Tag Archives: Optimized Content Writing

How to write content for the Google RankBrain System

Content writing for Google RankBrain

Content writing for Google RankBrain

For a couple of years now Google has been using its RankBrain system to rank your content.

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that helps the Google algorithm in ranking various links and websites.

Although it hasn’t totally taken over the Hummingbird algorithm (the current ranking algorithm that Google uses) many SEO experts are claiming that the Google ranking algorithm derives almost 30% of its influence from RankBrain.

What exactly is Google RankBrain?

What is Google RankBrain?

What is Google RankBrain?

It’s an artificial intelligence system, and just like any contemporary artificial intelligence, it learns itself. It sometimes writes and modifies the ranking algorithm on its own.

The overall ranking process at Google is handled by the Hummingbird algorithm. RankBrain is a component of that algorithm that contributes towards assigning ranks to different links according to their relevance to the searcher’s intent.

Just like RankBrain, there are multiple components in the Hummingbird algorithm that analyze content.

Panda, Penguin and Payday components are used to fight spam. Pigeon is used to improve local search results.

Then, there is a Top Heavy component of the Hummingbird algorithm that assigns negative marking to ad-heavy pages.

To reward you for your mobile-friendly pages, the ranking algorithm uses the Mobile Friendly component.

Copyright infringement is taken care of by the Pirate component (source).

Whereas conventional SEO is based on the type of keywords you have used when writing your content and the quality of backlinks, RankBrain calculates the relevance of your content according to its own interpretation, according to what it thinks should be ranked rather than according to how the web page of the blog post has been “optimized”.

You must have read it at multiple places – even I have mentioned it multiple times on my blog – that when you are writing content, focus on the “intent” of the searcher instead of simply creating content based on your keywords.

The intent is what matters to RankBrain.

Unlike conventional ranking methods, RankBrain doesn’t rank web pages according to predefined formula.

It modifies the rank according to the interpretive need of the user.

It practically thinks like the human brain. It interprets meaning and gives you the best search result according to your particular need.

For example, if someone searches for “what are the best shows this week on Amazon Prime?” RankBrain will show the latest results no matter how well an article or blog post you wrote on the topic last month and how many people have linked to it.

Even if in terms of SEO practices your link should show up on page 10 or page 20 of the search results, if it is fresh and fresh content needs to be shown, your link will appear on the first page, even at the top.

So, how do you write content according to the Google RankBrain system?

How to write content for Google RankBrain

How to write content for Google RankBrain

To be frank, there is no particular way you can optimize your content for the RankBrain system.

As mentioned above, RankBrain doesn’t rank your content according to some predetermined parameters.

But it doesn’t mean you cannot benefit from RankBrain.

Content writing for RankBrain is very matter of fact: does your content solve a purpose? If it does, it will enjoy good search engine rankings.

The age-old wisdom that your content should provide the needed information to your human visitors still stands as in fact, such systems are developed by Google and other search engines to make sure that content creators create content that is relevant to people rather than machines.

When content is specifically created for machines it is open to manipulation. This is why Google has incorporated multiple algorithmic components to make sure that people don’t try to game the system.

How to make sure you enjoy good rankings in the times of artificial intelligence?

Search engine companies like Google aren’t creating sophisticated algorithms to stop your content from ranking well. They’re creating the sophisticated algorithms to make sure that content that deserves to rank well, does rank well.

So, instead of worrying about getting good ranks, focus on the quality, the relevance and the purposefulness of your content.

Do keywords matter when you are trying to optimize your content for the Google RankBrain system?

Not necessarily, but it doesn’t mean you stop neglecting them.

What are keywords after all? They are part of the language that you use to write your content.

Take for example this blog post. I’m writing about RankBrain, so I’m referring to it repeatedly, not purposely, but contextually. I’m not trying hard to use it repeatedly. It’s just happening.

Another focus of this post is content writing. I’m trying to explain to you how to write content that can convince the RankBrain ranking system.

Obviously these two terms are going to occur in my writing more than once, even multiple times. This tells Google that the foci of my blog post are RankBrain and content writing. There is nothing wrong in that.

But don’t just focus on your primary keywords. Use LSI keywords. Use semantic keywords. Even use the trending keywords if they are related to your topic.

Keywords matter when you’re writing content, but just make sure that they are there naturally and not stuffed. Quality, is what matters the most.

