The other day I came across a post from Neil Patel, one of the leading experts when it comes to marketing, content and SEO.
He wrote about a recently published article by Google in their Webmaster Central Blog, in which the search engine giant gives advice on how to rank your content well in the SERP (Search engine results pages).
Now the advice is, unfortunately, not as straightforward as I would like it to be. However, Google offers us a round of questions that we should ask ourselves before we send out something to the world wide web.
Those questions are divided into 4 categories:
- Content & Quality
- Presentation & Production
- Comparison & Context
I had a closer look at each of the questions (you can read them down below in the infographic) and came to my own conclusions.
Here’s a summary of the four most important aspects of well-ranking content:
SEO advice #1: Be original & provide value
If you’re an experienced content creator in the online world, this shouldn’t be anything new for you. Both Google and we humans appreciate originality. But more importantly, whenever we consume any type of content, we wanna feel like we’re getting something out of it.
The thing is, if your website visitors love your content, they are more likely to stay on your site. In return, this signals Google that whatever your website is offering is interesting and provides value to the visitor. As a result, it’s more likely that your content will rank higher in the SERP (sear engine results page) the next time somebody searches for the topic you’re writing about.
However, in practice it’s not that simple, especially if you’re into a topic that has been written and talked about by plenty of other content creators. The solution is to go deep into the matter and to go niche, meaning write about a certain aspect of your topic instead of sticking to generalities.
Go deep & go niche.
SEO advice #2: Know what you’re talking about
Do you know the number 1 currency on the internet? No, it has nothing to do with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. I’m talking about the simple human gift of attention.
Getting someone’s attention has become increasingly difficult, because “a whole new world” is literally only one click away. Our job as content creators is to keep our readers/listeners/watchers attention as long as possible. One way of doing this is to showcase your expertise.
Experts are trusted. Experts are looked up to for advice. Experts usually are at the forefront of the topic they’re experts in and lead the way for their peers and followers.
But what if you’re not quite yet an expert in your favourite topic, but you still want to share insights on what you’ve learned so far? Don’t you worry, you can replace experience-based expertise with heartfelt enthusiasm and research skills.
Become a curator instead and cite your sources well. Write about your personal experience and journey. We humans love stories, especially if they’re genuine. And guess what, with all the reading and writing you might become an expert yourself in no time.
Not an expert yet?
Replace experience-based expertise with
heartfelt enthusiasm and research skills.
SEO advice #3: Choose quality over quantity
I tell this to people and clients all the time: it’s better to produce a couple of really good content pieces, instead of publishing dozens of 💩-y ones that provide 0 value.
In terms of your brand and reputation, the reason is simple: Imagine a potential customer stumbles over one of your articles. It appears to be badly written, the content is fluffy, there are spelling mistakes here and there and there’s no real substance to the post. Guess what? You just ruined your first impression with a potential fan or customer.
It’s so easy these days to spread your ideas, your story and your uniqueness on your blog and on so many other online platforms – the gatekeepers are gone, the world is you oyster. Never take this opportunity for granted. A simple publishing rule is this: If you’re not proud of what you’ve created, it’s probably not ready yet.
Be intentional about what you’re sharing with the www and always go for quality over quantity.
If you’re not proud of what you’ve created, it’s probably not ready yet.
SEO advice #4: Don’t write for machines, write for humans
There was a time, when all you needed to do to rank well on the SERP was to stuff as many keywords as humanly (or technically) possible into your article or website.
Those days are gone. Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated over the years and can spot Black Hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, quite easily.
Yes, keywords are still important and a driving factor when it comes to ranking for your favourite topic. But what’s most important is to write from human to human.
The purpose of your content should anyway be of help or of interest to another human being. And yes, in order for that human to find your content, you need to write appealing content for Google’s algorithm. But you also need to be better than your competition. Better in terms of how thoroughly you cover the topic. Better in terms of how you present the topic. And better in how to keep that reader reading.
For instance, a well-structured blog post is not only appealing to your reader, but also to Google. Because every subtitle and every paragraph gives Google a better understanding of what you’re writing about.
Write for that one person that you want to help with your content.
Use relevant keywords, structure your post well and
don’t forget to share it with your network.
Infographic: Google’s SEO advice on how to rank well
Based on Google’s article, I createad a summary of the most important questions in the form of an infographic. You can add it to your Pinterest board, or simply print it out and keep it next to your writing desk. I hope it helps you to create content that not only Google, but especially your readers will love.
PS: If you manage or work in a tech company and need help with your overall marketing or content strategy, simply drop me a line here.