SEO content is one of the most consistently effective ways to attract web traffic. In today’s increasingly competitive environment, however, writing SEO content that ranks in Google is hard to do.

In fact, about 7.5 million new blogs are posted every single day, which means standing out from the crowd is harder than ever.

How do you contend with extreme competition? It all comes down to your content.

Good SEO content writing drives traffic, but it also takes work. In this blog, we’ll break down the top factors behind Google SERP and give you 7 simple steps to achieving your content dreams.

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Google’s Top Factors for Ranking Content

Google’s search result algorithm is incredibly complex with hundreds upon hundreds of factors that distinguish good content from mediocre or subpar webpages.

This complexity helps prevent exploitation—for instance, if SEO keyword density was the only factor, any blog could instantly rise to the number 1 listing by simply spamming the keyword more times than anybody else. The unfortunate side effect of this complexity is that it can be difficult to know what Google will choose to promote and why they choose to promote it.

Since Google’s algorithm (and, just as importantly, its massive collection of data) is one of the world’s most valuable trade secrets, marketers don’t have direct access to how it works. However, the factors that Google seems to favor can be broken down into eight categories of factors. Here are some of the most important factors in 2024:

  • High-Quality Content. Google wants you to continue using their search engine, especially as Microsoft makes a renewed push for their AI-enabled search engine, Bing. They want to deliver high-quality, human-written, informative content that answers their users’ questions. Since your audience also wants to read useful, helpful information, one of the simplest ways to drive SEO traffic to your website is simply to write useful, helpful content.
  • Backlinks. Links to other websites gives your blog credibility—not just in the eyes of your readers, but in the eyes of the algorithm as well.
  • SEO Keyword Usage. While keyword density isn’t the only factor that drives placement, SEO keyword usage is one of the primary ways Google looks for relationships between queries and results.
  • Engagement. If audiences share your content on social media sites, engage in comment sections, and interact positively with your website, this can serve as a vote of confidence for the SERP algorithm. While this depends on audience action, it isn’t totally out of your hands, either—your SEO content can encourage engagement, thereby boosting your SERP.

Other factors that aren’t related to the quality of your content itself, such as the technical performance of your website or your UX design, can also play into Google’s results placement algorithm.

Serp Unlocking The Secrets Of Serp Rankings A Comprehensive Seo Analysis Factors Affecting Serp Rankings

The 7-Step SEO Content Writing Checklist

Armed with some knowledge of Google’s algorithm, here are some practical steps to writing good SEO content for your website:

1. Study Other SEO Content Examples

One of the best and simplest ways to improve SERP is to simply do a Google search for the keywords you want to be ranked for and read the top results. See what other content does right, and incorporate those strategies into your own content.

It’s important to understand, however, that this doesn’t mean simply copying their words. Derivative, repetitive content doesn’t perform well on Google, and outright plagiarism can be unethical and even illegal. However, studying the results can net you valuable insights.

This deceptively simple process is one of the easiest ways to boost your SEO content’s performance.

2. Conduct Industry-Specific Keyword Research

As you consider the type of audience you wish to attract, you should familiarize yourself with the language they use. What are the concerns of the industry you’re targeting? What types of questions are they hoping to answer? What industry-specific language do they use?

If your SEO content uses the same language as your target audience, it’s more likely to return as a top result from their searches.

3. Analyze Your Competition

Andy Warhol once said a version of the phrase, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Before him, Pablo Picasso said the same thing. Before him, Oscar Wilde.

While you should never steal another website’s words (not only because it’s unethical but also because it would rank poorly), you should steal inspiration. What do you like about your competitors’ websites? Do they incorporate humor in an engaging way? Do they provide targeted answers to their audience’s questions? What topics do they write about?

By analyzing your competition, you can hone your own ideas of what type of SEO content you want to write.

4. Consider Outsourcing with SEO Content Writing Services

If Google’s algorithm was simple, writing great SEO content would be simple too.

In reality, writing high-quality, helpful, informative content takes time. Outsourcing your content to SEO content writing services like Express Writers can give you back time in the day while increasing your organic web traffic. We make dreams come to life by turning our clients’ visions into realities.

Outsourcing your SEO content writing can save you time and money, increase your results placement, and—maybe most importantly—help you avoid the headache of writing and researching SEO blogs yourself.

5. Pay Attention to Formatting While Writing

Formatting is important because it’s part of the way web crawlers parse information on the screen. That’s why SEO keyword placement (e.g. where keywords appear within your copy) is so important—keywords in titles and headings have greater weight for SERP than keywords in the body of your article.

However, that’s not the only reason formatting should matter to you—formatting is also important for your audience. The average reader only spends 53 seconds on a website. That means you’re in a race against time to capture your audience’s attention and imagination. Good headings help to orient your audience and contextualize what they’re reading.

6. Take Time to Edit and Polish Your Work Before Publishing

Part of quality writing means writing that’s free of grammatical and spelling errors. It’s always worth a few extra minutes to edit and polish SEO content before you publish it.

Modern tools like Grammarly can quickly spot errors and suggest solutions. Paid versions of their tools can even detect the way your writing might be coming off to audiences, helping you adjust your tone on the fly.

Proofreading is an important step in the content writing process—your audience will thank you.

7. Dive Into Your Analytics to Track Results

In this guide, we’ve recommended researching keywords by searching for them and reading the top results, and researching your competitors by reading their content to see what you like about their approach. Now, it’s time to analyze your own results.

By analyzing traffic to different pages on your website, you can identify what types of content perform well and which are failing to capture an audience. Look for commonalities like the type of content, formatting, specific keywords, general topics, etc. If you’re writing for a highly seasonal industry, consider which types of content perform best at different times.

Analyzing your results provides invaluable insight into what works and what doesn’t, how you can adjust in the future, and how you can expect your content to perform.

Want to Rank at the Top of Google?

The top organic result on Google gets over a quarter of the clicks. By contrast, over 96% of all content doesn’t get any traffic from Google. In other words, SERP is functionally a winner-take-all system where the top results capture a huge fraction of all traffic and the vast majority of pages receive no traffic at all.

The stakes are high—that’s why you shouldn’t leave it up to chance.

In our free ebook, we share six factors you need to know before you begin writing. In addition, we provide real-world examples of how high-quality, valuable content produces results.

Download your free copy.

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