Focus on a better user behavior vis-à-vis your content writing if you want to make RankBrain happy

Since RankBrain avoids depending on conventional SEO benchmarks, it depends more on user behavior vis-à-vis your content. It observes the following while ranking your content:

What is your bounce rate?:

How many people stick to your website after finding your links on Google?

Do they immediately leave your link and come back to Google or do they linger on your website because they find useful information on it?

If your bounce rate is low RankBrain likes your content and improves its rankings.

How many people interact with your content?:

If your content is useful people engage with it.

They link to your content. They share your content with their followers and friends on social media and social networking websites. They even sometimes re-purpose your content.

The more people interact with your con tent, the better rankings it gets through RankBrain.

How in-depth is your content?:

The days of highly narrow content pieces are gone.

Remember when people used to create dedicated web pages and blog posts for every keyword combination for the same phrase? It is no longer acceptable.

You need to cover all your keyword combinations through a single web page or blog post, and this means, writing in-depth content pieces.

When you’re writing on a topic, cover practically every aspect of the topic within a single blog post or web page.

Is your content writing conversational?:

Conversational content writing is important because a greater number of people are using voice search and when people use voice search, they normally use a conversational tone.

Write shorter sentences. Avoid writing very complicated paragraphs. Try to capture just one thought in a single paragraph.

All in all, the more human friendly content you write, the better it is suitable for Google RankBrain.

10 SEO content writing rules you cannot ignore

10-SEO-content-writing-rules-you-cannot-ignore

SEO content writing has evolved since the days when the only way to get good search engine rankings was to use your keywords and key phrases indiscriminately. People were becoming experts in “website optimization techniques” and “web page optimization tactics”.

Read 5 Reasons Why Content Writing Is Important for SEO

Although you still have to use your primary and secondary keywords for SEO content writing, the exercise has been superseded by many other SEO factors that impact your search engine rankings. Getting your website on search engines, especially among the top 10 results, has become an integral part of content writing and content marketing.

How SEO content writing rules have changed

As I have mentioned above, improving your search engine rankings takes a lot more than simply using your primary and secondary keywords. Social validation is a must. It matters a lot to Google ranking algorithms how people react to your content.

Of course, keywords and how you use them still matter but along with that, what also matters is the quality of your content. All professional SEO consultants admit that the only way you can get better search engine rankings for your website is through content writing.

Contemporary web page optimization best practices

In order to know how to optimize your website or blog, you have to find the “why”, “what” and “how” of the content that you are writing.

You need to give people what they are looking for. If your content is simply misguiding people into visiting your website, your content begins to lose relevance.

The true value of your content can be gauged better through emotional intelligence which machines cannot have. This is why Google seeks social validation to rank your links.

When people find your content valuable and useful, they begin to interact with your content. They respond to it from their own blogs and website (linking to it). They Share it on social networking platforms in order to endorse it, agree with it, or even to disagree with it.

Google’s ranking algorithm takes into account people’s reaction towards your content. Whether they agree or disagree, how do they react to your content? Do they like it? Do they share it on social media and social networking websites? Do they recommend it?

The web, being web, is interconnected. Google and other major search engines these days have access to data from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (only to name a few social platforms available at this moment, in 2017). If your link is creating buzz, they know it, and then they use this buzz to determine your SEO. Content writing rules take into consideration, along with your keywords, social validations that pour in from various sources.

Read: 10 tips on how to write SEO content for your website

Why do you need to follow content writing rules to improve SEO?

You don’t need to. In fact, they are not even rules. I just needed a catchy title so I used the term “rules”, you can call them guidelines, benchmarks, or pointers or commandments, or whatever you feel like.

You don’t even have to follow these content writing rules to improve your SEO if you don’t feel like. They are there just for your reference. Sometimes you can use them, and sometimes you don’t need to.

But why use them?

They give you a template. This template doesn’t ensure higher rankings in itself, because your rankings depend on thousands of things in the universe, but they will make sure that if Google wants to rank your content, at least it has the information it needs.

It’s like using an SEO plug-in. Have you used the Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress? Seopressor? These plug-ins make recommendations like how long your webpage or blog post title should be, what should be your content-keywords ratio, what sort of information you should have in your description, and so on. Provided you stick to these guidelines, there is a great chance that your link will be ranked higher compared to the links that don’t follow these guidelines.

