Creating SEO content feels like a game of whack-a-mole. You’re constantly trying to nail it right on the head. You research the algorithms, plan your content, take aim, and… it changes.
Are you stuck in an endless loop of swinging into empty space hoping to move faster than Google changes its algorithm? Or is there a hidden formula for winning this real-life game of whack-a-mole?
Despite the seemingly random luck that SEO runs on, one area remains consistent: QUALITY SEO content ranks best.
Quality means something different to each person. But when trying to rank, Google’s definition matters most as over half of website traffic comes from organic searches.
What can you do to up the quality of your content so your hard work pays off and you start seeing that coveted traffic?
Let’s dive into how content creation is changing in 2023 and actionable strategies to adopt to boost your search engine rankings.
What Is SEO Content?
Search engines make up the heart of your online presence since 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
But just creating content isn’t enough. You want a spot on the first page because only .63% of users click on results on the second page.
Content doesn’t appear at the top by luck or a random draw. Google pulls content based on relevance, experience, expertise, authority, and trust. So, when you create content, you want it to stand out.
Picture walking through the cereal aisle at the grocery store. You see an entire wall of boxes. How do you choose one? You look at specific attributes like price, nutritional value, brand name, and flavor.
If a cereal brand wants to stand out, it must show it’s different and BETTER than the other brands.
Search engine algorithms from Google and Bing (Yes, Bing still matters!) are walking down a virtual store aisle, finding the best content for each user.
If you want Google to choose your content, you must draw attention, demonstrate relevance, and be accessible. When you take steps to adjust your content to help search engines find it, you transform regular content into SEO content.
Some examples of SEO content include:
- Blog posts
How Does SEO Content Rank?
If search engine optimization isn’t a game of chance, how does the algorithm decide what content is the most relevant and ranks highest?
Remember, the primary focus of content today is the audience. So, Google wants content that is most helpful for the audience to appear first.
Google sends out “crawlers” that sift through all online content, looking for signs of quality and relevant content. The crawlers consider dozens of factors, including keywords, inbound links, outbound links, author bios, and engagement.
The crawlers sort online content by topic and intent. Then, when users perform searches, the algorithm can first pull up the most relevant and highest-quality results created by authorities in the industry.
What Is the Secret Sauce to SEO Content Marketing in 2023?
Marketers have tried cracking the secret code of the search algorithm for years. Yet, Google always stays one step ahead because it wants to ensure that the content that ranks is QUALITY.
The algorithm wants content that does more than check a series of boxes but actually addresses customers’ underlying needs and intent.
What makes up quality content, according to Google?
Google summarizes its algorithm with the acronym EEAT.
Google’s EEAT, or “double EAT,” stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
This formula prioritizes a content’s authority. Brands and authors with leadership titles and years of experience in an industry will rank higher than a college student publishing their first blog post.
However, a college student could also outrank an experienced professor if they built up their brand image and authority through regular thought leadership content.
So, brands that want content that ranks must focus on showing WHY readers should trust their content and opinion instead of giving an unbacked opinion.
Some ways to show this is through:
- Author bios that demonstrate your personal experience and knowledge about the topic
- Links back to the website from other authorities in the industry
- Website quality based on thorough content, working links, and regular traffic
- Updated and accurate facts (preferably no older than two years and cited from authority sources)
“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.” – Jill Whalen
6 Tips to Create SEO Content that Actually Ranks at the Top
Ready to start creating content consistently ranking at the top of Google search results?
Dig into these six tips on writing and publishing QUALITY content that keeps your audience at the center.
1. Address Customer Pain Points
Content provides answers to customer queries and addresses customer pain points. Google’s Helpful Content (GHC) update means its search engine will look more at how helpful content is for customers than other search engine criteria.
You might gravitate toward business-centric keywords when you research keywords for search queries. After all, isn’t your primary goal attracting potential customers that will buy your products?
Surprisingly, you attract more customers and rank higher by creating content around customer needs rather than products.
For example, a MarTech company might create content about generating quality leads and converting more customers through quality data rather than just highlighting their CRM and features.
Google’s “People also ask” section and keyword research tools provide common questions and concerns from your audience. You can also check social media and online communities like Reddit for customer pain points to inspire your customer-centric content.
At the end of the day, your priority should be helping people with real challenges and questions, not just making money or generating traffic. Focusing on customers and their needs, you build longer-lasting relationships with the people you connect with through SEO.
2. Demonstrate Your Expertise
With an ocean of online content, why should your content rank higher than similar results? Thanks to the latest algorithm updates, the ranking often comes down to who has more expertise.
To rank higher than other sources discussing the same topic, you must establish yourself as the more knowledgeable and experienced brand or author.
Businesses often share author bylines or full bios that support the author’s expertise. Education, work experience, and personal experience fall in Google’s EEAT criteria. It also shows readers that you’re a reliable source of information.
Your content is another source of authority, demonstrating your expertise using quality data, sourced information, and personal stories to support your claims.
Google’s EEAT criteria include a personal experience with products and services as well as industry experience. For example, screenshots of you using a platform alongside a step-by-step guide shows you actually used the software you’re promoting.
So, while you may not have the same level of expertise as others, you can still rank through personal interaction with a product, service, or topic.
3. Target Your Audience
If you try writing to everyone, you’ll connect with no one effectively.
Which sentence is more powerful to you as a marketer:
- Content is important for you to succeed.
- Content is important for your marketing department to generate quality leads.
The second sentence switches between broad and vague sentences to target a specific audience with unique needs. A marketer reading the second sentence will know straight from the start that the content is relevant.
Google’s algorithm will also know who the content is relevant for and will more likely pull it up for that target audience.
4. Update Your Data
Relevancy is a term you’ll often hear with content marketing. Relevancy is more than topics that relate to the audience – but also what content uses the most updated information.
The content you share should include updated statistics, relatable events, and recent news. It should support the latest trends so you keep your audience informed and they see you as a thought leader.
Tip from the Experts: Regularly update older content with fresh facts, statistics, and news. That way, it keeps ranking near the top, and you get a higher return from your initial investment in that content.
5. Use Your Content on Multiple Platforms
Search engines are just the start of an effective content marketing strategy that generates consistent traffic. The more places your content appears, the more traffic you’ll attract.
So, if you want your content to go further, you should create content optimized for multiple platforms.
When you create content that also works for social media, email shares, and third-party sites, you can increase your online presence and bring in more traffic than search engines alone can offer.
6. Consider Your Customer’s Intent
The search algorithm looks beyond WHAT the user searched for and digs into WHY they searched. This is the audience’s intent.
For example, someone searching for “Types of SUVs” has a different intent than someone who searches “Where to buy SUVs.”
The first user has an informational intent since they don’t necessarily want to purchase a vehicle. The second user shows a transactional intent since they’re looking for businesses where they can buy a vehicle.
When creating content for search engines, consider making content for every marketing funnel stage to match different search intents. The primary intents include:
- Informational: The audience is looking for answers or education on a topic (top-of-the-funnel content).
- Navigational: The audience is looking for a specific website or brand (middle-of-the-funnel content).
- Commercial: The audience is performing research related to purchasing products, like product comparisons or best products (middle-of-the-funnel content).
- Transactional: The audience is looking to complete an action, like purchasing a product (bottom-of-the-funnel content).
You’ll want to provide relevant links, information, and a call to action based on the audience’s intent to improve the content’s relevancy (and search engine ranking).
For instance, a transactional search query result should point the audience to a product page or links to purchase products.
However, an informational search query result should be more information-heavy and not sales focused.
Content Marketing That Consistently Delivers SEO Results
Creating quality content requires more than knowing the latest SEO trends. Content creators and strategists also understand the company so they can create content that speaks directly to the customer.
That’s why JS Interactive’s SEO experts focus on building relationships with each client to create a customized strategy around their unique expertise and audience.
Who are we?
We are an Austin SEO company that services companies in our local Texas community and nationwide. With us as your partner, you can stay on top of the latest SEO trends and generate consistent website traffic.
What are your customers searching for today? Contact us and start ranking in those searches!