How to Write Content That Will Rank High Online

How to Write Content That Will Rank High Online

Everyone wants to appear on Google and rank high online for the content they write. Google is the number one search engine used in the world, it’s the best way for your company to get found by prospective clients. Your content is created to both inform users about your services, as well as inform search engines, so you can appear online for the products you offer. There are several tricks you can use when writing content to appeal to both readers and search engines. This post will help you take a more strategic approach to your content marketing by incorporating keyword research and buyer intent, to help you to start ranking online. 

What is Content Marketing?

In its simplest form, content marketing is a means of communicating the values and services of your business to interested clients. It should be a strategic approach for distributing useful, educational information to both attract and keep prospective clients. Content marketing builds trust with your audience and it helps them make informed decisions. 

Quality content can be reused and repurposed for posts on social media, email send-outs, and even video marketing. Content is also a large factor in SEO and ranking online. Google uses the content on your website to determine the keywords your business ranks for. Good content is the fastest way to get found online and start ranking for the services you offer. Learn more about the details of content marketing on our blog.

Searching a term in Google

How to Write “Good” Content for your Readers

Good content will help to inform your readers, improve your position in organic search and retain interested leads. So what makes content good? 

Good content doesn’t necessarily mean perfect paragraphs or grammar. Good content is readable content. It’s content that the average reader can understand and process. Content writing is about taking higher-level concepts and translating them in a way people will understand. Most readers actually read at a 7th-grade level. This is why it is important to use platforms like Hemingway to check your writing and make sure that it’s easy for others to understand. 

A lot of content writing is also about trying to keep readers interested and on the page. This is why it’s perfectly fine to stray from traditional paragraph structure, break up the content as much as possible, add images and use bold or italic words and even questions in your writing. This keeps people engaged, and on the page. 

Good content seeks to inform the reader, it is helpful to provide related links in your content to both internal and external sources, so your reader can continue their research and make informed decisions. 

Good Content for Readers: 

  • Informative & easy to understand 
  • Engaging 
  • Well researched

You can measure and track to see if your content is appealing to readers. In Google Analytics, look at how long they spend on the page. If they leave your post as soon as they arrive, you may want to make the page more appealing to retain your audience. You can also use heat mapping tools such as Hotjar to see if readers make it to the end of your content and click the links or buttons you laid out for them. Now let’s look into what makes good content from Google’s point of view.

html text example

How to Write Content that Appeals to Google

It’s important to write your content for human readers first, but when it comes to ranking online, you must optimize all of your writing for SEO. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your content easy to read for Google’s crawlers. Google actually also has real people reading your pages as well; but this is more for content in the health, wellness and medical fields, where accurate information is essential for readers. 

Google takes over 200 ranking factors into account when it’s crawling your content. Some of these factors are more important than others and all of the factors are loosely based on a users’ experience on your pages. 

SEO and Google Crawlers

Google’s crawlers don’t read as we do, they read in HTML code. When you are writing your content, your titles, headers, images, linked text and body paragraphs all tell Google what your topic is about. Once they are published, there is an HTML version of your post online. That is why it is very important to optimize your content for SEO. 

A crawler will see that you have a title, H1, H2, H3 tags (loaded with your keywords.) It will see keywords that are in bold in your body paragraph and it will see the ALT text on images. If you want to check to see what Google sees, click into the HTML version of your blog post. Check to see the title tags and headers all align with what you want Google to see. Here’s a helpful article that goes into detail on how to write SEO optimized content. 

Length of Content

The length of your content is also very important. Google prefers long-form content (upwards of 2000 words) Google basically loves content that has been Wikipediafied. 

This means it’s looking for long content broken up into various sub-sections, with images and plenty of interlinking. Whereas humans get bored easily and will navigate away from a page if it looks too long. 

Neil Patel does the best job of writing for both humans and search engine bots. Take a look through his blog posts and you’ll see, the text is long, but it’s spaced out, it’s easy for readers to scan and it’s filled with plenty of photos and questions to keep your attention. This is the type of content that blends both Google’s needs with the needs of your readers. 

Lastly, it is essential to wait and measure how your content performs online over time. Track its performance and make changes along the way. You should also promote your content via social media and blogger outreach. 

Buyer Intent & Keyword Research 

Content marketing focuses entirely on the organic side of ranking online and it is largely based on keywords. The key to writing content that will rank high online is writing based on the keywords that you want to rank for. You find your keywords through different tools such as Google Keyword Planner (in Google Ads) and Google Search Console. There are also helpful plugins such as Keywords Everywhere. (See Guideline*)

When you are first starting the process of keyword research, it is important to think of your buyer personas. What is someone going to search on Google when they are looking for your services? What key phrases/language will they use? Think of your demographic, their location, their needs. 

The simplest way to start your keyword research is to take stock of what you already have. Perform a website audit and determine a list of keywords and topics that are already being used. 

You can check in Ahrefs to start tracking how well the website is ranking for each keyword. You can also check in Google Keyword Planner to determine how much traffic each keyword gets per month.

It’s best to look for keywords with high impressions and low to medium levels of competition. Longer tail keywords that are more specific to your business can help to get you more visibility in the area you want to rank in. Note: if you don’t have access to a client’s Google Ads profile, there are many free tools available to find related keywords. One is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.

Let’s dive into the details of keyword research for ranking online.

