We have discovered that out of over 200 ranking factors that Google takes into account, 67 of them are related to content creation. So the challenge for content marketers is to create compelling content and optimize it at the same time. But how does one optimize a piece of content effectively? We can help!
To boost your inspiration and to help you optimize your content, SEMrush created the complete workflow for a content creator. It won’t write a text for you, BUT it will:
Give you new content ideas.
Show you what people search for on the internet related to your topic.
Suggest headlines that resonate with your target audience the most.
Show you the best performing competition for your topic to learn from.
Suggest an approximate word count and text difficulty for your topic based on your best rivals in Google.
Remind you how to optimize your text using SEO best practices.
And all of this data is based on just a keyword you have typed in. But wait, there is more — we will also check how well you optimized your text in accordance with our recommendations, right in your Google document or WordPress account.
So, let’s see how to create SEO-friendly content using our Content Marketing toolkit step-by-step.
Get Inspired to Write
In a perfect world, a writer is always highly motivated, and their thoughts magically form into an engrossing piece of content readers. And, the content is perfectly optimized for Google bots at the same time.
In the real world, even the greatest of us struggle with writing, and some face their biggest fear — writer’s block. Don’t try to overcome it by just waiting until you feel inspired; get inspiration from what people talk about.
Whether you are dealing with writer's block or just looking for fresh ideas for your content, try Topic Research. The tool will give you subtopics with the highest search volume, questions people ask, and headlines that resonate with your audience’s needs based on a rough topic or a keyword you have in mind.
Narrow Down a Topic
You may have an idea of what you are going to write about, but what angle should your writing take? To start researching your topic, all you have to do is to type a keyword or a phrase you want to examine more.
The topic research tool will show you cards with subtopics that may give you a different perspective on a topic you are focusing on.
Depending on your goal, you can prioritize subtopics by:
Volume to see the most searched results first.
Difficulty to find out which topics require less effort for promotion.
- Topic efficiency to see topics based on both volume and difficulty.
See What People Ask
Knowing what people search for on the Internet may lead you to an even better writing idea — answer questions and become the resource people need. Every subtopic card in Topic Research has the ‘Questions’ section which is filtered by highly used "question" words.
Below you will see ‘Related searches’, which are adjacent topics that may broaden your research. If you click on any of them, it will bring you to a separate topic research area. Make sure you have added some questions to your favorite ideas to get back to them later before you start new research.
Find the Perfect Headline
The more the topic resonates with your audience, the bigger the chance they will want to read your content. Every subtopic card in Topic Research offers you article headlines related to your topic with the most backlinks.
Hover over the megaphone icon next to a headline and the popup data will tell you how strongly the headline resonates with your audience based on the number of backlinks the article has. Save your favorites, so you don’t forget them.
Topic Research Bonus: If you are a visual person, try using the Mind Map — it has all the same information, but in a more attractive way for you.
Get Actionable SEO Tips for Your Topic
Now that you have some ideas on what to write about and have a headline in mind, it is time to go to the next stage — content creation. However, there are often a few things the writer considers:
- Figuring out the right content length.
- Determining how difficult the language/vocabulary should be.
- How to help people find the content in the endless list of Google links
We have developed the SEO Content Template to help you answer these questions. The tool is basically a custom list of clear SEO recommendations for your future content, but it gives you a lot more.
You can set up your SEO Content Template right from your ‘Favorite ideas’ section in Topic Research, or just go directly to the tool and type in a keyword or topic you have in mind.
Learn from Your Rivals
Forewarned is forearmed. When you know exactly what your competitors are writing, you can always cover a gap in the topic or develop a story from a different angle to make people want to read it.
The SEO Content Template’s data is based on your top 10 rivals in Google who target particular keywords you have set up in the tool. The first data you see is a list of your top 10 rivals in Google for each keyword.
You can also see how your competitors use your target keywords in their content. No need to open multiple browser tabs — you have all the information on a single page.
Decide What Language to Use and What Length to Stick to
Experienced writers know what content length works best for their target audiences, and based on demographics they understand how difficult the storytelling language should be to keep an audience reading. But what if you need some help in these areas?
SEO Content Template will give you a hint — check the next section in the tool, called ‘Key recommendations’, which will provide you with semantically related keywords to enrich your text with, a readability score to stick to, text length, and possible sites to get backlinks from.
Get More Actionable SEO Tips
We all know how important is it to get the best possible visibility in Google search results, but for those without a lot of SEO experience, some recommendations could help them create more useful content and have a better optimization strategy.
The SEO Content Template offers tips on the length of your page title and meta-description and suggests that you use your target keywords in your title, meta-description, H1 and in the text itself.
Make Sure Your Text Is SEO Friendly before Publication
We have a tool that will check in real time how SEO friendly your text is while you are creating it, right in your Google document or WordPress account — the SEO Writing Assistant. With this tool, you can be confident that you are creating optimized content, and when finished, that you are ready for publication.
SEO Writing Assistant is an add-on for Google Docs and WordPress which connects your SEO Content Template to your Google document or WordPress account to analyze how well your text complies with the SEO recommendations we have provided you with previously.
To set it up, click on ‘Set writing task’ at the top of your SEO Content Template and then click on ‘Get add-on for Google Docs’, or just go directly to the web store page.
After you tap on the blue ‘Free’ button, you will be sent to a new Google document. Next, click on ‘Add-ons’ on the top of the menu and select ‘SEO Writing Assistant’. The add-on will open up on the right side of your document.
The tool will add the SEO Content Template you most recently created in your account or prompt you to create a new one.
Use SEO Compliance Metrics
All the metrics are interactive, which means they are altering on a live basis depending on changes you make in your text.
Overall score is a live metric which shows the quality of your content, taking into account all of the metrics below. The closer the number is to 10, the better SEO optimized your text is.
Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand written text according to the Flesch reading ease score formula. Try to match the target number, which is an average for your top-10 competitors on Google.
Words will calculate the number of words in your text and will set a goal according to the average word count of your rivals’ content.
Target keywords are the core of your text, on which all the recommendations are based. You can change them at any time to change the topic or get more precise tips for your content.
Recommended keywords are words that are semantically related to your seed keywords. Once you use them in your content, they will be highlighted with green in the doc.
Title shows you recommendations for your headline.
As in the SEO Content Template, all of the above metrics are based on your best-performing rivals in Google’s top ten, which saves you time browsing search engine results for your keywords.
SEO Writing Assistant Bonus: You can also check your text for plagiarism using the add-on to make sure your content is original. This feature detects the total percentage of copied words and identifies original sources of content from across the internet. The plagiarism checker is available for all languages and is extremely useful if you want to check your own content for originality or monitor the work of your freelance and in-house copywriters.
Creating SEO-friendly content is not easy, but we hope that our Content Marketing toolkit will streamline your text creation and page optimization process. It was designed to help you with the ideation and optimization processes.
Your next step will be to check your content performance after it is published to see what all your efforts resulted in, but that is another story.