Maximize your content by learning how to create quality, optimized content that converts leads into actual sales and loyal followers. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to begin creating quality content. Everything from learning what optimized content is and showing you the different types of content, how they should be used, and what you can do to improve your content immediately.
Before getting too much further, let's dive into discussing what SEO content is.
What Is SEO Content?
SEO content is designed to do well in search engines by being high-quality, highly relevant, and, most importantly, logically structured to ensure search engines easily understand the context, purpose, and importance of what is written.
What separates this highly-optimized content from less-optimized content is that the main goal is to be as direct, structured, comprehensive, and unique as possible. The goal is to create content that adequately communicates with both search engines and users alike.
In doing so, you will be rewarded both by users and algorithms as your content not only climbs up in rankings but also in devoted users and confident customers.
What Are The Types Of SEO Content?
We will cover many types of SEO content here today, both site-wide content types and page-wide content types. The types of content we'll cover range from pages to networks of related pages and even specific types of content on individual pages.
Before setting your sights on either site wide or page wide SEO, first check out our page on content planning. Once you thoroughly understand how to create a content plan, you'll be able to fully utilize these other tips below.
SEO Content: Site Wide
First, before diving into the types of SEO content on individual pages, we'll deal with content in networks or across the entire site.
Pillar pages are the main pages that break down the most important parts of a website's niche. In a hierarchical URL structure, pillar pages are the representations of the subdirectories they represent. They will then link to all children subdirectories and folders and any contextually relevant pages or sibling/parent subdirectories.
However, if a website uses a flat URL structure, there are no subdirectories for the pillar page to represent. In a flat structure, search engines can still use internal links throughout the site to determine the relevance of pillar pages to the website's intended niche or industry.
Topic clusters are a collection of contextually related pages that help to expand upon the topic or concept introduced by the pillar page. If you have a pillar page describing the constellations, you should have supporting pages detailing each constellation individually.
Each supporting page should cover one constellation and cover it comprehensively. On each page, there should be answers to questions about that specific constellation, like who discovered it, what it means in different cosmologies, when and where in the sky it can be seen, which individual stars make it up, what the names of each star mean in other cultures, etc.
Your goal is to make each supporting page a comprehensive resource that can answer every possible question a user might have when landing on that page. It will take time and a lot of effort, but the more detailed and quality your supporting pages, the more credibility and authority search engines will give to that entire section of your website, pillar page, and all.
In addition to search engines giving you trust and traffic, those users who do visit your pages will come to view you as a trusted source as well because, if structured properly, they will find your URL structure and website to be an intuitive wealth of knowledge that helps them to better understand the topics covered therein.
Supporting pages are pages that exist in a topic cluster to complete the coverage of a specific part of the topical map. Pillar pages are the main pages in topic clusters, but supporting pages are what give the topic clusters weight, importance, and relevance. These pages will help you build your authority in any area of your niche you are covering.
Part of the power of these supporting pages comes into play in the form of internal linking. You should be linking to your parent pillar page on each supporting page, as well as any relevant sibling supporting page as well.
In addition to these types of links, it is vital to stay on topic and only wander a little, if at all. Remaining on topic throughout each supporting page will help to boost the overall relevance each topic cluster has throughout your website, which will drastically improve your chances of ranking higher across the entire topic cluster.
Listicles are simply pages that use a list format to break up the content on the page. These types of content are straightforward and are often used with affiliate links and other forms of content that lead to sales for the website owner.
A popular example of a listicle would be a blog post that mentions the top 10 most fuel-efficient cars, for example or the best 100 movies of all time. These are examples of listicles.
Boilerplate content is any HTML element like the header or footer that is used site-wide with little to no change. An excellent example would be the header and footer on most websites.
This repetitive copy-pasted content is called boilerplate because when you create a new page, this is something that most pages start off with, and they require no thought or planning because they come standard on any page.
One thing to keep in mind about boilerplate content is that search engines place little weight on links pointing to your website from another website's boilerplate content. Search engines do not weigh boilerplate content when determining how relevant a page is to its primary keyword.
