Does Content Help SEO?
Content is paramount to ranking in Google. It has been like that for years, but today if you know what to tweak on-page, you can rank it with no backlinks for medium to low-competition keywords! The statement above works only for text content, as there are more forms, i.e., images, videos, online documents, podcasts, etc.
That said, it is also possible to rank videos on YouTube and images, again tweaking their parameters. With images, you will not get considerable traffic, but with text and video content, you will. The techniques have to do with making the content relevant for a given query to match the user’s intent.
In simple words, it is about offering the best answer to a given query regardless of the content type. Those who say that there are no strict rules on how long the content should be, keyword density, and headings optimization, clearly have worked so little in optimizing and ranking pages. There are hundreds of ranking signals, but content relevancy to search queries, and time on page (reader engagement) are the two most important in my opinion.
How to Improve Reader Engagement?
Topic clusters can improve reader engagement. You build a page (AKA pillar page) containing in-depth information on a topic, a very long page, and you link it to relevant internal pages. The technique works great with readers and traffic. Search engines will find the page highly useful to readers and promote it in their ranking systems. Google favors topic-clustered pages with its proprietary algorithm.
In simple words, topic clusters create much-needed authority, which in turn benefits your site with higher rankings.
What is SEO Content?
SEO content can be any digital material that operates within a content marketing umbrella and serves the scope of SEO. I like to shift the focus from the way they created content in the past, which was focused on one keyword with an optimized anchor text. Today the scope can be served with different content formats and not always optimized to have a nice, natural content soup. Let’s take Press Releases (PR) for a moment. The traffic source of PR ended up being abused by people looking for fast gains. I remember the numerous gigs and landing pages built around PR that could get you to the #1 spot within two weeks, for example. The catch was the ranking boost, plus the quantity, plus the dream that the PR could be picked up from a big news network. For some people in low-competition niches, it worked as a good backlink source for some time and offered some traffic, albeit for a short period. The presence of enough content plus the established PR sites gave a ranking boost in non-saturated niches. Then Google decided to crack down on the PR sites, and most of the hundreds became obsolete. Today if you use PR for SEO purposes instead of business exposure, and without paying much attention to the PR copy and the publishers, you will have negative results.
People love case studies, facts, charts, and research data. If you have worked in any field, it’s easy for you as for me to gather some data and prepare a presentation of some sort. You may reuse the data by creating different content types, i.e., PDFs, slides, charts, lists, blog posts, videos, infographics, etc. Don’t forget to provide genuine and abundant information, mention your sources, if they are many put a bibliography section, give dates, offer verification for your facts, and include stats.
Another example is expert interviews. Experts like to give short interviews and share the page where their names can be seen among their peers; Make sure to make it easy for them to answer your questions via phone or email, within a deadline and give them a citation. Pages with interviews like those above tend to become viral and attract links, and we are talking about very relevant content, the type you’re looking to have on your blog. If the content is interesting and you share it on the major networks, you will have evergreen traffic plus backlinks.
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What type of content is best?
Each type serves a particular scope. Prepare articles/blog posts on recent trends in your industry, and create facts roundups and infographics for people who like visuals. Collect statistics from different sources, and give your interpretation. The key is to be useful to the readers, easy to digest, and make sense. Don’t rely on just one source, and don’t copy content from your sources without giving your take on the data. If you need to include the original piece of information, use a quote, and mention the source. If you create content with the above guidelines in mind, you will see other bloggers interested in linking to your content. It’s an excellent, white-hat way to increase traffic and get quality links with no outreach.
What Type of Content Generates Clicks?
How-to guides are a good source of traffic and backlinks. It could be a long article or a short one with detailed steps easy to follow. Depending on the topic, a video might work better. If the topic is programming, for example, the article works best as it gives the opportunity to pause and copy the code, rethink, and digest the steps. If it’s about software or handwork, the video is more suitable, showing every step to follow. Both content types generate traffic and can be combined; Embed the video into the article, or offer a transcription of the video to the readers with hearing disabilities and the engines looking for written content.
You can boost your traffic further by organizing the guides into content stacks. The idea is to group related content into article categories and offer a table of contents interlinking all the relevant articles. With video, create a channel on the topic and interlink the videos. Google will like the content stack and surface your articles; YouTube will suggest them to viewers even when they watch a competing video.
What Content Works for E-Commerce SEO?
I don’t believe that e-shops have a lot of opportunities to gain backlinks with their default setup. For e-commerce, I would build an information cluster relevant to what the shop sells. Plus, e-shops have a lot of issues with technical blockers to SEO like crawling, indexation, speed, and content not being organized correctly. For the technical issues, I would start with a technical audit and fix the issues. In regards to the content, I would prepare a bulk of informative pages and organize them (interlink) into topic clusters. Every page would play a role and support the main topic page (landing page), where we would expect the sales to happen. I would also merge or remove not effective content to raise quality. Only then it make sense to go out and start building backlinks.
With supportive informational pages, you can also expect some link gains. People like linking to more information regardless of the destination site. Do you know your sector well enough? What secrets can you share? How useful can you be to your customers? How much information do you keep in your drawers and in your head that could fill in pages with posts? What is the best advice you can give to customers about what to buy and what to avoid? What information can you share that’s different from your competitors?