If you’re yet to try capitalizing on long-form articles for your website or business, you are missing out. A lot of entrepreneurs limit their websites to product or service information. You will also find FAQs, testimonials, and an ‘About us” page on virtually every website.
However, websites that incorporate long-form articles have a great advantage. They can attract visitors easily and can direct them to desired areas of their website. Long-form articles are amazing for this purpose and will also boost how search engine-optimized your website is.
In this article, we will look at 3 key points to incorporate in your long-form articles for SEO success.
1. The Importance of Structure
Google keeps mentioning the importance of quality when it comes to search engine optimization. Many people hear that word and focus on only the richness of the content.
Is it important to have well-written and well-researched content with facts and statistics to back up your content? Sure it is. However, this is just one factor out of several others.
For instance, structure and presentation are often given the last priority when they should ideally be the first.
You can have the world’s leading expert in your niche write an article, but if people click away from it within the first 3 seconds of landing on your page, there’s not much of a point, is there?
Content structure and presentation need to be your first priority. This means:
- Clear introduction
- Engaging subheadings
- Logical flow
- Visual enhancements
- Text is presented in easy-to-read chunks
You also want to sprinkle in thought-provoking sections that keep your reader engaged. This could be focused on trying to make them think about how they could apply what they have just read to their own life or business.
2. Prioritize Topic Clusters Over Keyword Stuffing
Yes, we know it is tempting to shove in as many keywords as you have collected in your little spreadsheet, but please, do not do this. There are countless SEO services that can guide you on the right way to incorporate keywords or even do it for you.
RK Web Solutions rightly states that content is king. Keywords are important, but if you use them too much or too often, you end up getting penalized by search engines. Use keywords only when they are relevant and can be included in a natural and organic manner.
Instead of keyword stuffing, consider using topic clusters. This refers to the content organization strategy of using one central topic to which other articles or web pages are linked.
Traditionally, websites preferred to create standalone articles with a focus on specific keywords. These days, however, search engines tend to favor a more topic-oriented approach.
What does this mean? Well, your pillar topic will serve as a cornerstone and cover a broad topic in great detail. It is not uncommon to see a pillar article be 7500 words or even longer. The pillar page needs to be written in such great detail that even other websites would be open to linking to it as a reference.
Once you have a solid pillar page, you can create a number of supporting cluster articles. These articles would be subtopics and focus on specific aspects that were touched on in the pillar article.
When you interlink the cluster articles with the pillar, search engines are able to recognize a relationship between the pages on your website.
Creating content in this manner reinforces your website’s topical authority. It will also help you improve your search engine rankings and gives your viewers access to detailed and comprehensive information.
3. Focus on Your Content Having Authority and Expert Credibility
For anyone familiar with Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines, you will remember that Authoritativeness and Expertise are recommended for better SEO results. Essentially, you want to create content that is either written or vetted by an expert in your field.
For instance, if you run an interior design blog but all your articles are written by authors with zero experience in interior design, it can feel disingenuous. Visitors will notice a lack of credibility in your content. That, in turn, can be a death blow to your website.
Remember, one of the main goals of long-form content is to capture the curiosity of a visitor and direct them toward a desired action. You cannot achieve this if your content is so generic that people click away out of boredom.
Thus, you are presented with a unique dilemma. In terms of budgeting, it is simply not feasible to have all your content written by an expert. They are often difficult to get a hold of, and getting them to contribute to your website can be pricy over time.
This is why many websites stride a good balance between expert-written, expert-contributed, and expertly vetted content. Interviewing notable figures in your niche is one of the best ways to increase the authority of your content. When you incorporate their points within the article, it makes the reader stop, and think, “Hmm, this makes sense!”
Writing long-form articles that are engaging while also meeting SEO quality guidelines is an art. It requires that you be vigilant about presentation, quality, and expertise in your content.
You should also remember that search engine algorithms keep getting updated. If you are serious about staying competitive, you should regularly research how you ought to format your articles to have the best rankings.
At the end of it all, it’s important to highlight that no amount of technical tweaking will beat the impact that comes from writing good content. If there’s one thing to take away, it’s that if your content is rock solid, you will inevitably meet the standards and guidelines that search engines expect.