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Want to Rank in Google? How Content Creation Can Help You Move Up In the SERPs

By: Tabitha Wilson

When you search anything on Google, how far down do you typically scroll before clicking? A recent study showed that 25% of searchers will click on the first result, and most people are unlikely to scroll past the first page of results before clicking. Getting your website to the top of the SERPs depends on your niche and your competition — but how your site is ranked depends on the quality of your content. 

As SEOs, we know that content is king. If your site doesn’t have information that real people want to know, it won’t rank. Meeting keywords and formatting your headers is just the baseline for creating great content, but you can do so much more for your site. Here’s our philosophy on how you can do it. 

Understanding the Basics of the SERPs – How Does Google Rank Content?

To rank in the SERPs, you must first understand how Google and other search engines rank pages on their platform. Google utilizes a complex algorithm to sort through content online and assign it a value based on certain factors. While Google does not disclose the specifics of its algorithms, we do know that web pages are ranked based on their overall quality, relevance to the search query, and previous user behavior. The algorithm judges whether or not your content meets the searcher’s needs, explains the information well, and has served other searchers well in the past.

The Significance of High-Quality Content

Google defines high-quality content as content that quickly and reliably fulfills the user’s search intent. The core purpose of the search algorithm is to help the searcher find the information they need within a few clicks. Every tweak and update to the algorithm has been in service of this mission.

Google rates the quality of online content using EEAT standards: experience, expertise, authority, and trust. Search quality raters assign a rating to the content based on these factors, alongside the website’s historical performance and reputation. While the way that content is rated is separate from how it’s ranked, high-ranking content almost always exceeds Google rating standards.

Keywords: The Foundation of Search

Keywords are the building blocks of Google search. Without keywords, the algorithm could not categorize your site, match it to search queries, and provide users with the kind of content they’re searching for. Understanding how the algorithm recognizes and organizes keywords is essential for creating content that ranks.

The Google algorithm looks for keywords in three places: your URL, titles, and the content itself. It then assesses the match between a page’s content and the user’s search intent, prioritizing pages that offer comprehensive and highly relevant information. Once the algorithm has assessed your content, it uses sophisticated AI programs like RankBrain and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to assign that content quantifiable values and a rank within the SERP.

Effective keyword planning and research are among the best ways to prepare a content strategy. Keywords signal to Google what your content is about and what kinds of searchers would benefit from reading it. Natural but strategic use of high-impact keywords can ensure more people see your content and get the answers they need.

Animation of a woman creating content

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Content Creation Strategies for Domination in the SERPs

To put this knowledge into practice, place the searcher first while planning your content. Here are our tips for content wizardry.

Crafting Content That Meets Search Intent

At Resolve, we like to say that SEO is a human endeavor. Even though you may be crafting content to meet certain keywords and create a particular internal linking structure, you remember that it’s all done to provide value to the searcher. To do this effectively, you have to understand search intent. We categorize searcher intent into three broad sections:

  • Informational Intent: Users looking for information, tips, guides, or knowledge. They are in the discovery phase, seeking answers or insights on a specific topic or question.
  • Navigational Intent: These searches are performed to reach a specific website or page. The user already has a destination in mind, such as a social media platform or a brand homepage.
  • Transactional Intent: Users with transactional intent are ready to buy, subscribe, or engage in a transaction. They’re looking for the best deals, product pages, or places to make a purchase.

While doing keyword research, note the intent behind each keyword you plan to hit. For example, if you’re trying to hit the keyword phrase “Best Software For Managing Etsy Listings,” craft your article knowing that most people visiting your page will be looking for information they will use to decide on a purchase. A mismatch between the reason people seek out your article and the information you provide can result in your content not being ranked as highly as it may have been otherwise.

Optimizing Content for SEO

Once your content is planned and crafted, you must ensure it meets SEO best practices. Paying attention to the small details of your content and how it is displayed on your website allows you to better signal to the algorithm what your piece is about.

Title tags and meta descriptions are your first opportunity to communicate directly with searchers and search engines about your page’s content. They act as a concise preview that influences whether users click through. Make your title tag shorter than your title, explaining the key phrase you want the algorithm to see. Your meta description should be 160 characters or less and make the reader more interested in your article.

Your headers should also be clearly labeled as H2s, H3s, etc. Clear, hierarchical headers tell the algorithm what information is most important within the article and what questions it answers in what order. Your headers should include your main keywords organically, but don’t overdo it; the algorithm can differentiate between organic keyword usage and keyword stuffing.

Leveraging Different Types of Content

Diversifying your content formats is essential to reach a broader audience and cater to different preferences. Traditional blog posts can be foundational, offering in-depth coverage of topics that boost your site’s authority. Conversely, videos and podcasts can make complex information more accessible and engaging, often leading to longer dwell times, which positively impact SEO rankings. Infographics distill data into a visually appealing format that is easy to share, increasing your content’s potential to go viral.

