SEO

The Ultimate Roadmap To Website Optimization

07.31.2020

In this guide, we will cover every part of website optimization to ensure you consistently generate traffic, sales, and ultimately boost your revenues.

Ernest Atta Adjei

Author

26 min read

website optimization

There's been a lot of discussion about how to improve various marketing channels, how to create better social content, write better emails, etc. But all those traffic drives to one place, which is your website, and for many of us, our sites have remained relatively static for a couple of years now. This is where website optimization comes into play!

Many companies go through several website redesigns, which are essential because they bring your site to current design standards and ensure that your site is reflective of who you are as a company and what you stand for.

When a site performs better, more people can do whatever they want to do on the website without any obstructions. And one different crucial approach to making your site better is through web optimization.

In this guide, we will cover every part of website optimization and ensure that you consistently generate traffic, sales, and ultimately boost your revenues. It will give you a fundamental knowledge on what it takes to optimize your website. Let’s crack on!

 

What Is Website Optimization?

Web optimization refers to a process whereby you use advanced tools, strategies, and many experiments to enhance your website's performance. In simple terms, the whole idea of website optimization is to improve your UX (user experience) so that more people will buy your product, order your services, or take whatever action you want them to take when they visit your website. 

Most businesses optimize their site by totally redesigning their websites periodically. But the truth is, it doesn't matter how well you know your target audience or redesign your site, people's behavior changes from time to time.

Therefore, it is crucial to constantly follow new trends, gather data about your customers’ behaviors and optimize your website accordingly.

Ideally, the website optimization process should be like the plan below:

 website optimization process

The process includes the following steps:

 

  1. Develop A Hypothesis (Ideas)

In this process, you determine the part of your site poorly performing using various analytics. You can also use qualitative feedback from your visitors to know why they're not converting. Typically, you come up with ideas for the cause of the poor performance through which you can create a list of website optimizations to test.

 

  1. Prioritize

After creating a list of issues, you group them according to the utmost importance. You can place them in a spreadsheet and list them in order of the following criteria:

  • The projected  impact,
  • The simplicity involved in implementing the change,
  • Your sixth-sense or confidence to know which aspect will have a higher performance.

 

  1. Test The Optimizations

You test your website’s performance by keeping those that improved the site's performance, and eliminating or improving those that didn't. You can use A/B testing in this step, which we will cover in detail later in this article.

 

  1. Analyze Results

In this process, you review the data to know which hypothesis was correct or not. By using the winning tests, you can optimize your site for higher conversions.

 

  1. Optimize Your Site

By implementing your winning tests, you can proceed to optimize your site and learn from the failed test for future test runs.

The best part about the process in web optimization is that you get to know your target audience, likes, and dislikes, which can help you come up with better hypotheses in the future.

In this guide, we will cover various aspects of website optimization to help you take a beginner’s step of optimizing your site correctly. Through that, you can use the 5-process cycles to implement relevant changes continually to see practical results.

 

Responsive Web Design

The use of mobile devices to browse the internet continues to grow at an astronomical rate. But they are usually constrained by the size of the display, and that means there has to be a different approach to how contents are displayed on the screen. That is where responsive web design comes in.

Responsive web design implies that a site's design should actively respond screen size or ratio based on these criteria:

  • Size of the screen, 
  • Platform, 
  • Orientation 

So in simple terms, the layout of the device changes depending on the capabilities and size of the device.

For example, a user browsing on the phone will likely view content in a single-column while a tablet may display contents in two columns. The size of the screens is always changing among phones, tablets, desktops, TVs, and now wearables. 

Your website optimization list should definitely include responsiveness so your website design adapts to any screen sizes available today and in the future.

 

What You Should Know Before Starting Responsive Web Design 

Responsive web design is solely HTML and CSS. By writing your CSS rules, you can change the style or layout of your website based on a user’s device or screen size. If you have a basic knowledge of JavaScript or any other programming language, you must be familiar with the if statement.

For example, you can create a rule that if the size of the screen of any mobile device is more than 350 pixels, display the sidebar. Here’s another example: if the size of the screen is more than 1920 pixels, the body text font size should increase to 15px. 

We will talk about it in more detail in the CSS Media Queries section.

