If you write web content, and it’s good, readers will come … in theory. In reality, you need to make sure those readers can find your great content. That requires SEO, or search engine optimization.
Although people often think about SEO in terms of technical requirements, quality also plays a role. Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing with the hopes of tricking search engines. Instead, you need to create quality content.
According to Search Engine Journal, Google uses two key types of human input as part of its search engine algorithms. One is behavioral analysis, or how users interact with the page. Google also uses quality raters, real people who manually check search results using quality rating guidelines. These two methods mean that considering how real humans will react to your content is now a crucial part of SEO.
E.A.T. Guidelines and Your Web Content
We’ve already covered how Google’s Search Quality Raters use E.A.T. guidelines to assess search results, and you can check out the full blog post on E.A.T Guidelines for Insurance Marketing for more information.
In a nutshell, though, E.A.T. stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. To get a high score, a site needs to excel in these three areas. That means that content needs to achieve a high quality. Additionally, the website should demonstrate the right level of expertise for the information being presented.
Make Your Site Easy to Access
Google uses human input, so humans need to be able to access your web content.
In Steps to a Google-Friendly Site, Google says that every page should be reachable from at least one static link, and the site should follow a logical link structure. Links from other sites are important, too, especially if they’re high quality, organic links.
But that raises a question – how can you get organic links? There is no quick solution here. Often, it comes down to content again. If your content is well-written, well-organized, useful and engaging, other sites will want to link to it.
Keywords DO Matter
Keyword stuffing shouldn’t be the goal – Google warns against filling pages with lists of keywords or creating “crawler only” pages that actual people aren’t meant to visit – but keywords do still matter. After all, keywords are a fundamental part of how search engines work.
When selecting keywords, focus on a few short phrases that people in your target audience might search for. These keyword phrases should be highly relevant to the content of the page in question.
These keyword habits go hand in hand with other SEO best practices. For example, Google says that each page should have a unique meta title, meta description and headline. Ideally, they should all include or be closely related to your targeted keyword phrase for the page. Identifying appropriate keyword phrases is crucial. We recommend using a tool like Jaaxy to research keyword quality. You need phrases that get good search volume without a ton of competition.
Example: The phrase “write insurance content” gets less than 10 searches a month according to Jaaxy. Even though I could rank for that phrase, I’m not sure it’s ideal. Some of those 10 searches could be related to a similar sounding phrase “insurance contents” which comes up in homeowners insurance claims.
In this case, I decided to target the phrase “how to write web content.” It gets 104 searches a month according to Jaaxy with a “GREAT” quality indicator.
The phrase “writing content” gets 590 searches a month, which might seem like a great target until you see that a ton of websites are competing to rank for that phrase – giving it a “POOR” quality indicator on Jaaxy.
As you can see, careful keyword phrase selection is crucial.
Pay Attention to Length
Don’t think that a short article will achieve ranking. It probably won’t. While the amount of content needed to rank varies by each keyword phrase and its level of competition, you should assume that it will take at least 1,000 words to appear on the first page. I’ve been told that in many cases, 1,300 words is the magic number. Obviously, that’s a long article, so be sure to break it up into categories and use subheads.
Don’t Forget to Proofread
People don’t want to slog through bad writing. If your content has a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes, this will count against it. Write clear, easy-to-understand sentences that follow the basic rules of grammar.
Organization is important, too. Don’t overwhelm readers with a huge block of text. Break it up with paragraphs and subheadings.
The Ultimate Test: Would You Want to Read Your Web Content?
Search engines have come a long way since they were first developed. Today, search engine results are supposed to give users the results that they truly want to read. So, ask yourself – would you want to read your web content?
What To Do … When You Don’t Have Time to Write
Writing is tough – especially if you don’t do it every day. It’s hard to know where to start and there are so many distractions! That’s why content writing often takes the back burner. If you need to make content marketing a priority, contact Inbound Insurance Marketing. Our insurance-savvy ghostwriters make it easy for you to be thought leader and we’re versed in all the best practices involved with writing web content that has SEO value. Contact us. You’ll be glad you did.