Boilerplate content should, however, still be optimized because it will help search engines see how relevant your website as a whole is to the industry you are targeting.
SEO Content: Page Wide
These types of content focus on content types that exist solely on an on-page level. To learn more about using on-page tactics to help users and search engines, visit our pillar page for on-page SEO.
The main content is the whole reason a webpage exists, as its goal is to introduce and familiarize users with the central theme or focus of the page. The main content will include various types of elements and information that are geared toward educating users and providing them with additional information should they need it.
The main content section will often need to be supplemented with additional content that either slightly expands upon the page's main topic or is completely different from, but important to, the main topic.
Supplementary content refers to additional information on a particular webpage that complements the main content. Content in the supplementary section is not the primary focus, but it improves the user's understanding by offering additional details, context or resources related to the main content in some way.
The content in this section can deviate from the main topic on the page by including additional insights. Supplementary content can be found throughout the page, whether in sidebars, footers, at the bottom of the page, or even embedded within the main content.
How Should You Use These Different Types of Content In SEO?
You should use different types of content as required because very rarely will one content type sufficiently provide enough information, value, and depth to cover a topic. However, you won't always need each content type, such as listicles, pillar pages, etc. Sometimes, a supporting page is enough to cover a topic.
But, on that supporting page, you will likely need both main content and supplementary content. Grouping two or more supplementary pages together might make sense to round out that specific part of a topical cluster.
What Are Some Ways To Improve Your Content Creation?
The best way to improve your content quality is to take your time and do thorough research. When you do your due diligence and research which keywords you should target, you'll be able to dig in and determine what headings you need, and then you'll be able to properly organize each heading.
Once you have your heading structure created, it is just about fleshing the content under each heading, and before you know it, your content is created. The first thing you should figure out, though, is what keywords you'll target.
Target The Right Keywords
The fastest way to waste time is to spend time making content for keywords that are unlikely to result in traffic that converts. A little time researching prospective keywords and successful competitors will help steer you in the right direction. Best of all, once you do your research, you will have tangible metrics that show you what actual ROI you can expect - so long as you create quality content.
Write Quality Content
Creating quality content is far more than just expressing thoughts or opinions. It's about understanding your audience and presenting information in a logical and comprehensive way. Quality content isn't just a cup of coffee and spontaneous writing. Quality content involves thorough research, planning, and organization.
When writing, it is important to anticipate what your readers will want to know. Analyzing competing pages, using SEO tools, and studying search results can help you gather questions you will want to answer, topics you will want to cover, and points you need to make. But the organization is where you really set your content apart.
If you are writing about building a fire, for example, you would want to start with safety precautions, followed by the basics of starting a fire, then tips for nurturing the flame, and finally, you'll cover topics like cooking and extinguishing the fire. Giving the page a logical flow like this will ensure readers can easily understand your content.
In addition to writing quality articles, it's also important to link out to other related resources on your website that can help to further improve your user's understanding of the topic you're introducing them to.
Avoid Thin Content
Thin content is the quickest way to ensure your pages never rank. Search engines more and more are moving the way of comprehensive content. This means the more quality content you create on a page and the more optimized that content is, the more likely you are to rank.
It isn't even really worth having a page if you only have two or three paragraphs on it. You would be better off to take your time creating a comprehensive resource than you would publishing pages that provide little to no value.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is much worse than thin content because not only does it show that your content isn't quality in much the same way thin content does, but it also shows that you are stealing content. Duplicate content is something that can actually get you penalized, so you want to avoid sending duplicate content signals to search engines as much as possible. Check out our detailed duplicate content article to learn more.
If you have several landing pages for different cities where you offer each city the same service, you can have a general template, but ensure that in each section, you create content specific to that city. Never copy and paste content. Especially not the content of other websites because search engines can tell who published what content first.
Regularly Monitor Content
Once you have created your quality resources you'll need to keep careful watch over your content to ensure that you are responding to important metrics. By conducting thorough content monitoring you'll ensure that you improve your conversion rates, and your rankings. In addition, you'll always know what your competitors are up to so you can improve your pages even further if needed.