While I was researching material for this post, I came across so many articles with slightly different perspectives on how to write good SEO content, from trusted and respected names in the content marketing and SEO Industry. They all had volumes to say on what makes good SEO content; I’m sure you’ve seen quite a number of these responses in answer to your search queries for how do you write excellent SEO content?
- Data-driven content
- Focused on user intent
- Page links to and from high authority websites
- No keyword stuffing
- Grammatically correct articles
- Mobile-friendly pages
Some lists were quite exhaustive, and if we were to pick the points above one by one, you probably could write an article around each of them. It’s a wonder how anyone can keep all these in mind when creating a SEO article.
In this post, I have summarised all the qualities and rules of good SEO Content writing in a straightforward formula- the G.R.E.A.T formula. Next time you sit down to write a SEO article or blog post, follow the G.R.E.A.T formula, and you’re good to go.
Great simply means
Relevant to user query and search intent
Engaging in style and language
Authoritative- having a high level of expertise and trustworthiness
Thick content that comprehensively covers the subject of the article.
Google compliant SEO content
How do you write SEO articles that are Google compliant?
Stop thinking in terms of Keyword optimization
Before the advent of Penguin and the Panda algorithms, SEO content writing was all about placing as many of your keywords as possible into the body of your text! I sometimes wonder at the readability of a lot of articles created in those days. Nowadays, writing good SEO content goes way beyond keywords and focuses on user intent.I’ll expound more on that when I talk about relevance.
No Backlink is way better than spammy back links.
According to Google having no backlinks or very few backlinks of high quality is way better than getting low-quality backlinks in their hundreds and thousands. You can find out what Google has to say about backlinks and especially what links qualify as spammy links by clicking on the link below.
While backlinks are necessary to improve your overall authority, page rank and trust score; they may not be the only significant factor when it comes to ranking of your blog posts. Other factors come into play too depending on the competition for the keyword you are targeting.It’s usually better to target long tailed keywords with low competition and high search volume If your site doesn’ t have a high DA or trust score.Gradually as you gain more links by building quality content, you can begin to target more competitive keywords in your niche industry.
Buying backlinks to boost your blog post or website authority could hurt you in the long run. Instead, you should target long tailed low competition keywords with a reasonably high volume of search queries.
You can get the complete list on the bad SEO practices that could get your website penalised from this article by Neil Patel.
Relevant to User and Search engines
Based on Google’s definition of high-quality content, we see that relevance is critical to determining how well your SEO article ranks on the SERP. To define content relevance, we will need to look at three parameters.
Relevance to Search queries
Relevance to Search intent
Relevant to Search engines
Must be relevant to search queries
The first significant question to ask would be how do you even find a topic to create a high-quality SEO blog post about? If people are not interested in the subject, no matter how well presented or well crafted it is, you are not likely to get as much audience engagement as you should. Creating SEO content is hard work, and it would be pretty much a wasted effort if you don’t research to find the right topics that are relevant to your audience. You can Find relevant topics by mining information from social media forums like Quora. Find the issues people are talking about in your niche. Join the conversation, and you’ll probably get a few ideas for your next blog post.
Must be relevant to user intent
Let’s suppose you are writing an article on how to make your first business presentation; it’s evident that the persons you would target are newbie salespersons or entrepreneurs with no experience in making public presentations. Someone speaking for the first time probably has a level of apprehension, and your article should cover as much of the topics below and more, to capture their search intent.
- They probably want tips on how to introduce themselves properly.
- They would wish to have suggestions on how to conquer their nervousness
- They most definitely would want to know how to start the presentation- what icebreakers to use etc
- They may be interested in a few real experiences where people had similar challenges and how they were able to overcome their anxiety.
The Keywords everywhere tool is a useful resource that can help you create content that exhaustively covers user intent.
Must be relevant to search engines
Now that you’ve created a relevant blog article, how do you intend to get it to the first page on search engines, preferably among the coveted number 1-3 position where your readers can find it.This is where Search engine optimisation for the search bots comes in. To get the article indexed by search engines you need to present it in a format that allows for easy crawling and indexing.
