The Secret to Writing Content That Ranks Really Well in Search

The Secret to Writing Content That Ranks Really Well in Search

We’ve all been there. You’re putting the finishing touches on some truly dynamite content you know is sure to impress and convert like nothing before. Then you hit publish. And no one sees it.

It’s as if Shakespeare had flushed Hamlet down the toilet. The best writing in the world means nothing if it doesn’t reach its intended audience. In today’s written landscape, that means staking your claim in search engine results.

Here’s how to tailor your content so it ranks high in search results and still has a lasting impact on your readers.

Focus on Your Topic, Not Just a Keyword

Your topic and keywords will likely overlap but are usually not the same thing. Not exactly, anyway. Your topic is a broader description of the point you’re trying to make while your keywords are linked to that point. For example, if my topic is “How to Write Content That Ranks Really Well,” my top keywords might include “SEO,” “search results,” and “tips.” Notice how none of those are included in my topic description?

You need to focus the content of your writing on the topic, not just one or two keywords. This leads to stronger content and a more enjoyable and informative experience for your reader. Focusing on topic first helps guide the rest of the process, all the way through keyword research. And content that focuses on a topic tends to rank for hundreds if not thousands of queries instead of just one or two keywords.

Have a Greater Purpose

Another key to improving your ranking is to have a concrete and meaningful purpose behind the content. We’re not asking you to turn your blog post on fishing tips into the second coming of Moby Dick (whales are mammals, btw), but understanding and delivering on a point of interest to your reader will serve you far better than focusing solely on high rankings.

Answer a tough question you know will be of use to your audience. Find some way to challenge the status quo with your content so it brings some originality to an already-explored topic. Prioritize reader experience and the rankings boost will follow.

Be Better than Everyone Else

This one seems obvious. We don’t know of many businesses that strive for bronze. But in the sense of your content writing, there are a few keys to being better that can also improve your ranking.

It’s a common misconception that writing something longer is the same as writing something better. Not so. You want to make your content as in-depth and helpful as possible without breaking the word bank. Would you rather read “3 Tips to Perfecting Your Garden” or “An Entire History of Botany” in hardcover?

The goal is to concisely address all of your audience’s needs. For the best ranking, keep your mind on quality and provide the best possible info.

Find the Right Person to Write It

Every piece of content deserves the right author. Here’s a hint: it’s probably not you. In most cases you’ll need two people to produce the best work: a content expert and a subject matter expert. You probably have the latter on your team already, but that person usually isn’t best suited to write this content. You need a content expert who can consult with your SME to create a compelling piece that will resonate with your target audience — and perform well in search engines.

Make sure the content expert you hire isn’t a self-proclaimed SEO article writer. Nothing screams bad content like a person who only writes for SEO. The writing needs to focus on more than just keywords, and the right content expert will know that without being told. 

Do All the Little Things and Follow Through

You’ve written some great content, but you’re not done yet. Not even close. You need to make sure the entire package works together to convey the right message and reach the widest audience. To really maximize your rankings, there are a lot of little things you need to do. A few details to consider when aiming for a higher ranking:

  • Catchy, actionable title
  • Well-placed headings
  • Optimized title tag and meta description
  • Properly implemented schema
  • Compelling images with corresponding alt tags

And that barely scratches the surface. Don’t forget you also need to ensure your entire website is technically optimized for crawlability, speed, mobile, and more. Creating content that ranks is about a lot more than writing really good content. 

Got all that? Great! Now it’s time to promote your content. Promotion on social media channels is among the best ways to shed light on your content and reach your intended audience right away. That doesn’t just mean sharing it once and then liking your own post. Timing is everything on social as you aim to put your content in front of people who will appreciate and interact with it the most. Great writing is not enough. You need to bring the whole message together in the right way, at the right time, and with the right frequency.

Go Forth and Create Great Content

Whew. There’s a lot involved in creating great content. Need help writing content that ranks well in search and connects with your target audience? We can make it happen. Contact us today to learn more.

Written by

Dan Cole

Dan Cole is the Manager of Content & Copywriting at Perrill. He has been professionally strategizing and creating original content since 2011 across agency settings, corporate positions, and journalistic beats, and now masterminds written materials of all kinds for Perrill’s clients. He was named Acme Comedy Co.’s Funniest Person in the Twin Cities in 2014 and will never let any of us forget it.


Dan Cole

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Mar 27, 2018