July 26, 2021 Content Chat Recap: How To Create Content That Ranks Higher In SERPs

A #ContentChat header image that says today's topic is how to create content that ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) with guest Manick Bhan.

Will your content reach its ideal reader through a search engine query? When creating content, it’s crucial for marketers to consider the ways that their audience searches for resources—the phrases they use, the questions they ask, the level of detail they want—to then create content that matches these needs. However, unless you’re an SEO expert, it can be difficult to understand how to make your content the top result in a search.

In this #ContentChat, we’re joined by Manick Bhan,  founder and CTO of LinkGraph, to discuss how to create content that ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Read the full recap below, where we explain what a SERP is, common ways to increase the SERP ranking of your content, and other ways to optimize your content for SEO. If you’re looking to learn more about the role of SEO in content marketing, check out our post on the five essential SEO elements to address with your content.

Q1: What is a SERP and why are SERPs important for content marketing?

A search engine results page (SERP) is the list of web pages that a search engine provides based on a user’s search engine query (and their historical browsing history). The goal is for a piece of content to rank high in the search results to maximize the likelihood that it will reach your ideal reader.

A1. SERP is SEO lingo for a search engine results page. Ranking organically in the SERPs is the most cost-effective way for content marketers to reach their target audience. The more often your content ranks in the SERPs, the more chances you have to earn new leads and customers. pic.twitter.com/Vci51zVdOx

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A1. SERPs are a search engine’s top pages that show up when you search a query.

Making it to the SERPs is essential for content marketing as it can drive lots of traffic, leads, and customers your way, therefore, getting your business, well, more business 😎#ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 26, 2021

A1.
SERP is the engine result page – and the display window your next visitor and potential customer sees after having typed in a question or search term in the search field. Your appearance and position decides if people will click on your page.#ContentChat #seo

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

A1: Organic SERPs (the search results pages) are kind of the holy grail of SEO and content marketing as getting content there typically equals targeted traffic. Although paid listings can also be seen on SERPs. #ContentChat https://t.co/pME1GDMVKG

— Sherry Holub – Wizard of Design (@jvmediadesign) July 26, 2021

A1 SERP is Search Engine Results Page, and it’s what a search engine populates when someone makes a search request
-Alyx #contentchat https://t.co/G8r3TfBFni

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) July 26, 2021

Q2: Which SEO components impact the SERP ranking of a piece of content?

Per Manick and Christian, there are four key areas to consider: content, authority, page experience, and technicals. At a high level, this means that you should create in-depth content (short, 200 word blog posts won’t help much for SEO) that links to high-domain sites and addresses the SEO basics.

A2a. Google’s ranking factors can be broken down into 4 key areas:
✅Content
✅ Authority
✅ Page experience
✅ & technicals.

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A2b. Fast-loading web pages with longer, in-depth content & optimized meta data will rank higher. So will sites that have built up their site authority through backlinks. #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A2. There are lots of ranking factors involved. Still it mostly comes down to 3 factors:

🎯 Excellent content that matches search intent
🛠 Technical aspects like page speed, crawlability+ #UX
🔗 Context-related backlinks as recommendations#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

Optimize your images and videos so they load quickly and are not too large of a file size. This includes advertisements—remember that more advertisements will slow down your page load time, which could adversely affect your SEO.

What’s interesting is many blogs that have significant advertising loads end up slowing down their site, adversely affecting SEO and ultimately leading to a decrease in revenue. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Founder @ErikaHeald Consulting (@SFerika) July 26, 2021

Yes, nobody likes content covered with popups or oushed around with blinking ads. And therefore Google and ither search engines don’t like it either#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

Use H1, H2, and H3 format markers.

A2. IMO, SEO components like heading formatting (h2, h3), backlinks linking to the piece, how well it uses keywords + how well it answers readers’ questions (which determines its dwell and bounce times) play an important role.

A site’s DA also plays a crucial role. #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 26, 2021

Strategically place SEO keywords throughout the content and its SEO elements.

A2 Technical aspects of a pages (page speed, etc)
Searchability of content (keywords, etc)
-Alyx #contentchat https://t.co/2ydOCOnQoT

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) July 26, 2021

And optimize your content for mobile.

A2. Everything begins and ends with user experience! It includes,
– mobile friendliness
– page speed
– engaging content
– page authority with great links and more…#contentchat

— Mahima Kini (@Mahi2weets) July 26, 2021

Sherry recommends this guide from Moz that explains the on-page ranking factors.

