How to create relevant contentShortly i was asked about the definitive OnPage ranking factors. My first and short answer was, there isn't the single ranking factor, but a combination of some. Then it seemed to me, this question could be very relevant verbalization of the article about website content for the part 4 of the HASCH, my OnPage SEO framework. I don't want to rob your time with commonplace phrases about "the content is king, must be unique, interesting, well-written, useful, fresh, catchy, provoking, outrageous" or the like. I will instead explain, which tangible traits must own your content to rank well. With "to rank well" i mean, that search engine algorithm will reckon your website text as topically relevant to your chosen and used in the text keywords. Let's ask:
- what makes content relevant?
- how to create relevant content?
Where to place and how to markup keywords to make the text topically relevant?The only concrete, measurable factor, which indicates the topical relevance of a text is a keyword. In detail, keywords, synonyms and LSI-keywords covering a given topic. If a ranking algorithm must decide about the topical relevance of a web document to a given topic, it checks:
- the pure existence of keywords, synonyms and LSI-keywords,
- their occurrence places in the source code.
- get the topic
- research keywords
- enrich the keyword list with synonyms and LSI-keywords
- create the text using keywords, their synonyms and LSI-keywords
- publish the text as HTML
- enrich the HTML source code of the text using HTML markup with keywords, their synonyms and LSI-keywords on the key positions.
Content audienceIt's obvious, that before to start, the topic idea must already exist and be researched from the point of view, whether it's in general interesting, and which aspects of the topic are most interesting. With "most interesting" i mean interesting for
- most people
- most of your readers
- most of your customers / buyers
- most of your followers / friends
- most of influencing persons in your topical environment.
Keyword researchAfter you are clear with the topic, select keywords you want your article will be ranked with. Well-known and fully unknown keyword research tools will help you with this task. I recommend to research:
- keywords (some keyword phrases with 2-4 words)
- synonyms to keywords
- semantic environment and LSI keywords.
Semantic markupAfter your text is ready, use semantic markup
- in the head (meta, Dublin Core, Open Graph, Twitter Cards) and
- in the body (embedded Schema.org-markup).
Keywords occurrence places and their markup for content relevanceNow it's time to check, whether all needful things are correctly placed and marked up.
This is the most important part of the whole task! A text doesn't become relevant only cause there are some keywords inside.
The keywords must
Only this signal combination lets the ranking algorithm decide about the topical relevance of the text.
- appear in the key positions and
- own specific HTML markup.
What makes content topically relevant?
— Keywords, their synonyms and LSI-keywords!
Where our keywords should appear to make the content topically relevant?Keywords should appear in (the closer to begin of the given entity - the better):
— Let's list these areas:
- Domain name. Domain name, which contains keywords is called exact match domain. To own one is worth the trouble.
- Subdomain name
- Article's URL (can be created with plain HTML files or with help of mod_rewrite)
- Dublin Core
- Open Graph
- Twitter Cards
- Headings (h1-h6)
- Beginning of p, span and div as possible closer (next) to heading
- First and last 50 words of text
- At least one occurrence with strong, italic and underlined attribute
- Link URLs (intern and outgoing)
- Link anchors (intern and outgoing)
- Link titles (intern and outgoing)
- Names of those CSS classes and IDs,who surrounds the main content
- The article should be described as CreativeWork and the keywords must appear in the name and description properties of the article
- Keywords should appear as entities (standalone types) which extend the about and mentions properties of the article
- Keywords should appear in the more the better URL and sameAs properties
- Assets folder names
- Image file names, titles, alt attributes, IPTC / EXIF data
- Imagemap URLs, titles and anchors of the imagemap links
- Embedded file (pdf, doc etc) URLs, names, titles, anchors
Keyword density, synonyms and LSI-keywordsAfter you analyzed your text, whether your primary keywords are located on the places, listed above, it's time
- to replace some keywords with synonyms,
- to use some LSI-keywords (don't hesitate: search engine algorithm will nevertheless understand you),
- to think about the keyword density and, in general, about whether you've overused your keywords a little bit.
Content LengthThe frequently asked question about the content length is easy to answer and contains 3 answer parts:
- The more text, the better (search engines mean)
- The content length must not make tired (readers mean)
- The most important content content must appear above the fold (mean the both from above)
Conclusion / tl;drPlaces in the article's text and the source code of the article, where your keywords should appear to make your article topically relevant. Use this list as a rough guide
- to audit any web document,
- to clear possible optimization areas.