If you wish to start a content writing career, one of the first things you should learn is how to create relevant content. Even if you’re a great creative writer, you won’t get far if you don’t give users and search engines what they’re looking for.
Nowadays, Google’s algorithm relies on user experience to rank its pages. In fact, creating relevant content is more important than having the right keywords or using the best on-page practices.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we explain the importance of relevance for search engines, let’s first define the term.
What is content relevance?
If your articles are relevant, content marketing becomes a breeze.
Basically, every page on your website should provide an answer to a specific query. In other words, it needs to be relevant for the user. If the post is good enough and gives readers everything they need, they will stick to your pages for longer.
So, why is this important?
Nowadays, Google uses UX data to measure the quality of web pages. It analyzes things such as time spent on a page, time spent on the site, and bounce rate. When you create fantastic articles and provide valuable answers to the readers, they stay longer on the page. In turn, this sends a strong positive signal to Google, which trumps most other ranking signals.
There are many criteria that determine the relevance of a page. The most important one is the text itself, but you should also consider other elements, such as videos and images. You can get more relevance for a given search query with metadata such as title tags and meta descriptions.
What is the difference between topical relevance and content relevance?
People often mistake topical relevance, or topical authority, for content relevance. Although somewhat similar, these terms pertain to completely different things.
Content relevance is a much narrower term. It focuses on content, such as textual and visual elements present on the page. In theory, a page can have high content relevance, but Google can still consider it topically irrelevant content.
Topical relevance, on the other hand, encompasses various factors such as backlinks, content, and keywords. For a page to be topically relevant, it also needs to have relevant content. As you can presume, it’s much harder to gain topical authority than content relevance.
How does content relevance affect search engines?
Google’s main goal is to help its users. The search engine company always tries to provide the best possible experience through quality content, ease of use, and quick delivery speed. This is why page speed, mobile friendliness, and site architecture are such important factors.
As previously mentioned, the algorithm is always trying to give users what they’re looking for. To measure their engagement levels, it analyzes various page-related data (i.e., time spent on the page). By proxy, if an article is relevant for a particular query, the stats will be higher and vice versa.
So, content relevance doesn’t actually have a direct impact on the search engine. There isn’t a relevance stat or number that Google compares to relevance numbers on other websites. Instead, it focuses on real people’s behavior and their satisfaction with the retrieved results.
Should I stop using keywords?
With all that in mind, you might think that keywords and keyword research are completely irrelevant to your business. In the end, if Google focuses on user feedback and content relevance, phrasing probably isn’t that important, right?
Although the quality of the post is crucial for your SEO efforts, keywords are every bit as significant. They’re vital for robots when they’re trying to determine the meaning behind the text. Content relevance is probably more important later on when you accrue enough user data, but you also shouldn’t neglect keywords.
Generally speaking, it’s better to use the right set of keywords for particular search queries. In so much, you should consider subscribing to tools such as Surfer SEO or MarketMuse. Whatever the case, it’s much safer to optimize both of them.
To stay on the safe side, you can always hire a good SEO company, such as MiroMind.
Which elements can increase content relevance?
Unlike topical relevance, which uses various on-page and off-page elements, content relevance mainly pertains to the following factors:
· Page title
Any SEO worth his salt will tell you that the page title is the most important on-page SEO element. When a person checks results on the first page of Google, they usually decide what to click on based on the title. In that regard, it’s much better to have a simple title that directly answers users’ queries.
· Content language
Every industry or topic uses a specific lingo. Medical articles are commonly more professional and focus on providing exact information. Entertainment posts use a lot of slang with hectic sentence structures. To make your article relevant for a specific group of users, you need to create posts that correlate to their education level and the way they use language.
· Body text
Even if you manage to lure a person with a flashy clickbait title, it won’t matter if you can’t keep them on a page. The article’s body needs to provide valuable information that would answer the user’s query. All this information should be presented in a way that would make it easier to digest the content.
· Visual solutions
Images and videos can be great allies for increasing relevance. Given that your main task is to keep a person on a page for as long as possible, a quality video can definitely be of assistance. Although images usually don’t increase user stats, they make the content more palatable.
Creating content marketing strategy based on users’ questions
The best way to produce content ideas is by analyzing what your ideal customers are looking for.
When people type something into the Google search bar, they usually look to solve a problem or gain valuable information. In most cases, they phrase their queries in the form of questions.
So, you can always find a correlation between their inquiries and your company’s main activity. For example, if you have a marketing company, your target audience is people who ask about related services. They’ll ask questions such as “Where to find cheap search engine optimization services?” or “How to dominate social media platforms?”
If you want to increase your site’s traffic and gain more leads, these keywords should be your main priorities. In the end, people who ask such questions are in the last stages of their buyer’s journey and are looking to hire an agency such as yours.
