It seems everyone just says “Make better content” without any explanation when it comes to SEO strategy. As SEO has become something I have specialized in, I’ve learned this cliche is true and here’s an explanation for it.
Here are some broad tips that I use to create content that is actually better than other competitors.
The first thing to talk about is “better” itself. For something to be better, there has to be a framework of some sort that will help efficiently compare content from an objective point of view.
So, there is a criterion to be used and it starts with the clarity of the content. In a nutshell, when I talk about clarity, I refer to getting the point through in a very clear and easy-to-understand manner.
Next, there is depth; do not be shy about diving into the topic and answering every question users could have surrounding the topic. Content discussion is good! Do not mistake depth with making posts long for the sake of it. Depth is a byproduct of research and information. Not the other way around.
Following depth, we have its usefulness. In this specific section, you want to really understand the intent of the keyword you are targeting and analyze how the competitors on the first page used it to have an idea of Google’s preferred format and use of the keyword of choice.
Last, but not least, presentation. Let’s be honest, despite the fact that content should technically be judged for its quality and informational value, we are less likely to trust a web page with an awful presentation. In the same way, we think twice when we get the HTTP warning on a site, we tend to not give a chance to websites that have not done their frontend duties.
Make your content presentable and professional ALWAYS. Not too many Ads, not too many blocks of text without images in between, and no affiliate tables with stock pics. Yes to a table of contents, readable fonts, headlines that are easy to skim over, content enhancing media (screenshots, videos…)
This indeed varies on a case-to-case basis, so I will give an example.
Let’s take a French toast recipe. I’m currently looking at a post that provides 10 variations of the typical French toast. It has 412 referring domains and 6200 organic keywords.
In the example I am looking at, the post has an underwhelming unoptimized name for headers and sub-headers. The content is short-form, the images are Google Stock Photos that look highly unappealing, there is a link that takes users to a different page in order to see the recipe. Bad presentation, not very useful, and hardly any depth.
What would I do? Well, the first thing I’d do is put myself in the shoes of the searcher. I love French Toast and I do want a quick and easy guide that will allow me to get straight into it.
I would start by either taking or finding GREAT photos of each French Toast variation, talking about each in-depth, and highlighting every relevant section so that users can skim over it and still process all info required. I would create variations for those who might be vegan or vegetarian too. The type of ingredients you will need. A nutrition facts table for those health-conscious (sugar, calories, carbs, protein…) for each recipe.
Knowing that there are 412 websites linking to this domain, despite the poor content, I’d use that as an opportunity to optimize, expand, and overall better the content that needs it and do outreach to acquire backlinks.
I would establish the top results whose content is in line with ours and find common trends, that can include semantically related keywords, keywords they have in common and are ALL ranking for, sections, potential questions being answered…
Once I have assessed those common trends, I will apply them to our content. Not copy them, but apply them within our own content plan.
This is our definition and general strategy for “better” content.