The same holds true for the content writing rules that I’m listing below. If you stick to them, they may not suddenly improve your SEO, but you will 100% have content that will be optimized for better rankings.

So here they are…

10 SEO content writing rules you cannot ignore

  1. Clearly define the “why” of your business: Why would people do business with you? What need do you solve? How do you enrich people’s lives? How do you make it easier for people to work, to celebrate, to entertain themselves or to increase their self-worth? All these bits of information must manifest in your content writing.
  2. Clearly define personas: Whom are you going to target with your content? Who are these people? Where do they come from? What are their aspirations? What problems are they having that they need solved? What are their backgrounds? The more you know about your audience, the better will be your content.
  3. Compile a list of keywords and search terms: Once you have defined the “why” of your business and have also defined the personas of your target audience, it will be easier for you to compile a list of keywords and search terms that you are going to incorporate into your SEO content writing. Remember that you don’t compile the list of keywords and search terms for your own happiness; you need to know the keywords and search terms people actually use to search for your business. You need to look at your business from their perspective. Only then you will be able to compile the right list of keywords and search terms. Having a list of keywords and search terms will also keep you focused and give you a clear idea of what content you should be publishing.
  4. Prepare a list of topics containing your target keywords and search terms: When you talk of SEO we need to take care of these things. Your topics are very important. Your topics are generally the titles of your blog posts and webpages. The titles of your blog posts and webpages are so important that the Google ranking algorithm takes the words appearing within your titles very seriously. This is why it’s very important for your SEO that when you are writing content, your keywords and search terms are present in your blog post and webpage titles.
  5. Start writing engaging content: Once you have created keyword-rich titles, when you are writing content for these titles, initially don’t worry much about their SEO quality. Remember that it’s very important to publish engaging content. Eventually it is the quality of your content that decides your long-term search engine rankings. You will also need quality content to accumulate social validation. Social validation is so important that even if you don’t bother about your keywords and you are able to accumulate enough social validation, your SEO is going to improve considerably.
  6. Whenever possible, write longer blog posts and webpages: To counter “thin content” Google these days has started preferring longer blog posts and webpages. People were publishing lots of “thin content” – meaningless content of 300-400 words mostly to target keywords – and the search results were being filled with lots of junk information. Writing longer blog posts and webpages takes effort and considerable knowledge of the subject. I’m not saying do it always, but whenever you have enough to say, don’t hold yourself back.
  7. Incorporate your keywords once you have completed a blog post or a webpage: Once you are sure that you have created a good quality, engaging blog post or webpage, insert the keywords that you have included in the title of that particular blog post or webpage. Strategically incorporate the keywords and search terms in such a manner that you don’t overuse them.
  8. Format your blog post or webpage in an SEO friendly manner: Your web content should be easily scannable. Use headlines (tags like <h1>, <h2>, etc.) to organize your text under different sections and once or twice use your keywords and search terms within these headlines. If some bits of information can be presented with bullet points, use them. At least once bold your keywords. You can also use your keywords in the anchor text when you link to other blog posts and webpages either on your own website or other websites.
  9. Publish content at regular intervals: SEO content writing doesn’t just mean publishing a few blog posts and webpages and then resting on your laurels. For rare businesses, this works, but not for businesses that need to compete with other businesses. It is because lots of businesses like your business are publishing content with great speed. Even if you rank well for certain keywords and search terms, soon you’re going to be overtaken by your competition with better and more content. This is why you need to constantly supply Google with fresh content. At least to experience the initial SEO boost, you need to continuously post blog posts and webpages for 3-4 months. Holding yourself back would be like getting into a boxing ring and constantly pulling your punches without giving all you have got. If you are not regular, you lose even the slight advantage you have gained by publishing some content initially.
  10. Update your existing content: All the blog posts and webpages that you create are your business assets. You should nurture them and take care of them just as you take care of your other business assets. Constantly update your older blog posts and webpages and resubmit them to search engines to let them know that you have updated them. Add new information. Modify the data that might had been correct two years ago but not now.

Whether you realize it now or five years later, SEO content writing is an ongoing process. As Yoda says, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

yoda quote on SEO content writing

5 Reasons Why Content Writing Is Important for SEO

5-reasons-why-content-writing-is-important-for-SEO

Do you know that your SEO begins and ends with quality content writing? It is so important that every major search engine optimization agency these days doesn’t implement your optimization strategy without a solid content strategy.

