By: Lori Smith 

 

 

Want to know something important about your business? Getting

ranked higher in Google is now harder than its ever been. Why? The

dreaded algorithm changes. Want to know something else? Quality

content is going to be imperative for ranking purposes in 2017 and

beyond.

 

Search engines are big business. Google is the best, and they want it

to stay that way. Their infamous (at least in the eyes of online business

owners) algorithm changes is what keeps them at the top.

 

Google’s most recent changes have made getting found a lot harder.

In the past, Google ranked websites by the number of page views. A

website in which visitors were viewing many pages in a single visit,

was viewed as authoritative because of higher traffic numbers. The

actual content didn’t matter quite as much to their ranking system.

That’s not the case anymore.

 

With Google’s latest algorithm changes the quality of content on a

website is now used in their page ranking system. Google is

quantifying quality by length. The longer an article is, the more value

it’s perceived to have.

 

Search engines crawl websites to find the most relevant information

for a user’s specific search query. When you publish new content,

Google gives you a score. If the content your publishing is seen as low

quality, your ranking will be affected.

 

If you want to increase your ranking to get found, you have to start

writing quality content now. Is it hard to write longer more valuable 

articles? No, it’s not as hard as you might think if you develop a 

process. Writing quality content can be easy when you follow the

right steps.

how to write high-quality content your readers will love

 

What Makes A Website Susceptible To Low Ranking

  • Short articles that offer no real useful information 

  • Inconsistent publishing of new content

  • Over-use of keywords

  • Duplicate content

  • Inbound links to low-quality content or from low-quality sites

  • High bounce rate

  • Low percentage of returning visitors

  • High amount of reused content on your site

  • Meta-tags that are irrelevant

No longer can you achieve a high ranking with 300 or even 500- word

articles that offer little useful information. The days of over-stuffing

your content with keywords are gone as well.

 

You have to stop thinking just about your website, and begin devising

an overall content strategy in which your blog and social media

content, are the life-line for your brand messaging.

How To Write High-Quality Content

Topics – Know your audience, and determine topics that will answer

their most pressing questions. What are they struggling with, and

how can you solve their problem? You can also find ideas for topics by

searching Google trends.

Article Research – Depending on the content, you might need to

research your subject matter. Keep it original, and only use

information from trusted sites. Make sure the information is current

and factual. Include proof by including links to these sources.

Effective Headlines – You should spend more time on creating your

headline than you do on writing your article. The goal is to attract your

reader’s attention and get them to click through and read the rest of

the content.

Several types of effective headlines are:

– Number Of

– List  

– How To 

– Best Of

– Questions 

– Interview With

– Breaking News

– Secrets Of

– Explanatory (Why) 

– DIY

Tools For Creating Headlines – There’re several factors involved in

creating great headlines. You need to include words that project 

emotion, urgency, and action. Keep your keywords in mind, and

incorporate them into your headlines as well.

These headline-generating tools can help you develop a headline that

will get noticed.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

Sumome

Importance Of Keywords – Including the right keywords is what

drives organic traffic to your site. Remember, that when researching

keywords to think about the words your audience uses in a search

query.

This is easily done, by analyzing whether the keywords you’re

using are relevant to your content. Will those searching these

keywords find what they are looking for on your site? If they land on

your site will they be happy with the content they find? Will it answer

their questions or fulfill their needs?

Just as keywords are important for getting traffic to your site, you also

need to know the value of keywords to your business.

To determine the value of a keyword, divide the total profit (not

income) from your conversions by the total visitors to your site from

that keyword. This number is the value of that keyword to your

business.

Knowing the value of a keyword will help you determine if you are

providing the right content for the best ROI (return on your

investment) for your business.

How To Research Keywords – It would be great if you could just

research single keywords that, have thousands of searches daily, but

these searches makeup only about 30% of searches. The reality is the

other 70% are long tail keywords that result in millions of searches

daily. So, which would you rather use?

Search marketers have seen that long tail keywords convert much

better. This is because searchers are most likely in the buying mode

when using more specific searches.

Think of it this way, someone looking for dresses is just browsing.

While someone looking for the perfect little black dress for a party is

more apt to be looking to buy.

Your ultimate goal is to focus on the most relevant keywords for your

content and business. This will help optimize your traffic and

conversions.

There’re several tools out there you can use in your search for the best

keywords.

Moz Keyword Explorer 

Google Adword Keyword Planner Tool 

Wordtracker

Outlining – This is something I’m definitely, passionate about. I know

some bloggers and writers say they do best when they write without

any outline. Maybe they do, but is it quality writing?

Outlining helps to create a logical sequence for your article. This will

make content more understandable when it’s in the proper order.

Stay organized by writing a layout for your content. This will keep you

focused on including the necessary information to make your content

valuable. Having an outline helps you write better and faster by giving

you a framework to follow.

If you’re not outlining, you’re setting yourself up for a much

longer writing process and the potential to forget key information

within your articles.

Formatting – Use your outline to format your article according to

industry standards. You should be using headings and subheadings,

for your main points.

