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How to determine quality SEO copywriting?
To do so, a fundamental understanding of how Google ranks websites is crucial. The function of Google Search is to fulfill search intent. Its as simple as it gets. Its how Google won the search engine race. Its how and why Google for decades, maintains the largest search engine user base in the world.
How do we then, evaluate if our article or content fulfills the intention of an online search?
Easy, remember the last time you performed a Google Search? Well, was the following criteria fulfilled?
- Did you see a particular search result that captured your attention?
- Did you find useful, the content of the article that you clicked in to?
- Was there additional content offered by the page for you to learn more about your topic?
Or did the opposite happen?
- You clicked on a search result that drew your attention
- After clicking into the article, you decided that the content did not satisfy your query
- You went back into Google and checked out the other search results
The first scenario depicts a successful search where the user’s search intent was resolved effectively. This indicates that the article is relevant to the search query hence, worthy in the eyes of Google.
The above answers the question on a fundamental level. There are of course specific indicators that you can rely on to evaluate the quality of your SEO content.
SEO Copywriting Checklist
1. Is your Content Targeted?
What do we mean by this? Basically, to write a good piece of content, a best practice would be to first perform a keyword research. This allows you to target search queries that matter to your website, blog or business.
Makes sense doesn’t it? Not only is targeted content more effective in terms of improving your SEO results, its more effective because it provides value to your audience. This, in turn, helps with:
- Growing your online following.
- Increasing the chances of users sharing your content.
- Generating an inquiry or sale.
- Planting a seed for a sale in the future.
- Building your brand advocates.
Where then, should your keyword be placed? Once you’ve identified your target keyword, you should place within the following areas:
- Your Page URL
- The first 50 to 100 words
2. Is your Content Unique?
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again, your content has to be unique!
Utilizing duplicated or copied content is sure fire way of ensuring that Google never ranks your website.
Note: Content duplicates cannot rank twice for the same keyword.
3. Content Length
We’ve seen pages on Google rank for less a few hundred words, we’ve also seen pages rank more than 1000 words. Hence, longer doesn’t always mean better!
The ideal length? As long as your content answers a user’s query, you’re good to go.
4. User Experience
Your content should provide users a good experience, a good user experience follows the following guidelines:
- Easy Navigation
Can users navigate your website easily and quickly?
Can users clearly understand your content?
Content characteristics that lead to a good user experience:
- Are your headings clear?
- Does your content contain images or visuals?
- Is your text broken down into paragraphs
- Are you utilizing bullet points?
- Does your content contain internal or external links?
- Are you using anchor links?
- Can users quickly switch between pages?
(e.g. using breadcrumbs)
5. Reading Level
Reading level used to be shown on search results in the past. Although we can no longer see this now, this does not mean that its not part of Google’s SEO algorithm.
A good practice would be to place your content level as follows:
Content that caters to the majority of your readers
Content for intermediate readers
For the truly technical and advanced reader
This helps with user experience too, since basic users do not require the full depth of content while advanced users can read your content in a structured order.
6. Keyword Order
Your ranking will be affected based on:
- Its search variant (aka the order its searched for)
- Where it appears on your page
Keyword order example:
You are a retailer selling “battery powered adult recreational toys.”
Your keyword order variants could be as follows:
- Battery powered recreational adult toys
- Adult recreational toys battery powered
- Recreational battery powered adult toys
This is true since different people search differently even though they are looking for the exact same item.
To ensure that you maximize your reach, ensure that you include variants of your keywords in all parts of your content.
7. Internal Links
Internal links lead users to other pages in your website, benefitting them by:
- Providing information that they might be interested in
- Introducing your products or services
User experience is enhanced as well since internal links:
- Establishes a hierarchy of your website’s information
- Allow users to navigate your website easily leading to an improved user experience
In terms of SEO, internal linking helps introduce the other pages of your website to web crawlers. Essentially passing on link equity or link juice to these pages.
8. Images Alt Tags
Alt tags describe your images to users in the event the image fails to load. Images should have their alt tags updated since it also assists web crawlers in identifying the image.
Image Alt tags enhances your content by:
- Adding an avenue to contain your keyword
- Improving your search visibility by also appearing on image search
9. External Links
The effectiveness of the factors below are being debated:
Major SEO experts agree that external or outbound links help with SEO.
How? Done right, outbound links help Google determine your niche and content value.
To do that, links should be placed with trusted authorities related to your niche.
External link example:
An accounting firm can link to the government website of the accounting regulatory authority in its country.
Note: You need to ensure that your external links are working! Sometimes pages get deleted or the website could no longer be available.
Other SEO Content Factors:
10. LSI Keywords
One factor would be to consider LSI keywords. Simply put, LSI keywords are defined as the words and phrases related to your topic.
LSI Keyword example:
If your keyword is “e-commerce marketing”, then your LSI keywords could be:
- e-commerce marketing strategies
- effective e-commerce marketing
- e-commerce agency
Note: Not all SEO experts agree that LSI keywords help
- Google Search Console Help: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en