At the end of the day, when a user switches from an iPad to a desktop, your site should automatically change to image size, scripting capabilities, and resolutions.

Here’s how to go about it in your website optimization efforts.

 

Set The Viewport

You may have pages on your website that are optimized for different devices. In such cases, you should include a meta viewport placed at the top of the document. The viewport instructs the browser on how to modify the scale of a page, including the dimensions.

Sometimes to get the best experience, mobile users render the width of a page on their desktop screen to around 980px (although it changes per each device), increase the content’s font size, and scale the content to make it fit the screen.

It shows that font sizes may not be favorable for most users and may zoom in on the content by pinching or double-tapping. 

But with a meta-viewport, you can set the value  "width=device-width" that will match the device's screen width with the page in density independence or device-independent pixels. 

The density (or device) independent pixel refers to flexible units or pixels that can scale at will to accommodate any dimensions on every device screen. They offer more flexibility for a web page design to adjust and adapt across various platforms. 

In other words, you're able to view the same page content on different devices without any distortions or the need to zoom in to see contents. 

Here’s an example of a meta viewport value used in a doctype HTML:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
  <head>
      ...
      <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
      ... 
  </head>
...
</html>

When a page does not have a meta viewport set, here’s how it looks when the page loads:

 

When a page has a viewport set, here’s how it looks:

When browsing, some users maintain the page's width when changing to landscape mode and then zoom in instead of reflowing to fill the screen. 

In such an instance, including the value "initial-scale=1", will command browsers to set up a 1:1 connection between density-independent and CSS pixels despite the device’s orientation. It also enables pages to have full access to the landscape width.

Note: To make sure that older browsers can adequately analyze the attributes, separate them by using a comma.

If your pages do not have a meta viewport, you can automate the entire process using the Lighthouse audit. With the software, you can ensure that all your HTML documents are correctly using the viewport tags.

If you want to learn how to audit using a lighthouse for meta viewport tag, skip to the Lighthouse section. 

 

Ensure That The Viewport Is Accessible Viewport 

Aside from setting the attribute “initial-scale,” there are other values you can place on the viewport. They are: 

  • Minimum-scale 
  • User-scalable
  • Maximum-scale 

When you set these attributes, it will block the user from zooming the viewport, which can cause accessibility problems. Therefore, we recommend that you don’t use the above attributes. 

 

Size The Contents To The Viewport 

Almost everyone that browses the internet scroll vertically, not horizontally, whether it’s a mobile device or a desktop. Therefore, if you give your users the only option to scroll horizontally or zoom out to view the entire page will lead to bad user experience. 

Usually, you can, not intentionally, develop a content page that does not fit perfectly within the defined viewport. And it can quickly happen. For example, if you display an image with a larger width than the viewport, it makes the viewport scroll in a horizontal position. In such an instance, the page will automatically scroll horizontally without the help of the user. 

With the help of the Lighthouse audit, you can detect contents wider than the viewports. The Lighthouse will show a red flag like this: 

 

Usually, the audit will fail if the “window.innerWidth” is not equal to the “window.outerWidth”

 

Images

An image usually has set dimensions, but a scrollbar occurs when it gets wider than the viewport. To fix this problem, ensure that the images are "100%" in terms of the “max-width.” With that, the image will decrease in size to fit the given space.

However, because the “max-width” is 100% and not the “width,” the image size will not be larger than the original size. You can integrate the following values so that you don’t face such issues with images:

img {
    max-width: 100%;
    display: block;
}

You can add the image dimensions to the img element.

Remember that when you use the “max-width: 100%” attribute, you override the original image dimensions. However, you need to use these attributes “width” and “height” on the “<img>” tag. That’s because modern browsers use this kind of information to save image space before it loads. It helps to prevent layout shifts when the content loads. 

Cumulative Layout Shift occurs when a webpage unexpectedly shifts while the page is still in the download progress. This Google metric is highly vital because it will be a ranking factor in 2021 according to the Search Engine Journal.

So let’s have a quick overview of what CLS is and why you should know it before starting your website optimization endeavors.

 

What Causes CLS?

According to Google, CLS happens due to five reasons:

 

  1.  Images that have no dimensions

Images, including videos, should have the right height and width dimensions as stipulated in the HTML. In terms of the image responsiveness, ensure that the different image sizes have the exact aspect ratio for different viewports.

