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5 Writing Tricks to Make Your SEO Content Rank Higher


5 Writing Tricks to Make Your SEO Content Rank Higher

We know that Google loves quality content, so we try hard to make ours comprehensive, well-formatted, and valuable for the audience. The problem is that it’s not enough for high rankings in SERPs: We need top-notch content focusing on SEO.

That’s where writing tricks come into place.

Proper search engine optimization matters, but it goes far beyond keyword density and content usability today. SEO writers take a step further and develop many advanced strategies to help content rank higher.

In this article, you’ll learn five of them, with practical tips and examples to consider for writing your SEO content.

What is SEO content?

First, the basics. What is SEO content, and why is it critical?

SEO content is writing assets crafted and formatted for better visibility and higher rankings in search engines. SEO content creation includes working with ideas, planning, writing, and optimizing for more traffic, user engagement, and ultimately convincing the target audience to take action.

How SEO content helps rankings:

  • It serves for better visibility in engines. According to CTR studies, the top three results in SERPs attract more than half of all clicks. So, the higher your content ranks in Google, the more people will see and click on it.
  • SEO content facilitates more backlinks. High-quality, well-optimized, informative writings attract natural backlinks and their quantity influences positions in SERPs.
  • It ensures strategic use of keywords for a Searcher Task Accomplishment (STA). As specified by Oneupweb, STA is “the idea that search results should be determined by the objectives of the user performing the search, and the satisfaction the user experiences when they receive those results.” SEO content satisfies user search intent, thus contributing to this Searcher Task Accomplishment idea.

It also serves your innehållsmarknadsföring endeavors: With properly-optimized content, you’ll boost its visibility in search engines, engage users to click for more organic traffic, and thus influence your page’s overall rankings in SERPs.

5 writing tricks for SEO content creation

Now it’s time to reveal actionable writing tricks for stellar SEO content that guarantees organic traffic and higher rankings for your content in SERPs.

To start with, try the following five:

1 – Use APP or PPB methods when writing intros

You know that behavioral factors influence SEO: Google’s robots rely on them when estimating how users interact with your page to understand if it’s relevant and good enough to rank higher in SERPs. What can you do to hook visitors and motivate them to stay on your page longer, thus influencing its dwell time and bounce rate?

Write SEO content intros accordingly.

Yes, it’s a title that grabs users’ interest. But it’s the first paragraph (introduction) that holds this interest and encourages users to keep reading. You know the general rules of writing intros for SEO content, don’t you?

  • Make it short (no longer than 250-300 words).
  • Use a target keyword in the first paragraph.
  • Consider bucket brigades (transitional phrases) to make each sentence flow into the next and “glue” readers to the page.

SEO and marketing specialist Brian Dean takes a step further and develops two formulas for writing intros: APP and PPB. Both are compelling and worth trying when you craft SEO content for your website.

1) APP = agree, promise, preview.

First, you provide a statement (a problem) your audience will agree with; then, give them a promise (a hint about what would help them solve that problem); and finally, share a preview of what they’ll find in your content (a solution).

The introduction for the blog post you’re reading right now follows the APP method:

2) PPB = preview, proof, bridge.

First, you tell about what they’ll find in your content; then, share some proof (why should they care; why should they trust you?); and finally, write a transitional sentence that would build a bridge to pass the reader on to the text.

Brian often uses this type of introduction in his blog posts:

2 – Add <div id="”featured-snippet”"> where appropriate

Optimizing for featured snippets is among the most effective SEO tactics to influence rankings and drive more traffic. Also known as Position 0, snippets appear above other content in Google SERPs as a definition, a bulleted list, an image, or a video clip.

We all want our SEO content to get there, right?

It would grow traffic, boost a website’s visibility, and add more credibility to a brand you promote.

While there’s no universal method to guarantee your SEO content a place in snippets, some writing and formatting tricks can increase your likelihood of getting there. One of them is an oldy-moldy <div> element in the HTML of your content page:

When you write a definition or a step-by-step list right after <h2> or <h3> questions in your content, format them with the <div> element and an id attribute. Like this: <div id="”featured-snippet”">text</div>.

For example:

3 – Write and publish 10x content only

The term “10x content” comes from Rand Fishkin, meaning the content that’s at least “10 times better than anything else produced on the topic.” The writing trick to produce such content is using a Skyscraper Technique:

  • Find the top content piece on a relevant topic.
  • Craft your better version of it.
  • Reach those linking to the original, weaker content piece to ask if they’d like to link to your improved and updated version instead.
  • Outreach others to offer your 10x content.

The 10x content is about following Google’s E-A-T guidelines: Expertness, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are what SEO content needs today to rank high.

