Building high quality content can be extremely time consuming. For that reason, you want to make sure that you are actually benefitting from the content you are creating.

I put together a list of 22 tips to be sure that you are building content that will rank well in the search engines.

1) Do keyword research ahead of time

Most people know that it is important to do keyword research ahead of time, but not many people know how to do it correctly. When determining which keywords to rank for, you shouldn’t just be looking at search volume. You should be looking at search intent, value of the keyword, and competition as well.

You want to target keywords that have enough search volume to bring you traffic, but you need to make sure it will be possible to rank for that keyword. Understanding why people are searching that keyword is going to be crucial in how you actually write your content as well.

2) Analyze the top 10 results

If you want to build content that ranks well, you need to first figure out what is currently working for the keywords you want to rank for. This is a pretty simple process that almost always gets overlooked.

Simply do a Google search for your target keyword and look at the top ten results. Figure out how the content is written, how they are using their keywords, and ultimately why they are ranking well. If you can do this, you can essentially copy what’s working, except do it even better.

3) Mobile Friendly

Having mobile friendly content has become increasingly important over the past several years. Google has switched over to mobile first indexing, which means they index pages based on the mobile version rather than the desktop version. This means that Google sees the mobile version of your site as more important.

Most platforms allow you to design the mobile version of your site pretty easily, especially if you are using WordPress. Just be sure that you are taking both the mobile and desktop versions on your content into consideration.

4) Target keywords that are attainable to rank for

Most people look for keywords that get searched a lot when determining which keywords they should try to rank for. This isn’t enough though, because it’s much more than just search volume.

You also need to look for keywords that don’t have much competition, because these are keywords you can actually rank for. There is no sense in targeting keywords that get searched frequently if your ranking competitors are extremely high authority websites.

5) Write for readers, not search engines

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of writing your content with the sole purpose of making the search engines happy. This does a few things that can hurt you. It creates a bad user experience, and it usually results and not ranking as well.

You want to make sure that you are writing your content primarily for the website visitors, while also making sure your content is based around your topic and target keywords.

6) Go in depth on your topic

One of the best ways to write content that will outrank your competitors is to go in depth on our topic. The more in depth you are able to go on your topic, the better you will typically rank.

One way to determine how in depth you should go is by analyzing the sites that are currently on the first page. Figure out how many words the content is, and make sure your content is longer. But just make sure that your content really does go more in depth, and you’re not adding words just to make the content longer.

7) Answer your audience’s questions

When writing about a specific topic, be sure to include in your research what your target audience’s questions are. When they are searching for your target keyword, what type of information are they hoping to learn?

One thing you can do to find this out, is you can do a Google search for your target keyword and look at the “People Also Ask” section. This will give you ideas of what questions people are asking that are similar to your keyword.

8) Don’t keyword stuff

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to SEO is keyword stuffing. You shouldn’t try to include your target keywords as many times as you can in your content. This will both provide a bad user experience, and Google has gotten very good at finding this.

Be sure that you are naturally using your keywords in your content and that you aren’t adding keywords to every paragraph in your content.

9) Use variations of your keyword

Another thing that’s important is including variations of your keywords. This will help in a few different areas. It helps your content rank well for different keywords, and it also makes your content look for natural.

10) Create compelling title tags

Title tags are still an extremely important ranking factor today. They’re not usually enough to get you ranked with only optimizing the title tag, but it is very hard to get ranked without your title tag optimized.

Include your keyword in the title tag, but also include something else that will make users want to click on your listing. Make your title tag compelling so that it stands out in the search results.

11) Write Meta Descriptions for users

Meta descriptions are another area where you can essentially try to “sell” users on clicking on your listing. Your description will appear under your title tag in the search results.

Putting together a description that shows users that your page is going to help them with what they are looking for is very important. There’s no point in ranking on the first page if nobody is going to click on your listing.

12) Write for search intent

After you have your target keywords decided, it’s time to figure out what the actual search intent is for those keywords. 

When searching for a specific keyword, there is typically a reason for that search, and that will be important to understand. If you can determine the search intent, it will help you write your content geared towards that search intent, which will result in more conversions.

13) Simplify your content

The nice thing about trying to write content and have it ranked well in the search engines is that you don’t have to be an amazing writer. In fact, writing in a more simple way usually helps you rank better.

The reason for that is because users and Google actually understand what you are writing about better when you write in a more simple style rather than trying to complicate things.

14) Create content people want to link to

Getting links from other websites is one of the most important ranking factors. This means that you need to create content that people actually want to link to.

This could be including valuable information on your page. You could do this in the form of an infographic that is helpful, or some interested data and statistics that people will want to link to for reference.

15) Link to high quality websites

Linking out to high quality websites provides a better user experience for your website visitors. The goal is to give your website visitors exactly what they are looking for. If you can use other resources to help you with that, then you should.

This can also help show Google that you have a high quality website if you are linking out to other high quality websites.

16) Let websites know that you linked to them

When you link out to other websites, you should also contact that website and let them know that you linked to them. This is good for a few reasons, because they will be excited that you linked to them, and they also may return the favor.

The important part of this is to make sure they don’t think you linked to them just to get a link back. Don’t ask for a link when you tell, just let them know and send them the post. You may even get some social media shares too.

17) Use images

Using images in your content is a big opportunity to outrank your competitors. We’ve all heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well that holds true when trying to write content that ranks well.

This helps provide a good user experience, but it also is a signal to Google that you have high quality content.

18) Add alt text to images

The main purpose of alt text is for accessibility, but it can also be used to show Google a little bit more about what your content is about.

Google can’t read images as well as they can read text, so you can use alt text to describe your images. Like I said, this is more for accessibility purposes, but it’s also a signal to Google for what those images are about and can help your rank for your target keywords.

19) Include data and statistics

Including data and statistics in your content is great way to keep it engaging for your website visitors. You shouldn’t always be using hypotheticals in your content, because showing actual statistics goes a long way.

A great way to do this is with a graph or an infographic. As long as your are presenting your data in a way that is user friendly, it will definitely help your content rank better.

20) Include infographics

This goes hand in hand with using data and statistics. For some reason, specifically infographics do very well for ranking purposes.

One of the biggest things with infographics is that they are easy to read, and they are typically very “linkable” resources.

21) Promote your content

Once you have your amazing content written, the next biggest part is actually promoting that content. You want to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

You can do this by leveraging your social media accounts, and you can also use your new post to help answer people’s questions. Go to forums that are relevant to your topic and drop your link as a reference when contributing to threads. Just make sure it’s relevant and that you aren’t spamming your link.

22) Get other website to link to your content

Last but not least, you have to get other websites to link to your content. That is a huge reason why you need to make sure that you are building content that people want to link to.

After you have your content written, reach out to other bloggers in your space to see if they would be willing to reference your page in one of their posts. This is one of the most important rankings factors, so if you can get a bunch of relevant and high authority sites to link to you, you will benefit greatly from it.


There are so many things to consider when you are trying to build content that ranks well. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you will be sure to have content that ranks well in the search engines.


My name is Tyler Nalbach and I have been working in SEO for two years. I am the owner of an SEO company, SEO Align. My goal is to help website owners increase their organic traffic and exposure.

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