Repurposing content across different platforms also extends its lifespan and reach. A single piece of content, like a webinar, can be transformed into a blog post, a YouTube video, and a series of tweets, each adapted to the platform’s strengths and audience preferences. This strategy maximizes your content investment and reinforces your message across multiple touchpoints, enhancing brand recognition and SEO through repeated exposure and increased backlinks.

Advanced Techniques for Content Optimization

Taking your content strategy to the next level requires a little more planning and research. But in SEO, playing the long game almost always pays off. Here’s what to consider as you plan a long-term content strategy. 

Building Topical Authority

Becoming a topical authority in your niche takes time and precise content optimization, but it pays off as it checks off the A in EEAT. Once your site has been established as a topical authority, all your future content will be rated more favorably. 

To build topical authority, focus on creating comprehensive content clusters.  You do this by creating multiple pieces of content that branch off from a central topic. For example, if “Restaurant Management” is your central topic, you can plan content that answers technical questions within that field, such as “How to Prevent Food Waste in Your Restaurant” and “How to Work Out Deals With Food Delivery Apps.” Consistency is critical when it comes to content clusters like this one; you want to show search engines that your website is actively researching and discussing this topic. 

A robust internal linking strategy within your content is one of the best and most subtle ways to build topical authority. 

illustration of four people in a meeting coming up with content ideas

User Experience and Technical SEO

Factors like page speed and mobile-friendliness directly affect a user’s ability to access and engage with your content, influencing bounce rates and dwell times — two metrics closely watched by search engines. The better your user experience (UX), the more likely you are to rank in the SERP. 

Take some time to learn the basics of technical SEO — or look into hiring someone who knows it. Optimizing your website’s schema markup helps search engines understand the context of your content, enabling rich snippets that can increase click-through rates. A well-designed and well-structured website shows Google that you put the user first in every aspect of your site. 

 

Analyzing and Improving Your Content Performance

Effectively measuring content performance is essential for refining your SEO strategy. Key metrics such as page views, time on page, bounce rate, and conversions provide insights into how your content resonates with audiences. Tracking your SERP rankings for targeted keywords also helps gauge your content’s competitiveness.

Tools like Google Analytics let you dive deep into user behavior, identifying which content performs best and why. This data informs immediate content updates — such as optimizing for high-performing keywords or addressing underperforming pages — and strategic pivots in your overall content approach. Utilizing multiple specialized SEO tools will allow you to see your traffic and other vital numbers at a moment’s notice. 

Content creation is a powerful tool in your SEO arsenal, but like any tool, its effectiveness depends on how skillfully it’s used. When you take the time to meet Google’s guidelines and provide your audience with high-quality, helpful content, the algorithm will naturally rate your content more favorably. At the end of the day, all we SEOs are trying to do is help other people get the information they are searching for. 

FAQs About Content Creation for SEO Performance

How Often Should I Publish New Content?

Publish new content consistently, aiming to balance quality with frequency. High-quality content published at regular intervals signals to search engines that your site is a reliable source of information.

Can Any Type of Content Help Me Rank in Google?

While various content types can boost SEO, in-depth articles, detailed guides, and well-optimized videos and infographics are particularly effective. They succeed by thoroughly addressing user intent and incorporating SEO best practices.

How Long Does It Take to See Results from Content Creation?

Results from content creation can typically be seen within several months to a year, depending on factors like industry competition and content quality. Patience and ongoing optimization are crucial.

Is Video Content Effective for SEO?

Video content significantly enhances SEO by improving engagement metrics like time on site and bounce rate. Ensure videos are optimized with clear descriptions, relevant tags, and transcription for best results.

How Can I Improve My Content’s Visibility in Google’s Featured Snippets?

Format your content to answer specific queries with concise lists, headings, and sections, particularly targeting long-tail keywords, to boost the likelihood of appearing in Google’s featured snippets.

Do Social Media Signals Affect My Site’s SEO?

Social media does not directly influence SEO rankings, but it indirectly supports SEO through brand exposure, increased traffic, and the generation of backlinks, which are beneficial for SEO.

How Important Is Content Length for SEO?

Content length is crucial, as longer posts often rank better due to their depth of information. However, ensuring content remains engaging and thoroughly addresses the topic is critical.

Should I Update Old Content or Focus on Creating New Content?

It’s crucial to balance updating old content with creating new content. Refreshing outdated content can enhance relevance and SEO while adding new content keeps your site dynamic and engaging.

How Can I Measure the ROI of My Content Marketing Efforts?

Utilize tools like Google Analytics to track website traffic, user engagement, and conversions to measure the ROI of content marketing. Set specific goals and assess performance against these metrics.

What Are the Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in Content Creation?

Avoid common SEO errors such as insufficient keyword research, producing low-quality content, and neglecting mobile optimization. Regularly update and review content to ensure it meets high standards and remains relevant.

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