You can use AspectRatioCalculator to determine the aspect ratio. 

 

  1.  Iframes, embeds, and Ads that have no dimensions

When your ads are generating CLS, style the element at the place where you will display the ads. For instance, the div can be styled to have a particular width and height so that the ads will limit itself to such dimensions.

If an element that is supposed to show an ad is not responding, you can set it to have an alternative replacement such as a placeholder image or banner ad.

 

  1. Contents that are dynamically injected

Contents dynamically injected are those that are "infused" into a web page. Let's take WordPress, for example. You can link a WordPress to a YouTube video which will then be an embedded object on WordPress.

 

  1.  Web fonts that cause FOUT and FOIT to happen

Some web fonts that get downloaded can create what is referred to as Flash of Unstyled Text (FOUT) and Flash of Invisible Text (FOIT). To avoid this, use this attribute "rel=preload" in the web font downloading link. You can also use Lighthouse to analyze where the CLS is coming from and conduct website optimization based on the provided information.

 

  1. CLS sneaky outbreak during development 

The CLS can happen in the stage of development without your notice. Here's how it happens. Most of the assets on the page that needs rendering gets loaded on the cache on the browser. So when the administrator logs in the development phase page, mostly, they don't realize there is a shift in the layout. Because by then, the elements on the page have already been downloaded.

That’s why it’s recommended to have a measurement. To learn more about Cumulative Layout Shifts, find out more from here.

 

CSS Media Queries

CSS media queries are highly essential in website optimization. It relies on the overall device type or particular requirements and features such as the width of the viewport of a browser or the screen resolution. 

With media queries, you can: 

  •  Integrate CSS styles with the @import and @media at-rules conditionally. 
  • Target particular media for the <link>, <style>, <source>, and various HTML elements with the value media=.
  • Test and analyze the media state with assistance from the various JavaScript procedures.

 

So, What Exactly Are They?

CSS media queries behave as if statements when it comes to Cascading Style Sheets. Languages in programming such as Python or JavaScript have an if statement which indicates a specific code that takes effect only when the condition meets the if statement. It’s the same approach with CSS media queries. 

In simple terms,

 “If the media query’s condition becomes true or is met, then whatever is written inside will be executed.”

 

Writing CSS Media Queries

Before you write a media query, begin with the attribute “@media," then write your conditions. The conditions can range from the various kinds of screen devices (such as a tablet, a computer, or a laptop), to a print medium (such as print documents that are viewed in preview mode). It can also include the specifications for the height and width.

For example, a standard media query will include a browser window’s height and width, and the kind of device. Check the screenshot below:

@media screen and (width: 500px) {
    .heading {
        padding: 20px;
    }
}

In the above test example, if the “screen” is the kind of device and the 500px is the window’s width for the browser, then the padding for the class value “heading” will be 20px. The attribute “height” can also be used because it matches the height of the browser window’s height. 

Usually, it's advisable to determine if the height or width is within a specific range rather than just fixing a value such as 500px. You can do so with:

  •  min-height,
  •  max-height,
  •  min-width, max-width.

Also, the “and” is a logical operator in the screenshot example above. So, for example, the (width: 500px) and screen are different media queries which were put together with the operator and. You can join several queries the same way as if statements.

Here’s another example to find out if the width is within a particular range:

@media screen and (min-width: 500px) and (max-width: 700px) {
  .heading {
      padding: 25px;
  }
}

In the above example, we’ve combined three different media queries with a logical operator: (min-width: 500px), screen, and (max-width: 700px). However, keep in mind that the query in the screenshot above corresponds only to the value .heading.  That is, if the kind of device is a screen and the window's width for the browser ranges from 500px to 700px.

In the example screenshot below, the media query will be for every kind of devices and a logical operator “or”:

.heading {
    background-color: red;
    margin-right: 15px;
}
@media all and (min-width: 500px) and (max-width: 720px), (min-width: 1000px) {
    .heading {
        background-color: aqua;
        font-size: 37px;
        margin: 25px 0;
    }
}

This media query is almost the same as the previous one, but we used the value “all," instead of the value "screen." What it means is that, instead of limiting it to a specific device, the query should execute for every device. There are also queries used in the previous examples, (min-width: 500px) and (max-width: 720), which verify if the width range is between 500px and 720px. 

