In recent times, there have been lots of talks about creating SEO Content. If you don’t know, SEO Content is any form of content that has the potential to rank higher on search engines. The content can be blog posts, tutorials, news stories, videos, and so on.
If you are one of those who want to rank their website higher using content, then this guide might be something you are looking for.
First thing first, what is the difference between regular content and SEO content?
According to Google, there is nothing called SEO content. If your content is unique and provides all the information required by users, then it can rank on search engines.
Now if you ask me, creating unique and quality content is definitely the first and most important step. But there are other factors involved in a ranking like links.
However, all those extra factors won’t help you if you don’t have great content.
So following the advice from Google, let’s explore the procedure of creating great content that can rank on search engines.
This is a step by step process. So, make sure you don’t miss any section to get the most out of this guide.
1. Understand the Industry
During the early days, I used to be so excited about creating content that I wanted to write about everything I know. And, later I realized that was a big mistake.
Because writing about every topic won’t be valuable for your industry. Unless you are a news site.
You should have proper knowledge about the industry you are writing about. This is because knowing the industry helps you understand the goal of your content.
If you are writing for your blog, you need to know what type of industry your blog is based on. Either you are a health-based blogger, tech blogger, or something else.
Or, if you are writing for small businesses, you need to understand the core value of the business.
2. Know Your Audience
You are creating content for your users. So, knowing them is crucial for you.
What I mean here is you need to find out as much information about your users. Like the age group, gender, professions, what format of content they want, and so on.
This helps you build a proper strategy for your content. Suppose most of your potential customers spend time on YouTube, then it’s obvious that creating blog articles won’t be as effective as video.
This is why you should always know who is consuming your content.
3. Choose The Topic
For many people, the process of creating content starts from here. This is one of the basic yet difficult steps.
Basic because you can create content on any topic you like. There is no restriction.
And, difficult because you want people to read your content. Now to make people read your content, they should have an interest in your topic. Otherwise, why would someone read something they have no interest in?
So you should find what people are interested in and what people are looking for. But don’t forget about your industry. Find topics within your field that people can benefit from.
Now, to find those topics let’s go to the next step.
4. Keyword Research
The process of keyword research is quite common in the field of content creation and SEO services. It’s because this helps you find what people are looking for on the internet.
And, since we are creating content for people, so knowing what people are searching for is important right?
So, how can we do that then? How can we find what people are looking for?
Well, there are lots of tools available for this. There are paid tools like Ahrefs, SEOSurfer, SEMrush, and so on. And, there are free tools like Google Autocomplete, People Also Ask section, Searches Related To section, People Also Search For section, and YouTube AutoComplete.
These tools will provide you with organized and detailed data about what people are looking for. And, this will help you find the perfect topic for your content.
If you want to know about different keyword research tools, visit Best Keyword Research Tools.
Let’s have a quick view of what information you can get from keyword research. So here is what the Ahrefs tool looks like.
As you can see, besides just finding topics, you can get information about the number of people searching the topic, related keywords, questions, how difficult it is to rank for, and many more.
I recently discovered AlsoAsked. It is a great site that can give you a detailed list of topics related to any keyword.
And all those additional topics and questions you find can be used inside your content. This will improve the quality of your content. Also, search engines will have a more clear idea about your content.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of keyword research, visit 7 Benefits of Keyword Research.
5. Competitor Analysis
Now that you have done keyword research and decided on your topic. It’s time to analyze what your competitors are doing. Here, competitors mean those content that is ranking for your topic.
First, you need to check the search intent. If you don’t know, search intent means what search engines think about the topic. For this, analyze all the results in the search engine result page.
Suppose, for your topic if all top-ranking pages are Top 10 type articles, then creating the same type will be more effective. Or, if videos are ranking then creating videos will be beneficial. This is because search engines understand people are looking for those types of content.
Next, you can find common concepts covered in every top-ranking page. This gives you an idea about the information that should be in your post as well.
