When it comes to content marketing, most businesses are focused on the quality of what they publish – as they should be. I would hope that all content marketers would say that creating quality content for their website or digital marketing strategies on a consistent basis is their top priority.
While content quality is extremely important, great writing can only get you so far.
Google always wants to provide search results that are well-crafted and insightful. But the algorithms rely on keywords and other ranking signals to determine a result’s relevancy and quality.
SEO practices are just as important as the content itself – and sadly, this is where many content writers fall short.
Considering that 93% of all online interactions begin with a search engine query, a basic understanding of SEO is crucial. So, just because you have a beautifully written article on your blog doesn’t mean that it will drive in organic traffic, sadly.
There are certainly many ways to improve your SEO rankings and gain higher spots on the SERPs – such as improving your website’s functionality or fixing broken links. However, it is also important to focus on creating highly searchable content through SEO practices.
Here are five simple tips to improve your content searchability.
1. Nail down your keyword research process
The very first step to creating searchable content is choosing target keywords that will connect you to specific searches. Keywords should drive your topic ideas and titles. That said, thorough keyword research is really the backbone of your content searchability!
This is another area many content writers find challenging and confusing. Looking at all of the keyword data available on Google Keyword Planner – or any other tool – can be super overwhelming. Plus, how can you know which set of similar phrases are going to be best to incorporate over others?
Well, the key is to know what to look out for during the keyword research process. Most writers mistakenly go for the most popular target keywords – since they have the greatest search volume. However, competition for these keywords is extremely high.
Take the common keyword phrase “content marketing” for example. You would need to create backlinks from over 350 websites in order to get in the top ten search results for this keyword.
Instead, it is far better to incorporate more specific keyword phrases that have lower search volume and competition, but still drive in a sizable amount of traffic.
For instance, targeting phrases like “why is content marketing important?” or “content marketing examples” would be a better option.
Once you start getting your content ranked for the more specific keywords (with lower search volumes), you can gradually target the ones with bigger search volumes in future content.
2. Transcribe media files
Video and audio media – like vlogs and podcasts – are popular forms of content that many brands are using for marketing purposes. People generally find this type of content through the title or description.
So, if you have a ten-minute video on your website that covers a wide range of topics, it could be quite difficult to explain all of the content in a short title phrase.
In order to make your video and audio content more searchable, be sure to create text files so that search engines can crawl through the content. You will first need to transcribe the audio into a text file – which can be posted on your webpage. If you are posting the content on YouTube, this can be added in as captions through the Video Manager feature.
By creating a text version of your video or audio content, Google can easily crawl it to find keywords and connect it to related queries. One study even concluded that video content with captions had 6% higher search traffic and videos with captions had 40% higher view rates than those without.
Fortunately, there are plenty of transcription tools to make this process easy.
3. Focus on creating lists
The titles in your content are extremely important – and there are ways to phrase your H1 and H2 tags to help it rank higher.
According to an analysis from CoSchedule, content with titles that were numbered lists (such as “10 Ways to Write Better Content”) were more likely to be shared online.
One theory as to why listed titles capture more clicks and views is because most people are not thoroughly reading every piece of content online. Generally, they are looking for quick information or an answer to a specific question. So, an article that lists out the answers is going to be pretty easy for them to skim through.
Also, it is a good idea to incorporate questions or certain “power words” into your titles.
According to research from Backlinko, titles that are phrased as a question have a 14% higher click rates. Furthermore, content with powerful words like “best”, “amazing”, or “ultimate” also had higher click-through rates (CTRs).
Lastly, well-crafted tags can help improve the chances that your listicles make the Featured Snippet:
Title tags are a big deal – be sure your keywords are used properly in them!
4. Be aware of search behavior changes
As you may have heard, 2020 is the year that voice search is expected to overtake traditional text-based queries.
Furthermore, far more searches are being done on mobile or voice-enabled devices like Alexa and Google Home than on desktops. So, content writers need to be mindful of these search trends and create content accordingly.
For instance, voice search queries are more likely to be phrased as a question – and they are generally longer than text-based searches, too.
When you use voice-enabled devices; you tend to state queries in more natural language. For instance, say you are looking for information on refinancing a home loan. If you conduct this search on your laptop, you would probably enter “home loan refinancing.”
However, if you used Siri to find this information, you would probably say, “How do you refinance a home loan?”
If you want to create content that is going to rank for these types of searches, it is best to focus on providing answers to question phrases related to your content’s message. As you conduct your research, pay close attention the Questions related to certain terms.
Tools like Ubersuggest make this easy.
Internal and external links play a role in ranking – make sure that this is also a key part of your content strategy.
As we saw before, you need to have a large backlink catalog to rank for most high-volume keywords. This is because Google’s algorithm bases a considerable portion of your website’s credibility on the number of inbound links you have from other high-quality sites – especially on local searches.
It is important that you aren’t just creating content for your own website. You should also be pitching content ideas to other related industry blogs to build up your external links, as this can help your own site/content rank higher.
Creating highly searchable content is just as important as creating well-written pieces that are engaging and informational. Thankfully, this is not a very complicated process and does not require extensive SEO knowledge to improve your content searchability.
Most of what it takes is a simple understanding of the basics of keyword research and usage, link building, and of course, staying on top of trends!
This content was originally published here.