However, if you noticed, there are new conditions in this example, that is, “, (min-width: 1000px)”.  So far, we know that (min-width: 1000px) is a definite media query. So what about the comma in front of the query? Remember we talked about including a new logical operator “or”? That is what is represented there.

Here’s the whole meaning of the above media query example:

Implement the CSS media query to .heading regardless of the kind of device ( That’s because we used the value “all”), and the window’s width for the browser should be from 500px to 720px or if the window's minimum width for the browser is 1000px. (Take note of the bolden "or." It is the logical operator "or”).

Another crucial feature to be aware of is the background color set to the style of the .heading value. That means, to integrate the style of the media query, the window’s width for the browser must range from 500px to 720px, or the minimum width should be 1000px. 

If both of the conditions are not fulfilled, then the style outside the CSS media query will apply to the class element "heading." 

There are other logical operators you can use, such as the not and only logical operators. Here’s how each of them works.

 

Not Logical Operator

The not logical operator is used at the starting of a media query to enable and disable the truthiness of an entire media query. It can be helpful to implement particular styles when a browser or device does not meet a specific condition.

In the example below, the media query will initiate only if the primary pointing device is not able to hover on the elements:

@media not screen and (hover: hover) {
    /*...*/
}

Keep in mind that the not logical operator is not optional, and does not nullify the overall query list, but only one media query. (The list of media queries are the queries with commas separating them.)

 

Only Logical Operator

The logical operator “only” is a bit unique and makes the entire media queries invisible for older browsers. In simple terms, older browsers can’t understand the “only" operator, so they ignore the whole media query. If not, the only will have no effect:

@media only all and (min-width: 320px) and (max-width: 480px) {
    /* ignored by older browsers */
}

Remember that the only operator is not optional, like the not logical operator.

Learn more about Writing CSS Media Queries.

 

Mobile-First Indexing

Under normal circumstances, when you search a term on Google, and the results appear, Google uses the desktop version to analyze the relevance of a web page to a person's query. It made sense back then because the desktop was ruling, but not now.

As you probably know, most people nowadays are using mobile devices to search for basically everything. Even though the desktop will be around, Google can’t neglect the fact that mobile usage is on the rise.

Due to that, Google is now using your website's mobile version as a primary factor to rank you. It wouldn't have been a problem if the mobile and desktop had the same requirements for indexing, but they do not. However, they do have the same index, which means Google still factors in desktop. 

So, Google's mobile-first indexing will rank you by first analyzing your site on mobile devices, and second, on desktop versions.

Let’s break down mobile-first indexing in simple definition:

Mobile-first indexing refers to the process whereby Google indexes and ranks your site by using the mobile version of your website as the predominant factor.

Google began in July 2019, which means mobile-first indexing is underway.

However, they are not entirely focusing on mobile search. Desktop searches still count, so you shouldn’t update your mobile version, without updating your desktop site.

 

Google Isn’t Out To Get You

Google is not radical, and their goal is not to hurt your Google rankings. If your site has quality information for a specific search, Google will rank you higher, whether it's on a mobile device or desktop version.

If a user enters this query “best restaurants in Los Angeles 2020,” and you’re one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, Google will want to rank your site higher on their search engine regardless the type of device the individual uses.

 

 

But you will need to play your part for Google to help you.

Here’s what we mean. If the texts or click buttons are too small, it will frustrate and cause your visitors to look elsewhere even though you may have relevant information the searcher needs. Besides, Google will not recommend a site that will cause people to find information on other search engines.

So if you don’t want your website to rank low due to poor mobile optimization, use the following steps to help you improve your mobile-first indexing. 

 

Test The Mobile Version Of Your Site

Before anything else, check the state of your mobile site before you proceed further. Thankfully, this process is quite easy to do. Remember, we are only testing how mobile-friendly your website is. Let's go through the process together.

First, use Mobile-Friendly Test by Google to determine your mobile site’s quality. All you need to do is insert your URL to begin and click “Test URL”. Here’s how it looks:

After clicking on the “Test URL”, Google will run the URL and give you the results shortly. Here’s how it will look if the page is mobile-friendly. 

If your page is not mobile-friendly, Google will suggest practical ways to improve your mobile site.

