4 tips on writing content optimized for Google ranking
Published on February 12, 2020 Last modified on February 19, 2021
Even if you’ve found the most ideal keywords for the niche you’re targeting, your pages are still unlikely to rank if you have subpar content.
Here are some tips on how you can write and structure optimized pages:
Page title and description
Having the right page titles and page descriptions is crucial to your SEO—first because these serve as primary indicators of what your page is actually about to Google’s crawlers, and second because these are also what potential site visitors first see about your page when they’re on a search results page.
(A sample of how a page title and description may appear in Google search results.)
Ideally, your focus keyword for a page should be in both your page title and description—but avoid simply stuffing keywords in the text in hopes of ranking better.
Aim for a readable and catchy title and description that accurately describe what the page is about, while still incorporating the right keywords, to make sure that real (and interested) people click on your page.
Note: In some instances, Google may not use the page description you’ve set and instead pull a section of your content that’s more relevant to the user’s query, like in this example:
Page titles and page descriptions are limited to certain pixels as they appear on a search results page, so you have to watch the length of your text to make sure that it’s not truncated when it appears on Google search results.
Typically, it’s best to limit yourself with 60 characters for the page title, and 120 characters for the page description.
In the early days of search engines, you used to be able to rank just by stuffing keywords as much as possible in your content.
This resulted to many website pages being borderline unreadable and just looking spammy to actual human readers.
Now that search engines are smarter, this technique can get you penalized and actually result to lower ranking (or worse, being removed from search results altogether).
The key is to strike a balance between using your keywords and writing content that’s interesting, informative, and engaging for your target audience.
The keywords’ placement in your text shouldn’t feel unnatural and obviously inserted, but instead like it fits perfectly with the topic you’re writing about.
If you’re using the right keywords that are actually relevant to your subject, then this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
If you feel that you can’t write your keywords into your content naturally, then you either have to do another keyword research or re-evaluate your topic to make sure that the two are properly aligned.
SEO tools that help in optimizing content
1. Yoast SEO – Yoast is a popular WordPress plugin that can help you audit your content in terms of SEO best practices.
This tool analyzes your text and provides warnings and recommendations on what you can improve upon, like the length of your content and whether your focus keyword appears enough times in the text, etc.
2. 1902 SEO+ - This is a free SEO package that we developed for Umbraco CMS.
Like Yoast, this tool simplifies doing SEO for your website by providing an intuitive and user-friendly interface where you can manage your page titles, descriptions, and other SEO settings.
In SEO, “duplicate content” refers to two or more pages that have the same content but with different URLs.
In the early days of the web, many sites took advantage of this tactic to trick search engine crawlers into thinking they have more content than they actually do in order to get more pages indexed and in effect, get more visitors.
Duplicate content occurs when you intentionally create a copy of a page or if you have a technical error, such as when URL parameters like Google Analytics tracking accidentally turn each URL into duplicates.
Duplicate content can confuse search engines on which version to actually rank and display for user searches.
To solve this, you can assign a “canonical URL”, which basically tells Google that the canonical page is the “master copy” which should be indexed, and to ignore any URLs with the same content.