The Algorithm Academy: #2 Content
Welcome to the Algorithm Academy, your six part guide designed to make you a Google genius. We’re going to be teaching you about Google’s algorithm and its ranking factors; from what makes you rank, to what has a negative impact on your rankings.
Today’s topic is content, and we’ll be telling you everything you need to know, from how to create a good title to how to get people to click through.
What is content?
Content is a blog post, a landing page, a video, a tweet, anything you produce for or on your site. Content is critical for SEO because Google constantly crawls your website for information. The more fresh content that is live on your website, the more Google can crawl. The search engine crawls your website and picks up on keywords which in turn help you to rank.
Ensuring you get fresh content uploaded to your website is very important when it comes to ranking. Content is a major part of Google’s ranking factor and today we’re going to teach you how you can ensure your content is up to scratch.
Structure helps rankings and user intent
The structure needs to be optimised for both keyword rankings and user intent. It is important to include keywords you want to rank for in parts of your content’s structure that are direct ranking factors. These include the title, meta titles, and your H tags.
When Google crawls your website it crawls it in an order. Your H tags help Google work out the hierarchy of each page, going from H1 down to H6 the hierarchy is shown as less important to the Googlebot. Putting keywords in your more important H1 and H2 tags will help your rankings.
Setting up your structure using H tags also helps user intent, having these subheadings followed by smaller chunks of text makes it easier to read. It is important to structure your content in a way that a user can read it quickly and easily. You need to think about both the quality of your content and the quantity. All content should always be 300 words+, and quality should always be high.
A good title is just the beginning
Your content might be golden, but if your headline is boring your click through rate will be low. To create a good title you need to think about two things, attracting reader’s attention and then prompting them to click through and read more. Listicles are always a good way to grab a readers attention, titles with numbers in are preferred, according to Conversion XL and tend to get more shares on Facebook and Twitter.
It is important to ensure your titles are both user-friendly and SEO optimised, so you should try to include keywords you want to rank for. If for example, if you’re a laser hair removal clinic you could have titles such as;
- 7 ways laser hair removal is the best treatment for you
- How laser hair removal will help you
- Laser hair removal: How does it work?
These titles are easy to read, get to the point, and have the main keyword you want to rank for. Once you’re ranking for this keyword your titles will appear in Google and will attract people to click through, which is exactly what you want!
Meta data can draw your reader in
Your meta data can help content in two ways, firstly your meta titles can help you rank for specific keywords and your meta descriptions can help with click through ratings.
When writing your meta title it is important to include the keyword you want to rank for. A meta title is a direct ranking factor and having your chosen keyword will help you rank. For example, your meta title could be ‘ 7 ways laser hair removal is the best treatment for you | Clinic name ‘ or if your blog title doesn’t have your keyword in you could have ‘ 6 reasons shaving is so last year | Laser Hair Removal | Clinic name’. This is the perfect way to ensure you get both the keyword and the company name in your title to help boost rankings for both.
Meta descriptions are slightly different, these are not a direct ranking factor and it is not crucial that you put keywords in them. Meta descriptions should be considered as your posts first impression, the opening line to your content.
When you come up in Google’s search results your meta description will show and you want it to be as engaging as possible. “Are you thinking about laser hair removal? We’ve got 7 amazing reasons why it is the best treatment for you. Click through to see why…”
If you don’t specify metadata Google will simply pull something from the content itself, and this could cut off the end of a sentence and might not be as engaging.
Keywords need to be natural
Once you know what keywords you want your website to rank for it’s important to include them in your websites content, both landing page content and blog content. There is no precise number of times to write one keyword in a piece of content to help boost rankings, but, it’s important to avoid keyword stuffing.
Write to fulfill intent
Google with its advanced voice search functionality, featured snippets and natural language processing is hungry for content that fulfills intent. It’s now scraping well structured content and reproducing it on top of page 1. This is a prime search page real estate with the potential of multiplying your visibility many times over. A feature snipped content from your website is also a great statement on your website’s authority. Therefore, if you have lengthy content that has the potential to answer specific query such as someine looking for a cost or a list of items then it’s worth structuring it into bullet points or tables.
Vary content formats
Don’t just churn it content in a one-dimensional form. With the expansion of the knowledge graph, availability of AMP HTML, rich cards and structured data mark-ups there are plenty of opportunities for being varied and also adding a layer of technical implementation. This way not only will you be producing content that is unique and varied, you will be future-proofing to take advantage of the latest Google features.
Naturally written content that serves purpose, is detailed, unique and relevant is vital as a ranking factor. Google is no longer just a matching engine but also an intelligent engine with advanced artificial intelligence abilities and capable of understanding even the most complex user queries. When planning content make sure you cater to Google’s indexing and matching, as well as intelligence, capabilities.
That concludes today’s lesson.