Keep in mind that Google will only rank your desktop version if you don't have a mobile version. But that will significantly affect your ranking and, ultimately, your online visibility. So if you don't have a mobile version or it's not well optimized, we recommend you do so ASAP!

 

Content Marketing

User Intent

What is User Intent?

User intent, also known as search intent, refers to the why behind a person's search query. HubSpot refers to the user intent as "the art of detecting and fulfilling a need," which is an excellent definition. 

In other words, why did the user search for that keyword, or term? Is there something they want to learn? Are they searching for a product to purchase? Could it be they are looking for a specific website?

Every person has a need, and it is reflected in their search query. The task is now up to you to examine what their search intent is. Based on that, you can develop quality content that will help them achieve the goal or motive they have in mind. 

The user intent behaves similarly to the phases of the buying cycle. The keyword research corresponds to every stage in the buying cycle:

  • Awareness
  • Research
  • Decision
  • Purchase

Naturally, people read content based on what they want. Therefore, if your page is well-optimized for search intent, you can efficiently perform better than pages optimized for only the search engine.

 

How To Identify User Intent Using The Search Query

Usually, the search queries are in fragments, which leads to a lot of interpretation. But you'll be amazed at the things you can learn from search queries, regardless of the couple of words they might have. Let's see how we can use our natural understanding of languages and semantics to find the intent and meaning behind search queries.

 

  1.  Dismantle The Search Query To Distinguish Individual Elements

Sometimes, search queries may have multiple meanings. With such queries, you can separate the elements such as the nouns, verbs, the meaning and relationship between the terms. 

A good example is “catch a cricket.” There are several ways you can interpret this meaning:

  •  It can mean catching a cricket ball.
  • In terms of sport, "catch" can mean "watch." It may be that the user wants to know the next upcoming cricket match.
  •  Catch a cricket can also mean the best way to catch the insect "cricket."

 

  1. Use Prefixes To Find More Accurate Meaning

When you affix, it can change the correlation between words (such as "ing"), indicate time (such as "pre" or "post"), or give an in-depth context ("such as "un" or "re").

 

  1. The Syntax Of The Search Query

The syntax of the searched term refers to how the words are phrased. It can completely change the meaning of the phrase, even for precise queries. Fortunately, the searches are becoming more conversational, especially through voice search, which gives more clarity.

There is also less need to depend on trained search behavior where you adjust your natural language to the early search engines. But the search engines, notably Google, are becoming more intelligent. That means, we can use our natural language to understand the search queries. 

Here are two examples to dissect: "dogs love" and "love dogs."

Usually, you can make a list of several potential user intents, but the best way to break this search intent down is to use another method called intent modifiers. The modifiers can help you know the intent stage the user is in.

Let's go through the four intent modifiers quickly.

 

Types Of User Intent Modifiers

99% of all user searches on Google falls under four categories, according to Backlinko:

 

  1.  Informational Intent

As the name implies, the user is searching for a piece of information. The question can range from simple to complex ones such as “how does blockchain technology work?” But keep in mind that not every informational intent comes as a question. 

Examples include:

  •  "MacBook Pro specifications."
  • "Blockchain technology."
  • “Elon Musk”
  •  “HTML”

 

  1. Navigational Intent

With navigational intent, the real intent of the user is to find a specific website. They may know where to find the information, but it's quicker if they search on Google than typing the domain name in the URL bar. They may also not know the exact website, and the best way to find it is through Google.

 Examples of navigational intent include:

  •  "Webzool contact."
  •  "Facebook login."
  •  “Twitter”
  •  “Wikipedia”

From Webzool's perspective, it's highly relevant to rank on the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for your brand. But buying ads with a keyword that has a navigational intent may not be a good idea. That's because most of the people are likely not looking for immediate purchase.

 

  1. Transactional Intent

With the transactional intent, users are ready to make a purchase, and they mostly know what to buy. They are just looking for the right place to buy the product from.

Examples of transaction intent:

  •  "Samsung Galaxy A10 discount."
  •  "Book 5 star hotels in Los Angeles."
  •  “Buy MacBook Air” 

 

  1.  Commercial Intent

The users are searching for a particular service or product, but they haven't made the final decision. They are likely to be searching for comparisons and reviews, weighing their options. 