What is SEO content writing?

It means writing content in such a manner that it begins to rank higher for the related keyword searches. You use the keywords in the title of the web page or the blog post and then strategically use them at various places. Ideally, your content should be optimized for search engines as well as humans.

Read How to evaluate your SEO content writing.

Before you comprehend and decide to use content writing to improve your search engine rankings you need to learn

  1. What is SEO content writing?
  2. What type of content you can publish on your blog or website?
  3. What is going to be your long-term content strategy?

For this section, I’m going to explore the various aspects of writing content specifically for higher rankings.

Although, merely pushing content doesn’t have a great impact on your SEO, it is the most important aspect of your ranking strategy. If there is no content, there is nothing to rank.

As explained above, in order to write content for SEO, you need to follow certain steps including

  1. Make sure that the main keyword phrase appears in the title of your web page or blog post.
  2. The main keyword phrase and its various parts should be scattered all over the content of your web page or blog post.
  3. You should also use the alternative phrases, what they call LSI keywords. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing and these are the related keywords to your main keywords. If you feel that you are over-using your main keywords you should replace them with LSI keywords.
  4. Use your keywords (including LSI keywords) within the <h1>, <h2> and <h3> tags to put more emphasis on them.
  5. Use your keywords (including LSI keywords) as anchor text when linking to other web pages and blog posts on your website.

These are all a part of on-site SEO. These are the technical side of SEO. These alone don’t decide how Google is going to rank your content, but they are a part of the building blocks that you need in order to write SEO content.

Of course, the fundamental aspect of your content writing must always be its quality, its relevance, and the value it delivers to your visitors. Without quality content writing, there is no hope of getting good search engine rankings. Quality content writing is the most important part of your SEO.

Read 20 Evergreen Characteristics of Quality Content

With quality, SEO-friendly formatting is very important because the Google algorithm looks for important words at particular places on your web page or blog post.

Now coming to the “content” part of writing search engine friendly content. Here are a few things you need to follow:

  1. Do keyword research: Before you start writing content make sure you have a comprehensive list of the right keywords and key phrases you are going to use. These must be the search terms your target customers and clients are most likely to use when trying to find you or your service or your business or your product.
  2. Start writing high-quality content: I can never understate the importance of high-quality content. If your content quality is inferior, no matter how much time you spend optimizing your content, all the SEO benefits will be lost. Remember that the only reason your content exists is to serve your prospective customers and clients. So, whatever you write, keep in mind that you have to provide some sort of solution.
  3. Incorporate your keywords: Once you have written content that you feel is going to convert well, incorporate your keywords. Insert your keywords at strategic locations. Don’t overuse them. Whenever you feel that you cannot help using them, use alternatives – as mentioned above, use LSI keywords.
  4. Promote your content: Marketing your content, making sure that your target audience is able to find your content through various social media and social networking channels, is an important aspect of SEO. Google wants social validation. Try to get social validation from as many resources as possible. Promoting content will also get you precious back links.

5 Reasons Why Content Writing Is Important for SEO

Now that we know what is SEO content and how to write it, let’s come to the main topic of the blog post: reasons why content writing is important for SEO.

This Kissmetrics blog post rightly says that SEO is actually all about content marketing. And since content writing is indispensable to any genuine content marketing effort, we can safely say that SEO is actually all about content writing. How come? I’m describing that below.

1. SEO needs strategic usage of keywords and search terms

Although big advances have been made in terms of ranking web pages and blog posts according to their true value, keywords still matter. You can judge the importance of keywords by the fact that your ranking depends on whether you have used your keywords or one of its alternatives in the title of your web page or blog post, or not.

It is only through strategic content writing that you can use the right keywords to satiate Google. If there is no content, it is very difficult for you to rank for the right keywords.

2. Social validation can only be obtained due to quality content

I have personally seen that many web pages and blog posts rank well due to the social validation they have been able to attract despite having inferior quality content. But this can only be achieved by brute force and lots of money. For a small or medium-sized business, the only way you can get social validation is by quality content writing.

When your content is great, when it delivers value, when people find what they are looking for through your content, they tend to engage with your content through social media and social networking websites. When they share your links on their timelines, Google sees these actions as social validation and then uses this validation to rank your links.

3. Quality back links can only be obtained due to quality content

Back links are also a form of social validation but you don’t necessarily have to focus on social media and social networking websites to garner back links.

