One of the fundamental questions people ask themselves is how can they create a website which ranks higher in search engines for the keywords that are important to their business. We have earlier discussed what keyword research is and why keyword research is so important for your business.
The answer to this question of how to create a website which ranks higher is simple enough yet so difficult to implement.
The answer – create quality content which is useful, unique and solves a problem. Stay away from “shallow content” or “thin content” and work towards creating high-quality content on your website as much as possible.
Often times, we forget the essence of creating content and blindly create content just for search engines or to optimize specific keyword phrases. We forget the essence of it altogether. The end goal is to create a high-quality site which has high-quality content which people want to read and experience. The content has to be useful, unique and it should solve a problem for the user without him having to go to different sources. He should be able to meet his needs from your website and later want to come back to it again and again, because the content on your website is so much insightful and valuable that he wants to come back himself.
That is the whole goal of creating a high-quality site which if taken care of properly, should attract traffic, links, citations, and everything else automatically.
Most website owners and businesses tend to forget this essence after a while and they keep focussing on optimizing their websites forgetting the core concept of creating a useful, resourceful website which people want to reference and come back to whenever they have a question about a topic or want to learn more.
The Steps to Create High-Quality Content For Your Website
Creating high-quality content is not an easy job and definitely not possible over a weekend. It takes a sustained amount of time before you reach a level wherein creating high-quality content becomes second nature. For those of you who are just starting out building their websites, I will try to give you a step by step approach of creating high-quality resourceful content on your website.
Here is how you can create high-quality content for your website.
Step 1: Identify the Needs of Your Target Audience
The first step is to identify what your readers want.
You have to ask the following question to yourself and your team
What do people want to do when they come to my website? Why do they even care to come to my website? Why does my business exist? What are the fundamental needs of my customers?
Once you have identified the needs of your target audience, you can define a roadmap for creating high-quality content for them so that you can fulfill their needs. Remember that the goal of creating high-quality content is to fulfill the needs of your users as much as possible. Hence, the first step is to identify what those needs are.
For example, let’s say you have an eCommerce website that sells “Shoes” and “Footwear items”. You have a decent enough store but your eCommerce website does not get enough organic traffic. You want to create high-quality content and attract organic traffic from Google to boost sales of your products. Now, how do you identify the needs of your audience?
Here are a few things you can do to identify what your users want
- Look in your Google webmaster console account. Look for what search terms people used to find your website from Google ( you can find these keywords under “Search analytics”)
- Ask your existing customers and users on what type of content they would like to read. Create a simple survey using SurveyMonkey, Wufoo or Google Forms and send it to your existing customer base. Record the responses, this will give you a good idea on what your customers are looking for.
- Perform different keyword searches on Google and look for related search queries. The related search queries section in Google is a great way to figure out what people are searching for. This gives you a detailed insight on the needs of your target user and what they are desperately looking for. So if you have a website on “Shoes”, go to Google and perform a search on Shoes, you should see the related search terms as shown below.Note these related phrases in a spreadsheet, you can create content ideas from these related phrases later on.
- Similarly, collect as much information as possible from your existing customer and follower base on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social profiles. Ask people directly over email who had bought something on your website. Ask them what are their expectations. Write cold emails to some of your loyal customers and see what they are saying.Your existing customers are the best way to figure out the needs of your target audience.Charity begins at home, so start right away with whatever customer and user base you have. Don’t waste time waiting for the customer base to go big and start with whatever you have. Even if you have as little as 10 customers in your list, those 10 customers will give you insights and information on user expectations which will help you attract more and more customers to your website.
Step 2: Write down Customer Needs in a Spreadsheet
Once you have collected all your customer needs from different sources (website logs, surveys, asking people, related search terms, search console data), it is time to document those needs in a spreadsheet. Here is a simple example wherein the website owner has documented customer needs on a Google sheet
Once you have documented all the information in a spreadsheet and “de-coded” customer needs, you will have a clear idea on what your target audience is looking for. It is very important to understand the needs of a potential customer. If you do not understand the needs of a potential customer, you cannot sell him anything. Hence, do not neglect this step and be as thorough as possible in documenting the needs of your potential customer.
Step 3: Perform Keyword Research on Customer Needs
Once you have documented the needs of your customer, it is time to perform keyword research around those needs. You have to figure out what mechanism people use to figure out solutions for those needs. We have earlier explained what keyword research is and how to perform detailed keyword research with Semrush keyword tool, so be sure to read and learn these concepts before you proceed any further.
