Although Google’s search engine algorithms are shrouded in mystery, they are widely accepted as a barometer for gauging the importance of your content on the internet. As a result, a cottage industry has developed that is focussed on gaming the rankings to receive favourable placement. However more often than not, “black-hat” SEO tactics do not work. What works is creating quality content that is useful to your reader. Below are five methods for writing content that will do well in search engine rankings.
1. Keyword Balance
It is no secret that including keywords within your content is one of the best ways to improve your SEO. Researching the search volume that relevant key phrases receive and implementing them within your writing is an important initial step in creating SEO friendly content.
While keyword use is important, it is also something that can be over done. When you use keywords within your writing don’t overuse them to the point that the text reads in an unnatural way. This is known as keyword overloading and it will actually have an inverse effect on your page’s search ranking. Spreading keywords strategically throughout your content and finding a healthy balance of keyword density is critical for promoting better SEO.
2. Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are a small summary of your content that search engines utilize to accompany the link to your page in search results. Utilizing keywords within meta descriptions improves your page’s ranking within search engines while simultaneously allowing readers to quickly understand the content’s topic.
3. Page URLs
In a similar fashion to the way in which you implement keywords in meta descriptions, doing so in page URLs also impacts SEO. Having page URLs that offer an indication of the page’s topic or focus allows search engine crawlers to gauge your page’s relevance.
A URL that does a good job of reflecting a page’s content improves SEO, while an irrelevant or inaccurate URL has a negative impact. For instance, using the keyword “luxury hotels” in the URL for a page promoting discount motels is misleading. This type of misdirection will cause search engines to discredit your content and rank it poorly.
4. Link to Relevant Sources
Including links to the sources you used in creating a piece of content will also have a positive impact on its SEO, according to Bit Rebels. In the eyes of Google’s page crawlers, these links increase the relevance and value of your content.
Referencing accepted authorities in your industry, linking to articles offering further information and citing your sources are all methods to take advantage of this SEO factor. Also, these links offer more information and value to your readers, increasing the likelihood that your content will be read and shared with other individuals.
5. Write Quality Content
While the aforementioned techniques represent important steps for promoting SEO, their impact relies on having a quality piece of content in the first place. Writing content that grabs your reader’s attention and offers them value is the most powerful SEO tool you have in your arsenal as a writer.
While search engines take the details from the first four steps into consideration, the most important factor that will decide your content’s ranking is its relevance. Creating content that is well written based upon research and interesting to readers will prompt other sites to link to your page. For example, if you’re a blog or website for home owners, you might feature an article on gas monitors. It’s okay to use specific keywords such as RKI single gas monitor in your content as long as you have a lot of it and it’s well written.
Managing to have authoritative and well-respected websites link to your page is perhaps the most important factor in deciding whether or not a piece of content will rank highly. In order to encourage other sites to link to your page you must create content that is interesting, informative and relevant to its intended audience.
Writing SEO friendly content is a complex and multifaceted endeavour. Although there are hundreds of tips and tricks for impacting the search rankings of your content, the aforementioned methods offer a foundation for improving your content.
This article originally appeared on Zopim’s Blog and has been republished with permission.