Writing high-quality material and following this SEO checklist for content will help you stand out in user searches
Getting to the top of Google takes hard work. If you’re producing content and it isn’t getting displayed on the first page of Google’s search results, you need to rethink your approach, and focus on user-friendly web content writing skills.
Using an on-page SEO strategy and following a simple SEO checklist for content can be a huge help to increase your website’s Google ranking.
If you’re already familiar with the main techniques, you’ve probably already noticed that this text makes use of all of them. Once you’ve finished reading, try to figure out this article’s main keyword, and test your knowledge.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization – a series of techniques for optimizing your website’s ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.
SEO is divided into on-page and off-page SEO. In this article we’re focusing on the production of quality content, so we will be looking at on-page SEO in closer detail.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO techniques focus on the aspects that can be improved within the website itself. The goal is to increase organic traffic.
On-page SEO tools include:
- content optimization
- meta tags
- URL and more.
Search engine bots trawl the internet looking for relevant content for its users, by evaluating page structures and everything contained therein.
Their goal is to improve search engine user experience as much as possible. So the more relevant your SEO content is, the higher your site will rank. To begin with, identify the most relevant keywords for your topic.
Google rejects standardized content in favor of new and precise information for its readers. Google is always on the lookout for sites that can demonstrate authority about a given subject.
So on-page SEO is about technique. But it is also about educating, inspiring and guiding users with your content.
A keyword is not just a word
Complicated, right? Despite the name, it’s preferable to use long-tail keywords, especially when producing content for new blogs. If you are trying to learn how to bake a chocolate cake, what are you more likely to type in the search engine? “chocolate cake”? Or “how to bake a chocolate cake”?
Long-tail keywords like the latter example are heavily used by SEO professionals because the most specific user search queries typically contain more than three words.
Therefore, it pays to optimize your page around entire long-tail keywords.
A strong keyword strategy is at the foundation of on-page SEO. To identify the right keywords, follow these steps:
- Make a list of everything that is relevant to your business
- Test the value of the related keywords using tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, and others.
- Find related keywords to use in your content
- Take the information from these tools and use Google Trends to fill in the blanks
Having chosen your keywords, the next step is to plan your content schedule and write your articles. To help you with that, you’ll need an SEO Content Checklist.
Tips for producing Google-friendly content
Online businesses concerned with SEO should try as hard as they can to create reader- and Google-friendly content.
Your text should have a structure that is easily understood by Google and other search engines.
Think of it like baking a cake: if you forget the flour, your recipe won’t work. SEO works on similar principles, so don’t skip any of these checklist steps.
SEO content checklist
Readon to find out where to use keywords, the optimal size of your content, how to use links, and how to make your content easy to read.
The main keyword should appear:
- In the title
- In the first or second paragraph of the text
- In the last paragraph of the text
- Once or twice in the middle of the content
- In the URL
- Front-load your keyword in your title tag
- Name your image files with the keywords in it
- This one is optional: in the thin line – in case there is one.
- Use subtitles to break the text into multiple sections
- Use the main keyword at least once in a subheading
- Separate them into H1, H2, H3 within the HTML, to help Google categorize your information
- The title should not exceed 60 words
- Content should be unique and free of plagiarism
- Content must be relevant to the target audience
- Content must have more than 700 words
- Use content-related, free-to-reuse images
- Avoid paragraphs longer than four lines
- Shorten your sentences
- When explaining an idea, simplify the explanation
- Use bullet points
You can also add internal links to keep visitors traveling within your site. In this case:
- Use the link in the anchor
- Insert the link in the first or second paragraph of the text
- Google Artificial Intelligence is smart as hell. Don’t just repeat these steps thoughtlessly or in a non-organic way. Google will notice this and penalize your site accordingly.
- Always deliver high-quality information. That is what will make you stand out from the crowd.
Writing is rewriting
SEO also involves reviewing your past content to optimize it. You don’t have to exclusively produce new texts; you can also improve what you’ve already published.
Analyze metrics, upgrade your SEO techniques and update past content. This will help your site rank better.
Don’t use your title to promise something that doesn’t appear in your content. Clickbait will only result in angry, frustrated visitors, who you are likely to lose forever.
Test your knowledge
Before we wrap up, here’s a final thought and a challenge. When writing your on-page SEO content, remember that you are writing to solve a user’s problem. Try to help the reader in this task, and impart value to your text.
Now we end with a test for you. Take the steps of the SEO Content Checklist as described above, and try to identify each one in this SEO content. Finally, replicate what you’ve learned, and improve your SEO results.
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