SEO techniques are aimed at getting a page ranked high in search engine result pages (SERPs) and, bloggers use every trick in their bag to make an attempt at seeing their content on page 1 of Google and other search engine results. Since making a cut with big “head” keyword titles are impossible for a newbie blogger, the use of long-tail keywords become the norm. However, with Google changing its ranking algorithm in its periodic updates, no ‘trick’ is a good enough SEO practice and there’s no such thing as the best SEO technique that guarantees search visibility for all times.
If you are a blogger, or more precisely, a business owner, you certainly would want your pages to rank high in Google search results. Well, it pays to understand a little about the ranking algorithm or logic behind the world’s most-used search engine. This algorithm is very complicated would only be stating the obvious but more than the intricate nature of the logic followed, you need to understand that there are hundreds of variables (and these keep on changing) responsible for determining the position of a content in search pages when someone types in a search query with related keywords.
Of the many determinants that influence the ranking system, one quality that is extremely significant is the relevance of the content. It will not be an overstatement that relevance, in many ways, is responsible for a website (content) ranking the way it does.
How apt is a page for a given search query by users determines its relevance. In other words, it is a measure of the exactness of a content with the keywords used during a search query. So does relevance mean an indexed page having the exact keywords used in a query? Like Google bringing up pages that used the exact words or phrases in key parameters like the title tag, Meta description, H1 tag, the first paragraph of the content, or within the content itself? Well, in the early days of SEO, it used to be this way but things have changed much since then. Today, after many algorithm updates, Google tries to meet a user’s needs to the nearest possible dot and generates results based on many factors other than exact keyword matching. Gone are the days when relevance was encapsulated in a narrow concept of one-on-one keyword matching. Keywords are still important from the SEO perspective but are not as important as it is thought to be, or used to be. There are thousands of metrics involved.
Create content that users find relevant
Relevance is largely misunderstood as a writing skill or flair that only a few possess and something that gets exhibited in an ability to play around with the words in writing. However, this is a myth at best. Relevance, apart from being scientific and systematic, is largely the application of common sense. One can create relevant content by fully understanding what relevance is and learning the process to achieve it. To be successful in the online space, you need to learn to create relevant content in the face of stiff competition from other pages vying for attention from internet users. But how does one achieve relevance in creating content? Well, one can start by:
#1: Develop a customer persona
Before understanding what relevance is, you need to develop a customer or buyer persona to understand your users. Relevance begins with knowing your customer. By understanding your customer, you can understand his problems, his needs, his concerns, his interests. Creating relevant content is possible when you understand your customer’s needs.
#2: Understand the user’s intent
After knowing your customer, you can understand his intent. The user intent falls into three categories: do something, know something, or go somewhere.
Do something: commercial keywords – join an internet business community.
Learn something: informational keywords – review on Wealthy Affiliate.
Go somewhere: navigational queries – best online business blogs.
When you are able to grasp the user intent, you are able to create relevant content for your customer. You could understand what your customer wants.
#3: Create a list of keywords
Everything about relevance is from the customer’s perspective. If you want your customers to engage with your content, then you need to learn how to use right keywords in the right place. Do some keyword research on your own, possibly on a keyword tool and create a list of keywords which you feel are relevant from your customer’s end. It’s about common sense. Ask yourself questions on the user intent as mentioned in #2.
Commercial queries: What is the nature of your business? What is it that you are selling? Create a list of keywords that describe your business.
Informational queries: What does your customer want to know? What does your customer need? What solution do you wish to provide to your customers?
Navigational queries: Make your business stand out so that when the time comes to ‘buy’, customers come to you. Create a list of keywords that position your business as the best place to be.
Target the long-tail keywords instead of the broad ‘head’ keywords. With long tail keywords, the competition is less and also you will meet customers who have a greater intent of buying and who are in the later stages of making a purchase.
