Online users are almost always looking for useful information. With the ever-decreasing attention spans and rise of mobile devices, people expect to find that information quickly. This is one perhaps one of the reasons behind the growing popularity of “how-to” content.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss how to create SEO-friendly how-to content so you can create brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
1. Finding the right topic
Finding the right topic is almost always the key. Make sure you spend an adequate amount of time on it.
Picking a topic for how-to content can be easy if you think holistically. Have you announced a new product or released a new feature that needs detailed explanations? Perhaps it’s about a question that your audience always asks you about?
If you are not sure, you can do some research to find a topic that will resonate with your readers. You can use polls and quizzes to engage your target audience. You can also use online forums, such as Reddit and Quora, to find what people are talking about.
When shortlisting any topic, make sure that you have genuine value to add to it and that it is a topic that your readers are truly interested in.
2. Selecting the right keywords
Once the topic is finalized, the next step is to select the right keywords.
When selecting keywords, make sure to remember the following tips:
- Find topics that have relatively high search volume but low traffic. A lot of content marketers rely on how-to content, and the competition can be very tough.
- Focus on long-tail keywords that would give you a better chance to rank higher in the SERPs.
- Use a keyword suggestion tool to find the most relevant keyword variations that people use the most.
- Try to incorporate keywords that have been popular on social channels.
- Also, monitor popular content produced by your competitors and try to emulate elements from the pieces with the highest engagement.
3. Adding structured data
Google has recently allowed webmasters to mark-up how-to content that allows for rich results in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
This is what Google said when they announced structured data for how-to content.
“How-to rich results provide users with richer previews of web results that guide users through step-by-step tasks. For example, if you provide information on how to tile a kitchen backsplash, tie a tie, or build a treehouse, you can add How-to structured data to your pages to enable the page to appear as a rich result on Search and a How-to Action for the Assistant.”
Use the following two sources for more information on how to add structured data to your how-to content:
4. Optimising for SEO
By now we have discussed keyword selection and properly marking up your web page for rich results, but SEO optimisation for your how-to web page doesn’t end there.
Here are a few more tips to make your how-to web page more SEO friendly:
- Structure your content in a way so that it is easier for readers to find the information they are looking for.
- Divide your content into multiple subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists, wherever necessary.
- Don’t forget to use the appropriate heading tags.
- Mention keywords like “how do I” or “how to” to give voice assistants a better chance to find your web page.
- Strategically use your primary keywords in the top 100 words and important subheadings.
- Put the most important information that readers are looking for above the fold. Don’t force them to scroll multiple times to get to the meat of the content.
5. Adding visuals
No content piece is complete without engaging and relevant images nowadays. A huge wall of text is not only bad for SEO, but it also frustrates readers that leads to a poor user experience and dwell time.
Experiment with different types of visuals to see what resonates best with your website readers. Whatever type of image you use, though, make sure to add keyword-rich alt text, so the search engines can identify what the image is about.
How-to content produces some of the best results for content marketers. But since so many content marketers regularly create a lot of how-to content, competition can be tough.
Use the tips mentioned in this article to create SEO-friendly how-to content and give your web pages the best chance to rank higher in the SERPs. If you would like to talk to us about your digital marketing strategy and find out how we can help improve your visibility online, get in touch with us today!