Keyword research comes after you have figured out what your customers are looking for and what mechanisms (keywords, phrases, mediums, channels) they are using to find the solution of their problem. Without keyword research, you would not know the mechanism and channels they are using and would miss out on executing the correct way to capture that traffic for which you own a solution.
For example, if you sell “Cheap flip-flop shoes for men”, you have ownership of a solution to the problem – People who are looking for cost-effective solutions to expensive flip-flop shoes. But, owning the solution to the problem is not enough since you also have to know the mechanisms and channels people are using to find sources who have solutions to their problem. If you do not know what words these people are using, what related search terms these people frequently use and what is the search volume of these keywords and phrases, you will not be able to create content which attracts these users to your website.
Hence, it is very important to perform a thorough keyword research around your customer needs.
Step 4: Make a List of all the things your users are actively searching for.
Once you are done with keyword research, it is time to make a comprehensive list of all the products and solutions your users are searching for AND which you are able to provide in your website, eCommerce store, blog or whichever type of online property you own.
Only after you have created a list of potential solutions, you will achieve focus on what type of content you must create and what type of content you can ignore. Note that you cannot create all types of content on your website because you don’t own solutions for all types of problems. You own solutions for a select few number of problems and it makes sense to first create content around those “Select few” problems and attract these people to your website first and generate some sales.
Hence, before you start focussing on creating high-quality content for attracting traffic, you must make a list of all the things your audience is searching for and for which you have a solution. It’s at the intersection of your user’s needs and the solutions that you possess.
Step 5: Create Content around those needs which completely solves that need
Great, now comes the critical step when you have to create the content which completely solves the need of your users.
So if the need is “Cheap flip-flop shoes for men”, you can create content around those need. Here are some typical ideas for blog posts
- 10 Super Cheap Flip flops for Men you Should Buy this Summer?
- Branded Flip Flops are Not As Expensive as You Think – Some Outliers
- An Expensive Shoe Which Lasts 10 years is actually Cheap – A research
- Best Inexpensive Slippers you can buy from Amazon
- Alternatives to Slippers and Flip-Flops – Try these New Age Shoes For Men
The first step is to create good quality content around the customer need – “Cheap flip-flop shoes for men”. I have given 5 ideas as an example but if you are creative enough, I am sure you can generate lots of interesting and original ideas around the customer need.
The second step is to publish the content on your website and put the first version online. It might not be the best, but something is better than nothing and putting the first version online is a good way to make progress. You can fine-tune it later on, add more content, graphics, images, videos and enhance the look and feel of the content later on. But make sure you launch the “Minimum viable concept” as early as possible and don’t spend 6 months improving the copy of the content, designing images, shooting videos and doing all the other “accessories” for the content.
I am not saying that they are not as important. Yes, these elements are important and add good value to articles or blog posts. But since these elements are time critical in nature, I would recommend you give it a skip in the first launch. In the first version, go forward with the text and original subject matter first. Start with that and overtime as you develop the images, graphics, videos and other things, you can go back to that old post and update the content to enhance its quality, usability, look and feel and work on to make it more “Sticky”.
Step 6: Update the Content periodically to ensure it is relevant, up to date and useful
Now that you are done creating the content for your customer need, it makes sense to update the content once in a while to ensure that the content is relevant, useful and up to date. Not only you should work to improve the quality of the content, you should also ensure that the content still makes sense. Here are a few things you should do to make sure the content stays relevant
- Cross check the solution provided and see if the recommended way still works. Try it out yourself and if not, update the article to incorporate the changes.
- Check all the links used in the article – do they still work?
- Is there any better solution available today which wasn’t available when the article was written? If yes, go ahead and update the article with the better solution included in it. Users want to read better and up to date things and your article should reflect that. Otherwise, users will turn away and not come back for more.
- Create good graphics, videos, and other graphics to enhance the usability, look and feel and overall presentation of your article so it stays fresh, attractive and becomes “Evergreen” in nature.
Long story short, you should go back to your old content once in a while and cross check it to ensure that the page content still makes sense, is relevant to the user today and is still useful. It is advised to make cosmetic changes to the article once in a while and fine tune it to suit the needs of the present day.
