Quality SEO Has 7 Key Attributes
CMOs can check whether their sites have quality SEO by looking for seven attributes — the most essential of which is good content. The remaining six matter, too, because “93% of online experiences begin with search,” according to NewsCred Insights.
CMOs who need a high-level view of whether their SEO will perform can review the seven items to see if their search game is on-target, per the May 15 blog post, “The Ultimate SEO Checklist for Content Marketers,” by Matthew Covi.
He begins his extensive writing with this list of “7 Attributes of Optimized Content”:
Relevant, High-Quality Content
Covi says website and blog content needs to be high-quality, well-written and unique — but most importantly, relevant to your audience. Relevance is the No. 1 ranking factor on search engines, he says, citing Searchmetrics.
While Covi referred to Searchmetrics’ ranking factors research, Searchmetrics itself says Google is getting more specific than overall ranking factors. And, in fact, its research to be released soon will reflect just how relevant to the audience search engines expect the content to be. In announcing the change to its research methodology, Searchmetrics wrote:
“We are gathered here to formally acknowledge that ‘Universal Ranking Factors’ are dead. The new kings of search will be online marketers who master the fact that signals for relevance have been replaced by specific ranking factors based on search intent and industry relevance, according to the Searchmetrics ranking factors study, ‘Rebooting Ranking Factors.’ Content relevance will be key to success as we move into an era of industry ranking factors.”
So, Covi reiterates, house high-quality content aligned with the target audience’s interests on blogs and websites.
Ensure Content Is ‘Crawlable’
The quality of the content doesn’t matter if the audience can’t find it. And to find it, search engines have to be able to read (“crawl”) it.
“This is a foundational step to ensure there is nothing from a technical SEO standpoint that’s preventing your content from ranking.”
Write What the Audience Wants to Read — AKA, Be Demand-Driven
Being demand-driven isn’t just another way of saying content should be relevant. It’s doing keyword and market research in order to inform writing, which ensures marketers’ “content aligns with topics that are of interest to your audience,” Covi says.
Determine Audience Intent
Moving beyond keyword research, marketers understand audience intent. Hopefully, they already know what topics interest their consumers, but Covi says “content angle, format and approach should match what the user is looking to do on your site and what actions they are looking to take.”
Optimize, Ahem, the Content
Yes, SEO includes the word optimization for a reason.
Covi says CMOs can double-check whether they can answer these questions:
- Does the content include optimized, on-page SEO tags?
- Does the page load quickly?
- Is it mobile-friendly and does it provide an exceptional user experience?
- Is the site secure (HTTPS)?
OK, the Content Is Quality. But Do Consumers Trust You?
Covi provides an easy-to-understand definition of “credible”:
“Are you an authority on the topics you’re covering? (For example, if you’re an insurance company creating content about makeup tips, Google won’t rank it well, no matter how good it is — because you’re not a credible voice on the subject.) Is your content well-researched and data-informed? Does it provide inherent value to end-users?”
Amplify the Content for ... Amplified ... SEO
Google loves the extra punch to SEO. Covi says amplified content is distributed “through social media, email, PR and other marketing channels to drive social shares and backlinks.”
Quality backlinks are the key, but the idea is to give the content a chance to be relevant elsewhere, too. That lends credibility to the original work.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: How’s Your Competitive Keyword Research Going?