Creating SEO Content That Gets Rankings

5 min read
in Blog, Marketing, Organization, SEO, Writing
Proper SEO content is important

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to take your business to the web. Maybe you’ve used a DIY website builder, or maybe you’ve hired a professional web developer like ThirdSide. Whichever path you’ve chosen, good SEO content should be the one thing you focus on if you want your site to rank well with search engines.

But where do you start? How do you get search engines like Google to feature your content the way you want it?

In this week’s post, we’ll talk about that.

Before we dig into the core of our post, it bears mentioning that creating content for SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it concept. Many things you do will not yield immediate results. Proper content for SEO requires tweaking and adjusting. You may need to revisit and edit older content from time to time. While the content on some pages may be work better than content on others, the key thing to remember is that search engines are always changing their algorithms. Keeping up with these changes is key to ensuring your content stays properly indexed.

Build your site around your target keywords

Your website’s structure is a big part of how search engines will decide how to rank your site. One thing to bear in mind is that search engines don’t actually rank websites…they rank web pages. More specifically, they rank the content on those pages. People come to the internet for answers to questions, so making sure your content is well organized and can be found from your homepage is key.

So what are keywords?

Keywords are individual words or phrases that describe your web page’s content.

Imagine you’re running a pet care business. You offer advice for pet owners from dogs to cats to turtles, but also sell pet supplies. You want each page to rank well for its associated target keywords and would also like to attract searchers looking for the supplies you sell.

Your site structure might look something like this:

  1. Dogs
    1. Tips for dog owners
    2. Dog care supplies
  2. Cats
    1. Tips for cat owners
    2. Cat care supplies
  3. Turtles
    1. Tips for turtle owners
    2. Turtle care supplies

Obviously, this is highly simplified. But the point is that cat owners probably aren’t looking for turtle supplies. So having generic “pet care” and “pet supply” categories would be too general to rank well. The content would be too long and wouldn’t serve anybody well. In order to rank well, you need to break your site’s structure into as many specific categories as are relevant. Maybe “Dogs” could be broken down further like this:

  1. Dogs
    1. Tips for dog owners
      1. How to care for a new puppy
      2. How to stop chewing
      3. Where to take my dog for exercise
    2. Dog care supplies
      1. Harnesses
      2. Dishes
      3. Toys

Keeping a defined structure has a number of benefits. First, organic visitors will be able to find the content they’re looking for easily. But just as importantly, you will be able to create pages that each focus on one keyword. In our example, the keywords “How to care for a new puppy,” and “Where to take my dog for exercise” are good keyword phrases where “Tips for dog owners” is too generic. Focusing on too many keywords on one page can be problematic. Specific, relevant keywords perform better.

Here are the primary thoughts to remember:

  1. Focus on one primary keyword or keyword phrase per web page.
  2. Make sure your site’s structure is relevant to the topics you want to cover and follows an established hierarchy.
  3. Don’t try to stuff too many keywords into one page. For proper SEO content writing, you want to have well-defined content for each web page. Remember: Search engines don’t index websites. They index web pages.

Make sure each page has great content

You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Content is king.

This phrase is never more important than in the world of SEO. In fact, pages with thin content rarely show up in the first five pages of a Google search. This effectively means they don’t show up at all. Having relevant, engaging content is a core requirement for SEO to even begin to work.

So how much SEO content should there be on a web page?

There’s no official answer, but our research has shown that pages with 2,000 words or more rank higher in a Google search than shorter pages. This isn’t to say shorter pages won’t rank well, but generally speaking, more in-depth relevant SEO content will win out over thin content every time.

Aren’t 2,000 words a lot? Well, that depends. With more websites being viewed on mobile devices, there have been debates around whether or not that number is realistic. Very few people are willing to scroll through that much text on their iPhone. Google is always changing their algorithm, and we’ve seen plenty of pages with 1,000 words rank well. If you’re going for a highly competitive keyword, then it would be in your best interests to shoot for that magic 2,000-word goal. But if that means sacrificing quality content, then you may want to redirect your focus to writing content for less competitive keywords.

We’ve seen plenty of pages with more detailed content earn more inbound links from referring sites. Quality inbound links also contribute to SEO ranking. In short, it’s worth the time and effort to create higher quality content if you really want your SEO efforts to pay off.

So how do you go about writing better quality SEO content?

The best way to do that is to think of what people need. Then develop answers to their questions. Do some research and study the topic. If you can only come up with 500 words, then maybe expand on what you’ve discovered. If all else fails (or if you’re just not a writer) then you may want to consider hiring somebody to handle SEO content creation and editing for you.

As you’re developing your SEO content, don’t forget to include your target keywords or keyword phrases. Don’t overstuff your page, though. Google’s algorithm can sniff out fake content. If your website is running on WordPress, a great tool for helping you track your keyword usage is Yoast SEO. We use it extensively on sites we build and manage.

Here are the primary thoughts to remember:

  1. If your topic will support it, try to have at least 2,000 words on your page. Don’t write for the sake of writing, but research has shown that long-form SEO content generally ranks better than thin content.
  2. Make sure your keywords are present in your content. Be careful not to overuse them or “stuff” them. Use a tool like Yoast SEO to help you manage this.
  3. Most importantly, answer questions pertaining to people’s real needs. Search engines pay attention to what people search for. If your site has content relevant to real-world needs, you’ll find your rankings start to climb quickly.

Are you ready to start creating great SEO content?
If you’re ready to move forward and would like some assistance, we’d be happy to help. Feel free to reach out to us. You can find all of our contact information here:
If you’d just like to get an idea of how well an existing page on your site is optimized, then try our free SEO audit tool here:

Meet the Author

Jason is a co-founder of ThirdSide. When he’s not building websites, making graphics, or meeting clients, he’s hanging out with his family doing family things or hanging out with performers doing performer things.

He has a Star Wars obsession that some consider to be…unnatural.

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