How to Write Content That Consistently Ranks in Google

15 March 2021
by Archie Williamson
5 mins
How to Write Content That Consistently Ranks in Google

Being able to publish content that ranks on the first page of search engines is crucial for increasing your visibility online and getting more people to click through to your web pages.

Being positioned at the top of the rankings is the holy grail for SEOs, for good reason. The ability to put out fresh, relevant content that increases brand authority, resonates with a growing target audience and lays the foundation for clicks and conversions can literally transform the success of a business.

To do this, you need to be able to write content with SEO in mind. Rather than putting something together and then retroactively making tweaks for search, you need a strategy that is built from the ground up, with white label SEO at its core. Here are five ways to do just that:

Find the right topic

The first task when trying to write content that ranks is finding a topic through diligent keyword research. Content marketing is designed to stimulate interest in your brand organically, rather than explicitly promoting it via hard sells, so you need to find something that will also provide value for your audience.

You can still base the content on your niche or industry but it should aim to either inform, educate or entertain in some way. If you specialise in IT systems, you will want to talk about the benefits of robust and reliable IT, for example.

When you have a general topic, you can start homing in on keywords that you can target to rank for in search. While you can do this manually, using a digital keywords tool will speed up the process and serve up more relevant terms and phrases.

Google’s Keyword Planner will give you insights into the search patterns and volumes for particular keywords and how they have changed over time, which should help you to come up with a target list.

Consider search intent

Curating a list of target keywords will be wasted if you don’t follow it up by analysing search intent – the purpose of a user’s search. You need to take a look at your audience and see what exactly is driving their search behaviour.

In the business-to-business (B2B) space, it might be a white paper to support a leader’s buying decision, while for general consumers (B2C), it could be to find out more information about a product or compare different services. Search intent can usually be broken down into four main categories:

  • Navigational, where a user wants to find a page or site.
  • Informational, where a user wants to know the “how”, “what”, “why” or “where” for a particular topic.
  • Transactional, where a user wants to make a purchase or visit a store.
  • Commercial, where a user is looking for deals or offers.

After defining the type of search intent, you can then decide on the content format and premise. For informational searches, how-tos and guides, using a blog format might work best.

You can see what content types are ranking in search by entering queries that are related to the topic you want to explore. For “best sports gear”, for example, listicles with 2021 in the title dominate the first page of Google.

Decide on content length and depth

The length of your content should be a major consideration for SEO. While shorter, snackable posts may be useful for social shares, research by Backlinko and Ahrefs shows that “comprehensive” pages vastly outperform less exhaustive content in rankings.

This finding tallies with a new study by Semrush, which found that articles with 7,000-plus words get almost four times more traffic than articles with between 900 and 1,200 words.

Content with 1,000+ words also performs admirably, so you should always try to greenlight campaigns that include longer blogs. Backlinko’s study found the average first page result has around 1,450 words.

Hitting such a high word count can be difficult for an internal team, so partnering with an agency that specialises in content writing can help you to publish articles that rank consistently.

Focus on content quality and building links

Google is steadfast in its commitment to serving the highest quality content in search, and regularly states that it is the primary ranking factor. To feature prominently in SERPs, you need your blog or article to be one of the go-to resources for a particular topic.

That means your content needs to be relevant, accessible and packed with unique insights and data. You can have a look through the top results for a particular topic to see the structure that competitors are using to rank highly. Use this as a basis for your own content and then expand on it to make it better.

Great content is also a haven for backlinks. Backlinko’s research shows the number one listing in Google usually has around four times more backlinks than those in lower positions.

The best way to generate backlinks is by publishing content that resonates with audiences and is referred back to by people in the industry. You can also work with an agency on outreach campaigns to start building links.

Include a compelling title

The main body of your content does most of the heavy lifting for SEO but you need to optimise the title, headers and meta description to provide context and information for Google’s bots, and to catch the eye of searchers.

Going back again to Semrush’s study, titles with between 10 and 13 words drive a two-times uptick in traffic and a similar rise in shares compared to shorter titles.

The type of title can also make a difference. Headlines with lists are more popular than questions, for example. The New Yorker claimed that listicles resonate, as they usually contain numbers and can be easily placed within a specific category by readers, while generally looking concise and trustworthy.

The meta description is another important consideration, as this snippet of text will be surfaced in SERPs. This should be from 150 to 160 characters and align with search intent.


Now you have the basic building blocks in place for crafting content that can rank in Google, enabling your business to benefit from increased visibility, clicks and traffic to pages that will drive sales.

If you want to focus on content marketing and SEO this year and are not sure where to start, contact us today and our assistants will be on hand to point you in the right direction.

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