Step 7: Create Branched Content around those needs and Link to the main pages from Branched Content and Vice Versa
Now that you have created the main content, it is time to support these content pieces with branched ideas.
A “Branched” content or post is a content which originates from the main content and helps the main content achieve greater heights. It’s like a branch which stems from the main trunk of a tree and later on goes ahead to support the tree by becoming one of the pillars.
The idea behind the branched content is including diversity and adding more elements to your website which helps it rank for a diverse range of keywords. If the main content is “Shoes” consider creating “branched content ideas” which amplify the effect of your main content. A typical example would be to create content around “Clothes” and mix this type of content with the content around “shoes”. For example – “10 suits you should wear with a Black Shoe on your Wedding”, is a good example of “Branched content” which will help the main content on your website rank more naturally. It just makes the task a little easier since now you have diverse content on your website.
Step 8: Create Linkbait Content and Attract Links Naturally From Other Websites
“Linkbait content” is a special type of content on your website which attracts links naturally from other sites and you do not need to “Tell” or “Request” other people to create links to your Linkbait content because the Linkbait content has enough value in it that it attracts links naturally. (see our SEO Glossary for common definitions)
A Linkbait article or page can be a viral blog post, a white paper, a case study, an exclusive piece of news, or anything which is highly valuable and unique which people desperately want to link to from their own sites.
It is a good tactic to create “Linkbait content” on your website that attracts links naturally. This helps you to improve the PageRank of your website as a whole and also increases the visibility of your website in Google search results. Linkbait content is a proven way to attract more links to your website in the most natural way.
Hence, put some serious efforts in creating linkbait content which attracts links naturally from other websites, blogs and publications. This will not only help your “Linkbait content” to rank higher but because of the link juice flowing to other parts of your website, the main pages, and the branched pages will also get some ranking boost.
Step 9: Focus on Creating “Exclusive Content” Before Others
This is the key towards improving search rankings of your website as a whole.
Create “exclusive” content before others. Create content which only you have and none else has. Break a news story first, before anyone else. This will cause other bloggers to link to you from their blog posts since you broke the story first. Be creative and invent different concepts which others have overlooked. Write about the things which other bloggers have failed to cover and write it in the most elegant and comprehensive way which makes the content “Exclusive”.
This will attract eyeballs, links, references and citations from a variety of sources and over time, your website will become an authority on the subject because you are a source people bank upon. People trust you for the “Exclusivity element” and love to read your site because there is a type of content which only you can produce and others cannot.
While it is easier said than done, always try to think this way
How can I make my next blog post “Exclusive?”. What is it that I need to do to ensure that the content on my site is different from my competitors? What is that one thing which people get from my website and do not get anywhere else? How can I focus oto do more of it?
Step 10: Hire a team of Writers and Editors and Ensure Strict Quality control
This is one of the mistakes most professional bloggers or small business owners make. They do not invest in a team early on and repent later on.
A business is a very labor and time intensive and it becomes really unmanageable if you are doing it all alone. You also start feeling lonely, depressed and drained out because you lack company and presence of like-minded people working towards your website. Also, keep in mind that a business which has a team of people working in it will overtime beat a business which is being managed by a sole owner.
Teamwork will eventually surpass individual talent if executed in the right way. Hence, it makes sense to invest in building a team of trusted writers, editors, graphic designers, developers and other creatives to build a small team of people who manage and maintain your website.
It will also make the task a whole lot easier to manage and a lot of fun provided you hire the right people at the right stage of business.
Step 11: Keep Improving Existing Content and Continuosly Come up With Original Ideas
The key to staying fresh is to keep improving existing contnet and come with up original ideas all the time. Your website should keep coming with original content ideas and keep satisfying the needs of your customers on an ongoing basis.
There comes a time when you may face “Writer’s block” or maybe you will be occupied with other business ventures and can no longer devote time and energy to your website or blog. Whatever be the case, you and your team of writers/editors should continue to generate fresh ideas for your website and blog and keep the content as engaging and as “sticky” as possible.
There is no other way around this since “Content is the product” and you have to keep polishing the product all the time to ensure there is no Rust in it. You have to keep on improving existing content on your website and come up with original ideas all the time to keep the audience happy, engaged and coming back for more.
Be Sure to read our SEO Guide which contains useful information about SEO and we have discussed in detail key SEO Concepts with examples.