5 Steps to Create Winning SEO Content That Gets More Visibility in the Search Results
You want your website to rank. And content is a huge part of that. But how do you go about creating winning SEO content — content that will help you gain more visibility in the search results? I’m here to show you how in five steps:
- Do Keyword Research
- Study the SERPs
- Silo Your Website
- Create Content in Accordance with E-A-T
- Optimize to Meet or Beat the Competition
1. Do Keyword Research
The first step is to understand what search terms your target audience uses when they search for what you offer. Keyword research gives you clarity on this.
- Brainstorm a list of words and phrases you believe describes what you have to offer.
- Use a keyword research tool to analyze that list and discover more terms that may be useful.
- Refine your list based on things like how often the queries are used and what the competition is for those queries (focusing on higher search volume and lower competition). Note that some lower volume words may have a very high ROI for you so keeping high return and high converting words is good. But the other words may not help as much.
- Talk to your PPC team to find out the top 20% of exact match keywords that have the greatest conversion rates. Also ask about negative keywords so you will know what keywords suffer from ambiguity (query deserves diversity) issues.
- Query each selected keyword and analyze the competition for those target keywords. If they offer what you offer, you are headed in the right direction. Take any new keywords the well ranked competitors discuss as these may need to be sprinkled throughout your content.
For more, see:
2. Study the SERPs
Once you know your target keywords, it’s time to start analyzing the search engine results page for each term. This helps you understand what type of content is ranking for the term. For instance, are the results primarily transactional or informational? It makes a big difference for your content strategy.
Also, do you see videos and images? Featured snippets? A knowledge panel? You’ll want to note these SERP elements. This helps you create a roadmap for the type of content you need to create for each query.
For more, see: How to Use the Search Results for Key SEO Research
3. Silo Your Website
SEO siloing is a way to organize your website content within distinct sections in a hierarchy. The goal is to make a site relevant for a search query so that it has a better chance of ranking.
In fact, Google wants website publishers to have a well-organized website, and that’s one of the things SEO siloing achieves. If you don’t believe me, just check out this quote from Google’s SEO Starter Guide:
Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure. Make sure all of the pages on your site are reachable through links, and that they don’t require an internal “search” functionality to be found. Link to related pages, where appropriate, to allow users to discover similar content.
And for search queries that Google calls “your money or your life” terms in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (think finance, health, etc.), siloing is critical.
For more, see:
4. Create Content in Accordance with E-A-T
You want to be sure your website passes the Google quality test. As part of that, your website needs to exude expertise, authority and trust as outlined in the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
Your content and the website as a whole should be created by experts in your subject. This one recommendation goes a long way toward establishing your site as a trustworthy authority on the topic.
For more, see: The Complete Guide to the Fundamentals of Google’s E-A-T
5. Optimize to Meet or Beat the Competition
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: SEO should beat the competition, not the algorithm. That means looking at Page 1 of the search results and really digging into the competitors that are ranking.
You’ll want to understand things at the page level such as:
- What type of content it is
- How many words on the page for ranking
- Optimal meta information
- Other on- and off-page factors (use our SEO checklist)
SEO tools can get you this information faster, but you’ll still need to do some manual analysis.
For more, see:
- Want Customized SEO Advice per Keyword? There’s a Plugin for That!
- How a WordPress Plugin Can Help You Optimize Your Content with Keywords
- SEOToolSet Multi-Page Analyzer (tool)
Bonus: Structure the Content
Creating website content is about balancing your visitors’ needs with that of the search engines. In doing so, you have the opportunity to create a good user experience and to rank better in the search results.
So for this bonus tip, I want to highlight ways you can further optimize your webpages using structured data and structuring the page itself:
- Also known as schema, structured data is a technical SEO practice that clarifies to the search engine what type of information is on the page.
- On the other hand, how you structure the visitor-facing content on the webpage can make it more readable for visitors and more understandable to Google. Getting this right could mean ranking for featured snippets.
For more, see: