You’ve heard the saying, “content is king.” And it’s true – good content is still key to a successful website.
But what makes good content? How do you create content that ranks on Google and drives business results?
On September 7, I moderated a webinar by Kyle Byers, Director of Organic Search at Semrush.
Byers taught viewers how to write and distribute content that boosts traffic and conversions.
Here is a summary of the webinar. To access the entire presentation, complete the form.
Higher Google Rankings = More Traffic
You can rank well with higher-quality content. This can be observed with Google focusing more on user experience signals like click-through rate, bounce rate, and pogo, among others.
But how much of a difference does that make?
- #1 ranking gets 10x+ the traffic of position #10 for a single keyword.
- Top-ranking content ranks for many more keywords and can bring in 30x+ traffic.
In other words, quality beats quantity when it comes to content in most cases.
If you can bring in 30x as much traffic simply by having a much better article, it’s typically worth putting in that time.
Key #1: Search Intent
Addressing search intent is the most important thing you should focus on with your content.
So what is search intent? In a nutshell, it means giving people what they’re looking for.
First, consider the following content details:
- Format (listicle, how-to-guide, review video).
- Introductory or advanced?
Then, take into account the following factors in SERP analysis:
- Top-ranking pages.
- Featured Snippets.
- People Also Ask Questions + other SERP features.
Key #2: Speed To Value
Get to the point. Don’t waste people’s time.
Some readers want just the basics, while others need in-depth information.
Understand what your audience needs and implement it successfully.
Key #3: Scannable
Readers scan content in an F shape as shown in Nielsen Norman Group’s “F-Shaped” Eye-Tracking Study.
Eyes start at the upper left of the page and move to the right. Then, they jump down a bit and do it once more.
Finally, as they scroll down, they look at only the left side of the content until they see vital phrases or terms that are relevant to them.
So when writing for F-shaped scanning, use the following:
- “Information-carrying words” at the beginning of paragraphs.
- Bullet points.
- Short paragraphs.
- Key phrases in bold within longer paragraphs.
Key #4: Comprehensive Content
Remember that you don’t want your readers to go back to Google. Keep them on your website by making your piece comprehensive.
Do this by:
- Making content actionable.
- Linking to further reading/resources.
- Defining and avoiding jargon for a beginner audience.
- Defining the “job to be done”, or defining what the reader is trying to accomplish and helping them to achieve it.
Key #5: Up-To-Date Content
It’s essential to refresh your content regularly for several reasons:
- Bad user experience for outdated and incorrect information.
- When people stop clicking & referring to it, traffic goes down.
- Search intent changes.
- Google updates.
- New content from competitors.
Key #6: Make Your Audience Talk
When competing against sites with higher Authority Scores, creating an audience that is willing to talk about your content is especially important.
Set up a system that gets people talking about your content so that they’ll share it and spread it, and link back to it.
Make your audience want to talk about your content by:
- Looking at what content and topics your target audience is already talking about.
- Seeing how you can introduce a new angle.
- Proving or disproving a popular point, or providing evidence for business decisions.
- Playing to what journalists are covering – use your content to attach your brand to current trends and stories.
[Slides] 6 Keys To Effective Content That Ranks High On SERPs Right Now
Here’s the presentation:
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