It’s also about semantic SEO that helps generate more traffic to your website. So, do your best to craft original content assets of high quality to please both Google and a user and represent your brand as a reputable one.

4 – Format SEO content like a boss

Content usability is also critical. The more comfortable it is to interact with your page, the longer visitors will stay there, indicating to Google that your content is worth ranking higher.

So, if you want to achieve better visibility and engagement for SEO content, consider its formatting. These tricks can help:

  • Follow the rules of web writing. Reading online is 25% slower than from print, so why not ease this job for your website’s visitors? Use short sentences and paragraphs, think of simple text structure, remember about <h2> och <h3>, use bulleted points, mark critical info with bold, etc.
  • Avoid content usability blunders: left-align your texts, use correct spacing around subheads, consider the color combination between your text and page’s background, and be mindful of font size — all of this serves for better readability.

When formatting, remember your target keywords: Include them in headings, the first and last paragraph of your SEO content, and <alt> tags of your visual content. Yes, image SEO matters here, either.

5 – Use custom visuals

Let’s face it: SEO writers often use the same-looking pictures as featured images and throughout pages. That’s because such visuals are copyright-free.

A small problem:

Too many websites use the same pics! They all save the list of resources with free yet beautiful images — and address the same image collections whenever they need a picture for their blog. Even if you optimize such a picture for SEO, it won’t bring you any results in rankings.

Why not generate custom visuals for your SEO content assets? With free graphic design tools like Canva or others, you can craft original and 100% relevant images. Screenshots with explanations work as custom images, either.

Here go the benefits:

  1. Such an image is another chance to win Google’s featured snippets as Image Packs.
  2. A custom image with original graphs, data, and statistics in it triggers users to share it with their audience, backlinking to the original. Thus, you can build more links to your website naturally.

Over to you

Now that you know how critical content optimization is for your overall rankings and marketing success, it’s time to apply this knowledge in practice.

Not only should your SEO content be comprehensive and valuable for the target audience, but it also needs to follow the rules of web writing you’ve learned in this article. So, do your best to avoid formatting blunders, optimize content for snippets, use custom visuals, and hook users in content intros to influence behavioral factors.

All these tricks, when done right, are your one-way ticket to the top of Google’s SERPs and more traffic.

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State of Content Marketing in 2023


State of Content Marketing in 2023

I just pressed send on the manuscript for my book to be released in September. It’s called Content Marketing Strategy (snappy, eh?), and Kogan Page will publish it.

Last week, marketing professor Philip Kotler wrote the foreword. I won’t spoil it, but he mentioned the need for a strategic approach to owned media.

He writes, “(T)he company doesn’t carry an account of showing these marketing assets and their value. As a result, the company cannot show the CEO and company board members a return on owned assets or content.”

Luckily, my upcoming book shows exactly how to do that. Funny how that works out.

In any event, all this struck me that now is an opportune time to look at where the beloved practice of content marketing stands today.

First, let’s go back to 1999 when Kotler published Kotler On Marketing, one of his more than 70 books. The latter 1990s – a time of tumultuous change – fueled most of the thinking for the book. But he knew that it was merely the beginning.

Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing.”  In the next decade, he wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”

Well, it’s taken over two decades, but it’s finally happening.

Consumers have changed, but marketing operations are just starting to

In case you didn’t notice, almost every marketing conference these days starts with the same four or five requisite slides:

  • Digital technologies, such as search and social media, empower consumers today.
  • Consumers research, engage, buy, and stay loyal to brands in ways that have fundamentally changed.
  • First-party data and privacy are of the utmost importance.
  • Artificial intelligence begins to threaten the idea of the usefulness of search and pressure companies to deliver better and more personalized experiences.

You get it. Consumer expectations in the age of the social, mobile, and AI-driven web are different than they were.

However, the continuing challenge in 2023 is that content and/or marketing operations in enterprise companies are only beginning to evolve. Most marketing departments have remained as they were when Kotler wrote his book — they still work from mid- to late-20th century hierarchies, strategies, and processes.

Most marketing departments still work with mid- to late-20th-century hierarchies, strategies, and processes, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content marketing isn’t new, but a content marketing strategy is

For hundreds of years, businesses have used content to affect some kind of profitable outcome. But the reality is this: Whether it was John Deere’s The Furrow from the 1800s, Michelin’s guide to car maintenance in the early 1900s, or even Hasbro’s GI-Joe partnership with Marvel in the 1980s, content was not — and is not for the most part now — a scalable, repeatable practice within the function of marketing. In short, companies almost always treat content marketing as a project, not a process.

That fundamental change will finally take hold in 2023. It could happen because of the digital disruption and ease by which you can now publish and distribute content to aggregate your own audiences. It could happen through the natural evolution that the ultimate outcome – more than the marketing – matters more.