*Guide: How to do Keyword Research – Step by Step* 

  1. Go through the current website & collect your main keywords
  2. Write them down in a spreadsheet 
  3. When you have your brand, company, products, industry, and service keywords covered, categorize them in a way that makes sense to you.
  4. Determine your target area & audience as well as the target country.
  5. Use Google Keyword Planner (GKP) and select ‘find new keywords’.
  6. Turn on Keywords Everywhere extension in Chrome and select target ‘country’
  7. Category by category from your spreadsheet, add into Google Keyword Planner and record the average monthly searches.
  8. Look for additional keywords in GKP to add that have a high average search volume.
  9. After forming a comprehensive list, label the keywords as either – bad, ok, good or excellent based on the average monthly searches for your target area. Keep in mind the keyword
    s your business already uses. Is it worth changing or do they have enough searches?
  10. Ideally, you would add all these keywords into a keyword tracking tool (e.g. SEMRush or Ahrefs) to benchmark your website’s current performance and then try to improve over time with new content or modified old content.
  11. The first thing to do regarding content is to go through your current site and edit any changes to current page titles, SEO titles, SEO descriptions, headings, and text-based on your keyword research findings.

CONTENT STRATEGY

Once you have a clear idea of the keywords you currently rank for, and the words you want to rank for, it’s time to plan your content strategy. 

  1. Take the best keywords and use them to create your content strategy.
  2. Do some more exploring around new terms that come out of these keywords. 
  3. You should be able to create content or articles to rank for these keywords.
  4. Develop a content calendar and schedule when you should create and publish the content.

CONTENT CREATION

When you have a clear calendar of content topics that are based on your keywords, it’s time to start writing. Your content calendar will keep you consistent and on track with your writing, so you have a clear posting schedule. 

  1. Once you have prioritized which content to create, begin writing your content based on your content calendar.
  2. Do research on what posts are currently ranking for that keyword and how you can improve your writing to rank and compete. 
  3. Use a plugin such as Yoast to be sure your content is also optimized for SEO.
  4. Try to base content on ONE keyword to start with. 

Your keywords are the biggest factor in ranking high online. If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of keyword research, we have created a helpful article called “How to do Keyword Research 101” that covers the topic in detail. 

Learn More About Content Marketing at ElementIQ

At ElementIQ we specialize in growing small to medium-sized businesses. Our team of SEO, SEM and content marketing specialists know how to create content that is tailored to your business, which will get seen online. Publishing consistent content keeps your audience engaged, and interested. Google will also crawl new content so you can start ranking for new keywords. Click to learn more about our content marketing services, or contact us today to discover all of the marketing services we offer at ElementIQ.

Beginner’s Guide: Getting Started With Google My Business

Google’s business listings first emerged in 2004 under the name “Google Local”. Over the years it has evolved from Google Local, to Google Maps, to Google Places, to Google+ Local and now Google My Business (with perhaps a few more lesser-known names in between).

Because Google My Business is so heavily integrated into Google Search, Google Maps, and even Google Adwords, it is now one of the most powerful and valuable Google services for a business owner.

Getting Started With Google My Business

Like any other Google property, you will need a Google account. First, head over to https://places.google.com and click on the big “START NOW” button in the right corner.

Creating Your Google My Business Listing

If Google does not recognize your business, you will need to create one. This is simple enough, just fill in the business information in the form:

The most important things are the Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) of your business.

Be sure these are correct and consistent with other instances online, particularly your website. Here are some helpful notes when adding your NAP:

Entering Your Business Name

For your Business Name, make sure you use the business name you would like to appear on the web. This does not necessarily need to be your official, registered name.

Formatting Your Address

Putting in the correct address format can be tricky since there are so many different ways to input it. What complicates things further is different directories online seem to have different formats.

Start by entering the street address in the first line, and then adding a line for the suite or unit number. Google is sometimes finicky with how it displays unit numbers, so you may have to adjust it after.

Optimizing Your Phone Number

Keep the phone number simple with the ###-###-#### format. If you are expecting many out of country calls it may make sense to put the +1 at the front.

Claiming Your Listing

Once your listing has been created the next step will be to claim it. The standard claiming method is to verify address ownership by requesting a postcard by mail. Postcards usually arrive in about 5 business days.

They contain a PIN number which will need to be entered into your profile dashboard.

Once you claim your listing it will be verified on Google and you will have full access to managing the business listing information.

Now if your business already exists on Google Maps (you didn’t need to create it) the claiming process is usually much easier.

First, search for your business on Google. If you find your listing and it has an “Own this business?” link, you’re in luck.

Click the link and it will allow you to receive the verification code by phone or text, in addition to the postcard. This will allow you to skip the wait time and claim your listing immediately.

Get Google’s Help

Navigating Google My Business is by no means a walk in the park. I have had my fair share of frustrations over the years.

The biggest issues you will run into are usually related to claiming and verifying the listing, especially if it has already been claimed or verified by someone else.

Here are some helpful tips I have found that can ease the process:

  • Google My Business support is surprisingly effective. Just click the “Help” link in the footer of the dashboard and select your issue. Most issues will require you to submit a ticket or request to Google, but I have found their email support to be quite responsive.
  • They still have a callback option though it’s buried deep in the Help options. Click Need More Help > Ownership or access to my business > Someone else owns or verified my service area business and request a callback. Someone from Google will call you and usually is willing to help with any issue, not just for service area businesses.
  • I’ve heard that contacting the Google My Business team through social media (Facebook chat or Twitter DM) is more effective because it will go directly to their Google My Business team in Mountain View, CA. I have had mixed results with this, from an immediate response for some cases to a 3-4 day delay for others.

Google My Business Should Be A Priority

If you are a small or medium sized business, you absolutely should invest the time and effort into your Google My Business page. Do not overlook this online profile as it is your best bet to get your business found online, and it’s free!

Google is constantly improving these business listings like allowing owners to now include posts. This allows for more engagement with customers.

Google My Business is a powerful tool that is only becoming more and more popular. It is an industry standard that legitimizes your company online and attracts customers. Stand out and get ahead, create your business profile today!