Content from a SEO perspective: The 7-point checklist

25.07.2018

Content

Search engine optimization of content is the decisive factor for digital attention and business success on the Internet. How is search engine friendly content created? What SEO criteria are especially important here? And, how can existing content be optimized for Google? This checklist explains how to best examine the seven most important SEO aspects for content.

1. What is the user searching for?

Content is created for the reader. The user is looking for something specific. The focus of the content must therefore be very clear to the user (and the search engine). Is the topic being treated in a general manner? Or does the content focus on a special aspect of the topic? The work on the content of a website should therefore be guided from start to finish by this simple question: What is the user searching for?

  • When a topic is being dealt with in a comprehensive manner, content that is spread over successive single pages, will score. Sub-pages will address special aspects.
  • Content formats with a clear emphasis are more successful because they overlap in terms of content as well as keywords.

It is also important that the respective focus is immediately distinguishable. Ideally, the thematic profile of a website will immediately catch the user’s eye.

2. Keep it relevant: Evergreen content

There is nothing more dated than yesterday’s newspaper. This wise saying also applies in the Internet age – where it might even be more dramatic. Permanently good rankings can only be achieved if the content continues to be relevant in the future. Timelessness is therefore an important criterion for sustainable content that achieves good placing on an ongoing basis.

Evergreen content is relevant, well-structured, comprehensive and timeless. For the creator, this means that relative time designations such as “five years ago”, “yesterday” or “tomorrow” have no business being in texts with sustainable ranking standards. It is best to mark time relevant passages in the content, and adjust them from time to time. Google registers these changes by granting them extra points.

3. How much? The quantity is also decisive

Content is what matters for SEO. But the scope of the content also influences the Google ranking. This is where the top criterion for the creation of content comes into play: What is the user searching for? When important purchase decisions are involved, comprehensive articles about the features of products are very popular. These articles can provide the reader with a lot of detailed information. After all, the Internet has become the most important source of research for product information. And research can offer a bit more.

However, users who are searching for repair instructions for a standard problem want to read as little as possible and get straight to the goal. In these cases, the secret of a good ranking lies in the conciseness of the content.

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4. What is the competition doing?

The quality of the content naturally also depends on the pages that solicit the same target group and aim at similar keywords. This is why it is important to find out how the competition works. What makes the content of the most successful competitor so unique? The following aspects ought to be kept in mind:

  • Language register, tonality, length of texts
  • Competent description, contextual depth
  • Content format including texts, images, videos

Competition determines the benchmark, and, as a result, the amount of effort needed to achieve good rankings. Language register efforts are often lower for keywords whose top pages are dominated by user-generated content. But there are differences here too. It is always advisable to analyze the competitors’ content in order to examine the current ranking and quality in the environment of the targeted search queries.

5. Structured, clear, simple

Content from a SEO perspective: This also means structuring the content in a user-friendly way. Does the reader immediately find what he is looking for? The bounce rate increases if he does not, and Google also includes this rate in its ranking assessment. A beautifully written text is practically useless if it is not clear, descriptive and well-structured. Small changes can work wonders here:

  • A content area with jump labels at the beginning of the text
  • Subheadings that structure the text and make it reader-friendly
  • Charts, bulleted lists and tables
  • Images, graphs and videos

A larger font can also help to better impart content. This aspect is particularly important for mobile terminals. The first impression is often what determines whether visitors remain on the website or click on the back button of their browser.

6. Added value rather than self-promotion

Many web pages resemble advertising leaflets. They do not provide the user with useful information. More often than not, they are ineffective in the age of content marketing. Google and other search engines place pages with truly relevant content at the top. This is because content signifies added value for the user. Users want to find something new, practical or entertaining, something they can share or like.

7. Optimizing internal and external links

The link structure of a website is a substantial quality feature. With a hyperlink, the referential link incorporates foreign content into a part of its own content. Ideally a page contains many internal links so that visitors remain on the same domain. But external links are also useful search engine optimization. Because users tend to return to a page that contains high quality references rather than to a digital dead-end without any links. Google also registers the link structure of a web presence and rates good linking as a contextual plus factor.

Summary

Content search engine optimization is an ongoing process that often requires a lot of effort. The user’s demands are the measure of all things. Those who provide the user with added value are rewarded with a good ranking with Google and co.