Its no secret that getting your content to rank higher on Google Search leads to more views and converts more readers into customers. Improving your rankings can be a challenge, but in this case knowledge is power.
Learn to “speak Google’s language” by making your content more engaging, improving your Google score, and avoiding common SEO mistakes. You’ll be on your way to higher rankings and improved organic search traffic when you’re designing your content to be Google friendly.
1. Make Your Content More Engaging
Engaging your reader in content that stands out is the first step to more sales, shares, and backlinks. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make content more engaging:
Make a Good First Impression
When a reader lands on your page, the first few seconds are crucial. In fact, for a delay of a single second, the bounce rate increases 56%. If you have high quality content and your page fails to load, no one sees it. Also watch out for ads that fill the above-the-fold space on your page; immediately seeing ads can turn readers off before they even see a word of your content.
Take Care in Presentation
The way your content looks affects how the reader engages. Use high quality typography with font types, sizes, and colors that are easy to read. You can also improve the readability of your content by incorporating whitespace.
Use a Hook
Engaging the reader in the title and introduction makes it harder for them to stop reading, leads to longer time on the page, and makes it more likely that their time on the page will end with a call of action.
Make it Visually Appealing
Use visual aids including images, illustrations, screenshots, infographics, maps, and charts to instantly make your content more visually engaging.
Referring to research and developments in your industry lends credibility to your page, which makes it more appealing to readers (and to Google).
“How To” posts are incredibly popular because people like finding solutions to problems. Creating content that provides answers for your target audience makes it instantly more engaging. Add videos, screenshots, and illustrations for even more appeal.
Use the Right Tone
Maintain a positive tone in your words and be genuinely interested in your target audience. Make content easy to read and encourage dialogue by giving opportunity for the reader to speak about their likes and dislikes.
2. Improve Your Google Content Score
Experts now believe that Google assigns a “content score” to every page on your website. The criteria they use for rating content appears to boil down to these five metrics:
- Actions – The actions a reader takes on your page, usually a click or conversion, matters to Google. Having a clear call to action at the bottom of your page is probably the single most important thing you can do to improve your content score.
- Bounce Rate – Google has been tracking bounce rate, the percentage of visitors to your site that only view one page, for years. To improve your bounce rate, make sure you’re not only giving your readers engaging content, but be sure they have somewhere else to go on your site, instead of straight back to Google, with a strong call to action.
- Time Spent on Page – The longer a reader stays on your page, the more valuable Google views your content. The best scenario for Google is when a reader spends a good amount of time on a page and then goes to another page rather than back to Google.
- Links – The more people point to your page, the higher Google views it. Building quality links is vitally important, and you can get there with good quality content.
- Traffic – A high SEO ranking will bring more organic traffic, but until you have more organic traffic, you won’t have a high SEO ranking. To kickstart the process, engage in content promotion by driving traffic to your site with:
- Paid social media (Facebook, Instagram)
- Paid article promotion
- Email newsletters
- Influencer promotion (quote someone of influence, get them to retweet the article)
- Free social media promotion (post it yourself)
- Manual promotion (reaching out to other website owners, writers)
3. Avoid Simple SEO Mistakes
Rank higher, faster by avoiding seven common mistakes that cause delays in the creation of organic search traffic:
- Short Content
Google is looking for long-form, in depth content because there’s a better chance that longer content is more comprehensive and will be able to answer a user’s question. Be sure that your content is long enough to be thorough, well thought out, and concise.
- No Design Elements
Google will favor your website if it’s updated and modern with pages that are thoughtfully designed. Break up content with design elements to keep users on your page longer and Google is more likely to rank the content higher due to dwell time.
- Grammatical and Content Errors
One of the best ways to get your content to the top of the search results is by acquiring links, and your chances of being linked to will be lower if you have spelling and/or content errors on your page. Spell check and proofreading are your best friends here.
- No Content Breaks and Long Paragraphs
The average web page reader has an incredibly short attention span. Keep them on the page longer by making your content more visually appealing. Use headers, lists, bullets, and images to break up the content and keep paragraphs short. The more interested your reader is, the longer they’ll stick around and the happier Google will be with your content.
- No External Links
Content that cites sources using external links generally appears higher in search results than content without external links. The thinking here is that content with external sources is more researched and therefore more credible.
- No Promotion
Even if you have great content, great SEO rankings don’t happen overnight. Readers need to find your content and give it a boost with comments, social sharing, and links. Give that whole process a nudge with a solid promotion strategy and those rankings will come quicker.
- No Meta Optimization
Leaving your meta title and descriptions on default will result in Google using the header and first two sentences of your content, which is a mistake. Instead, take the time to write unique titles and descriptions, it’s well worth the effort.
Making your content more engaging, improving your Google score and avoiding common SEO mistakes will make your content more appealing to Google and improve your organic search traffic.