We write content for a wide array of different SaaS businesses, from HR to healthcare and financial services to marketing. We take great pride in the scope of our content writing expertise.
However, one of the ongoing challenges we face is helping get the blog articles we write for our customers to rank in the search engines.
As you well know SEO is a marathon not a sprint. The hard yards you put in today will end up often only coming to fruition months down the road.
Or maybe never. There are no guarantees in SEO. At Contentellect we have one simple objective – to write really great content. In 2010 content quality was not as important as it is today.
Google’s machine learning algorithms have made significant advancements in the last few years. They are now able to better distinguish between a good and great piece of content based on a plethora of factors.
Ultimately Google’s goal with organic search is to provide the user with the best result possible based on their search, and content quality plays a key part in this decision.
With the above in mind, we have a recent customer success story which we feel exemplifies the importance of maintaining a content marketing matra centred around content quality.
In September 2019 we wrote the first blog post for a customer we just landed through Nathan Latka’s Deal or Bust show. It was titled Screenshotting Instagram Stories: Does Instagram Notify The User?
Since then the post has steadily been moving it’s way up the search rankings to the point where this week (January 3rd 2021) it moved into the first spot on Google (rich snippets) for over 12 keywords amounting to a collective US monthly search volume of over 15,000.
This has resulted in the customer’s blog traffic growing by over 50% in one week!
In some cases the global search volume for a keyword is 2.5 times higher than the US only.
Interestingly this was all achieved without a single backlink pointing to the article. Off-page SEO in the form of link building is considered to be one of the two core tenets of SEO.
It’s inextricably linked with on-page SEO. However, with great content, there are always exceptions.
How Did We Do It?
We attribute the success of this article to 3 simple factors.
A Great Introduction
This is something that is very often overlooked. The introduction is the gateway to the article. If your introduction is not punchy and compelling, there is a good chance the visitor won’t read on.
Resulting in a short dwell time – one of Google’s SEO ranking factors. We recently published a post on article introductions. Google’s Chrome browser now has over 70% global market share, which amounts to one helluva lot of dwell time data Google is privy to.
Generally we try and keep our introductions under 150 words and also include a hook in the last paragraph of the introduction enticing the visitor to read on. This article was written to answer the question of whether Instagram notifies the user when a screenshot is taken.
We ended the introduction with the following sentence, “So, let’s take a look into the exact instances in which someone will receive notifications when you screenshot their content on Instagram.”
Before even thinking about on-page SEO, you should always be thinking how you can write the best piece of content on the internet on a given subject.
In this instance because we were writing an article to answer a simple question, we needed to answer that question as early on in the article as possible.
We did this in the 2nd paragraph after the introduction and put the answer in bold text so it would be easy for the reader to locate the answer.
After that we covered in a clear and concise way the instance where Instagram does notify a user when a screenshot has been taken – in a DM.
To ensure that we maintain a consistently high level of content quality throughout our articles we ascribe to a simple maxim of “brevity over verbosity”. How can we write the best piece of content without using fluff and filler.
The optimal structure of an article for SEO has been evolving over the last few years. Google now rewards content that is structured congruously with how users consume content in the modern era – mostly on mobile devices in small bite size chunks.
This means we take a mobile-first approach to how we structure our content. No paragraph should contain more than 4 lines of text when viewed on a desktop.
This translates to around 6-7 lines of text on a mobile device which is about the maximum amount of continuous text which allows for easy reading.
As is apparent by the factors mentioned above, our primary focus does not revolve around on-page SEO elements. We’re not saying that these are not important. They most certainly are. But they can be taken care of once an article has been completed.
With really handy SEO plugins like Yoast for WordPress you can let the diagnostics guide you on what’s missing after you’ve finished writing an epic article. This way you don’t let different SEO elements become prerequisites that end up adversely affecting the quality of your content.