Content is Not King… But It Can Be: How to Write SEO Content that Ranks

Content Is Not King 4

“Content is King.”

For years marketers have been preaching these three words since Bill Gates wrote them in an essay about the future of the internet back in 1996.

And he’s not wrong.

So you may be thinking to yourself, “wait a minute. The title of this blog post is that content is no longer king, yet you’re telling me that Bill Gates is still right?”

Yes and no. Here’s the deal.

Content is Crucial for SEO Success

For years SEO has revolved around content. It’s how search engines like Google know what your page or website is about. 

If you have content about oil changes and engine tune-ups, your site probably has to do with vehicle maintenance and auto mechanics. 

If you write about plants and watering schedules for plants, you probably have a gardening website (or a borderline unhealthy obsession with indoor plants). 

Content is valuable because it provides something for Google to rank. Google ranks individual pages, not whole websites, contrary to popular belief. When you have a really high-quality piece of content, that content can outrank even big websites depending on the quality of your content, the amount of authoritative backlinks that content gets, and how well you link to that page on your site.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

For years, a lot of SEOs have been of the mindset that any content will work, and that a lot of words on a page, with the right keywords mentioned the right amount of times, was enough to make a page blow up.

Well guess what? That content isn’t king anymore when it comes to SEO.

Because it’s more than content. Quality content does three things:

  1. Gives clear, concise, and accurate information
  2. Uses clear, natural language that humans use and understand
  3. Makes their lives better

But first, we need to talk about keyword research.

Keyword Research

If you are not doing keyword research before you write content for your site, then you are doing it wrong. 

Point blank. Sorry.

Keyword research will help you to see what needs your customers or website users have, what questions they are wanting to see answered, and in general, what content they are looking for. 

By doing quality keyword research, you can find out if people are curious about “what is the best water mixture to give my plants?” or “how often should I get my oil changed?” Using this research, you can see the queries that you can answer and get after it with your great content!

#1. SEO Content Should Have Clear, Concise, and Accurate Information

Nothing is more frustrating than looking for information through a Google search, finding a blog that seems to be answering your question and clicking on that link, only to be met with a ton of superfluous text not answering the question you had.

Google wants what users want: to get answers to their questions quickly and easily.

Now that you have your topic, make your answers clear.

Most users online scan the results Google provides to find the information that they are looking for, and if they cannot find it quickly they’ll leave your site in a hurry

If your content is setting out to answer a specific question, do it from the very beginning of your content. 

#2. SEO Content Should Have Clear, Natural Language

Google’s algorithm is always getting smarter and with Google’s BERT update from a couple years ago, it got even better at understanding how human’s speak and search.

Years ago, the temptation for SEOs was to find a handful of keywords that they wanted to rank for and then throw them into a blog post made of 5,000 hardly comprehensible words.

The goal with this approach was to create the illusion of content that was focused around a topic, but Google knows better now, and Google expects better from you and your content.

Write your content as if you are writing to another human. Oftentimes, we think about needing to write our content “for Google”. But with the BERT update, writing for Google means writing for humans.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. 

#3. SEO Content Should Makes Users’ Lives Better

Sure, this might seem a little “extra”, but good content should answer a need.

Then, provide additional information to answer potential questions that users might have.

For example, if your blog post is answering the question:

“How do I change my car’s oil?”

Some other questions that you might want to answer might also include:

“How long does an oil change take?”

“How often should I change my oil?”

“How much does an oil change cost?”

Why go out of your way to answer additional questions? Two reasons.

One, Google wants to provide the best content possible for a given query. When you answer a question and then go on to answer potential follow-up questions, Google understands that your content is providing information for oil changes in general, not just one single query.

See how our follow-up questions in our oil change content build off of each other? It’s this kind of content that provides a great experience that answers any other questions that they may encounter as well. 

These additional answers can also increase users’ time on your page, leading to a lower bounce rate (when a user quickly leaves a web page). The longer that users stick around on a page, the more that signals to Google that they are finding value on that page, leading Google to want to rank it higher.

Use these tips and get ready to see your content bring in that converting traffic.

BizIQ Knows How to Make Content That is King

If you’re wanting great content that not only brings in traffic, but brings in traffic that converts, contact BizIQ. Our organic SEO strategists know how to get your website’s content moving in the right direction. Call us today! 

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