Most readers scan articles for the most important information. Make

sure what your readers will be looking for are included in those

headings. You also want to use short paragraphs and sentences. Aim

for around a 6th-grade readability score.

According to the most recent algorithm changes, longer articles are

seen as more valuable. Articles of 1000 + words are going to rank

better than shorter articles. This doesn’t mean that shorter articles

won’t rank well. It’s just that now, it’s more about quality.

Voice – Write in your own voice. Keep your writing conversational to

make it relatable. Not sure how to do this? Practice writing how you

talk. Be sure to inject your personality to develop your own style.

Introduction – You have seconds, yes seconds, to grab your readers

attention. Your first sentence needs to be your best. You have to hook

your readers from the beginning to keep them reading the rest of

your content.

Some introductions that perform well.

– Engaging story

– Obscure fact

– Differing viewpoint

– Info found nowhere else

– Stating results upfront

What To Include In Your Introduction – You want to tell your reader

why they should care about this information. Why do they need this? 

What actionable steps will you offer to solve their problem?

Introduction Length – Depending on the length of your article, 100 to

600 words is plenty. Your reader has come to your content for

information they need. Don’t bore them with a long introduction that

doesn’t offer actual help.

Provide Value – Identify your audience’s struggles and provide

answers and solutions to their problems. You need to offer actionable

steps they can implement to get results.

Supplement your content by breaking it up with images, videos, or

infographics. Visuals can help your readers to understand the content

better. When you provide valuable advice, it sets you apart as an

expert and builds your authority.

Share-ability – When you make it easy to share your content on social

media, you are turning your audience into your own, marketing team.

The more your content is shared, the more backlinks that creates. The

more backlinks, the more traffic. This requires little effort on your part

other than including social share buttons.

Comments – Having comments enabled on your site allows for your

audience to interact with you. Google has also indicated that a high

number of comments, might be viewed as higher quality content.

I have to admit, I’m on the fence when it comes to commenting

systems. I’ve seen with my audience, that many of them are against

having to sign up or provide an email just to leave a comment.

Another factor to consider is you can’t control the quality of the

comments. Yes, you can filter out bots that leave spam comments,

but can you erase negative comments?

Think hard before enabling comments on your site. You don’t want to

turn off readers because of an invasive commenting system. You also

need to verify you can delete any negative comments. These could

hurt your authority and conversions.

Internal/External Links – Internal links to relevant articles will only

provide more value to your audience. When your reader is clicking a

link to another article on your site, it increases your page views. This, in

turn, decreases your bounce rate.

External links are not a bad thing. Many online business owners

believe that. Why would you include links to content that would lead

your visitors off your site?

Linking to credible sources will only provide more evidence as to your

own credibility. The bonus is you could get noticed by these sources if

they see that they are receiving a lot of traffic from your site. This can

open up an opportunity to network with authorities in your niche.

The Close – The ending is as important as your introduction. The

ending should relate back to your introduction, and don’t forget to

always include your bottom line takeaway. 

Editing – Your grammar and spelling need to be impeccable, and the

content should be concise.

My editing process is 5 steps. That may seem like a lot, but if you want

your writing to be taken seriously, then it must reflect your best work.

1) Edit yourself first for any mistakes that stick out.

2) I use Hemingway App for readability. 

3) For grammar and spelling edits I use Grammarly.

4) I always go back and review my article again for duplicate or

     unnecessary content, and non-relevant information not

     included in my outline.

5) Check for plagiarism. I don’t EVER copy content from someone

     else unless I’m quoting an expert, and I always attribute the

     information to the appropriate source. However, given the

     amount of content on the web, it’s not all that impossible to

     maybe have something written the exact same way as on

     another website. I use Quetext to check for this.

Note: If you accept guest posts from others, always check for

plagiarism. Duplicate content can hurt your SEO.

Overview

The actions you need to take to write high-quality content.

 

  • Pick a topic that is on target with your business goals and what your audience needs 

  • Research well to provide accurate and factual information

  • Write a click-worthy headline

  • Include the right long tail keywords for your content

  • Outline your article to make your writing better and the process faster

  • Format your content according to industry standards

  • Write in your own voice and develop your own style  

  • Start with an introduction that will grab your readers attention

  • Provide information that will be useful and valuable to your audience

  • Make your content easy to share by including social media buttons

  • Enable comments for engaging with your audience

  • Include internal links and credible external links for proof of your expertise

  • Make the close, as good as the introduction

  • For your writing to be its best, edit well 

Conclusion 

I can’t express enough, how important it will be to start writing longer

higher quality articles. Not just to meet Google’s new ranking

methods, but also to offer more value to your readers. You need to

devise a more effective marketing plan to reach your clients and stay

in Google’s favor.

Stick to non-promotional material in your articles/posts. Save the

marketing for the copy on your site and your newsletter. Google is

king when it comes to search engines. They have customers to serve

just like all businesses. Their focus is providing the best user

experience possible for their clients.

If you want to continue ranking well, you have to start making these

changes to your content. The only constant in life is change.

Don’t let your business fall behind because you couldn’t get on board.

As a business owner, you have to be willing to change your views and

strategies, to stay ahead of the game.

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