Google employees themselves stated that comments can have a positive impact on SEO, as shown in this tweet by Google’s Gary Illyes:
This makes sense. When people participate in comments, it increases the average time on the site, showing Google that they like the content and consider it valuable.
After enabling comments, you must assume the responsibility for review. Avoid posting spam or useless comments, and reply to almost all comments left by visitors.
7. Improve readability and usability
If your content is difficult to read, it is unlikely that many people will stick to it.You can avoid this by optimizing readability. Communicate ideas in a concise and clear way. Here are some simple methods:
- Use short words: Words with fewer syllables are easier to read.
- Use short sentences: Like words, longer sentences are more difficult to read. Break down longer ideas into several shorter sentences. Keep sentences no more than one thought.
- Use clear language: avoid jargon. Choose words and phrases that laymen will understand.
Today, a lot Readability evaluator You can score your content based on how easy your text is to read. Some difficult areas are highlighted so that you can quickly improve the text quality.
In addition to readability, you also want to optimize the usability of your website. Visitors should be able to see and browse your content clearly on any device. Take advantage of elements such as headings, images, bold text, short paragraphs, and bullets.
A quick way to check page availability is to check your website’s Core Web Vitals report In Google Search Console. Each URL is rated as poor, in need of improvement, or suitable for desktop and mobile devices.
Google also provides steps to solve the problem. After making the changes, you can ask Google to verify the fix and verify that the issue has been resolved.
Optimize search and visitor experience
By following these seven tips, your quality content is more likely to be found by Google and clicked by searchers. But this requires continuous work, whether it’s reviewing the comment section or adding alternate text and captions to each image, you must work to make it pay off in a higher ranking.
Featured related content:
Please note: All the tools mentioned in this article are from the author. Feel free to include other tools (from your company or tools you have used) in the comments.
Cover image courtesy of Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute