Right now, there are more exciting ways to create content than ever with the advancing technology that is available. There are also new and exciting ways that users are finding content on the web, for example – through voice search and most recently through conversing with AI such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, Bing, Etc.
While the way users search is changing, many of these new technologies leverage the same basic SEO principles that have been around for many years. There are also timeless concepts – such as actually building good content – that are not going anywhere ever.
With that in mind, here are 7 tips to help you improve your content creation and reach a wider audience through Search Engine Optimization of your content.
1. Make Your Content Longer
According to Sweor, longer content produces higher search rankings.
Here are some reasons why:
- Longer content earns more backlinks: Why does longer content have more backlinks? It is because longer content tends to be more useful and comprehensive, meaning it has a greater provided value. Link Creators—people in your industry that have the ability to link to your content— choose content that they think will be valuable to their audience. Writing a short content would just not cut it.
- Longer content gets more social shares: Neil Patel of Quicksprout ran a study on how many social shares he earned with content longer than 1,500 words vs. content shorter than 1,500 words. He found that his longer posts received an average of 68.1% more engagement on Twitter and 22.6% more on Facebook. The relationship of longer content with social shares is directly related. We can say for sure that social media users think the same as those who backlink. They both want to consume information that is useful and comprehensible.
- Longer content is preferred by users: Users prefer longer content because they won’t be needing to search out a similar source with the same content. To simply put, it saves the readers time.
The most important thing to remember: Simply making your content longer is not enough, it should still be of quality.
2. Use Meta Titles and Descriptions
Meta is one of the most important things to get correctly because along with search engines, users are skimming this to decide whether or not it is worth a read. Having a meta title and description would definitely help you put your article on top of the list. To create a meta title and description, you have to research possible keywords that have huge traffic that has relevance to your article, and also understand what it is about it that will interest users and get them to click through.
Furthermore, you have to make sure that the title accurately reflects the article’s content. Misleading or clickbait titles can lead to disappointment for the reader which can damage your credibility as a writer.
Another thing to note – Google may often disregard what you set for meta title/description for a page when showing it in search, but that does not mean that there is no value in setting it.
Google will also automatically generate a meta description for you from site content if one is not provided or they think it will be a better fit then the one you have set.
3. Optimizing Videos and Images
One of the most overlooked ways to improve search engine rankings is by using images and videos. It does not only have the potential to improve your ranking, but it also provides a more appealing page which will tend to attract more visitors.
Here are ways to optimize your images:
- Pick the right images for your article: It must have relevance to your article, and make sure it has great quality.
- Include a caption: Your caption should be catchy and relevant to your image. Readers browse an article first before reading and image captions may provide crucial context. In a study, it was found out that image captions are read 300% more than the body. Also, captions help search engine bots to know about your image.
- Create the right alt text and text title: This is image SEO 101 and provides Google more context of what the image is of and what the page is about. Alt text is shown when images are not displayed. Some users turn off images in their settings or are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment, that’s why you have to make sure to include alt texts. Also make sure to include a brief description of the image and include a keyword. Furthermore, your alt text can be the same with your title text.
- Create the right image file name: This is a common step that is skipped by beginners. This is another bit of information you can give Google to steer your rankings in the right direction. Keep the file name simple and direct, and include it’s relevance to the content where possible. (i.e cardboard-box-for-ny-courier-delivery.jpg)
- Make sure the file size is right: One of the main reasons why pages take forever to load is because of high sized images. Also, one of the keys of on-page SEO is site loading time. Therefore, having a slow loading time can count against you when it comes to ranking.
Here are ways to optimize your videos:
- Include a transcript: Most creators don’t include a transcript for their videos because they see it as a hassle. But including one can reach a wider audience, for people who cannot hear well or who are not familiar with the language in the video would have a better understanding of the content. Also, it will increase your SEO efforts, because for search bots, text is easier to index and understand than visual content.
- Up your thumbnail game: Even with great SEO and video content, consumers may not click on your video if they don’t like what’s on the thumbnail. Simply put, your thumbnail will represent the quality of your video’s content.
- Make quality videos: This means that your video should provide great value to its target audience. Why would it improve your rankings? Videos are linkable, meaning other people can link out to your content. If people like it, they will link it out, resulting in more attraction and better ranking for your video.
While these steps may sound exhausting, they will surely benefit your search ranking. Creating all these steps for the first time will be hard, but once you get accustomed to them, it will be a piece of cake.
4. Make Use of Infographics
Infographics are powerful because they present information visually, in an easily digestible format. The information is summarized for the readers, wherein even complex topics or processes that are hard to understand would become bearable and enjoyable to read, talk about, and most importantly – link to!
In making an infographic, make sure to have a great visual, something that would make the audience stop and look at it at the first glance. Make sure the content is easy to understand because if not, you just negated its main purpose.
One more great thing about infographics is that they are highly shareable especially on social media platforms. With its aesthetic and easy to digest information, people share it more because it would look better in their feed. Therefore utilizing infographics will surely widen your audience.
5. Make Readability a Priority
You may have the most valued content in the whole world but it won’t matter if readers can’t read it. Many creators skip or don’t take much effort and time in this process and prioritize cranking out content in volume. But, the readability of your content is crucial to ensuring that it actually gets read and shard. This not only covers the appearance, but also how the content is written.
Here are ways to make your content readable:
- Avoid use of jargon: You may want to use words that are only known to the industry you’re talking about to show that you know what you’re talking about. It shows yourself as an authority. But, you should limit the use of jargon because readers who are still new to the topic may not follow the content anymore and look for a more beginner-friendly content resource.
- Make use of headings: Along with being super important for SEO, using headings properly will make the flow of your article easier to follow. Readers will know what content to expect next. This is also in favor of those who want to skim articles (which is nearly everyone!) because they have the option to skip the parts that they don’t want and focus on what they want to consume.
- Use the right font color: This is simple but important. Choose a color that contrasts your background. Make sure that the text will be readable with your chosen color.
- Use the right font size: Your font size should be readable, but it should also not be too large or too small. The generally recommended font size is 16pt. Too small is annoying, and having too large of a font size would make your readers scroll every minute to reach the next part of the text. Also, large font sizes may look overwhelming to some readers.
- Break your paragraphs: Having numerous 1-3 sentence paragraphs is better than having a few 6-8 sentence paragraphs. It will look less intimidating and readers would be able to digest what you’re trying to say more.
Taking readability into account when producing your content will give you the edge you need to improve your search engine rankings by just making your content all around more approachable.
6. Create a Content Calendar
Having a content calendar can help you organize what content to post and when you will post it. It’s ideal to plan a month’s worth of content. Planning for a year’s worth is not advisable because keywords and trends will fluctuate, and you want to be able to stay relevant.
Businesses also change their content, so you have to keep up. Having many ideas is great but focusing on the present should be your priority. With a content calendar, you’ll be more organized and your content will reflect this.
7. Analyze Your Competitors
“Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies close.” As cliché as it sounds, it is a saying that can help your content stay on point. Instead of spending hours searching for the best keywords, look into your competitors’ articles and analyze the keywords that are working for them.
By seeing what they are doing and how they are doing it, you’ll be able to both know what is working and also spot where they are failling.
This has been a really, really brief look at some of the things you can be doing immediately to get a bit of a boost when it comes to optimizing your articles.
Wondering what you can do to go farther? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you elevate your content game!