A2: @Moz has a great rundown of on-page ranking factors, which of course can help with SERP ranking https://t.co/gjAgnq64dN #ContentChat https://t.co/HLoTzZojog

— Sherry Holub – Wizard of Design (@jvmediadesign) July 26, 2021

Q3: What is semantic SEO and how does it fit into a content marketing team’s SEO keyword strategy?

Semantic SEO is about creating content with natural language processing in mind and including your target keyword and all of the related keywords, phrases, and topics associated with that target keyword.

A3a. Semantic #SEO is about creating content with NLP in mind. That means semantically rich content that includes your keyword target & all of the related keywords, phrases, and topics that #Google associates with that keyword. #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A3b. Tools like @Linkgraphio’s SEO Content Assistant make semantic SEO easy! https://t.co/qmQtLBS51E #ContentChat pic.twitter.com/pUwWYOiWeU

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A3: Semantic SEO involves going beyond your keyword to include the key phrases associated with your primary keyword. I love the @semrush content checker as a way to make sure I’ve done a good job in this area. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Founder @ErikaHeald Consulting (@SFerika) July 26, 2021

FAQs are helpful for building your semantic SEO.

First and foremost, it’s no longer about keywords but INTENT! Content needs to be written and marketed around consumer intent – this is why FAQs are the best strategy to move up on the SERP ranking scale #contentchat

— Mahima Kini (@Mahi2weets) July 26, 2021

Christian recommends a Term Frequency and Inverse Document Frequency strategy for keywords.

A3. Semantic #SEO covers a topic around a main keyword or theme. That can result in a holistic page which includes synonyms, secondary Keywords, common phrases or questions. It should be written + structured in a natural way. Strategies like TDF*IDF can be helpful.#Contentchat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

Tell me more about TDF*IDF ?#ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Founder @ErikaHeald Consulting (@SFerika) July 26, 2021

(1/2) “Term frequency + Inverse Document Frequency”.
That’s what most #SEO + content tools use to give recommendations what you need to include within a content piece. So what you’ve covered, what’s common for this topic on other pages and so on.#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

(2/2) It has replaced the long gone keyword density. Still, as with every tool: A tool in the hands of fool is only a tool. It is about recommendations, not following blindly 🙂#SEO veteran @bill_slawski has summarized TDF*IDF here: https://t.co/ecZmx6l4Tu#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

Q4: How can marketers improve the information architecture of their content? Where does structured data or schema fit in?

The information architecture of your site will impact the SERP ranking for your content. Submit a sitemap to help crawlers know which pages on your site are most important.

A4b. For large sites, submitting a sitemap is a ✨must.✨ It helps crawlers know which pages on your site are most important. #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A4: Microdata like schema is just 1 way to help Google understand your content. Make sure your whole website has solid IA first (user-friendly, easy-to-find, etc). #ContentChat https://t.co/A1Sk0f6jXV

— Sherry Holub – Wizard of Design (@jvmediadesign) July 26, 2021

Per Christian, there are a lot of areas you can address.

A4.
✔ Structure in topics + navigation with pillar pages
✔ Clean URLs, working with H-tags for headlines, bullet points, paragraphs, bold highlighting
✔ Over 700 types of Schema can enrich your content for featured snippets in SERP
✔ Internal + external links#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

Add descriptive URL slugs, page titles, and META descriptions to your content to improve its information architecture.

A4a. Make sure your URL slugs are descriptive and include your target keywords. Adding the breadcrumbs schema will help #Google understand how your pages interrelate. #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

And use H-tags (H1, H2, H3) as a simple way to start.

Random side topic …. H-tags … ever notice how many WordPress themes out there either don’t have page titles as H1 or “hide” them? Something so simple, but a lot of people miss out on it. #ContentChat

— Sherry Holub – Wizard of Design (@jvmediadesign) July 26, 2021

Or pages having multiple H1 tags or random boilerplate elements tagged with h-tags. Makes no sense and hard to fix, at least for beginners or non-technical people that just want to focus on content and writing.#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

Q5: What are some common ways that content marketers can increase their content’s SERP ranking?

To boost the SERP ranking of your content, ensure that your content is in-depth and includes optimized visuals.

A5a. Create content that is in-depth, comprehensive, and provides a great page experience with fast-loading images, rich media, and interactive elements like jumplinks, carousels, and expandable content modules. #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

I’d add don’t go wild with the interactive elements though and make sure that super important content is not “hidden” within those type of elements. Be purposeful, always, with that sort of thing 😀 #ContentChat

— Sherry Holub – Wizard of Design (@jvmediadesign) July 26, 2021

Plus, make sure visuals are optimized so they are quick to load (but Manick kind of already said that 😁) #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 26, 2021

Naturally weave keywords into your copy, and link to high domain authorities.

