Strategies for creating ranking content that attracts users
22 Oct, 2023
Sometimes quality content doesn't rank. Sections such as in-depth content, author's authority, and how information is updated seem unimportant. It is not uncommon to see such high quality pages not ranking in Google.
The following is a strategy for creating content that ranks, an SEO practice , that in my experience has ranked websites over the past few years.
Review the definition of quality content
Although quality factors are important to Google.
But in my experience, what matters most is how relevant the content is to answering the underlying search intent ( LSI keyword ) in the search query.
There was once an advertisement for canned tuna featuring a tuna named Charlie. Charlie wants to be chosen by the picky and discriminating tuna company. So Charlie Tuna cultivates himself with nice clothes, a piano, and other signs of culture and good taste.
This is very much the position that publishers with high quality content can find themselves in. Focusing on traditional signals of quality is a good start. But there's more than that.
Often what's missing from a discussion about quality is the quality of how useful the content is to searchers on a particular search query.
Focusing on the depth of content, its level of completeness and such can put a publisher in a similar position to Charlie Tuna, who is cultivating all the signals of good taste.
That's the position a web developer can find themselves in. For all the talk about HTTPS and this and that quality, what is the focus of the person making the search query?
Strategically create content that ranks by writing relevant content
In my opinion and experience, a better approach is to understand what those keywords mean to the people who are using them. This is what relevance means today.
Relevance used to mean matching keywords in a search query to content on a page. But over the past few years, it has increasingly come to mean matching content to the needs of the user who is typing in that search query.
Keyword research means asking Google what Google rankings are and why?
Relevant to the user
First, I'm not saying give up keywords. What I'm talking about is expanding on what you're doing by being relevant to people.
In 2016, almost three years ago, I wrote the following in an article about keyword research . The concepts here are important to understand:
The algorithm can adapt to respond to user queries by answering questions. They are no longer simply matching search queries with keywords on a website.
This doesn't mean you should phrase your pages as questions and answers. This means understanding the user/search intent hidden in the keywords and crafting your content so that it satisfies the search/user intent hidden in the keyword phrase.
That first part is about being relevant to people making search queries, not relevant to their keywords. Be relevant to people making search queries.
Now the second part is about relevance to those who can boost your website visibility with social shares and increase rankings with links :
Websites rank because of the websites that link to them. Sites link to those pages because those pages have solved the problem, because it causes an itch.
No one ever linked to a website because of its keyword relevance. Only one SEO goes into a bar, one dives, one talks. No one linked to that.
Go beyond looking at your keyword list through a user intent/search intent framework and then consider how to use the resulting content to create a positive user experience.
Do you see how relevant people work?
It's an SEO strategy that, in my opinion, governs how search engines rank websites today. There are many different approaches, including providing a good user experience, making your content easy to read, and …..
But the heart of all those actions is creating a path from the user to your content. It's all about thinking about being relevant to the user.