#4: Do not forget to put keywords in the meta description
Meta descriptions, as such do have an impact on the SEO but they create the initial intrigue or interest in the minds of the users. When you use a particular set of keywords for your search, it throws up several pages and you are most likely to click on that page which has a relevant title, and a relevant meta description. So, do not undermine its importance. Putting keywords within the meta description makes it relevant in the eyes of the users. People rarely click on a page that has a completely irrelevant meta description.
#5: Create relevant meta descriptions
Let this be known that meta descriptions are not simply unnecessary appendages. They might not boost your SEO but they help in inviting the users to check out your site. Within the character count limit, if you are able to create a stylish meta description to entice the users with a problem-solving description, you have already won half the battle.
#6: Do not ignore the small elements
We are made to understand that we need to target a keyword on all our pages. There are many other elements that require our attention as far as adding keywords is concerned.
Page title – Use your imagination to come up with exquisite title with a keyword (mostly long tail) inserted.
H1 header – H1 tags are important from the SEO’s perspective; use different keywords
Images – use keywords in the alt tags.
Within the content – Use of many keywords aren’t necessary; put at least one which is relevant to your content.
Putting keywords in these elements make sure that your page becomes relevant in a user’s search and the chances of your content being sorted out from amongst similar pages increases. In other words, search engines will identify your page as relevant to the user’s search.
#7: Make your content clear – stick to the topic
If you want your content to be relevant to a user for a specific search query, you make sure that you create it with no frills. Convey your idea clearly by pruning off anything out of context. Do not digress from the topic or mix up subjects. What use is that content if the reader is unable to figure out what the whole content is all about. If you have cited examples, then do so that is relevant to the theme.
#8: Bring solutions
When you create a content, always bear in mind that it has to satisfy a query or solve a problem that the user is having. Think of the problem and build the content with the focus around the solution of the problem. A content becomes relevant if it solves a problem. Do your keyword research around the problem or the solution to it. You can engage your audience when you create a problem-solving content.
#9: Avoid superfluous language
Do not write for the sake of writing only. Since the purpose of your content is providing solutions to a user, you need to create a comprehensive post that pretty much covers every inch of the topic. This means you need to maintain an economy with the words used and avoid anything sounding superfluous. The end of your content is a solution and hence, in trying to provide that, you make the content as long as it needs to be. If the solution requires instructions, steps or advice, you might need to explain everything in detail so that there’s no confusion at all and in the process create a long post. However, if the solution could be provided within 1000 words, so be it. So, whether it is a 3000-worded content or a 1000-worded one, if in the end, you are proving a solution, the length does not matter. That is the way to creating a relevant content.
#10: Make your content unique
Use your best imagination to create a content that stands out from the crowd. With so many blogs in the internet space in the same niche as yours, chances are that there will be many pages with the same keywords used and with almost the same content. The key to making your page the most relevant to a user is by making it unique with a fresh perspective. Examine the many competing pages available on the internet and see what type of solution are they providing. Can you create a more stylishly written content? Can you make it more personal than the others? The point is, do your research more intently and make sure you have an edge over others with your content.
#11: Make the substance of your content relatable
Use a conversational tone while writing and cite real-life examples or situations to drive home the point. While explaining the whole concept, come up with different scenarios that your customers could relate to. If you can’t come up with real-life instances, create one by giving hypothetical situations.
#12: Keep yourself abreast of the latest trends
Making your content relevant also means ensuring that it is in sync with the current events and trends. Visit online forums and participate in the community chats. You can easily feel the pulse of your potential customers in your industry within the interactions there. Find out the topics trending in the market by following Google+ or Twitter. If you look intently, you will surely find the problems that could be fodder for your relevant content.
When a content is relevant, things become more believable. People will not take you seriously if our content lacks focus and is not in consonance with their needs and problems. Today’s customers are mostly in a hurry and they have no business to pander to your insignificant content. Relevant content positions your business as an authority in the industry you are in. It gives your customers the reason to do business with you.