5 SEO Content and Design Tips to Improve Your Ranking in SERPs
The more optimized your content, the more likely Google and users will find it.
Content optimization goes far beyond keywords and meta tags. If you want to rank higher, it’s time to use advanced content design and development tactics.
These five actionable tricks will help structure your SEO-focused content for stellar visibility, more traffic, and winning positions on search engine result pages.
1. A <div> snippet
Improving your ranking doesn’t always require significant content updates or heavy link-building. It can be as simple as adding a content block that matches a user search intent using a <div> element with an ID attribute.
Doing so increases the chance that Google will use the content as a featured snippet (also known as position zero), typically a definition, list, image, or video clip on the results page.
The <div> element works for informational search intent indicators (what and how questions).
2. APP or PPB introductions
APP (agree, promise, preview) and PPB (preview, proof, bridge) introductions are formulas for writing SEO-rich introductions. Both come from well-known SEO expert Brian Dean, who believes in concise yet informative and engaging opening paragraphs.
An APP intro starts with a problem your target reader would agree with, promises to have a solution, and previews the content so users know what they’ll get.
- Agree: Readers pay attention to only about 20% of the words on a web page. They prefer to skim tables of content and subheads. They want to know if your content is worth their time and effort. Add to that the mere seconds you have to grab and hold readers’ interest, and the battle for the audience may seem lost.
- Promise: It is not.
- Preview: An article’s introduction is an underestimated yet powerful game-changer in your content marketing arsenal. Here’s how to make this weapon work.
A PPB intro begins with a content preview, gives proof it’s worth further reading, and adds a short transition phrase (a bridge) to get readers to the next paragraph. That’s what Brian does in his article on SEO copywriting, shown in the screenshot below:
- Preview: “This is the most comprehensive guide to SEO copywriting online. In this new guide, you’ll learn how to write content that users and search engines love.”
- Proof: “(Including lots of advanced strategies that I’ve never shared anywhere before.)”
- Bridge: “Let’s dive right in.”
3. Custom images
Think of sharing potential. Design infographics, diagrams, charts, screenshots, checklists, and product images demonstrating relevant and practical data for the audience. Place your brand logo and industry insights there, thus encouraging users to share your visuals and earning coveted backlinks to your website as the image’s source.
To optimize your image files:
- Use relevant names for image files. Make them keyword-rich and descriptive, so Google can understand the context.
- Pay attention to file size and compress images before uploading if necessary.
- Create relevant and SEO-friendly <alt> text for images.
- Develop an image sitemap on the website.
- Place images near the most relevant text describing its context.
4. 10x content assets
That means it’s not enough to write a good content asset. (Many content creators and SEO writers do this.) Your content should come from expert sources, be authoritative, trustworthy, valuable for users, and be crafted by an author with experience in the niche.
You also could implement these two 10x-related ideas:
- Organize it in topic clusters. Craft a pillar page targeting a high-volume keyword. Create a few related content assets, each targeting a more specific, smaller-volume keyword. Interlink the clustered content to win more traffic from organic search.
- Optimize it for common questions. Add an FAQ section with answers or format relevant questions as content subheads
Readers typically consume a small portion of the content. They also read more slowly online than they do in print. Given that, why make it challenging for the target audience to consume your asset, thus hurting its behavioral factors and overall performance?