Why would people link to your website or blog? Apart from the fact that sometimes you can pay websites and blogs to link back to you, in most of the cases, people link to you because they appreciate what you are publishing.

This, Google sees as validation and its algorithms use this validation to rank your webpages and blog posts.

4. In order to rank your website and individual links, Google needs content

This is a straightforward logic. If you don’t have content, what is Google going to rank? In Google Images Google ranks images, in Google Video, Google ranks videos and in the same manner, in the normal Google section, Google ranks text, your written content.

This is why content writing is important for your SEO: it is giving Google something to rank. It also tells Google for what keywords and search terms your content should be ranked.

5. Content writing contributes to the “Search Task Accomplishment” factor

This is a new trend emerging: does your content solve any purpose? Search Task Accomplishment is becoming a new buzzword on the Internet, especially in the content marketing and SEO circles.

Soon, Google is going to rank your content according to the true purpose it solves. A user should be able to find exactly what he or she is looking for when he or she uses the Google search engine. Google is working on an algorithm that will be able to find if people are able to find exactly the information they need on your link. If yes, your rankings will start improving and if no, your rankings will start deteriorating.

There was a time when SEO existed in isolation. No longer is the case. SEO these days is the sum total of your entire content marketing dispensation. Without great content, you can never hope to enjoy good search engine rankings. With every preceding month, content writing is becoming more and more important for SEO.

Writing content based on customer-centric SEO strategy

Customer-centric approach for writing SEO content

Is your content writing customer-centric SEO-based or you randomly go on writing and adding content to your website or blog just to cover the keywords you think people must be using to look for your business? There is nothing wrong in preparing your own list of keywords – both small combinations and longtail keywords – and for all you know, since you are an expert in your field, you may very well know what your prospective customers and clients might be looking for, but in many cases I have found, people have no idea.

Most content writing is done to improve search engine rankings

No matter how holistically I look at my content writing and content marketing services, 70% of the clients hire me to improve their SEO. I don’t mean to say that it is less of a service, but rather than worrying about their conversion rate, they worry about their search engine rankings, which, in itself is not bad, but it is definitely bad if you’re trying to achieve this at the cost of the quality of your content.

If I want to make a priority list of things to keep in mind while writing your business content, here is my sequence goes, with number one being the most important thing:

  1. Highly useful and topic-centric content that is well-written.
  2. The content highlights all the benefits of the product or service people should buy that product or service for.
  3. User engagement and two-way communication should be facilitated by your content.
  4. Content writing with high conversion rate. I put it at number four not because conversion is less important than the three points listed above, it is because if you take care of the above-listed three points, conversion automatically begins to manifest.
  5. Improved and higher search engine rankings. It is the same as improving conversion rate – if you take care of the above-listed three points – 1, 2 and 3 – your search engine rankings automatically improve. SEO content writing basically means high-quality content written to inform and engage your audience, using the language your audience is comfortable in.

Aligning content writing with your customer-centric SEO strategy

Why do you want to improve your search engine rankings? Don’t laugh, I really mean to ask this question, why are you bothering with SEO? The obvious answer is to get traffic for the right keywords. What are those right keywords? The keywords that you think people are using in order to find your product or service. Are you using any tools to find what keywords people are using? Are you asking those people what words, expressions and phrases, and even questions people are using in order to find what you are offering? Yes, people do type in complete questions like “where can I get an expert content writer for my industrial legal services website?” or, “when I am in Casablanca, which is the best taxi service I can hire?”

This is why I always advise my clients, don’t focus on particular keywords, focus on the answers you need to provide in order to help people become your customers and clients. When you provide answers to the right questions, on your own you begin to improve your search engine rankings.

How to follow customer-centring SEO strategy while writing content?

One thing you can do is, ask people straight away. While making people fill up your contact form, ask them how they found you and if they used the search engines, exactly what keywords they used? Not everybody will respond, so make it an optional field, but some will. You can also ask people once they have become your customers and clients because then they are more prone to replying to detailed queries.

You can ask people face-to-face. Ask them what problems they are facing? Even if they seem to be using bizarre words, note them down – you will be surprised to know how many people actually use those bizarre words.

Obviously this is not going to be a one-day or a one-week, or even a one-month project. It may take time to cover all the important keywords that people are using in order to streamline your SEO process through strategic content writing.