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Google is always trying to improve user experience and this starts off with great content. The reason why? Engaging content provides a fantastic user experience. People enjoy that sites content, they visit the page often and when they do they stay on the page for a long time.
This sort of content also will attracts shares, mentions and backlinks.
This is why I always recommend starting off with topics that you love, there is almost always a way to monetize it, whether that’s using the amazon affiliate program, selling someone else’s ebook, selling a service or selling your own product.
Even if it’s something obscure like worm farms, you can sell an ebook, you could use affiliate programs to sell wormeries (I think that’s a thing), you could do DIY guides filled with affiliate links to the products and tools you’re using.
In some industries you just need to think a little bit outside the box.
Being involved in the niche will give you a level of insider knowledge which you otherwise wouldn’t have. If you look at subreddits about a certain topic there are almost always insider jokes and slang or abbreviations that are used that if you weren’t involved you wouldn’t know and your readers will pick up on things like this.
If you are managing a lot of sites or want to pick the niche for the pure profitability this isn’t always possible but I know more than one SEO who picks their content creators from forums / subreddits, as often these people are happy to write about the topic for money as they’re doing it everyday on reddit for free anyway.
Types of content
First we are you going to split your content into three very broad categories:
The money pages for an affiliate site may be your review pages, these are the pages which you want to direct a user to when they fall into your ‘sites funnel’ or it may be a product page if you are selling a software. Quite often SEOs will only focus on these pages, with other content on the site being outsourced to any VA or fiverr gig which will give them the most words for the price (I will explain later why this is an issue).
Supporting pages are usually general information pages about the service or product you are selling. These pages will often be covering information at the bottom of the buyers intent pyramid, so it may be information for people trying to work out how to solve their problem.
For example if we continue with the gym examples from previous chapters someone may be trying to work out how to bench safely alone. The phrase ‘how to bench without a spotter’ has 170 month searches, which may not seem like a lot but creating content for these pages really does add up especially with the long tail (I remember when SERPShaker first came around and I thought that creating pages for KWs with tiny search volumes were pointless, boy was I wrong). From here they go further down the rabbit hole, you use internal linking to your money pages or directly to the product page with the solution for their problem.
Current Affair Pages
Current affair pages are blog posts to keep your site fresh with up to date content, if there is something big going on the industry or a new software which everyone is using it is an opportunity to create content about it. As with all of these it doesn’t have to be exclusively written content, in fact a mixture is probably better as different people respond best to different things. For example, I know I’m generally a video person, I would rather watch and listen to someone than read their interview.
All of this content should be interlinked to create a topical cluster.
Headlines – why every SEO should know basic copywriting
If you talk to any good direct response copywriter they will always say the most important line of your work is the headline.
It can make or break your content.
Like it or not this is how sites like buzzfeed and those annoying pages on facebook grow, they use killer (read: clickbait) headlines. We (the more internet savvy) can often spot if from a mile away and might avoid it but the average person doesn’t.
But you can use their work to your advantage by looking at their most shared articles and following their title formulas.
I’m not saying for you to use clickbait headlines on every article but I think there is a time and a place to use them, but understanding some basic human behaviours will help you massively when creating your headlines.
A good starting place is a this blog post: Writing headlines that get results.
This isn’t to say completely throw out SEO optimisation, find ways to implement copywriting into them e.g. XXX Review, seven things you need to know before you buy. This is a curiosity driven headline, if someone is about to buy a product and see this they will probably click on it even if it is just to briefly skim, but it also get the main keyword in ‘XXX Review.’
Above are the typical heat maps from eye tracking research.
If you notice the majority of the eye time is spent in the upper third (which is why content above the fold is so important). Then people progress to scanning down the page in an F shape pattern.
I’m sure most of you do it without realising. Read the title maybe the first line or two then scroll down skimming seeing if it’s something you want to read.
How can you take advantage of this?
When you’re writing content make sure the title and the first few lines explain the purpose of your article. And from there add subtitles that tell your viewer step by step what is happening while they scan (and also draw curiosity).
We are the ADD generation, short attention spans, take advantage of this.
Coming up for ideas for content
I think most of you will agree with me when I say that :
A big sticking point for a lot of SEOs is what to write about, especially when it comes to supporting content.
What does my audience want to know? What is new and engaging?
As SEOs most of us turn to search volume but don’t always rely on it, as emerging topics won’t have search volume data. So sometimes you have to just follow your instincts (which is why it’s good if you’re already in some way interested in the niche) but it can also help to follow relevant website forums and communities.
But there are also a few fantastic tools to help you:
Answer the public
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest
Tools for better content
When making content whether it’s supporting or money content always try to make it the highest quality possible. It saves you time in the future, can help you earn more (especially if you have a strong internal linking strategy) and can help you gain natural backlinks.
Don’t get me wrong sites can rank with terrible spun content and there’s a time and a place for doing that but for the most part don’t just write content for the sake of writing content, make sure that it’s being added for a purpose.
There are a few tools which can help you improve your writing. But before doing this my proofreading generally starts with reading my writing aloud, if there are any big sticking points consider changing the wording.
I will start off by saying don’t take everything these tools say as gospel, sometimes they completely miss the mark.
The Hemingway editor app
This tool I find particularly useful for its readability grade, the average American supposedly reads at a 10th grade level, so that is something to bare in mind when writing.
Although you do need to consider which niche you are writing about as if you’re selling medical instruments I’m sure (generally) the average reading grade is much higher.
This one is pretty well known and is worth using just to check you’re not making silly grammatical errors throughout your writing.
Pro Writing Aid
This is one I’ve never used myself but a few people I know have recommended it.
Although I think most will agree that these tools while helpful, won’t replace a human editor.
The true test of any content is showing it to your target audience. If you can show it to a small group before releasing it to the world I highly recommend doing this.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas on how to structure your content, in the next lesson you will learn about the basics of how to optimize this content.
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