Content is your Golden Ticket to Great SEO
If you want good SEO, you must have good content.
There’s no way around it.
Think of writing content for your site like cleaning your house. If you want it to be a place people want to visit, it’s a must do.
Content keeps your site fresh, relevant, and interesting for your readers….and for Google.
But how do you write great content? And what does that even mean to Google? Today we’re sharing our best tips for getting great SEO with content.
Write Long Content: It Ranks Better
Think of Google like the world’s librarian.
He loves to read.
He’s read everything, multiple times.
He loves to point people in the right direction to help them find exactly what they’re looking for.
He’s awesome at it.
He wears a monocle and suspenders.
(ok…that last one was just a wish/guess. But if Google had a mascot, we really wish that was his uniform).
So writing long, thorough, helpful content is the best way to get Google’s attention and land on the front page.
(Have you ever noticed that our posts are usually 1000+ words long? That’s no accident).
2 facts to know:
- The average first page ranked post on Google has 1890 words.
- Over 50% of search queries contain 4+ words.
So this tells us a few things:
- People are looking for something specific.
- Google likes to reward sites that provide specificity and depth to their readers.
When in doubt, focus on quality over quantity. One in-depth blog post per month instead of 2-4 shorter ones will be much better for your rankings and your readers. Focus and concentrate your efforts for the best growth possible.
Content and Backlinks are the core of SEO
So, we’ve established that Google likes to read. And people like to read too.
And when people like what they’re reading, they share it and link to it.
And that is where the real magic of SEO happens.
Because backlinks are like an upvote on the entire internet: they tell Google that what’s behind the link is worth reading, and with enough backlinks, the post rises to the top of Google.
So write, write, write, and once you’ve written about it, tell the world about it to make it easy to share & read.
Answer Questions to get Featured Snippets
You know those pretty little boxes you sometimes see at the top of Google when you type in a question? There’s an art to getting featured in those, and there’s an art to making sure they drive, not detract, from traffic on your site.
Keep in mind that Google likes to make things easy on users. So when a user searches a question, like “how to get grass stains out of blue jeans”, you’ll see something like this:
And these are both bad and good for business, depending on how you use this.
For example, with this particular question, you don’t need to click through to the site to get more info. So this site loses out on traffic from people who take the info and run. That’s not great.
However, these boxes also drive more traffic than any other result. And that is great. So the trick here is to provide enough information that answers the question and gets you featured, and keep the reader interested.
Here’s how you do that:
- Answer the question succinctly, using step by step answers. This makes it easy and clean for Google to pull into this box.
- Give a hint that there’s value to clicking through. For example, the title tag on this page says “video and steps”. The steps are here, but to watch the video you have to click through.
Give extra value in your posts, as well as being succinct and thorough, and you’ll have a higher chance of ranking for these boxes and getting the best possible benefit from them.
Ok…I suggest this one carefully. Not *everything* should be repurposed. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want a new post, either. Here are a few ways you can repurpose content you already have:
- Update an older post
Your best performing posts are a great place to start to immediately boost your SEO. Research shows that older, but popular, posts that are updated can get an increase in traffic of up to 11%. Think about it: if you update your best pages, and get 11% traffic growth on top of what you’re already getting? That’s huge!
Update your best performing posts with fresher images, new thoughts about the topic, updated reviews, etc. Even the most evergreen of posts can be updated for a fresh look.
- Wrote a guest post? Adapt it and post it to your site.
If you’ve written a guest post, there’s a good chance that you have an agreement not to publish that content anywhere else. And that’s a good thing for your relationship with that outlet, and for SEO. Because duplicate content isn’t great for SEO. But similar content? Fair game.
So when you write a guest post, adapt that content with a few additional points on the topic, fresh images, or come at it from a different angle. Give it a new headline, and you’ll have yourself a fresh blog post that you didn’t have to start from scratch.
- Use Social Media Content
Social media is wonderful because it’s become a mini-blogging platform. But here’s the truth: when you pour your heart into a great Instagram post, that doesn’t give you any SEO benefit. (womp womp 🎺). So, put that post to work on your blog! When you write something on Instagram, drop it into a draft on your blog, and elaborate on that idea.
And you can do the reverse of this as well to help your social media. When you have a great blog post, pull snippets of it to post on your social media. Rinse and repeat, baby.1