Google today is too smart for you to “fake it.” There is no cheat code. You will still have to do some research here. People used to cheat search engine optimization (SEO) rankings with schemes like keyword dumping, fabricated backlinks; anything to progress.
But Google’s bots, trackers, programs, and algorithms are more advanced than ever. Google crawlers can now identify bad backlinks, misspelled content, duplicate content, and more. The algorithms are incredibly complex – Google bots constantly crawl and index your page to assess its value based on a host of factors and rank it accordingly.
So it’s important to set proper expectations – you won’t just write a blog and get it immediately placed on the front page, especially for competitive queries. But by consistently implementing and carefully executing the SEO strategy below, you’ll see improved rankings and even some of the top 10 SERPs. As a short description:
- Craft authoritative content
- Write for Google, but also for user experience
- Develop an internal linking strategy
Note that none of these four points requires hours of analyzing keywords or conducting topic searches. Obviously, there are great SEO tools out there to help optimize content, and these things help, but with good writing, a little general research, an organized structure, and careful execution, you can always get to the allusive home page.
The way Google thinks
Google wants to give its users the best possible experience. So before we begin, something essential to keep in mind: the people who enter Google search queries are not just your target audience, but Google’s customers as well. So naturally, content that is more relevant, more accurate, and easier to use will rank higher.
Additionally, well-rated sites also post thematic content on a regular basis, so you’ll want to establish some kind of sustainable routine. Google wants to know that you are not going anywhere and that you are aware of everything because it advertises credibility to you and your users.
1. Craft authoritative content
The official content is trustworthy, well-researched, informative, and relevant. There is nothing Google loves more than trustworthy content. But what does that mean? First of all, from an SEO point of view, it would certainly be helpful to have a great deal of knowledge about the content you intend to write. But if not, you will need to learn a little.
You want to become an authority on the topic and write like you have all the answers, although, let’s face it, there are probably thousands of experts in any given market or product. You want to write as if there is no website that the consumer would rather see than yours when they searched for that specific search term on Google. There is no workaround, you just need to do general research.
Depending on the topic, market, or product, you should be able to find a good deal on it. How? From Google. Find out who you’re up against, what types of content are winning, and write down the ones that do better than others. See what the top results say and don’t say.
For example, suppose you are trying to rank an old-fashioned recipe to promote to your customer, a whiskey distillery. Obviously, a common search term can be “how to make an old one”. To plan a trusted content strategy, think about what the consumer would like to know. A good place to start is the “related research section.”
Given the related searches, I would suggest that you start with at least five blogs:
- the main blog with the old recipe, which describes each step in detail
- a blog about the best bitters to use the old-fashioned way
- a blog about the differences between an old manhattan
- another blog on how to make your own simple syrup
- one more on the different types of antiquated and their ingredients
The idea is at least to give Google the impression that you know more about the old-fashioned than anyone else.
2. Write for Google, but also for user experience
Content structure is an integral part of SEO ranking. When organizing and writing your content, you need to keep Google and the reader in mind.
You don’t want to be so focused on writing for Google bots that, in the end, you deliver excruciating content to read. At the same time, you also don’t want to write a fantasy fiction novel about an old-fashioned one. Remember which searches you are trying to win and solve them in a complete and organized way.
For example, you may have noticed that there is a lot of white space on this particular blog. White space is your friend. I don’t have overly long paragraphs filled with keywords that would scare a common reader or point to a crawling robot that you’re trying to get your way. You can’t just say old-fashioned a thousand times in a long paragraph about nothing.
Also, write the first sentence after each of my headers. I repeat the main words of the title and give a full introduction to the section. Google bots check for this type of consistency.
Another helpful tip is too bold important phrases and includes bookmarked lists that can be scanned; these things can help to break the page a bit more.
These strategies are rewarded by Google bots, but they also benefit the reader, as most people today tend to scan an article to see if it is worth reading first.
3. Develop an internal linking strategy
Internal linking is the process of connecting blogs and web pages using links in the text to create an internal navigation method from one page to another. You’ve probably heard that having links and backlinks helps improve SEO, but how many? When and where are the links included?
A good internal linking strategy takes the user into account, again. You don’t want your internal links to hamper the visitor’s ability to read content and retain information. You want to create a natural journey from the top of the consumer funnel to your call to action.
The highest-ranking content makes it easy for the ideal customer to search for a general term, find your blog, and learn everything there is to know about that specific company or product, one link at a time. You want your content to provide simple and logical navigation from topic to topic until the consumer can make an informed decision.
That way, Google is happy because you did your job, you are happy because you did your job, and the customer is happy because they got the information, product, or service they wanted.
Going back to our example, you can link the five old blogs using sensible bridges, in terms like:
- common syrup
- old-fashioned dudes
- ancient ways
- unlike a manhattan
and you understand from there.
To drive revenue, you’ll want more links taking people to the recipe blog than others, giving you more links.
Other Things To Consider
As a writer, you may not be in control of some of these things, but it still seemed pertinent to include the following factors, just in case.
- page loading speed
- The growing popularity of voice search
- Follow and no-follow links
- Web design and layout
The lesson here is that a good, diligent writer can do wonders for SEO. The smarter Google gets, the more important talented writers become. In marketing, after all, the consumer comes first. And well-written, reliable, and informative content is king.