As any online publisher knows, the bulk of what makes up a site is content, whether it be in the form of a written blog, a video, a compilation of data, or anything else. But when it comes to getting people to see and interact with that content, that is where things get trickier.
If you don’t create your content the right way, it becomes harder to reach your ultimate goal of driving traffic to your site. In this blog, we’ll walk through some questions that you can ask yourself and guidelines for creating quality, unique content that will rank in Google search.
Quickly navigate through the blog by clicking on the following section headers:
- What makes really good content?
- How can I get to the top of Google search results?
- Simple ways that you can make your content unique
What makes really good content?
There are a few ways people typically think about “good” content.
First, you can talk about the quality of content from a structural perspective. In a recent Ezoic blog, we went over tips for how to organize your content that can boost it in rankings. In sum, by structuring your content with clear-to-follow sections, strong section headers, inserting images, and a few other tips, you can get your content to be “quality” when Google looks at it. This is especially helpful for ranking in the Knowledge Graph, or having your rich snippets or other rich elements show up first in search.
Second, you can talk about the quality of content from an authority perspective. Do you have backlinks directed to your site? And not just any backlinks, but high quality, relevant backlinks? When you write content, is it written well and is it easy to follow? If the content isn’t written in plain, straightforward terms, it will likely not gain much authority.
Third, you can consider “quality” from the perspective of uniqueness. When you write blogs, are you including information that is already out there and impossible to compete with? Are you picking questions to answer that many others, with more established sites than yours, are already answering? Read along for more information on this one later.
How can I get to the top of Google search results?
Overall, “quality” content is what ranks in Google search, as we detailed above. We have a couple blogs on this, which you can find here and here. In this section, however, we are going to focus on one tangible tool you can use to get to the very top of the results.
In practical terms, one tip we have for ranking high in Google search results is using the Knowledge Graph to your advantage. If you’re not aware, the Knowledge Graph is a way that Google puts quick answers to simple, factual questions at the very top of a search.
For instance, in the photo below, the query “how much does a cat weigh” is answered in large, simple terms at the very top of the page. This is the Knowledge Graph. According to Google, “Our goal with the Knowledge Graph is for our systems to discover and surface publicly known, factual information when it’s determined to be useful.”
There are other formats that can appear in the Knowledge Graph, too. For example, we know that lists are often popular answers in the Knowledge Graph. Consider a query for the best products for curly hair. People don’t just want one answer, they want multiple. Many keyword searches and queries are looking for lists, so using lists in your content is a great way to get noticed here.
While there are ways to rank up high besides the Knowledge Graph, every practical tip to try and achieve a result in the Knowledge Graph will also work to help your site be better in other ways, so it’s worth giving it a shot.
One last thing to mention here is that ranking up high — as you already know — can be really difficult if you pick the wrong keywords. For this reason, unique content goes a long way – read on for more tips on this.
Simple ways that you can make your content unique
When publishers pick a topic that has plenty of high quality competition, and in which their own content is not especially unique, they will likely not rank very high.
For example, consider the query “How many articles are in the constitution?” The rich snippet that appears comes directly from a website run by the U.S. government, with an ending of .gov. Can your site really compete with the authority they have on this topic?
Rather, pick where you have the potential to stand out. If you were to come up with a question or a search with less competition, the potentials for gain are much higher.
One other thing that makes content more unique is adding value that others do not have. For example, if you can feature an infographic, or a video, on a certain topic, not only does that lend your piece more credibility, but it also gives you something that other competitors are not doing. In general, adding a variety of media types is a great way to make your content unique.
An example to sum it all up
We know from the previous sections that we are aiming for queries that have lower competition, in which we can provide a unique answer with rich media, and that is structured well.
While this example is not a rich snippet and is not in the Knowledge Graph, it’s still worth dissecting.
Here is a query for which our site ranks first: “Divi columns side by side mobile.” It’s pretty niche, and only publishers or developers would likely be searching for it, so we rank first. Why? Let’s take a look.
First, this search is extremely specific and we are a player that can give a technical response to it. Because of our authority in technical topics surrounding publishing, we are already a great option as Google is searching for which answers to include.
Second, you can see that we include a variety of images. Many of them function to further explain the topic at hand and include helpful arrows or annotations.
Third, we employ many other tactics to make sure it is structured well. For example, we have H2s breaking up our content and it gives the response to this “how-to” question in steps rather than paragraphs.
While the topic of ranking first or ranking high for a keyword can seem like a huge challenge, there are some tangible ways you can break it down, one step at a time, to get yourself high on the SERP.
If you have other tips you’ve used to get your ranking up, let us know in the comments!
For more blogs about creating quality content, follow the links below: