7 Features of Highly Effective Content
There’s a lot of debate over the true value of content in the SEO and SEM worlds; whether it’s worth large investments or should simply be outsourced. We won’t solve that debate today.
No matter the true worth of content, it’s obvious that not all pages are created equal. This is made especially clear when looking at URL ratings and page ranks, as available on ahrefs.com. You can also look at conversions for a more solid financial metric of the success of your pages.
When you look at these pages, their features can sometimes seem a bit random. What are the actual pieces that make them what they are? There are some aspects that are usually present, and following them is the first step towards producing top-ranking content. The following steps are beyond anyone’s control, so don’t beat yourself up if you write the perfect page and it still doesn’t go anywhere.
1. Provide Direct Answers
Unbranded search queries are often looking for direct answers. If the content is informative, you want to answer the question as directly as possible. You don’t need a lot of fluff or keyword stuffing, just answer the question.
2. Have a Solid Header Structure
Headers tell search engines what’s in your content. We’ve been over this before. Multiple times. Don’t neglect your H2s and H3s. They help both search engines and human audiences read your page and properly categorize it. While we have moved away from the header structure being a ranking factor for Google, they are still vital for an accessible and skimmable page.
As far as this factor goes, it’s one that you can’t really control prior to publishing. As in, you can update old content, you can’t really add years to new content, and proving lasting value is incredibly beneficial to ranking well. The more traffic a page gets, and more specifically the more high-quality traffic a page gets, the better its reputation is with search engines. Evergreen content tends to do well, as it’s proven its worth time and time again.
4. Internal Linking
Building a solid internal linking structure is important for your website no matter what; orphan pages don’t help anyone. When you link to other pages on your website you are showing the search engines that this page relates to these other pages. It also just helps the bots on their crawls, and you want to help them as much as possible. Respect the bots.
5. External Linking
Linking to external sites is like citing sources in an essay; it shows that you know where to find trustworthy information. A healthy amount of external linking gives users the opportunity to find more information.
6. Trustworthy Backlinks
This requires a bit of link building and PR. One of the best ways to prove authority and increase traffic is to get other sites to link to your content. Sometimes, if your content is a really obvious and valuable resource, websites will link to it on their own. Don’t hold your breath. Go out and make connections on your own. Build your own network.
7. Follow Google’s Best Practices
When one company controls 90% of web traffic globally, it’s not a bad idea to listen to their suggestions. Following Google’s best practices when it comes to writing content is not only a good idea for your rankings, it’s a good idea for your content in general. It has such suggestions as “use correct grammar” and “don’t plagiarize.” These might seem like common sense suggestions, but it’s always worth reiterating.
Now that you have the secrets to highly optimized content, you too can feel the struggle while trying to make it successful. Just remember to keep it unique and keep it interesting.