Content is king
Google and most other search engines work based on text. The user types a search query (text), and then the engine searches other texts to find that search query. All of it is based on the content — the words. Text is the foundation of the search process.
To organise the search engine result page (SERP), search engines usually take into account dozens of factors, such as a site’s trustworthiness, update frequency, backlinks, and so on. However, it all starts with the content. If your site has no content related to the topic or search query, you are not even participating in the competition.
Creating a site for search engines is a road to nowhere. You cannot sell a plane ticket to the Google spider, and Bing will not click on your advertisement. Live readers should always be in the first place.
Search engine algorithms change constantly, and those changes have one main goal — to provide the highest quality content to the searcher. Therefore, as a website owner, you have two main goals related to content:
- Provide high-quality content to your users;
- Let the search engines understand that your page is the best for the users’ queries.
With the right approach, your investments in content will definitely pay off.
How to choose which topics to write about
Creating ideas and making a content plan are always the hardest parts. However, article creation starts with an idea. You can use the following sources to find topics to write about:
- Google Trends;
- Your competitors.
These sources will indirectly show you the interests of your users, but there are ways to find out what is interesting to your audience directly from the source:
- Social networks;
- Q&A services;
On all of these resources, people share information that you can learn from and use.
Whatever you choose, do not forget about differences between the type of the search queries readers use to find your article. We have already written in detail about navigational, informational, and transactional search queries. Study that information. It will help you choose the right direction and earn with Travelpayouts or any other affiliate program.
How to create high-quality content for users
Remember the basic formula for good content:
- Users must obtain the information they came for.
- Information should be complete, truthful, and relevant.
- The text flow should be simple and easy to understand.
- Articles should offer different ways of delivering information, such as text, tables, pictures, videos, and more.
In simple terms, the article should answer the user’s questions as simply, reliably, and completely as possible. Your users should not feel the need to look for any more resources. The presentation of content must be in various forms that are convenient and effective.
We have written a big guide to creating high-quality content for users. Nonetheless, let’s look at an example.
Imagine that you have a travel website about travels within Europe. Your audience is interested in many topics. If you aim to earn money, then you must focus on informational and transactional queries.
For example, let’s say you chose the topic ‘How to Get from Germany to Paris’. It’s a very popular route, as is possible to see from Google Trends and other sources. What would your readers want to see? They would probably want to see a list of all the travel options in detail and tips for how to make this trip better. Therefore, you should provide this information completely and relevantly.
How to build a relationship with Google
Even though Google’s position is that webmasters should focus on quality for the user only, in real life, successful webmasters should not forget about the search engines if they expect to receive traffic from them.
You have to find a balance between quality for the audience and the search engine. These goals are not mutually exclusive, but they have their own peculiarities.
You can build a good relationship with Google by following these requirements:
- Provide unique text (do not copy-paste).
- Learn which words people are using to search, and use those words or phrases in the article.
- Do not go overboard with the keyword usage, but rather use them within a reasonable amount for a human. If they make up more than 2–3% of the text, Google could catch trying to manipulate the SERP.
- Fill out the meta fields—the title, keywords, and description. Of course, use the keywords there.
- Put the most relevant keywords at the beginning of the title.
- Use keywords in the subtitles, lists, and tables.
- Use pictures and videos. If you use pictures, do not forget to fill out the ALT + Title.
Following this simple list will make your articles more SEO-friendly. Of course, it doesn’t contain everything about search engine optimisation. To learn more follow our blog.
Above all, do not forget that any SEO techniques should not harm the reader. Once a page becomes uncomfortable, misleading, or problem-causing for the visitor, the page’s position in the search results will be affected.
How to create an article that brings backlinks
Backlinking is a source of new traffic — people click on them and come to your project. At the same time, backlinks are one of the most effective SEO tools to prove to Google that your page is the best result for a certain search query.
Initially, it was thought that people create backlinks to your project on other websites in good faith, but this is rare. Think about how often you share links.
There is another option: place backlinks to your project around the internet yourself. However, there are a couple of tricks to make people share the link to your website more often. The last one is free and usually brings traffic that is definitely wanted.
First of all, your page should meet the following requirements:
- Solve the audience ‘s problem
- Be attractive and catchy to the reader
- Be the best source of the information
Sound familiar? Your page will match all of the above if you make it the best for readers. This is why we start with the content, not the links. But the links are a form of sharing, and your goal is — make your readers want to share. Of course not all of them have a platform to share, but wish to share is a basement.
There are 4 things that people enjoy sharing:
- Emotions — people love to share their emotions with others;
- Number — people refer to sources with numbers and facts to solidify their argument or position;
- Stories — it’s easy to rely on the real stories;
- Utility — something useful has more chance to be shared.
You also have to place social media ‘Share’ buttons on the page to allow users to share your content with one click. How efficient such buttons are depends on many factors: where you place buttons, who your audience is, and so on, but giving the opportunity to share in one click is your task.
You can not affect much the readers’ desire to copy the link on the page and paste it somewhere, but if you catch their attention, or if they have been greatly helped by your information, there is much higher chance of getting a free backlink.
One more tip: if it is possible for readers to leave a comment on your website, be sure to add the function of copying the link to a specific comment, as well as a convenient way to share this information on the internet. Some people share links to their own comments more often than links to others’ content. Do not miss this chance to get backlinks.
What content is best for your website
We have deliberately not discussed the style of writing, ways of presenting information, and other issues related to creativity. You, as the owner and the author of the articles, know your audience better than we do. If you do not know about your audience, then learn! For the best results, you have to know who your readers are. Use open sources or embed Google Analytics code into your website to get a portrait of your users.
For example, people who are planning their next trip could be different from one another—families with small kids, solo travellers, and others. Adapt the flow of information according to your readers. Doing so is the cornerstone to making top-quality content that your visitor will like and, perhaps, share.
Share your ideas and tips. How do you create content and get traffic?