As we roll through 2023 and beyond, content — and the exponentially increasing quantities of it produced by every organization — deeply affects not just your marketing strategy, but your business strategy. Content in marketing is now bigger than simply content marketing, and it should be dealt with as a component of that business strategy throughout the enterprise.

#Content in marketing is bigger than #ContentMarketing. Treat it as a component of the business strategy, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

In 2023, the No. 1 focus of my consulting and advisory practice these days: help companies transform content into a repeatable, scalable, and measurable function that drives value through a multi-channel strategy. It’s bigger than publishing a blog, creating a lead-generating resource center, or sending an email newsletter. Today’s content marketing team is being absorbed into marketing because marketing and its various operations are fundamentally transforming into a content-producing machine.

It is not good enough to produce content “like a media company would.” The goal must be to operate as a media company does. Your job is not to change content to fit new marketing goals. Rather, your job in 2023 is to change marketing to fit the new business content goals.

Your job in 2023 is to change #marketing to fit the new business #content goals, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The unaware builds a case for the aware

The term “innehållsmarknadsföring” continues to evolve. Even today, I run across those who still call it “brand publishing,” “custom content,” or “inbound marketing.”

My take matches with what Kotler described in 1999. I always thought the term “content marketing” would become part of “marketing” more broadly. In 2023, that happened. So, returning to the lexiconic debates of 2013, 2014, or 2015 doesn’t seem terribly productive. Content marketing is just good marketing, and marketing is just good content marketing.

That said, two kinds of companies do well at the broader view of content marketing. Some of them, such as Cleveland Clinic, Red Bull, Arrow Electronics, HubSpot, and REI, have purposely devised content marketing strategies as differentiating approaches to their marketing. They are succeeding.

Others, like Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Peloton, backed into a smart content marketing strategy. But executives at those companies probably don’t recognize it as such. If asked (and some have been), they would say acquiring or launching a media company operation was just a smart business strategy to diversify their ability to reach their consumers consistently.

They’re right, of course. Many have yet to read books about content marketing, been influenced by the Content Marketing Institute, or even recognize content marketing as a separate approach (as far as I know). And they are also succeeding.

Consider this proof: As I write this article, six companies have a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Four of the six wholly or partially use the business model of media creation to further marketing and business strategies. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon are all, in part, media companies that also sell products and services.

Why would you not avail yourself of that same model?

The future looks cloudy and bright

As for the overall state of enterprise content marketing, it’s in transition, as all marketing is. As a focused project-based approach, working in ad-hoc ways across a business, content marketing appears to have proven its worth. Hundreds of entries every year to the Content Marketing Awards feature myriad case studies using content marketing techniques in strategic ways to profitably affect business results.

And yet, it remains to be seen whether you can make content marketing a scalable, repeatable, measurable function within marketing.

As to what the discipline’s future holds? At last year’s Content Marketing World, one of my favorite events, the Executive Forum gathered senior leaders from brands succeeding with content marketing. As we talked about the future, one participant said: “The only certainty is change. I can’t tell you where or when, but I do know there will be change, and this is the principle we build on now.”

As for my take, Kotler’s idea of transforming the marketing function seems to have gotten lost along the digital road traveled by marketers. In so many cases, marketing – and especially content – remains just an on-demand service function within the business. Its sole job is to produce ever more voluminous amounts of content that describe the value of the brand (or its products or services) so that sales can sell more efficiently, customer support can serve more effectively, and all manner of customer interfaces are more beneficial to both sides.

However, and maybe because I need to rationalize now that my book is finished, I passionately believe it’s finally time for marketing to reclaim its ability to create value — not just reflect it in the polished shine of your traditional products and services.

Almost 27 years ago today, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay called Content is King. In it, he said that “(C)ontent is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

It certainly was one of his more prescient moments. Nearly three decades later, his words have proven true. The essay title has become the rallying cry for thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs who now make their living on creating, managing, optimizing, and measuring content on the internet. (A Google search for “content is king” nets more than 1.7 million results.)

But it’s the last line of his essay that I find the most visionary: “(T)hose who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products – a marketplace of content.”

That’s what content marketing is for me in 2023. It’s just marketing – optimizing the value of ideas, experiences, and products in a marketplace of content.

Time to get to work.

Det är din historia. Berätta väl.

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Se tidigare avsnitt eller läs de lätt redigerade utskrifterna.

Prenumerera till arbetsdags- eller veckovisa CMI-e-postmeddelanden för att få Rose-Colored Glasses i din inkorg varje vecka. 


Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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27 bästa om oss och om mig Sidexempel [+mallar]


Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand

(mer …)

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MarTechs marknadsföringsexperter att följa


MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.

Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 

Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.

Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.

Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 

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Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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