A5.

– Write content that answers questions your target readers have on the topic
– Make sure all KWs are woven in naturally
– Keep building links for the piece and your site, in general, to increase DA
– Make page easy to navigate and read to inc user experience#ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 26, 2021

A5b. To really crush it, make sure you have a solid link-building strategy ⛓️ I’ve written an in-depth blog on link building strategies here: https://t.co/ouXUJSpDrR #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

We recommend you start by optimizing your existing content. Learn how to do this with Erika’s post below:

A5: Take a fresh look at the pages on your site that are already ranking well. What can you update? Are there new pages on your site that should link to/from the page? So many ways to refresh existing content. #ContentChat https://t.co/7eA53U6Stc

— Erika Heald | Founder @ErikaHeald Consulting (@SFerika) July 26, 2021

Q6: What mistakes do you often see content marketing teams make when optimizing their content for SEO, or what hurdles do you anticipate they will face?

Write content to provide value to a specific audience. Do not create content simply to boost SEO.

It’s so important to write content with your audience in mind. The more value you can bring to your audience, it gives them reason to stick around your site, instead of leaving to a competitor site. #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A6: One of the top mistakes I see I think really stems from lack of SEO knowledge – marketers who are too heavily focused on keywords who are writing content more for bots than people. #ContentChat https://t.co/blxNCU7pQE

— Sherry Holub – Wizard of Design (@jvmediadesign) July 26, 2021

Optimize the mobile user experience. Otherwise, you’re failing to serve a key audience for your content.

A6. Not optimizing for mobile users + not paying attention to user experience (slow to load pages, cluttered design, illegible content and so on) #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 26, 2021

A6: Some of them forget to optimize their website for mobile. This results in losing large traffic on the website since more people are into using mobile phones. #ContentChat

— Pavel Stepanov (@pavelStepanov77) July 26, 2021

You’d think that by this time, this wouldn’t be such and issue but it’s kind of amazing how many websites out there in the wild either aren’t mobile-friendly at all, or no consideration was taken for mobile users. #ContentChat

— Sherry Holub – Wizard of Design (@jvmediadesign) July 26, 2021

Not optimizing for mobile means excluding a huge range of potential customers. So much traffic these days comes from mobile users. #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

Focus your SEO strategy on keywords that are not overly competitive. Prioritize long-tail, low keyword difficulty queries to potentially drive quick wins. However, remember that SEO is a long-game.

A6a. Oftentimes, I see people trying to target keywords that are too competitive. Websites with less authority should find long-tail, low Keyword Difficulty queries that can provide quick wins. #ContentChat https://t.co/ushdoZ38Oq

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A6b. Remember that #SEO is a long-game. As you build authority, you can target (and actually rank!) for more competitive terms #ContentChat https://t.co/ushdoZ38Oq

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

Q7: What are your go-to tools and resources to help with SEO-related content creation?

The community shares their top SEO tools and resources below. Did we miss your favorite? Tell us the name and why you love it in the comments!

A7a. I’m partial to my own software suite, SearchAtlas. It’s really a one-stop-shop for #SEO tools. We have a new mobile app too! https://t.co/Ma7hiOSeOt #ContentChat @Linkgraphio pic.twitter.com/a50P5H2shW

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

A7b. @screamingfrog’s log file analyzer and @ahrefs’ site auditor are great. For keyword tracking, #Google Search Console is the absolute truth of SEO performance 🙌 #ContentChat

— Manick Bhan (@madmanick) July 26, 2021

🐸 @screamingfrog is really a deep dive for #SEO. So many tasks and insights can be achieved.
I just wish they had a browser solution instead of download only .#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

A7: To really get to know my audience, I start with @Sparktoro then I use @SEMrush + @answerthepublic + @BuzzSumo for the keyword research, along with @alexainternet #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Founder @ErikaHeald Consulting (@SFerika) July 26, 2021

A7. I get keywords from clients. This leaves with identify questions readers are asking. For that, @answerthepublic is great. So are Google’s related searches and people also ask sections. #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 26, 2021

There’s also @clearscope. Several of my clients share content optimizing reports with me so I can work in related keywords. #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 26, 2021

A7.
🛠 Google Search Console @googlesearchc
🛠 Questions: @answerthepublic + @AlsoAsked @GoogleTrends
🛠 Keyword Planner from @GoogleAds
🧰 And of course a paid #SEO tool can help with a lot monitoring, research + checkups. Like @sistrix, @Ryte_EN or @semrush.#ContentChat

— Christian Lipp 🌱 (@SEMgalore) July 26, 2021

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