How to Build Content Google & Users Love
:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::
Not so long ago you could take almost any content and force it to rank with enough links, in some cases, you still can today. If you step back to look at the big picture though, you will see a clear shift in the type of content Google favors for certain queries. Understanding this will help you in planning and ranking your content. Today we are going to cover how to research and format your content for optimal search results, while keeping site visitors happy as well. This isn’t a magical, instant, or easy strategy, but it is an effective one.
In keeping with both, we are going to show you exactly how to create content for yourself and your clients that is sharable, repeatable and built to rank. Without further ado, let’s jump in.
1. Understanding What Google Likes
People commonly quote “write for users not search engines”, which is great advice unless you are relying on search engines to provide those users. Does this mean you should write keyword-stuffed garbage? Absolutely not, it does mean that you need to optimize your content though. In this case, you need to start by finding out exactly what type of content Google serves up the keywords you want to target. Are the results for your keywords reviews, top 10 lists or product pages? Are there rich snippets, map results or a knowledge box? Are videos ranking in the top 10? Do a quick search and make a note of the types of ranking content before you even consider what content you will be creating.
2. Finding Your Primary Keyword
Before you can pinpoint the exact type of content Google loves for your keywords, you first need to find those keywords. Chances are you have a general idea of the topic you want to cover. Search that keyword and make a list of the top-five sites ranking for that term. Before searching, I suggest checking the keyword search volume to make sure you haven’t chosen an obscure term. Assuming that your terms is searched often, export the list of keywords for the top-five sites and select your primary term from that list. You want to find a themed keyword with good search volume, here is an example.
Too Broad: amplifier
Specific but Low Search Volume: best cheap class d amplifier
Happy Median: class d amplifier
For the record, I am not saying you shouldn’t target those other terms, this exercise was just to find the keyword that would be used for our content research. It is specific enough to convert and competitive enough to have good content ranking. As this point, refer back to step one, and view the search results.
Here is what we see using our example keyword “class d amplifier.”
As you can see, the top organic results are informational pages. If you want to rank for this term, creating an in depth informational page would be the best route to take. Referring back to step two, now we would plug the ranking pages into SEMrush to get a list of long tail/informational keywords that should be covered in our content too. Since you will be providing the answers to questions you know people are searching for, it is bound to be well received so long as you are a decent writer. If you can’t write, hire a freelance writer to do it for you.
Repeat for all 10 pages, merge the files and remove duplicates. Afterward, you will have a list of all the primary and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords your competitors are ranking for. Upon reviewing the completed list you are going to find longtail keywords that would be great subheadings in your content. Here are a few terms from our example site above.
• What is a class d amp
• Amplifier classes
• Types of amplifiers
• Class d amplifier efficiency
• Class d Monoblock amplifier
• What is a Monoblock amp
Those terms were taken from one site. You will end up with a longer, better list after review the top 10 ranking sites. Once that is completed, you will now have your main theme, “class d amplifiers” and your subheadings such as “what is a class d amp.” Use this to make an outline of your content and set that aside for now.
3. Determine How Much Content You Need
This one is painfully simple. Last week I mentioned SeoQuake and we will be using that again today. Refer to your initial list of the top 10 sites for your terms, you are now going to compare them using SeoQuake. Here is the step by step for doing so.
Visit the first page from your list
Click the SeoQuake extension to open the menu.
Click the “density” tab and you will see this page:
Record the content length from the “total words” column.
Repeat for remaining 9 ranking pages
Add the total words for all 10 sites together and divide by 10 to find the average content length
Upon completion, you will have your keywords, ideas for the heading and subheadings, and the approximate number of words your content should be. Now you just have to fill in the blanks with your content and be sure to check out our keyword density article from last week to make sure you are using the right keywords in the right density for your niche.
Does This Really Work?
The proof is in the pudding. In Oct. 2016, we brought a new affiliate site online in the car audio niche. Here is what has happened in the 60 days using the above approach.
October 1: Site live and indexed without any keywords ranking in the top 100 on Google.
October 9: Three keywords ranking between positions 51-100
October 23: Two keywords ranking between position 21-50 and 18 ranking between 51-100
November 15: Nineteen keywords between position 11-20, 99 keywords between 21-50, and 148 between 51-100.
November 28: First money keyword reaches page 1.
The site currently has around 25 posts. The average keyword difficulty for our terms is 82 out of 100 percent according to SEMrush. All of the site content was created by a freelance writer using the above strategy and the keyword density approach discussed last week.
We expect at least 10 keywords with a search volume over 1,000 each to hit the first page within the next 30 days. Going from 0 to 5,000 monthly visitors within 75 days of launching the site with just 22 links, this strategy works.
Now it’s your turn to put this to work for your site, get to it! If you have any questions, leave them below and I will answer them.
About the Author
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Franklin, TN. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz