Let’s say you have created some content for your website. It is something that you want to talk about, it is important, and it will be useful to your audience. There are over 90 SEO metrics that may be useful for your website to rank well. You cannot wing it. You need to understand how your content affects those metrics.
You can hire SEO consultancy firms to improve your content. Or, let’s start discussing the most important changes you need to make with your content.
Improve Your Metadata
Metadata tells search engines and your audiences what they are looking at. It is the famous ‘tell them what you are going to tell them’ in speechmaking. Here are the following forms of metadata you need to pay attention to.
Title and Subheadings
Your title should have the primary keyword for your article. Use question words like How, What, Where to attract the audience. Another successful way is to use quantifiers like Top 3 or Top 5 ways to do something.
Your subheadings should include the secondary keywords for your article. It isn’t easy at first, so here is my suggestion. Use your secondary keywords to create headings in your word editor. Then create your content around those headings. Instead of relevant keywords in your content, fill content for your keywords.
Meta Description and First Paragraph
This is the snippet that is visible under your URL in search results. This description should have the primary keyword but should not be the same as the title. It needs to complement it, add to it.
The first paragraph has to be modified to include some key information. Google now uses the first paragraph as a preview for first rank results. It needs to give the audience something, with a promise that there is more to come.
Any content is incomplete without infographics, and an infographic is incomplete without a caption. A proper caption allows search engines to recognize what the infographic is about. If it is useful, the infographic boosts your performance.
Go Beyond 1500 Words
This 1500 number is not set in stone, but it is my recommendation. It would help if you tried to cross it. Google prefers longer content in the current Meta. Here are the reasons for going for longer, but fewer articles might be the best decision for your website.
Detail-Oriented and Expert-level content
Two thousand words or more allow you to provide expert opinions, defend them, and give your audience a lot of new information. The modern educated audience needs explicit content, not a cursory look over a topic. Of course, this does not apply to entertainment articles.
More Secondary Keywords
More, the merrier. Longer content means you can also tackle more secondary keywords. Your one article will rank better because Google will recognize the clump of related keywords. It prefers to direct the search results to such hubs of information.
Make and Follow a Checklist
This one piece of advice is going to change everything for you. Use sticky notes to write down every property your content needs to have. After every draft, go through the checklist, analyze your content, and edit accordingly. Here is what you need to put into your checklist.
Be Your Critic
Your content has to be useful, usable, desirable, valuable, findable, accessible, and credible, among other things. But let’s be honest, we write freely, assuming our content is what it needs to be.
Write down all those criteria on it. Ask questions about each criterion, ‘Is my content valuable?’
If a portion of your content fails to fulfil any criteria, take it out. Add something which does. And thank me later.
Here is my belief, most information can be presented in the form of an infographic. It can be a collection of secondary keywords or be a conclusion of your article. You don’t need to be a graphic designer, and you don’t need to hire one to make them.
For example, Microsoft Visio is easy to learn and quick to use. You can make simple flowcharts or diagrams which will push your article’s rank significantly.
Optimize Your URL
Make sure your URL is short and has the primary keyword. Hyphens are also preferred over underscores. Lowercase URLs also perform better.
Add Internal Links
Beginner web admins can miss opportunities to link their existing content with the new content. Take a rough overview of your article and already published work. Add links in your new content that direct to your previous content and vice versa.
This linking helps search engines understand your content better and helps your users navigate to other useful information.
Know this, creating SEO-friendly content is an art form. It takes persistence, self-analysis, failed attempts, and skill to succeed. Develop your skills, work hard consistently, and you will get there. I believe in you!