SEO Content Guidelines: 5 Tips for Creating High-Quality Content
I get asked all of the time about the things that writers can do to help their SEO content writing stand out from the saturated internet content landscape. What a loaded question! Do you have a few hours to spare while I get into it?… JK
While I can think of numerous things to increase content writing quality, I thought I would come up with a “readers digest” version of a few key tips that companies/writers can use to make high-quality content for SEO.
How To Create High-Quality Content for SEO
Oh man, where do we start?! There are so many factors that can go into how to write high-quality SEO content ranging from the industry you’re in, to the subject matter, to the white space in your post! Rather than get into every single detail of what makes a piece of content high quality, I’ll address the biggest things I think you can do to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Again, this isn’t an end-all list for how to create quality content, but doing the following things will help the search engines, as well as the readers, to pick your content out from a crowd.
1. Write for a Reader, Not for an Algorithm
In my day-to-day responsibilities, I’m continually shocked by companies that call and ask if we “spin” content or “keyword stuff” here at BKA Content. While the majority of the SEO community knows that these things have no long-term value, there apparently is a large majority of the industry that still hasn’t come to grips with algorithmic changes in search engines that prioritize content that accurately answers user queries. While it is very important to know how to use keywords within your writing, don’t make the mistake of focusing the entire meat of your content around a search engine algorithm. Instead, focus your writing around the person who will be reading it.
The main reason for this is to increase user engagement. If readers enjoy the high-quality content and consider you an expert in the space, they are then more likely to share your piece with colleagues/friends. If content writers really understand the target demographic they are writing to and accurately describe pain points, needs and solutions, content becomes much more valuable.
I know that many SEOs continue to have a hard time shifting into this new SEO paradigm, but the sooner you accept the fact that Google is trying to single out more user-friendly content, the sooner you will start seeing much more SEO content success.
Use Keywords To Drive Your Formatting
As far as keywords are concerned, the best SEO content writers know that high-quality content is a merge between both reader and search engine expectations. When I’m creating content for SEO, I use the keywords as a guideline for formatting, but other than that, I wait until after my piece is completed to go back into the piece to optimize.
Using keywords in headings, beginning and ending of the article, titles and descriptions is crucial to organic rankings, but it can (and must!) be done in harmony with writing specifically for a human reader in order for it to qualify as being “high-quality”.
2. Build Content Authority
While random SEO content pieces can still provide value, it is important to also give your company a voice of authority. This means that you should give yourself credit on content pieces using the “rel=author” tag to link with the author’s Google+ account. By building authority this way, you can create a following of readers who are interested in what a specific author has to say.
Many companies are scared to do this because they don’t want to be judged for their work, but one indicator of high-quality content is that the author stands by their writing whether people agree with them or not. Having authors who genuinely take credit for their work is a great way to increase the quality of the content that is written.
Brand Authority Comes Also Comes With Well-Researched SEO Content
In addition to using SEO authority tools like the one mentioned above, you can build brand authority by making sure your content is well-researched, properly cited and data-driven. Rather than just telling someone to believe a certain way, high-quality SEO content has the ability to show them as well. Take the time to search out relevant studies and statistics that help back up your points and make them really hit home.
Learning how to write high-quality content can often boil down to how well you know the subject matter and your ability to make an argument for your position.
3. Eliminate Writing Mistakes
Nothing turns off a reader more than bad spelling and grammar. When these types of mistakes exist in SEO quality content, it tells the reader that the author didn’t read through it; thus the author didn’t feel like it was very worthwhile to share.
I understand people make mistakes (we’re all human!), but there is a difference between a typo or two in a piece of SEO content and multiple serious grammar mistakes within an article. Double-check your content, run a spell checker, and get a second pair of eyes to read it over before you share it with the world.
If You’re Not an Editor, You’re Not the One to Do This
Take it from a content expert, just because you have a knack for writing does not mean you also are a proficient editor. In fact, they are very different skillsets most times. While an SEO content writer can and should seek to improve their editing skills, it’s always best to have someone other than yourself go through the content once it’s completed to make sure it really does qualify as high-quality content for SEO.
4. Come up With Something New
New ideas, or new ways to think about something, are a great way to show your audience that you truly gave your content subject matter some thought and are trying to provide real insight.
If a reader finds a blog topic that piques their interest because of a new perspective given, they will be more apt to give your content the attention that it deserves. Creating quality content topics is something every writer deals with on a daily basis. When creating blog post topics, try coming at the piece from another angle, or pick a controversial (or opinionated) stand.
Give people a reason to read your high-quality content through catchy titles/headlines and you’ve won half the battle.
5. Interact With Your High-Quality Content
Creating high-quality content goes beyond just writing, editing and scheduling your post to be published. In fact, the best high-quality content for SEO is something you should go back to over and over again.
One of the biggest wasted opportunities I see is when a post starts getting traction on the internet and garners hundreds of comments from readers, but there isn’t a single response from the author. If you truly value your content, you should interact with those that object or agree with it. If you have a piece of content that gets a response from your reader base, do yourself a favor and interact with a genuine comment. It’s a simple way to connect with potential customers on a personal level and build your brand authority.
Not only that, depending on the visibility your post gets, it may be an easy way to get a conversation started with another influencer in your industry who has left a comment.
Track, Optimize and Revise SEO Quality Content
As a subheading to interacting on a personal level with people that have something to say about your post, there is also more you can do to your content from an SEO perspective. One mistake that too many companies make is that they invest in writing high-quality content, but then never go back to see how it’s performing. The truth is that your content may not always perform the way you hope it will, but with tools like SEM Rush you can quickly see if you’re onto something or not.
In fact, many times you’ll start ranking for related keywords you weren’t targeting initially, but that can still propel your post forward. Once you see what kinds of keywords your high-quality content is ranking for, it’s time to reoptimize around those keywords. If you’re still not seeing rankings climb, you then can turn to revising the original content or adding new content sections to help build it out better.
High-quality content for SEO should be a living, breathing piece of your online marketing strategy. Make those quality content creation dollars go farther with continual tracking and optimization.
Start Creating High-Quality Content Today!
I know that there are many other factors to take into consideration when trying to write high-quality SEO content, but these 5 tips are a great start. If you’re a digital marketing agency or small business that’s looking to write high-quality content but doesn’t have the time to do it on your own, let us help!
If you’re an SEO content writer, then we want to know some of your own tips that you think should be used in order to create high-quality content. Share in the comment section below!