Content creation is one of the surest ways to drive traffic. Because of this, content that ranks high in search results is a priority for any business or website owner.
Firstly, for content to reach the top of the results page, it needs to be tailored to your reader’s needs or problems. You should provide useful information and possible solutions while avoiding fillers that don’t bring value to your copy.
Secondly, you need to follow the best content creation practices while keeping in mind the periodic updates that Google is getting.
In this guide, we will show you exactly how to do that.
The May 2020 Google update brought considerable changes to the algorithm, causing shifts in rankings for many websites across all industries.
That is considered a “core” update as it impacts a lot of sites and it revises what Google considers “high quality” content and how it responds to search queries.
Currently, the industries most affected by this update are Travel, Real Estate and Health. Based on the most recent shifts in rankings, some trends have been spotted.
To illustrate these trends, let’s take a look at 5 tips for creating content that ranks high in search results while taking into account the most recent Google update.
1. Publish Lengthier Content
Publishing content that’s larger in size will work to your advantage if your copy is not lengthened artificially. Google prefers longer articles as they tend to gather more likes and mentions on social media.
Knowing this, it’s safe to assume that texts with a higher word count will perform better in rankings. The optimal content length is 2000 words.
According to a ranking factors study by SEMrush, lengthier copy usually gathers more backlinks and performs better than short blog posts in terms of shareability. The top 3 ranking domains have content that’s 45% lengthier on average than the domain in the 20th position.
With list posts being some of the most popular types of content, an easy way of making your post longer is by adding more items.
Another thing you can do is dive deeper into the subject you’re writing about while making sure that all the information you give brings value to your reader.
Here are a few things you can try:
- Make your content actionable
- Provide examples that fit your subject
- Offer relevant research and cite your sources
- Put yourself in the reader’s shoes to see if there’s anything missing
Don’t try to lengthen your post by adding irrelevant information. This can do more harm than good since it can bore the reader.
Additionally, you can try to do both. You can add more items to your list while also going into greater detail for each item.
2. Make Posts Comfortable To Read
Making a post easy to read is very important. Your reader is trading their time in the hopes that you will provide them with something in return.
If the information you provide is not well structured and on point, your reader might consider it not worth their time and leave.
It all comes down to how the content is designed.
You can use the ASMR formula to make sure your posts are easy to follow:
- Annotations. Make your post more engaging by adding notes, sidenotes, blockquotes, and call-out boxes.
- Short sentences and paragraphs. Doing this makes the text easier to follow. You can find the instances where you used transitional words like “and,” “because,” and “that” and break them into shorter statements.
- Multimedia like videos, images, and GIFs. Using these can help you drive your point without adding extra words. This provides your readers with small breaks, which encourages them to keep reading.
- Read your copy out loud. This will help you find the areas where your content doesn’t flow smoothly.
3. Find Niche Topics
People aren’t interested in reading about generic topics.
A post detailing strategies on how to use digital marketing to grow sales in the SaaS industry is likely to do better than a post talking about general digital marketing tips. This is because there’s less competition for niche topics, therefore, they’re easier to rank for.
That is why you need to identify niche topics in your field and create content around those topics.
Here are a few ways to do this:
Let’s say you create content related to cars. Using the keyword “cars” in the Quora search bar will reveal that people would like to know when they can expect self-driving cars to be available to consumers. That’s a great idea for a post!
Google’s suggestions can work in the same way. It will provide you with suggestions on what other people search for and help you give your readers what they’re looking for.
Wikipedia’s table of contents and “see also” section
Wikipedia can be used in a similar way. You can search for a topic and you’ll get suggestions based on that topic. For example, a search for “digital marketing” will reveal that people would also be interested in “Digital Marketing channels in the sharing economy.”
Research what your competitors are writing about. This can help you see what works and what doesn’t, and help you plan accordingly.
Any SEO software like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or MOZ will work for this. Just research the keyword you want to use, and you’ll get more suggestions on the type of content that your readers want.
4. Create a Table Of Contents
One of the tenets of content writing is that a reader’s time is precious.
That is why, when reading something, we’re always checking to see if what we’re looking for is there. If it’s not, we leave.
That’s where the table of contents comes in.
Offering the reader a clear breakdown of what the post contains will help them decide if your article has what they need. In case it does, they can easily navigate to that section.
Once they start reading, your copy should convince them to read the rest naturally.
Creating a table of contents will also improve user experience and is something that your readers will appreciate.
It’s way easier to go straight to the part of a post that interests you, rather than having to go through the whole article in the hopes that it has what you need.
5. Update Old Content
Update your old content religiously. This is now almost a requirement for ranking high on Google. Freshness is a very important ranking factor, therefore updating old posts with better and authoritative information can boost traffic drastically.
That became apparent after the most recent Google update. From a pool of 641 sites that are updating old content daily, 187 sites saw an increase in their traffic of 10% or more, according to NeilPatel.com.
Updating old content convinces Google that your post from 3 years ago is still relevant and worth recommending to readers. This makes updating your old content a crucial practice if you want your content to rank high in searches.
In conclusion, ranking on Google is about driving more traffic, engagement, and increasing your bottom line.
That’s why writing compelling content that gives readers what they’re looking for is so important.
Furthermore, being aware of the changes that happen in Google’s algorithm is equally important since it will help you stay on top of your game, thus increasing your chances of ranking high in searches.
Additionally, you can also use a website content writing service if you prefer expert writing without the hassle of doing it yourself.
Try implementing these tips next time you write an article, and keep an eye out on how it influences your site’s ranking.