Have you ever published a piece of content that you were proud of, but didn’t seem to get any traffic or results? One of the most common questions that content creators ask themselves is: “How can I create content that has a good SEO ranking and can easily be found in a Google Search?”
Although I can’t tell you all the complexities and ins and outs of Google’s search algorithm, I can tell you that there are a number of things that you can do to help your content have a higher ranking. Here’s how to get your content to rank from start to finish:
What to Do Before You Create Your Content:
Stop! Don’t even start to type up your article. There are vital steps you need to take before creating your content. How you plan your content is going to affect how it ranks in Google.
One of Google’s goals is to provide quality content and helpful search results to its users. If Google doesn’t consider your content to be “high-quality,” you’ll be in trouble. Additionally, those who do visit your content will be highly disappointed if the content doesn’t answer their needs or questions. Poor content will significantly hurt your website’s reputation and trustworthiness.
So what is considered “high-quality” content?
Ask yourselves the following questions in the planning stage of your content creation to ensure you’re on the right track:
- Does my content answer a question or solve a problem my audience has?
- Why would people care about this piece of content?
- Is my content relevant to what people are searching for?
Another important question to ask yourself is how long your content will be. Make sure your content is a good length. Studies show that the average post listed on the first page of Google Search results is 2,000 words long. So the more detailed your content is, the better! Think about it: are people going to be happier with 3 tips on designing their home or 20?
After careful content planning, you’ll be well on your way.
Don’t Forget to Research Google Keyword Rankings
After planning, you’re STILL not ready to start writing (but you’re almost there). You need to research Google keyword rankings, and the queries that your audience is going to be searching for. Use keyword research tools like SEM Rush and Google Keyword Planner to find important keyword search terms people are using. (If you aren’t sure how to do this, I suggest reading one of our recent articles about keyword research that goes more into depth with this).
Implementing keywords that have high search volume and low competition will BOOST your content’s SEO ranking. This is one of the most critical steps in getting your content to rank. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP. Knowing your keywords before you write your content will make implementing them much easier.
What to Do When Writing Your Content:
Okay, now I give you permission to start writing your relevant, interesting, life-changing piece of content. Keep in mind that your content needs to be easy to read. Avoid writing novel paragraphs that take up half the page.The best content has short paragraphs that are 3-5 lines long.
As you’re writing your content, look for ways to add your keywords. This DOES NOT mean throwing your keywords in as much as you can. If you overuse your keywords and use them in a way that doesn’t make sense to your readers, you’ll be “keyword stuffing” your content. Google will actually penalize you for that. You’ve been warned.
But, when you use keywords right, Google will give your content a high SEO ranking. The best way to implement keywords in your piece is to include your keywords in your content title, meta title, meta description, the page URL, subheadings, and alt image texts. Also, use your keywords in the first and last paragraph of your content, and add them as much as you can throughout your article without sounding over-repetitive and awkward.
There’s one more thing you can do to show Google you are a trustworthy and reliable source on the web. As you write, look for opportunities to add internal and external links.
Internal links are links that will link to another page or post on your website. When you hyperlink a word or phrase to relevant content, it will make it easier for visitors to navigate around your site. Doing this will increase your website’s “stickiness,” meaning that visitors will stay at your website longer and have better page view duration times.
Next, add external links to relevant, trustworthy websites and sources. Don’t avoid adding external links because you fear you’ll drive your traffic away. Your content’s SEO ranking will be rewarded for quality links.
What to Do After You’ve Published Your Content
After you publish your content, don’t expect it to immediately jump up and rank in the Top 10 in Google Search. It might take a few weeks or months before you see the results you want.
As time goes on, your content’s google keyword ranking is going to fluctuate up and down. There are a few things you can do to ensure your content continues to rank.
First, do outreach and ask quality websites to link to your content. There are many ways how to ask websites to display and link to content (but that’s another time). Just know that the more websites that link to your content, the more Google will recognize it as a trustworthy, relevant, and quality source.
Finally, the last piece of advice I have is DON’T STOP POSTING. According to HubSpot, marketers who are consistent with blogging are 13 times more likely to get a positive ROI! Posting once every quarter or only a few times a year isn’t going to cut it. Google wants to show websites that are always updating their content and are relevant.Thus, after you’ve published your content, start planning your next piece. Creating a content post calendar can help you have a long-term plan for your website. Consistently publishing quality content will greatly improve your SEO ranking and will build Google’s trust in your website.
And there you have it! If you implement these simple tactics when you’re planning, creating, and publishing your article, your content is going to get a high ranking in Google. This is just scratching the surface of all the benefits of content marketing, so be sure to check out our other articles to go more into depth.