Content Mini Course 2/5: Basic Content Ranking Factors Explained

When you decided to start up a business, it probably wasn’t out of sheer excitement for marketing yourself online.

Getting your website seen is key to attaining customers, but understanding how to even rank on Google might feel far too complex to you.

Luckily, the basics behind SEO really are just that – basic. For the sake of simplicity, in this course, we’re only going to cover how to produce written content – web pages, blog posts, et cetera – to help your website rank well. We’ll cover the other website ranking specifics in other courses.

Content is incredibly important for ranking well. In fact, content is considered to be in the top 2 ranking factors alongside backlinks. There are 5 simple factors that you should keep in mind when producing your content to ensure Google and other search engines look upon it favourably:

1. Meeting user demands

You can never quite predict what your customers will search for to land on your blog posts. A good way to get a clearer idea of your customers’ interests is to see which topics are doing well for your competitors.

Web pages at the top of Google’s search results will have more views. If your blog post doesn’t meet user demands, it will fail to rank. For that reason, you can safely assume that those posts at the top of search results for your chosen keywords are giving the customer what they want to read.

2. Being readable

The majority of online readers aren’t visiting your page with the same approach as they’d open a book. They’re most likely to skim read your page, lingering on subheadings, bullet points and pictures.

Keep your writing clean and simple, and be sure to include plenty of enticing features. This will encourage a reader to stay on your page – a positive sign in Google’s eyes.

3. Longer is better

Though there are no set rules about article length, longer articles tend to do better for one simple reason: they have more room to include more keywords.

If you’re unsure whether your customers would prefer long or short blog posts, take the plunge and choose long. As the majority of top-ranking pages are long-form, it’s a minor risk that will probably pay off.

4. Broadly covering a subject

When you’re about to delve into an in-depth subject, don’t be afraid to cover it in the detail it deserves. In fact, even when you don’t feel you have a lot to say about a subject, you’d be surprised at just how much you really could write.

This doesn’t mean rambling on and on and boring your reader to death. It’s simply a case of avoiding content gaps and including the keywords that your competitors are using. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with researching their top-ranking articles and using them for reference providing you don’t outright copy them word for word.

5. Keyword inclusion

Leading off from factor #4, we come to one of the most important ranking factors: keywords. You might know already that including keywords in your text can help with ranking, but is it enough to throw a few in and hope for the best? Unfortunately not.

Google is a lot cleverer than it was a few years ago, and it now ranks web pages based on not only the keyword placement in the page such as titles and in content, but also the frequency of these keywords.

This is where Surfer SEO comes in. The tool uses something called True Density, a metric that automatically assesses the gaps in content, and checks whether you’re using specific words too often or too rarely. We’d spend all day researching keywords for your articles without it.

That’s all you need to know about how content ranks well on Google. In the next lesson, we’ll focus on how you can create web content using basic math.