Examples include:

  •  "top restaurant in Los Angeles."
  •  "Best protein supplements."
  •  "Amazon review."

Typically, you can know the user intent just by looking at the keyword itself. For instance, "buy MacBook Air" is clearly transactional. But a search term like "does a MacBook Air have a USB port" has an apparent informational intent.

 

Segmenting

With the four intent modifiers, you can group your keyword list by the type of user intent. By so doing, you can create new quality content or change your already-written content to suit the searcher’s intent.

For example, if your keyword has a transactional intent, you can map it to your product page, while connecting commercial intent to your category pages or corresponding articles. But ensure that you have the user's objective or intent in mind, which will usually vary due to the meaning of each intent modifier and search query.

In summary, you can see that analyzing search queries and interpreting the meaning behind each element helps you to get the overall idea behind a searched term.

Now, there's another thing you need to understand - keyword research.

 

Keyword Research

How people conduct research for keywords has evolved throughout the years. Back in the 2000s, the entire method involved three significant steps:

  •  Log in to your Google Keyword Planner,
  •  Find the keywords which have the maximum search volume,
  • Dump them into the content on your website.

Many people abused it, and Google responded by updating its search engine with numerous algorithms as the years went by. As their mission states, the main aim of the updates was to understand what searchers want and provide them with the optimal results.

The most relevant algorithm updates that changed how keyword research works:

  • Panda: penalized duplicate text and contents that were of low-quality
  • Penguin: penalized abnormal use of keywords
  • Hummingbird: enhanced semantic search and focused on user intent

Now, keyword research affects any SEO task you carry out, whether it’s searching for topics for your content, promoting your content, on-page SEO, or email outreach.

 

So What is Keyword Research?

Before we get to this question, we need to know the meaning of keywords first.

 

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are the words, including phrases that people type into search engines. The keywords fall into two major categories:

  1. Short-tail keywords
  2. Long-tail keywords 

The difference between them is quite simple. The short-tail keywords are common or general terms like shoes, restaurants, clothes, etc. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more definite. The length of words makes them more specific.

The following examples will give you a clearer understanding: “Buy breathable running socks,” “best summer clothes,” etc.

 

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is searching and analyzing words and phrases (keywords) that people use to find information on the internet to optimize content to rank on Google.

In other words, you're searching for the words that are highly searched on Google and use that to develop compelling content so that it ranks high on Google. That way, people will find your content when they search for that keyword.

 

Phases Of Keyword Research

For this guide, we will categorize the entire process into three significant steps:

  1. Find the keywords
  2. Analyze the keywords
  3. The keywords usage

Let’s talk more about each phase in detail.

 

How To Find the Keywords

If you want your content to be more compelling, you need to know what your target audience is searching for and cover that area in your article. Sounds clear enough, right?

There are several ways to find keywords, but the simplest way to search for the words without keyword tools is to use the autocomplete functions of Google suggest, sometimes even YouTube.

 

Google And YouTube Suggest

Type a keyword into Google without pressing enter. You'll see several suggestions generated by Google itself, which makes the keyword suggestions valid data.

Here is an example of the searched term "search engine optimization" with Google's suggestions:

The suggestions Google pulled up shows that people are searching for search engine optimization services, strategies, definition, examples, etc. These are helpful and worth noting down as potential keywords.

In the same way, if you want to optimize your YouTube videos, you can take advantage of the suggestions YouTube provides. Let's use the same keyword, "search engine optimization."

 

Google Related Keywords 

Another way to search for keywords is through Google related keywords. Google shows several searches related to the keyword that you type into the search box. It can help you come up with new ideas for keywords.

From the above screenshot, you can add search engine marketing, techniques, courses, tutorials, and keyword lists. You can find more keywords to add to your list from the related searches.

 

Reddit Keyword Research

Reddit is one of the largest communities that talk about almost any topic out there. As such, you can find people who discuss topics in your niche.

If you want to find new topics and write quality content, Reddit can help you accomplish that. There are constant questions people ask which you can give solutions to them in your article.

Let’s say your niche is personal finance. First, use the subreddits that are related to your niche. From the screenshot below, you can see how even a precise niche like personal finance has millions of followers in different subreddits.

