How do you make sure your pages are seen by and ranked on Google? Learn how to optimize your content based on Google’s guidelines.
Did you know that over 90% of web pages receive no organic search traffic from Google?
How do you make sure your pages are seen by and ranked on Google?
Where you rank on Google’s SERPs has a massive impact on how much organic traffic your website gets.
If you’re not keeping search intent or high-ranking keywords in mind, you won’t appear high on search result pages.
That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your content based on Google’s guidelines, so you always remain on its good side.
Should You Create Content With Google In Mind?
By following Google’s current rules, you create user-first content that works – and vice versa.
Let us explain.
SEO professionals know that in order to rank well on Google, it’s key to play by Google’s terms and understand its rules.
And with a complicated set of guidelines, the potential for new additional penalties, ever-changing algorithms, and a shift towards user-first content, it can be a challenge to keep up.
Luckily, many of Google’s new guidelines are put in place to make sure your content is user-first.
By following those recommended best practices and policies, you create exactly what Google wants – user-first content.
So, how do you create content with your readers and, subsequently, Google in mind?
How do you avoid traffic-reducing, bottom-line-crushing manual action penalties?
To keep your content fresh and high-performing, you first need to know which bad content practices to ditch and which best practices to adopt so you can stay in Google’s good books.
Keep reading for a complete breakdown of our dos and don’ts for creating content that Google will love.
1. Ditch Thin Content. Create High-Quality Content Only.
Google devalues the use of thin content, scraped content, and keyword stuffing, which may cause a drop in your content’s ranking on SERPs.
On the flip side, making sure your content provides rich, meaningful, and actionable information can help improve your ranking.
In short, it’s key that your content has value that’s both clear to the reader and meets Google’s standards.
One way to do this is to EAT your content.
Use EAT To Guage Your Content’s Quality
No, not literally (though I’m sure it’s delicious). EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
EAT is made up of the qualities that Google looks for in content creators to ensure that their content is up to par.Image created by SimilarWeb, March, 2022
Essentially, the best way to ensure you’re meeting Google’s standards is to create and leverage content that is:
- Helpful to the target audience.
- Created by an expert.
- Comes from a reputable source.
- Updated regularly.
The best way to do this is to have a sound content marketing strategy that’s founded on data.
2. Understand Your Expertise. Be Truthful, Accurate & Thorough In YMYL Content.
Not all content is ranked equally.
When determining search quality, Google puts extra emphasis on the legitimacy of pages where untrustworthy content can have serious consequences.
Google refers to these kinds of pages as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) content, on which poor-quality content could have dangerous implications for the reader.
What Topics Are Included In YMYL Content?
YMYL content includes topics like:
- Legal information.
- Financial information.
- Online shopping.
- Health resources, and more.
As Google puts it in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, “We have very high page quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low-quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety,” and are therefore heavily monitored.
If you’re creating or leveraging YMYL content, it is important to be doubly careful about the quality you’re putting out there.
By making sure your content meets the EAT standards, you should be able to avoid penalties around sensitive topics.
3. Conduct & Act On Frequent Competitor Analysis.
In order to outrank the competition, it’s crucial that you keep an eye on what they’re up to.
The better you understand your competitor’s content marketing and SEO strategies, the more likely you’re able to create content that competes successfully.
You should conduct frequent content audits in order to compare strategies and best-performing keywords, and determine what steps you can take to improve.
How Do I Conduct Competitor Analysis For Content Marketing?
Tools, like Similarweb’s Digital Marketing Intelligence, make it easier to keep an eye on your competition so you can pinpoint their search strategy and determine the results of their tactics.
With keyword research tools in particular, you can see which paid and organic keywords your competitors are using and spot untapped opportunities.
You can also monitor search trends across your industry and target the right keywords to drive more traffic.
4. Consider User Intent & Tailor Content To User Needs.
Earlier, we noted that user experience and Google’s guidelines go hand-in-hand.
As you scope out the competition and perform research on new keywords to target, be sure you’re paying attention to user intent.
By matching user intent, or the needs of the user during their search, you’re able to create a great user experience for the user, and that’s what Google wants search engine marketers, content creators, and SEO professionals to do.
How Do I Consider User Intent In Seach Engine Marketing?
Good user intent alignment equates to a good user experience, which is a win in Google’s eyes.
In 2022, the goal of effective search engine marketing (SEM) is to meet the user intent in as few clicks as possible.
By optimizing your content with search intent in mind, you can improve your SEO and create a seamless user experience.
Take a look at some search intent signals and keywords to guide your strategy:Image created by SimilarWeb, March, 2022
Don’t forget that by enhancing your content with long-tail keywords, you’re more likely to meet customers’ needs.
You can check which content is ranking at the top of the SERPs for inspiration and try to use that same strategy.
The Bottom Line: EAT & User-First Strategy Makes Google-Friendly Content
To stay on Google’s good side and have a successful search strategy, you need to consider a variety of factors when creating content.
Make sure the value you’re providing to users is clear (Google will know), and that you’re tracking your competitors’ strategies (because Google will be).
By creating content that’s optimized in line with Google’s preferences and guidelines, you’re one step closer to creating powerful, high-converting content that will establish you as an authority in your field.
Before you know it, you’ll be sweeping the SERPs – and we look forward to seeing you there!
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