How To Create Content That Ranks
Content marketing is becoming more complex than ever before. Content may be king, but with 70% of all content published in 2017 earning 0 backlinks, how do you help your content to rank? Understanding Google Ranking factors can be difficult, but here, we’ve put together a quick guide to what you should implement into your content strategy to produce the best results.
Typically, Google’s ‘ranking factors’ have suggested that the longer the piece of content is, the better chance it has of ranking highly in search results pages. Research suggests that content with a higher word count is typically more valuable and is often more linkable. It’s also more likely to obtain more social shares and it appears that RankBrain seems to prefer longer content too, as it is more likely to satisfy a user’s query. But does content length really have an impact?
The answer is yes, but depending on the industry you’re located in. Content is no longer just about words on a page, but also about video and multimedia. Focusing on providing value to your reader is far more important than trying to reach a word count of over 1500 just in case it ranks better. It sounds like common sense, but you’ll find that in a world of content saturation where individuals are posting more content than ever before, the amount of useless, lengthy content in the digital landscape is growing.
Consider niche ranking factors. Analyse what your niche industry is doing in order to produce content that is really ranking well in your industry. Take the Divorce industry, for example. It is likely that, due to the subject matter and the broad amount of information that can be sourced from this topic, the content is going to be longer than the content in most other industries.
Here’s a quick comparison, courtesy of SearchMetrics, displaying the number of paragraphs used on average, within the top 10 search positions for their niche.
Quite simply, lengthy content is great, but analyse your niche and what your competitors are doing. What are the first 10 organic positions showcasing within their content that you’re not? Once you’ve carried out this research, you will then find content that ranks.
While keyword spamming is a frowned-upon practice, it is still imperative that accurate keyword research takes place. Look into keyword competition, look into synonyms and ensure that each and every keyword which is integrated into your content is done so naturally. You may find that you automatically rank for long-tail keywords which you weren’t necessarily targeting, and this can be highly beneficial to see you cover a much wider breadth of the market share. Make sure that each piece of content is planned according to a subject and the relevant keywords, in order to help your content to rank more effectively.
In a digital world which is inundated with content, updating your blog once per day or even once a week isn’t as necessary anymore. In order to get your content ranking, you should consider the element of value, and plan an editorial calendar around any research you have planned to produce a truly unique and in-depth piece. You should also plan your content around key dates where you know you can capitalise on trending hashtags and news – say if there’s a specific event coming up. Google loves fresh content, as shown with its Query Deserved Freshness update which appeared in 2011, but too much content in 2018 won’t help to get your site seen and will just blend into the digital landscape not being seen by anyone.
We all know the disasters that duplicate or plagiarised content can bring on a website, but it isn’t just unique content that Google is looking for. All content that is on your site should provide your business with unique value, too. Each page should offer something different for your reader – a different combination of keywords, images, tables and more that is extremely relevant, helpful and utterly unique. This can help to evolve the levels of trust that your customers and potential customers have for your brand, while equally improving your rankings over time. Uniquely valuable content takes time and effort to craft. It should combine in-depth research and be of high quality at all times.