 

You can choose a particular subreddit and find content ideas from the posts that have the highest engagement. You can also look for posts that have questions. You can search for words like:

  •  “Tips”
  •  “Suggestions”
  •   "How to's."
  •  “Question”

There are various questions you can find which you can draw inspiration from to write compelling content. 

You can use a similar process to find relevant keywords for your content on forums, Quora, etc.

 

 Quality Content

If you want to improve your rankings and gain more traffic or leads to your website, you must have highly informative and easy to understand content. 

But how do you create quality content?

Let’s find out. 

 

  1.  Let Your Contents Be Original

It is important that your articles are original and not just a copy/paste from random websites. Many search engines, especially Google, will give more exposure to your site if your contents have originality in them; it’s highly relevant.

Besides, Google penalizes websites that have duplicate content. You can check off almost all of Google's guidelines if you do that one thing - create original content that resonates with your audience.

Do you remember the time Ezine articles used to rank on top of Google’s SERPs? When Google rolled out its Panda update (popularly known as the Google Farmer update) in 2011, it affected nearly 12% of all search results. And Ezine articles were no exception. Google designed the update to decrease low-quality sites.

So what accounts for duplicate sites? Simple. Duplicate contents. Of course, if your site adds no value to people or is not very helpful, Google counts it as low-quality. If you want to prevent this, always produce original, informative, and actionable content.

What is the meaning of original content?

Original content means your ideas are new and unique, not a copy-cat from other sources. You can term it as stealing. Aside from Google penalizing such acts, it’s also wrong from people’s perspective.

It’s a bit disappointing to find an article appearing on two websites. Usually, they will stop visiting your site and focus on the one you stole from. Yes, they can tell!

 

  1. Create Powerful Headlines

Headlines are the first thing people see before they read the whole article. That means, if it’s not powerful enough, they will turn away without a second thought. Remember the attention span of an average person. Your headline should hook your audience in less than eight seconds, or you’ll lose them forever.

According to Copyblogger’s statistics, eight people out of ten will take a look at your headline. Only two out of ten will take the time to read the rest of the article.

Take a significant time to come up with several headlines and select the best one out of them. Try to keep your headlines within 40-60 characters so that the headlines don’t cut off when viewed on Google. It affects the Clickthrough rate (CTR).

Also, focus on writing compelling subheadings. It should be easy, direct, and understandable.

 The same applies to social media posts. Keep your headlines short, but powerful. You can use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to help you generate compelling headlines.

 

  1. Your Content Should Inspire People To Act

Quality contents give people the urgency to implement the lessons they just read. Most of the time, people are searching for information on how to improve on something. Whatever their intent is, it is to make them better. 

That’s what your blog posts should do - help your readers to learn and become better by giving them tips and offering actionable steps. 

Furthermore, always provide the answers your target audience is searching for. People are looking for answers, and they want it fast. That’s why you should integrate videos, infographics, links, pictures, etc. to make it more appealing and digestible.

 

  1. Let Your Content Be Precise

Make your content easy to read by making your sentences short. Due to the attention span, you should limit your sentences to below 30-35 words. It’s even better to limit your sentences to a maximum of 20 words. Avoid complicated words as much as possible. That way, you’ll reach wider audiences.

When it comes to word count, it usually doesn’t matter. HubSpot supports this point. A 3000-word article does not make a 300-word blog post less relevant. Focus on giving the information your audience needs and make it simple, concise, and straightforward as possible—no fluffy words. 

Besides, you'll realize that, as a content writer, it's more complicated and requires more time to keep a blog post short than writing to the greatest extent possible.

 

  1. Engage Your Audience With Thought-Provoking Content

To have an engaged community, you need to begin by writing engaging content. You can accomplish this by leaving questions in your post that readers can reflect on. It can cause them to implement the information you provided or start threads of follow-up questions.

It’s recommended to tell your readers why they should look out in your article and what you’ll cover. In short, make your audience want to read your post. 

Also, everyone loves a good story. So you can write compelling stories that can increase engagement in your articles. However, don't tell false stories if you don't have one. Always be true to your audience. 

If your content generates more comments regularly, Google will see your website as recommendable and ultimately boost your rankings.

Don’t take the contents on your website lightly. Writing quality content is important and takes considerable time to research and write. If done correctly, it can significantly boost your SEO rankings.