Quality content is the foundation of your website, and makes up the authority of your online presence. Any type of search engine optimization should start with content.
The content on your website is obviously your selling point for whatever service or product you are about. It is THE most crucial factor for your online business.
Writing quality content can even make your webpage rank well for low search volume keywords, without any other SEO or social media being done. If it can be indexed by the search engines there is a chance it is going to rank for its topic, even without any backlinks being gained for the page.
Why does content improve rankings?
The search engines exist to provide information to their users. So discovering fresh, new, unique and quality content is what they like to do. Making your content better than anything they previously had for a search term, is the first step in ranking well.
Quality content is also going to improve other ranking signals, like click through rate and bounce rate. User engagement will keep people on your website and help make them return, and can even increase your sales.
If your content is good enough, then people will quote you and link back to your webpage. With backlinks remaining one of the top ranking factors in all of the search engines, this is a major plus for the SEO of your website, and something you should be striving for with every piece of content that you write.
Research before you write
Before you set off and start writing your content, it is a good idea to do a little research first. Find out what your potential users might want to read about or know about. Then research some statistics and find offsite references from authority websites that you can quote and link out to. By doing this you are helping to improve the authority of your own article.
One of the goals of creating content is to build backlinks to your website. So you could also quote and link out to some influencers in your niche, and then email them and ask for a mention on their own site.
Create content to rank for long tail keyword phrases as well as your main keyword
What are long tail keywords?
A long tail keyword does not necessarily contain many words as the phrase implies. What it actually means, is a phrase that does not have a large search volume. Generally speaking, these phrases do contain more than just a couple of words though.
Why use long tail keywords?
People are using all kinds of devices to search the Internet these days. Voice search is becoming more popular every day, and voice search is all about long tail keywords. When someone makes a search using their voice, they are more likely to say a longer, more specific phrase, than if they were typing it on a keyboard.
Long tail keyword searches make up 40% of all search traffic and up to 20% of searches on Google have never been searched for before. Getting a slice of this pie is easier than solely focusing on the harder to rank for, main keywords, that we think will make our business successful.
Read more about keyword length distribution on Ahrefs
Because long tail keywords are very specific in nature, they also make for good conversions. Giving the user all the information related to exactly what they searched for, puts them at ease that they have found the right place, and they tend not to go looking elsewhere.
When targeting your article around long tail keywords, it is easy to target many keywords at the same time, increasing the ranking of your page across various search phrases, and so, bringing more traffic to you.
How to find long tail keywords
There are many ways to research long tail keywords. You could simply type into Google your main keywords and Google will give you a related searches section to the results page, and sometimes a section called “People also searched for”. These are both good places to find related long tail keywords.
Another free tool is Answer The Public - http://answerthepublic.com/ . Here you just type in your main keyword and they will give you a list of long tail keywords that you can focus on. It’s a simple tool but very effective and makes for quick research.
My favourite tools for finding long tail keywords is KW Finder - https://app.kwfinder.com/ . This tool gives you alternative phrases to your main keyphrase, but also lets you know other data, like what search volume every phrase has, and how difficult it would be to rank for each keyword. By knowing this information you can easily target the right phrase that will bring you in traffic and also be easy to rank highly for in the search engines.
How to write content for long tail keywords
Google groups keywords together to form topics, and ranks a website from that topic. So when you write an article, you focus the article on a topic with a main keyword phrase that you wish to rank for. But the article should be detailed enough and include plenty of near matching long tail keyword phrases to build the topic of the article. This way your content will start to rank for both long tail keywords and also your main keywords. Building a strong detailed topic for an article is the building block for successful content today.
When you write a long form article, one that is over 1000 words, but would be better to be 2000 words or more. If the topic you are writing about is detailed enough, then you will probably naturally include lots of long tail keywords anyway. But it is better to research first and get a list of phrases to include in your article. This way you can be sure to drive more visitors to your article over time.
Make sure your article is going to be engaging and interesting for the user, not just optimized for the search engines. Remember, you want to keep people on your webpage so as to reduce bounce rate.
Build keyword rich internal links
Internal linking can really help build the SEO value of other pages on your website. But not only that, it is a good place to direct your users to some of the other relevant content you have, that they might enjoy reading as well.
One thing to note: When the search engines crawl your webpage, they will only take into consideration the first link to a page that they find. So if you are linking to a page that is in your navigation bar, and your navigation bar is coded before your content, then the internal content link will have no effect. For this reason it can be easier and better to link to other deep internal pages of your site, in order to build the overall SEO value of your website, and boost those other internal pages as well.
Make your anchor text keyword rich, but make sure it matches the page that you are linking to, and is natural for the reader. Never diminish user engagement to improve anchor text for SEO. You should also keep the number of internal links per page, down to around 3 or 4 for an 1500 word article. Having too many links on a page can look un-natural and your links may be devalued because if this.
Once your content has been created, you still need to build links to it. Great content alone will not suffice. Sure you can promote your content via social media and try to build backlinks this way. But by creating strong quality backlinks to your content you will see fantastic results in the search engines. You will start to rank high for lots of your long tail keywords and your main keywords.
Being active on social media though, is a good starting point for drawing new and existing users back to your site, to read your latest content. Social media is a fantastic way to reach people from across the globe directly, instead of waiting for the search engines to list you for your newly targeted keywords.
Grow your social following over time and be active, engaging with people, so when spread the word about your own content, your followers will be ready and willing to read and share it. Find the best time to post your content. When are most of your followers active? It is no good posting content when no one is around, as your posts will just get lost in the clutter of everyone else’s.
If you are new to social media, or just do not have many followers yet, then you could try your hand at paid advertising with them. Facebook and Twitter, both have a simple way to promote posts. You can reach thousands of new followers with a few dollars of advertising.
If you have mentioned someone in your article, then send them an email and ask if they mention you in their own blog or via their social media accounts. This can bring you many new followers and traffic to your site, and if you are lucky you can obtain a new backlink as well.