You write content for the user, not for the search engine. It makes sense, right? After all, the user is the reader you want to reach so badly. But you should not underestimate the importance of the search engine: your target audience can find that great content from you through Search Engines. Writing good content does not only mean that you have all your d’s and t’s in order. No, it is also essential that your content should be easy to find. Preferably in Google, but we also calculate well in Bing or DuckDuckGo.
Many entrepreneurs (let’s say, many marketers too) only optimize their texts for the SEO channel after writing. It’s a waste of your time because you do double work. Moreover, this approach often results in an unnatural text. Take SEO with you from the beginning of your content development, and you will notice that your texts will benefit from it, without your reader having to suffer. This blog will tell you how to give SEO-optimized content in 5 steps. Let’s dive in!
Of course, you already know on which subject you are going to create content. After all, you are the expert in your field. But maybe that can put you a bit stuck in the jargon with your thoughts. You are no longer aware of how the ordinary layman (read: your target group) talks.
Therefore, it is wise to link your topic to search terms that you are sure people will use in Google.
You can determine in several ways which search terms are actually used. Sure, you can use your creative mind to twist for a little while, but it can also be simpler. There are many helpful SEO tools on the market that give you endless suggestions for similar search terms. For instance:
– Ahrefs (paid)
– Keywordtool.io (free if you use it for inspiration)
– Keyword Surfer (Free)
Google Keyword Planner (only available if you’re running a Google Ads campaign)
If you let these tools work equally hard, you will get a list of relevant search terms that you can use for your topic. Step one completed!
This is about the focus of your text-in-development. Which search terms most used: [Backlinks], [Niche edit links] or [Guest posting]? It is relevant to know this because you can determine the focus search term and the sub search terms with that knowledge. Google is a semantic search engine: the algorithm is smart, so you no longer have to create a separate page for all similar variations of a concept.
Delivering a complete page where a subject is discussed in depth is more important than varying pieces of the puzzle. That’s where the sub-search terms come into play: they provide variation in and completeness of your piece of content.
Tip: put the focus and sub search terms at the top of the document in which you are going to write the text, possibly with the search volumes behind it. Keep your eyes on the prize!
There are numerous ways to find out what keyword variants are most popular. Via Ahrefs’ paid Keyword Explorer functionality, for example. This tool returns estimated search volumes per month.
Fortunately, there are also free tools on the market. With Google Trends, you can gain insight into the relative relationship between the search terms. Here you do not know the exact search volumes, but you know which word choice is preferred by Google users.
The free Chrome extension Keyword Surfer also returns an estimated search volume per month while googling.
The way to ensure that your content is and remains successfully findable is to answer the question of the googler in detail. Search engines are well able to measure whether a piece of content meets the needs of the user. Is that the case? Then your content will slowly but surely move up on the search results page. Does the text not give the reader what he wants? Then this content will become less easy to find. So try to really add value with your content.
To find out the underlying questions that a user tries to get answered when he goggles on [What are backlinks], you can, of course, dust off your expertise and be inspired by it. But a free tool such as Answer the Public can also be of service. This suggestion tool provides you with a whole bunch of questions people have. With this inspiration in your pocket, you can fully cover a topic and give the visitors exactly what they want to know. Because that’s what you want when you google something, don’t you?
Nobody is alone in their industry. (Unfortunately, it would be friendly and easy.) You always have to deal with competition if they are smart, and also bet on SEO and good content. It’s not a bad idea to peek at your colleagues on the search results page. Not to do the same, but to do it better. After all, you have to surpass them in quality to surpass them in rankings.
Search for your focus search term yourself. For the most reliable search results, Google anonymously in incognito mode. You can ignore the advertisements. They play a completely different game than SEO.
View the organic search results that Google shows for your focus search term and analyze your competitors. What kind of content is being shared? What is the type of page that scores well? (Think of product pages, blogs or landing pages, for example .) Which synonyms are used, and how extensively do your competitors go into the topic? So try to find out what your competitors in the top 5 of Google are doing well and set yourself the goal to do that just that little bit better.
You can see that number one has conquered a featured snippet with a numbered list in the example above. That makes Google happy about this topic. You also see that videos are quickly shown. That is also an interesting format when it comes to Backlinks. Tada: Already two interesting insights, and you haven’t even had to click on any of the search results yet!
Make sure that you do not simply copy what your competitors have done. If you don’t put something better than the rest, you will never win. Sounds logical, right? Unique content and a unique brand that’s what works in the long term. Therefore always start from your brand, mission and USPs.
Based on the above insights (and based on your substantive expertise about weeds), you work out the page structure. For example, use the type of page and content that works well on the search results page, such as a blog with many visuals and a numbered step-by-step plan.
First, put down the skeleton of the text before building a body around it. Determine the paragraph format based on the different user questions around the topic of your choice. Your subheadings must then ensure that the text is easily scannable: so don’t keep it vague, but let us know via the paragraph heading which question you answer in the paragraph that follows. Subheadings are also a great place to return your focus and sub-search terms. Your focus search term should certainly not be missing from the title of the piece. By this, we mean both the H1 title and the page title. By first determining the page’s structure, you ensure that you have some guidance while writing and use the insights gained.
Now you have laid a good foundation for findable content. Time to really get into writing! Now build qualitative content that adds value and shows your expertise and Authority.
It is a myth that content that is good for the search engine is bad for the user and vice versa. Writing good, findable content is about a natural balance. The easiest way to find this is by combining the interests of the search engine and the user from the start, as you do with these five steps.
With this step-by-step plan, we have (hopefully) given you concrete tools for writing good content. The most important thing, which you should always keep in mind, is that you can only start writing when you know what your ideal customer is looking for. After all, you don’t give answers in a conversation before the question has been asked.
Are you inspired to get started with good content? SearchCombat is happy to help you with your content marketing. Contact us to skyrocket your SEO ranking.