In order to have continual SEO success, publishing killer content is the best way to build links.
Having unique, relevant content with the intent of ranking for specific keywords will rank your website higher than content that does not satisfy searcher intent.
As much as content and SEO work well together, they can cause Google penalties that are near impossible to recover from if not properly in sync.
The purpose of this blog is to help you understand the value of content that is of high quality, what it means for SEO, and how it can improve your business.
So let’s get started.
What is Content?
Every marketer has their own definition of ‘what content means.’
TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden was able to gather a few quotes from marketers around the world on what their definition of ‘content’ is.
Sarah Webster Worsham (Facebook) said, “Content is something that provides information to the viewer/reader/etc. Good content provides value.”
Sarah describes content as information and how it can be useful to its intended audience, if done correctly.
Content comes in all different types of formats such as audio, text, video, photo, etc.
And more often than not, you will find a lot of bad content on the internet that doesn’t provide any type of relevance or usefulness to what the reader is looking for.
As you can, see there many types of digital content – so what exactly is its value to SEO?
The SEO Value of Content
With Google’s ever-changing algorithms, it’s imperative that you make an effort to deliver useful and relevant results as fast as possible.
There are two things that can affect how your content shows up in search results:
- Behavioral Analysis: How Google tracks user behavior on the internet.
- Quality Raters: People who get paid to review Google’s search results
With the impact humans have on search engine rankings and content consumption, it’s important to create content that meets both technical and human requirements.
Content is ranked by the order of usefulness and relevancy to the user performing the search.
Your content needs to be beneficial to searchers in order to have any SEO value.
In order to make sure your content is beneficial for Google, let’s take a look at the technical consideration for how to evaluate the SEO value of content.
Before you start writing, you should know which keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Knowing which keywords you’re optimizing for will allow you to find natural opportunities to include them in your content.
It will also keep you from rewriting your content by adding keywords after the fact.
Keyword Choice (Intent)
When deciding on which keywords to rank for, be realistic about your ability to rank.
If you’re using SEO to drive organic traffic to your website, make sure you’re doing it the right way in order to drive traffic that will help increase your business.
Choosing keywords with high search volume on a brand new website for volume’s sake, won’t help you accomplish important business objectives.
The headline of your page is the first thing people will see when doing a search.
It also tells Google and searchers what your page is about.
Be sure to include the keyword you are trying to rank for within the first 65 characters of the headline. (That’s the character limit before Google cuts it off on search engine results).
If you have a long title, make sure to place the keyword at the beginning.
The main focus in the body of your content should be on writing in a natural way.
Think about how it will help your audience.
Adding keywords in your article is one of the key components in creating SEO value, it shouldn’t be the focus of the article.
Be careful not to “over stuff” your copy with keywords.
Just like the headline of your copy, search engines also look at the URL (or ‘Slug’) to understand what your post is about.
Be sure to include the keyword used in your headline in the URL to maximize SEO value.
A Google SERP snippet can help convince searchers to click and read through your content, so make sure that you write an optimized description in your meta data.
When you’re trying to evaluate the SEO value of a piece of content, inbound and navigational links play a vital role.
The key to link building is obtaining links of value, not just to stuff a page with invaluable links.
Reaching out to other marketers and trying to obtain quality links from external pages on trustworthy websites will not only be helpful for your business website, but your audience.
The more quality links from relevant and trusted domain you obtain and link to your site, the higher the SEO value of a piece of content will be.
The Length of Content
In the past, you could write a 250 word blog post and get away with it. But now Google considers articles with under 300 words to be “thin content,” meaning an absence of value.
2,500 words or more is now the ideal length.
Don’t just add words for the sake of reaching a certain word count, though.
Writing 2,000 words of bare minimum content won’t get you anywhere.
When determining quality content, ask yourself:
- Does my content grab the readers attention and tell a story?
- Is it engaging enough?
You want your content to tell a story and answer any questions a reader might have.
Believe it or not, spelling and grammar mistakes matter in search engine rankings.
Not only do they have a negative impact on your rankings, but they also hurt your credibility and can cut your sales in half.
Visual Appealing Content
The best pieces of content on the web contain multiple, original images throughout the copy. If you want better user engagement, use images within your content.
Alt Text & Title Text
Since Google cannot see images the same way that we do, images can be optimized by using keywords in the alt text, title text, and captions.
Alt text should describe the image you are using.
Video Content is one of the most popular types of digital content that we have today. If you want to boost the SEO value of your content, start by sharing a video that complements the topic.
The metrics listed above may be useful for measuring the SEO value of a piece of content, but great content takes time to write, time to rank, and time to achieve your business goals.
Writing content without a purpose behind it is a waste of time, as it will not help improve your SEO.
If your website is struggling to improve its rankings and generate business, sometimes all it takes is writing optimized, unique meta descriptions or updating alt text to provide a visibility boost to Google.
Commit yourself to putting together an audit checklist and creating optimized content on a consistent basis to help reach your SEO goals.