Besides, you can check
- if there is a similarity in word counts
- some concept they are missing which you can include in your
- whether the content is regularly updated
- find what people are asking in comments, and many more
Here, I mentioned word count but you should know that word count is not a ranking factor. People think that long content usually covers the topic in detail. So might help in ranking. But if you can satisfy users with short content, then that’s great as well.
6. User Intent
Search engines now understand the semantic of your content. If your content is not valuable for users, then it won’t rank.
And, to create content beneficial for users, always focus on USER INTENT. Look I have emphasized the term, it’s that important.
Now for content with user intent, I prefer to do the following
- Always think like readers. Keep yourself in their place. Think about what information you might need if you were searching for the topic. Your content should provide all the information.
- Include only those information that is beneficial for users. Remove the unwanted information. And, always write in simple language. Just because you know some fancy complex words doesn’t mean you should include it in your article. Your reader might not know about that.
- Try to make the content relatable to users. Use examples, visuals, and proper structure of paragraphs. So, people don’t feel lost.
Always think that you are creating content for humans not for search engines.
7. Choose Content Format
Choosing the correct form of content is as important as creating the actual content.
Suppose your target audiences spend most of their time reading articles and blogs. Then the video form won’t be beneficial for you. Or if most of your audiences listen to music while working and traveling, then the audio form of content (podcast) will be much more effective.
So knowing your audience and creating the form of content they are interested in is really important.
8. Content Outline
Most people often ignore this and I was one of them. But, I strongly recommend making an outline before actually writing.
Now you have collected everything you need about the topic. And, you know how you are going to approach. But don’t just keep the approach in mind. Write it down and prepare the proper formatting of your content.
Here are some of the reasons why you should make the content outline first,
- The content outline will give you a rough estimation of how your final product will look like. And, you can figure out what is missing and what needs to be removed beforehand.
- You can write by staying within the boundary. This is important because you cannot just write about anything. You should stay on the topic.
- A proper outline will help you maintain the flow of your content. You will understand how to have a connection between each section.
- Suppose, the first section talks about one concept and the second section talks about another section. Now you don’t want the next section talking about the first concept. That will be so confusing for your reader.
I strongly suggest you make a habit of creating outlines. What I personally do is write all the sub-headings first. And, then list out points that I will mention in each section. Finally, I write one section at a time.
Someone from Reddit introduced it to me. And, it has been saving lots of my time.
9. Proofreading: Review and Edit
This is something most writers struggle with. It’s because they don’t have a dedicated editor who will proofread the content and edit it. And, reviewing your own content is kind of boring (let’s be honest here).
But there is no alternative for this. If you want great content, you have to do it no matter what. You have to review it more than once and edit it.
Let me tell you how I proofread my content. I always review my article 3 times. And, I always choose different times to review.
First review in the morning, next afternoon, and finally at night. It’s because we tend to have different moods at different times of the day. And, this helps to review our content with different perspectives.
If you don’t want to review it, then you can ask your friends. But tell them to be honest and brutal about your content.
Pro tip: Ask what they don’t like. Or send someone who has no idea about your topic and see if they understand it.
10. Update Your Content Regularly
No matter how great your content is, it will be average after some time. So, you must always update your content.
Those examples you used today might not be relevant tomorrow. Data and statistics will be outdated. You must keep up and provide up to date information to your users.
People always talk about creating evergreen content. But even evergreen content will be outdated. Because time is always changing. You need to keep up.
Besides, search engines like content that are regularly updated. It shows you care for your users and might also help in ranking.
According to a report, more than 5 million blog posts are published every day. Now imagine the level of competition. So to make your content stand out, you must create high-quality content.
And, especially now where everyone thinks Content is a King, you cannot compromise on the quality of the content.
Make sure you follow all these steps. It might feel like a lot of work. But, once you start, you will definitely enjoy the process. And, soon it will be your habit. Besides, the final product will be so great that you will feel proud of it.
If you are not aware of why you should focus on creating great content, then visit my previous blog Benefits of Content Marketing.
And, if you have a different approach to content creation, I would love to hear about that. Let me know about it in the comment below.