If you want to write for a living, you probably want to achieve the following: get in front of as many readers as possible.
Like other content creators, you come up with topic ideas, do some research, and spend hours writing a piece that only experiences the so-called “spike of hope.” You’re excited to see the views increase right after the content is published, but within days they disappear. What do most writers do this way? They start working on a new piece hoping for better luck.
If you think your content deserves more views, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t, maybe the following statistics will reassure you:
More than 90% of all online content does not get views on Google, according to the Ahrefs study. It’s a painful truth that many content creators are unaware of.
As a marketer, I admit that creating insightful and searchable content is challenging. I experimented with different content formats and styles for years before learning how to create content that would land on the first page of Google.
Do this before you start writing.
Believe it or not, search engine bots are your first readers!
The Google bot crawls the web like a spider, looking for new content. Once the Google bot detects your article, it “reads” it (this is called indexing), and only then its content is searchable.
If you want to create content that people discover over and over again, you’ll also need to please the search engines. How to do that? Creating content that readers and search engine bots can understand.
Keyword research can help you understand if people are interested in your topic. At the same time, on-page optimization will help you create articles that will land on the first page of Google.
The first is the first.
Do some keyword research before you start writing to maximize your chances of successful performance. That’s how.
- Create a theme. Any ideas will work here.
- Check the monthly volume and competition for your topic.
As a marketer, I use Ahrefs SEO content writing tool for research. However, you can try the following alternatives:
- Semrush (10 free surveys per month)
- Moz Keyword Explorer (10 free searches per month)
- Ubersuggest (three free surveys per day)
- LSI chart (free)
Your keyword has the potential to rank well on Google if it has medium to low competition and at least 100 global monthly searches.
This is how I did some keyword research for one of my website pages. Nothing too complicated. Pick a tool and see what it will suggest.
Collect keywords related to your topic
The average content length on the first page of Google is about 1447 words, according to Backlinko research.
If you want to get to the first page of Google, you need to know what’s already there. You need to spy on the competitors!
Also, remember that Google favors deep, easy-to-read content that answers users’ questions.
Below you can find my keyword and competition research example for the “Content Marketing Books” article.
Once you’re done spying on competitors and doing your keyword research, it’s time to do some on-page SEO magic.
These simple strategies will help you create optimized content and outperform competitors.
Cook Collective reaches thousands of people online with its one-page cooking website.
An entire business can be built around a website!
How does this site do this? The answer is: it has high search visibility!
The following strategies can help you make your content searchable:
Aside from the curiosity gap, there’s at least one more reason to pay attention to headlines, according to John Mueller, a Google search Advocate:
“When it comes to text on a page, a title is a very strong signal that tells us (Google) that this part of the page is about this topic.”
The title is one of Google’s ranking signals. If Google understands what your page is about, it has the potential to rank higher. The sky is the limit when it comes to creative titles. However, be sure to avoid using headline phrases that users are fed up with.
Optimized meta title and description
Don’t confuse H1 (your article title) with a meta title. They serve different purposes.
H1 tells readers that they are in the right place and that they will be reading the content they are looking for soon.
The meta title is displayed on the search engine results page. You come across hundreds of meta titles when you search for something online. Like other users online, you click on the most relevant and captivating meta titles.
How to optimize the meta title and description? It is easy. Follow this advice and your articles will always be in line with Google’s best practices:
- Include your target keyword in the title, as close to the beginning as possible.
- Add your target keyword and semantically related keywords to the meta description.
You can see my best-performing site based on the impressions article below. The article is optimized for the keyword “content marketing books”. I use the “All in One” SEO plugin to customize meta titles and meta descriptions for WordPress sites.
Don’t underestimate the power of presentations.
The first few paragraphs determine whether people will continue reading your article or take one look and leave immediately.
Your introduction should not only be captivating for readers but also optimized for search engines to land on the first page of Google.
As a marketer, I use the following strategy to help me optimize content to the best of my ability:
- Include your target keyword and 2-5 semantically related keywords in your intro section.
- Highlight keywords in the draft for better visibility.
Optimized H2, H3 subtitles
Just like the H1, subheadings help structure your content, enhance the reading experience, and separate topics in an article.
By structuring your content, you help your readers find what they need quickly.
I use the following strategy to optimize subtitles:
- Include 3-5 H2 subheadings in your long content.
- Use H3 subheadings within the H2 paragraph. It helps to visualize the hierarchy of content.
- Use semantically related keywords in your subheadings.
The body of your content
If you’ve read this far, you’re determined to crush the search engine results with your content!
Let me share one more little tip that will help you create well-optimized content.
Google has developed an algorithm that understands the intent behind the keyword. Those who are looking for the best content marketing books will be delighted to read books on copywriting, social media, blogging, and many others. These addresses are part of content marketing. Therefore, they should be covered in the article.
These days, an optimized piece of content has nothing to do with how often you use your target keyword in the copy. Rather, it is about creating a detailed article that covers the topic comprehensively.
Don’t be afraid to include a dozen semantically related keywords in your content if you think it will only make your article more useful.
Be bold and keep experimenting. After all, SEO is all about experiments, wins, failures, and learning.
Don’t worry if you are hearing the strategies mentioned above for the first time.
So many bloggers overlook these simple truths that you will have a competitive advantage if you understand them.
I have published over 200 blog posts on this platform and have spent hours on weekends and weekdays non-stop writing. I improved my typing skills and speed, but I also learned the following:
“You will significantly reduce your working hours and increase your output if you start writing for your readers.”
The good news: you now know that even a well-written and well-optimized article can make a difference. What you have left – act!