- The two most important ranking signals Google uses are the content you publish and the backlinks pointing to your domain (~Impact 2017)
- 70-80% of people searching the internet focus on the organic search results (~Digital Ducats, 2019)
- Blog content creation is a top inbound marketing priority for 55% of marketers (~Hubspot, 2018)
A good understanding and proper execution of the fundamental principles of quality content will lead to a top position in the search results. Effectively explaining who you are, what you do and how you can help people is the core essentials of your content and primes your website for success.
Obviously, it’s not as simple as blurting out a paragraph of detail and you’re on the first page. There are a few more steps to take in making your site a top selection by users and displayed as a top choice by search engines.
Push your site to the top of the search results for the keywords that make the most impact on your business by researching your audience, creating top-tier content and getting that content in front of as many eyes as possible.
Research your audience
It’s not enough to just find out the volume of a keyword in order to produce successful content. Much more planning goes into producing content that hits home. Keywords are a guide for creating the structure of a good piece of content. Your target keyword represents the core phrase in the broader topic for which you’re optimizing. If your content is to truly perform then all aspects of your keyword topic should be covered adequately to account for what your audience is searching for.
Find relevant subtopics
It’s no secret that search engines are essentially reading the content on websites and determining what websites are the best match to a search query. This means that to be the best match we are forced to cover a wider range of potential solutions a search query represents. The more relevant subtopics you include in your content the wider a net you cast in satisfying user intent. When it comes down to on-site metrics, include more relevant content on your page to produce higher levels of engagement from your visitors.
Incorporate phrase matches and keyword synonyms
The first phase of developing relevant subtopics begins when you’re choosing your target keyword. All of the possibilities that could be used as your target keyword phrase are also possible phrases your audience will be typing. Most of these keywords will have similar search intent which makes them excellent phrases to use within your content and whenever possible in your subtitles to describe highly relevant subtopics.
Learn to speak the same language as your audience
Reach out to your readers, visitors and potential clients to find out what they are experiencing and how they describe it. Find as much detail about what issues affect their lives the most and what they need help with the most.
Read popular niche-related forums to see what problems are most commonly encountered and how people are dealing with them. When you can read about personal experiences of the issues faced by your potential client you’re a step closer to being able to write about those issues in a way that will connect with people who are experiencing similar issues.
Learning about these experiences not only provides insight on how to approach solving the problem but how to communicate the solution within your content.
Use the phrases and terms that people are using the most in their personal posts. The familiarity and use of similar language will encourage more clicks and engagement in the content you produce.
Publish original data
Whether you’re a veteran in your industry or an up-and-comer still establishing authority in your niche, original data is a highly valued commodity that will separate your company from the competition.
This concept has worked exceptionally well in the digital marketing industry and can be seen when industry leaders publish highly linkable content. Buzzsumo published a study analyzing over 100 million headlines that became extremely popular and highly useful for writers because of the useable statistics that could be cited. This page generated 2602 backlinks to date. The importance of being a source for original statistics and data that hasn’t been published anywhere else can be the key to emerging as a top website in your industry.
In a competitive environment, backlinks will always be a major influence on how well your website ranks for a specific keyword. Acquiring high-quality links will always boil down to publishing great content. By offering something no other website has you become the source of original statistics.
If your site doesn’t have a high domain authority then simply publishing opinion articles or top 10 lists won’t actually be enough to get other websites to link to your site. Increase the value of your website by offering original data to earn more links from quality websites. Create content so good that even the high DA sites won’t be able to resist linking to you.
Use surveys to gather data that you can use in creating your own original statistics. To campaign as many people as possible, use social media to get a good cross-section of the people needed to make your study substantial.
To calculate the sample size you will need to actually take the survey you can use this sample size calculator. Make your questions as interesting and different from anything that’s ever been done so you can attract more links and more attention to your findings.
Write high-quality data-driven content
Original data will go a long way but to get the most out of your efforts choose an evergreen form of content that will have the most impact on your traffic over the long-term.
Yes, it’s true you could literally write down in bullet form, a list of the stats you’ve come up with, and although that would get links you would do even better with an infographic. Infographics are the most shared forms of evergreen content which might be something to consider when you’re choosing the most appropriate way to represent the data you’ve collected.
Reach out to everyone
When you have something of value, people will be more than happy to link to your page. Make a list of the websites, authors and influencers that would account for the best links you site could acquire. If your content is well written and the data is original, you actually doing them a favour by giving them the first opportunity to make a fresh new post about what you’ve found.
Write each email individually and be complementary and casual. Let them know how much you enjoyed an article they published in which they linked to content similar to yours. This can set the stage for casually letting them know about how your fresh content full of original statistics is a perfect match to enhance their articles. Keep in mind that although you need a link to your page, the relationship you build with an influencer is worth much more than one link.
Socialize your content
When you have great stuff, it’s going to be shared. Get that fantastic piece of content posted on every platform you have a profile on to give yourself the most exposure. Original data is a commodity and highly shareable-especially of it’s in the form of something highly valued like an infographic or in-depth article.
Although the chances of content going viral are not in your favour, having great content gives you the opportunity to expand your social network and increase the number of visitors to your website. In addition to posting your content on your social networks, make your content shareable by installing social share plugins on all your posts. Don’t be shy in asking people to share what they’ve read by including a call to action in order to boost the shares and likes your content receives.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a startup developing your domain authority, publishing original data is a sure-fire way to establish your presence at the top of the search results.
Get to know the language of your audience so you can communicate and connect on their level through evergreen content. Highly relatable and highly shareable content will expand your network and increase the number of visitors on your site.
The push to the first page of results is not always an easy path but with great content, it’s practically an inevitability.