- You started your research based on a query- how to make your first presentation. Now what you need to do is optimise your meta titles, meta descriptions, headings and subheadings with this query and variations of it.
- Make sure your page title is clear
- You would also need to look at your mobile friendliness which is crucial because too slow a page leads to bad user experience, and we all know Google frowns on lousy user experience).
- Next, optimise your images. Make sure to add alt texts and use compressed images.
- Craft search-friendly URLs.The ideal URL is short and does not contain numbers or symbols like underscore, %, etc. You can find more tips on how to SEO your article in my post content writing tips for beginners, how to create content that ranks.
Create engaging content
Engaging content is content that has a high click-through rate and low bounce rate. Other telling features of engaging content includes likes, comments( this may not be totally true as some articles may spark negative comments), shares on social media etc.
For content to engage, it must first capture the user’s interest. Follow the guide below to write engaging content.
- Use captivating meta descriptions: Bear in mind that meta descriptions are not really for the search engines as Google has been known to change meta descriptions of website content based on what it feels serves a query best. Meta descriptions are for your audience, and a good description would generate a higher CTR.
- The mode of presentation of your SEO content should be appealing such that the person reading it does not get bored and is not overwhelmed with information. Break up the page into subheadings or multiple pages if the content is quite long. Use anchors to divide the page into subtopics to allow for easy navigation.This would help a reader who is interested in certain parts of the information you present, navigate to those parts easily. Generally, if the content on your page is more than 2500 words, it would be a good idea to use anchors or page breaks.
- Use visuals that are relevant to the topic and your style of presentation.
- Use videos and infographics to provide a richer user experience and increase the time spent on your site.
- Actively encourage shares, likes, and comments on your blog posts.
- Post your content to social media forums and promote or boost your post to reach a wider audience.
Engaging content would lead to higher CTR and more social shares which signal to Google that the blog post is of high-quality. It’s a case of cause-effect; it’s not the number of shares that lead to websites ranking higher on the net, the shares are only an indication of the quality of content as far as Google is concerned.
A- authority and expertise :
What’s your level of expertise or authority on the topic? The level of experience that goes into creating the content and the credibility of the source is fundamental in getting your human and robot audience to trust the information you present. In a situation like the one above, your audience is more likely to believe your article and read through if you have experience in presenting to audiences or if your business is related to making business presentations. The same thing goes for the search engines.
Does this mean you cannot create articles on a topic unless you are an expert? Generally, your items are more likely to rank on the first page for a problem, If you have a high level of expertise, authority and trustworthiness on that topic( EAT). Let’s see what Google has to say about this: According to Google’s definition of quality for various web content forms, there are some topics where an expert or authority in that field is necessary before it could be classified as high-quality article and rank as such. Such issues are referred to as your money your life articles (YMYL). Google classifies YMYL articles into six categories :
Information on scientific topics or research
Financial advice, legal advice, tax advice
Information on home remodelling, renovations and other advice that involves spending a substantial amount of money.
Specific hobbies or interests that require some level of hands on experience e.g playing a musical instrument
What this means is that to create quality content on YMYL topics where life, money, property is involved or where a high level of accuracy and expertise is required, you have to be an authority or expert in that field. There are some exceptions, though, and a major one is a life experience. Google content quality policies allow for sound first-person expertise as long as it is accurately written and is documented as such. Forums or blogs where people share personal experiences on YMYL topics are deemed as having a high level of EAT. Three ways in which you can show expertise if you are not a subject matter authority are:
- Have good first hand experience on a topic
- If you gain an interview from an authority on that topic
- If you quote authority sources to back up your article.
The last quality to remember is content comprehensiveness. To write a good SEO article, you must completely cover the topic you are writing about. Based on what Google has to say about this, there is no ideal length for an article. The perfect length of an article would depend on what the topic intends to cover, which should ideally be based on satisfying a particular user intent.The screenshot below accurately sums up Googles thoughts on content length and breadth of an article.
You can download the complete Google guide on content quality here.
Curated from search engine land.
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