Content is King. You can have the best advertising budget in the world, but no amount of money can compete with having good content and the key to making that content work is that it has to have value.
Your content should satisfy your user. It should give them all the information they need without any extra fluff or distraction. When you start to evaluate your content, start with the keyword theme you identified in Part 1.
The value of your content can be determined many ways and Google uses a mix of utility, trust, authority and user experience to decide if your content is worthy of ranking. In addition to satisfying your customer, the content should also help build links, improve user engagement, and protect against further algorithmic changes.
So how do you create value? You have to start with intent.
Figuring Out Intent
This is usually where people stumble. They find their keywords and then they start creating content without understanding what people are actually looking for with that keyword. That is what’s known as intent and guessing at intent is like throwing something at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Google wants to give people search results that answer their questions so if you aren’t satisfying intent, you are likely to not rank for long. Thankfully, it is surprisingly easy to start decoding intent.
- What pages are already ranking?
- What are the common elements on the page? (Photos, videos, shopping, etc.)
- What does Google list as related searches?
Google has already done the legwork for you. They know what keywords work in search. For instance, if you search for “chocolate cake,” you could write a blog about chocolate cake or you could write a blog about “chocolate frosting” or “best additions to your chocolate cake” based around the related searches.
Use that first page of the Google search result for your keyword to determine what you should focus on. Is it blogs? Is it photos? Is it shopping?
Create content around what Google is already showing first and go from there. Don’t forget to dive into the search results and see what the content is.
But wait! It isn’t just good enough to copy the form of the high-ranking pages, what you want is to be the last click.
What is the Last Click?
You want to be the best result for your keyword query. It sounds really simple, but everyone is jockeying for that position so you’ll have some stiff competition. We can help you increase your position in search results.
Be the Last Click.
The last click is the last search result people need. It’s the one that answers all their questions and ensures that they don’t need to go somewhere else to fill in any gaps. In this case, you don’t need to be the first result they click on, you just need to be the last.
So how do you become the last click?
- Match the form and style of the user intent
- Provide the most complete information
- Be an authority
Offer a better and/or more unique experience. Think elements like design, speed, UX (user experience).
After you’ve tackled intent, move on to completeness.
Completeness is More Important than Length
A lot of people in SEO talk about length. There is a misunderstanding that length is more important than the content of the article and that might have been true in the early days of the internet but isn’t the case anymore.
What you want more than long content, is complete content and complete content is content that does the following:
- Completely fulfills the searcher’s intent (Emphasis on being the last click)
- Gives supporting evidence
- Answers related questions to the original query
- Gives the user reason to trust the information and is authoritative
- Gives the user supplemental content to support the main content
Because Google is constantly trying to figure out what your content is about and more complete content satisfied users more frequently, having more complete content will help you rank better on Google.
How Does Google Figure Out What Content is About?
Google deploys a lot of tactics like Natural Language Processing, phras-based indexing and machine learning to figure out what your content is about. You can make this easier on them by doing the following.
- Focusing on your primary keyword and adding it to your title, URL, page title, main content of the page, and to images or video alt text.
- Using the words in your secondary topics/keywords research in the main content of your page.
- Add related questions where applicable into their own content sections.
- Include images and videos as supplemental content to satisfy users
- Link out to resources when you can’t adequately cover a topic area.
Ideally you want to link internally to your own pages wherever possible but outbound links can help grow your content too. You want to be the last click and you want users to get the answers from you, even if that answer comes in the form of a link.
How to Judge Authority
The authority of your site is an important aspect of ranking. Think of these key things as you are creating content:
- Would you trust the content?
- Is the content written by someone who knows the content well?
- Does the site have redundant articles?
- Is the content free from spelling and style errors?
- Was the content produced well?
Answering these questions can help you make sure your content signals to Google that it is authentic and authoritative.