If you’re a content creator and write blog posts daily, you know the struggle of attempting to write an engaging article while keeping SEO in mind. Having articles rank high brings you more traffic and increases visibility, but writing something truly interesting improves user experience and keeps readers coming back, which also results in SEO improvement.
So, how do you do both? There’s no surefire way to create the perfect article. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can implement to raise your chances of success, and you’d be surprised just how simple they are.
According to Google and research done by serpIQ, long-form content consistently ranks higher than short-form content. This was quite the revelation as it was long believed that the rule is “the shorter, the better” when it came to online content.
This had something to do with the fact that people’s attention spans are growing shorter by the minute. However, that does not seem to be the case when it comes to ranking high in Google search results.
What is commonly considered to be a long-form article is an article of at least 2,000 words. However, articles of 1,500-1,800 words also have a chance of doing well. Plus, according to some recent statistics, 1,200 words is the minimum number of words you need.
If you want to believe Kevin Delaney, articles of 500 to 800 words have the lowest chances of success.
Overall one of the top reasons why longer posts seem to do better is that having a lot to say about a topic and delving into details makes a post appear more professional and as if the author is very knowledgeable about the subject at hand. Compared to a long-form article, shorter ones of about 500 words can seem very surface-level, as if the author just googled the topic and did a quick summary. That’s why long-form articles usually get more shares on social media as well.
If you’re more informed about a topic and can clarify things in a simple, digestible manner while covering all of the bases, you’re way more likely to rank better. But there’s more to it than that.
When preparing to write a post, you’ll have to do proper research, and no, that doesn’t mean just googling and skimming the top three search results. Instead, take a look at multiple sources, similar themes, and writing styles; plus, in a lot of cases, even forums and subreddits can be of great help.
Checking out what your competition is doing doesn’t only help you understand a particular topic, but it also enables you to uncover trends and currently trending posts, which is something you’ll need to know if you’re looking to rank on that much-coveted page one of the search results.
Another essential you can obtain this way is relevant and trending keywords, especially if you employ tools like Semrush that can help you with your content but also with snatching trending keywords from your successful competitors.
When writing a really long post that requires in-depth research, we’d also recommend using a tool like Genei. Tools like these are great for taking notes, but they also summarize long texts and locate essential information. That way, you’ll be able to conduct proper research without losing sleep.
Virtual Writing Assistants
Writing assistants can help you rank higher in a few ways. They can catch typos and repetition to make sure whatever you write is clear and concise. Nobody enjoys reading an article riddled with mistakes, or that repeats things one too many times.
Of course, the most popular tool of this sort is Grammarly, and one of its standout features is the plagiarism checker in the PRO version, which can really come in handy to content creators. If Grammarly is not your thing, there are plenty of other options like ProWritingAid, WhiteSmoke, Sapling, etc.
In short, high-quality images increase user engagement, and they also lower the bounce rate. Additionally, they improve user experience, and we know that Google likes pages that users like. So, if you want to rank higher, make sure to use only crips images that add to the content; don’t make them random.
If your site has a lot of images, consider using an image optimizer before uploading them. For all practical intents and purposes, the images will look the same as they did before, but they won’t slow down the website’s loading speed. A caching plugin that features image lazy loading can also be useful in this regard.
There’s a fair deal of things to be said about pre-publishing article formatting. By this, we mean the appearance and style editing. The first thing to note is not to mess up your headings; H2 should follow H1, and so on. These mistakes are easily overlooked so, always make sure you double-check them.
Another important headings tip; having more of them that show how you delve into a topic step-by-step is very beneficial and makes the content more engaging and easier to read. However, don’t add them arbitrarily, only when necessary.
The second thing you should keep an eye on is how you break up the text. Paragraphs should not be overly long, but they should also be broken up with their contents in mind.
Just because a paragraph seems a little long, that doesn’t mean you should break it up in two if the sentence(s) you’re transferring is a logical continuation of the one preceding it.
We’re also going to quickly bring up images again. Don’t put them too close together, but also make sure there’s enough of them. Plus, all of them have to be high-quality and connected to the topic at hand somehow.
While formatting your article might seem like a non-issue at first, the appearance of your posts plays a big part in the user experience. Remember, if users like your site, so will Google.
Wrapping Things Up
Ranking high in search results and producing quality, engaging content is quite the task, but it’s not impossible. Take the tips we’ve provided above into consideration, apply them to your upcoming articles, and slowly you’ll start to see a noticeable difference.
None of our tips is complicated or difficult to apply, so even if you might be a bit skeptical at first, you’ll lose nothing by giving them a try.
Have any other ideas or tips on how to achieve great results with your posts? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.