In today’s highly competitive, global marketplace it’s more crucial than ever for a business to be able to reach its audience online.
With a veritable sea of business websites out there, having a strategy to get Google to rank your content is fundamental to getting your business seen. Failure to do so could significantly impact your company’s performance, leaving you on the periphery of your industry rather than centre stage!
Add to this, the fact that only 8.5% of web traffic make it beyond the first page of Google’s search results and you have a pretty compelling case to get Google to rank your content.
So, you might ask, if the content on my site showcases some stellar writing or I have a carefully-devised SEO strategy, shouldn’t that be enough to secure a high Google ranking? Well, having these measures in place will certainly help, but they are just a part of the puzzle.
In this article, we’ll explore the steps you should take to get Google to rank your content and maximise your company’s chances of success.
How to write content that Google will rank
Tip 1: Write for your users, as well as Google
Google and your customers are not mutually exclusive. Remember this when crafting your content!
With Google’s algorithms becoming ever-more savvy, your content strategy needs to keep pace and move away from being just a few keyword spreadsheets.
The search engine now considers the context of your site, as well as its overall quality and the intent of user searches when deciding whether to return your website for specific search queries.
With this in mind, user intent should be a key component of your content strategy. (More on this later…)
Tip 2: Create a customer persona
If you don’t have one of these already, WHY? To get Google to rank your content, it must be both relevant and useful. To create content that ticks both of these boxes, you must first understand your audience.
Only by being on the same page as your users (if you pardon the pun) will you stand any chance of producing material that answers their questions, addresses their interests and solves their problems.
Creating a customer persona is an essential starting point in the quest to produce relevant content. A persona should capture the basic characteristics of who is buying your product/using your service and why.
Remember to keep your customer persona up-to-date as your client base evolves. You may also need to create multiple personas if you have a varied client base.
Tip 3: Evaluate user intent
Or, put simply – figure out what your users want or what problems they’re looking to solve.
Normally, a user will come to a site to satisfy one of the following needs/wants:
- Looking for information (where, why, what, when, how)
- Shopping (to buy or hire a product/service)
- Commercial (e.g. to look up directions to a shop, opening times, check customer reviews etc.)
- Navigational (to find a specific website, webpage or brand, e.g. a user might type ‘BBC’ into the search engine)
Understanding the search terms visitors have used to lead them to your site can help you create content that’s meaningful and speaks to those needs.
In improving your understanding of this, your content will perform better which will ultimately result in more click-throughs, enquiries and conversions.
Tip 4: Create keywords for your content strategy and implement them
Whilst keywords aren’t everything, they are important and you shouldn’t ignore them!
If you’re going to get a user to visit your site and engage with your content, you’ll need to give keywords some proper thought.
However, there’s no need for any crazy alchemy! Instead, adopt a common-sense approach and ask yourself:
- What’s the nature of your business? What product/service are you selling? Create a list of keywords that describe your product/service (navigational and commercial queries).
- What problem does your user have? What solution are they seeking? Create a list of keywords that describe the problem and the potential solution (informational queries).
As you create your list, bear in mind there are different types of keywords. Long-tail keywords are likely to generate the best traffic as they allow you to be more specific, thereby reducing competition to get Google to rank your content.
For your SEO efforts to be successful, you’ll need to put your chosen keywords in the correct places across your site. Pay particular attention to your home page, as it should always target your most important keywords.
Finally, make sure you also use your keywords in your site’s meta descriptions (which essentially exist to persuade users to visit your site). Your meta descriptions also need to have a little pizzazz! If you can use the relatively short number of words to meet your user’s intent, solve their problem or get their attention then you have an effective meta description.
With this work complete, your site should now be relevant for search engines as well as users!
Tip 5: Focus on quality, not quantity!
Last but most definitely not least, to get Google to rank your content you need to be producing quality material that’s genuinely useful.
There are a number of ways to do so:
- Solve a problem: The premise here is simple. Work out the user’s concern or problem and address it by offering a solution. Users love content that solves their problem because it’s relevant and makes their lives easier!
- Produce timely content: To ensure your content is relevant, you must also consider current events and trends. Your blog and social media strategy should reflect the times and include topical events. Your website’s pages, by contrast, should be written in an evergreen-style to help them withstand the test of time.
- Don’t shy away from long-form content: Make your content as comprehensive as it needs to be. Don’t be scared to produce content that’s over a few hundred words if you have a valid reason for doing so. Sometimes there’s a need for a more detailed exploration of a topic. Your users will thank you for it!
- Be original: Nobody likes to see the same old content being regurgitated time and again. If you can produce content that’s fresh, is presented in a creative way and is focussed on topics your audience is interested in, you’ll have a winning formula!
So there you have it, our tips to get Google to rank your content. It’s not an exact science and takes more than being a wily wordsmith or an SEO whizz alone. But, with a little time and effort you can produce content that your users will value and that will boost your business.