As long as you understand user intent, finding related keywords shouldn’t be hard. Just ask yourself, what are my potential clients looking for when they browse Google? By creating quality content that answers these queries, you can significantly increase the number of potential customers.
6 Steps for improving the relevancy of your content
Content relevancy is one of the main reasons why articles never reach the top of SERPs. Even if you did everything right, this would be a limiting factor preventing you from gaining high organic traffic.
Here are a few ways that will help you address the problem:
1. Place emphasis on titles
As previously mentioned, titles are the main reason why people visit pages.
Unfortunately, many website owners don’t pay enough attention to them. They just add the main keyword and include some catchphrases such as Best, Top, Highest, etc. However, this usually isn’t enough to move the needle.
The title is the first thing people see when they reach SERPs. While we can say that meta descriptions are also important, most users make the decision based on how well your title matches their query. You can also do a fantastic job by provoking their curiosity.
The click-through rate is vital at this point. Based on everything we know, Google assigns higher value to articles that have higher CTR. In other words, if no one ever clicks on your link, there’s a good chance that you will slowly start losing positions.
Having said all that, you should take your time creating catchy headings. Even if it takes extra 30 minutes to an hour, it will be a good investment. In the end, the worst thing that can happen is for no one to read your posts.
If you don’t have any inspiration, you can check the top ranking titles in Google. Alternatively, you can use some of the numerous SEO tools to help you out.
2. Add FAQ section
In the last few years, it has become more common to add FAQs at the bottom of articles. To be honest, there’s a good reason why SEO experts are using this trick.
Basically, by introducing the exact-match question, it will be easier to rank a particular phrase and its answer. It’s also a sneaky way to introduce a phrase whose addition would otherwise feel strange.
By having this keyword in your blog post, you will significantly increase your relevance and authority. It also shows readers that you understand their struggles and are willing to provide an answer. This can have a cascade effect where visitors are willing to browse other pages on the site, further increasing its authority and relevance.
3. Include related terms
Most website owners are too narrow-minded when writing a piece of content. They usually focus on one particular keyword and a few related phrases.
However, the value of a page can go way beyond the article. This is especially true if you properly interlink your web pages and lead a customer from one post to another. Among others, you can add related searches to articles, thus increasing the utility of every piece of content on your site.
First off, this will make indexing much easier. If you use several related terms, robots can quickly determine what your page is all about. The addition of related searches also helps users who might be interested in similar concepts or related topics.
4. Make it more complete
Previously mentioned related searches and FAQs are excellent ways of increasing the utility of your posts. However, there are other ways to enhance the articles.
Interestingly enough, the lack of information is one of the main reasons why users deem a specific piece irrelevant. According to many users, articles that don’t answer certain questions should be considered irrelevant and useless. What’s worse, this can also decrease their level of trust in your brand.
You can use various methods to increase completeness that go way beyond simply textual content.
For example, you can add images for How To pages. They are actually great for all step-by-step guides and other types of demonstrations. Just to prove the point, almost all successful digital marketing companies use this approach.
If you wish to keep people on your pages, you can also embed videos. The visitors can watch them without leaving the article, thus improving overall UX stats. Besides, by keeping people on your pages, you can increase their level of trust. It’s a sneaky way of building a reputation within an industry.
At the end of the article, you can add other relevant resources and links to other pages. Speaking of links, it’s extremely beneficial to connect all your pages. This will increase the relevance of individual posts but also the website as a whole.
5. Think about terminology
Sometimes, articles get lost in the shuffle just because people don’t understand the terminology. As a result, they’ll stay on the page for a much shorter time than they would otherwise.
Although it makes sense to use professional lingo for certain topics, you need to adjust according to your ideal reader. The general rule of thumb is to keep things simple so that even newbies can understand the article.
A good way to understand phrasing is by running your main keyword through Frase, MarketMuse, Surfer SEO, or a similar tool. Within the dashboards, you can see all the phrases you need to rank for a particular piece. This can be a fantastic indication of what type of terminology is expected from you.
6. Timely content
SEO experts recommend that you regularly update your most successful pages. That way, you can always adjust the information based on the newest discoveries.
If an excellent article wasn’t modified for a few years, there’s a good chance it would become obsolete. When even laymen understand that it’s inadequate, they won’t invest too much time reading it.
On the other hand, don’t create content ahead of time. For example, some authors try to benefit from unexplored topics. They make their predictions and assessments, which could turn out to be completely wrong after a few months. Although you might harness the initial traffic, your article might become awful in a short amount of time.
This is especially dangerous for sites that have built a reputation within an industry. The audience will quickly label you as a fraud, or unreliable source, which can affect all other marketing efforts by your company.
If you’re looking for local SEO services to help you with content relevance, call MiroMind today!