4 Ways to Improve Your SEO Rankings with Quality Content
While targeted buyer keywords and quality inbound links remain important factors in determining the success of your SEO campaign, they simply cannot do the job alone. Relevant high quality content is what users expect from the search results, and it’s one of the single most effective tools for propelling your web pages to the top of the search rankings.
In order to remain competitive, your website needs content that is semantically rich with the conversational keyword phrases that are being used by your target customers to frame their search queries. According to the Ranking Factors Study 2014 report released by SearchMetrics, there are 4 critical content factors that have been found to influence higher search rankings:
- Semantically comprehensive content that ties in to the context in which keyword phrases are used.
- Long form content.
- Media enriched content that includes graphic images which enhance the readability and comprehension of the copy.
- Easy to read content that improves user experience and increases engagement.
Add the Power of Semantically Comprehensive Content to Your Web Pages
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update and the rise of voice-enabled search have effectively ended the reign of single keyword optimization. In today’s digital marketplace, you need to talk to consumers in their own language. Your content must also be aligned with the way that the search engines interpret semantic context from the phrases used to initiate search queries.
Google has shifted its focus away from simply matching keywords with relevant results to a broader understanding of the semantic meaning of search phrases. In turn, this means that your content needs to include a variety of related conversational phrases for each targeted keyword.
The Case for Longer Copy
All other content quality factors being equal, long form copy can help boost your rankings. The higher the word count, the better the ranking position a typical web page is likely to achieve. Longer copy has also been found to improve conversions by as much as 50 percent when compared to shorter copy versions.
Longer copy also provides more opportunity for your site to rank for long tail keywords. While individual long tail keywords may not have a lot of search volume, when you add them all up and compare them to shorter head terms, there is a lot of traffic to be gained from long tails. As an added bonus, long tail keywords are usually less competitive than shorter terms, which makes them a lot easier to rank for.
The key takeaway here is that long copy works as long as you have something meaningful to say. Never add fluff and fill to your content just for the sake of increasing your word count.
Incorporate Relevant Images in Your Content
The use of relevant photos and videos to illustrate your text not only makes your content more attractive, it helps bring it to the attention of readers and increases comprehension and retention of your information. Google understands how images enhance the reader experience, and rewards image-rich content with higher rankings.
Create Easy to Read, User-friendly Content
The SearchMetrics study found a high degree of correlation between content readability and higher search rankings. Present your information in easy to understand terms that the average reader will be able to make sense of. Avoid industry jargon and technical terms wherever possible, and be sure to speak conversationally in your audience’s language.