Content creation might not be the specialty of SEOs (link building was able to get mediocre content to rank) but the updates made by Google in the recent years made content creation the backbone of SEO. Nowadays gaining high ranking relying on traditional SEO tactics like on-page and off page SEO without a winning content is not possible or at least it will be facing a head wind, the opposite applies wining content will be a tail wind and requires less SEO efforts
What is a winning content?
When you are trying to rank for a specific keyword a winning content is content that answers the search query quickly with a good user experience, there are two ways to find winning content:
- Put your self in the user's shoes and ask your self is this content giving you the best answer for what you searched for
- Google the keyword you are creating content and visit the top 5 or 10 results to see what is Google favoring
Content has different formats that can go beyond text to images, videos and applications. Let us take the keyword "mortgage amortization schedule", a winning content for this keyword will be a page that has:
- A chart showing the payment schedule (image format)
- Advice about the best amortization rate and payment schedule (text content)
E-A-T (Expertise Authority Trustworthiness) and content
This term is taken form the Google' quality raters guidelines where they ask their human raters to evaluate the website expertise in the topic, authority and trustworthiness. It is easy to conclude that achieving a good E-A-T score is impossible without creating good content.
Please note that E-A-T is not a ranking factor but historically Google always starts a process using humans then build an algorithm to replicate it, a good example for that is their Penguin update that was launched in 2012, they started sending manual actions using human reviewers before making that process machine driven using Penguin Update.
The process of building a winning content:
Before creating any page you need to decide the purpose of that page, finding one or two target keywords is a good start, keywords are questions asked by users to the search engines, search engines main interest is putting the best answer at the top (that is how they keep users happy and coming back to use them again). If your content is not the best or among the best that can answer user's question then you are doomed for failure eventually, even if it is working fine now it will not in the next algorithm update.
Content creation considerations:
- How much text to do you need to answer the user's question, long text format or short text format?
- Do you need media content like videos, audios, images, infographics and APPs?
- The page that contains the content has to be part of a professionally designed website that provides a good user experience
- The content must be well formatted an easy to read
- Add new images and be sure to optimize those images with alt tags and other image optimization tactics.
- Do you need to include case studies and data?
- Do you need to optimize for enhanced SERPs where possible?
Why winning content is a tail wind?
- Winning content doesn't mean that your page will rank at the top of the SERPs automatically but it gives SEOs the peace of mind that their efforts will have a better chance to work as it will remove a major ranking impediment (lacking of winning content)
- Winning content has also a better chance to be shared on social media website and eventually attract more links
- Winning content will get a website to be noticed as authority in the space which eventually will improve branding and reputation
Hosting great content on a poorly designed website with a bad user experience will cause multiple issues:
- Less people will share poorly designed websites
- It reduces the trustworthiness of the content
- It will negatively affect user experience which will be reflected on bounce rate, time on the site and number of pages per session
Before taking any SEO project make sure the website is professionally designed (looking good, easy to use and has a nice logo) also make sure it has winning content for the target keywords otherwise you will be facing a headwind with your SEO efforts with good chance to miss the SEO campaign's objectives
If you feel good about the website and the content let us move to the next step keyword research and content mapping