If you have dabbled in SEO for some time, you probably know most of what there is about article optimization: Meta description and title optimization, internal linking and anchor texts, the whole nine yards. However, if you want your sites to stand out from the crowd, you will need to do much more.
From 2013, Google has been looking for in depth articles to offer for its search queries, which has been one of the more significant algorithmic changes Google has made to date. Therefore, as an SEO, you want to create meaningful content that will remain relevant long after publication. You don’t have to write for the most popular blogs, all you need is to have the best content for each subject then optimize accordingly.
Delving into the characteristics of in-depth articles
The first thing you’ll note is that in-depth articles tend to be long-form articles on a subject. No longer is Google just targeting 1000 words, but rather 2,000 to 5,000 word, information packed articles are more attractive to the search engine, even better if written by the bigger brands.
While there is little you can do to change the fact that there are brands bigger than your own, you can certainly take to writing longer form articles packed with relevant information on your core keyword/subjects, especially for the broader search terms e.g. ‘marketing’, ‘cheese’ etc.
Therefore, no content marketing strategy should fail to include at least one in depth article every month. If you can do more then that’s okay too. Next to writing, there are different techniques used to optimize long-form content to rank higher in in depth searches, and these are given below:
1. Schema article markup adoption
Don’t be scared by the hard words, this just means optimizing your microdata to make it easier for Google to find, crawl and index the content. Most of the microdata fields you know e.g. headlines, images that are indexable and crawlable, include SEO title tags, date of publication, article body and Meta descriptions.
The best method for this is Schema.org Article markup using the Genesis 2.0 update, which is also easy to use. This enables you to insert relevant microdata within the site code to enhance SEO.
2. Authorship markup claiming
Google has provided the Authorship Markup tool so that you can brand your own content. This links all information you create now and in future to your author profile. It also increases your visibility in and click-through rates from SERP. The Authorship Markup is now in use by Google to brand authorities on various subjects. Read online resources on how you can use it to claim content.
3. Canonicalization and pagination of long content
It’s common for publishers to split long-form articles to several pages, claiming that it provides better user experience. However, the content depth falls through the cracks unless you include relevant pagination markup to indicate that the article flows into multiple pages.
Make sure you include the rel=prev and rel=next tags to help Google detect the scope of your content. In addition, use the rel=canonical tag correctly by pointing to the ‘view-all’ page or to each individual page rather than the first page of a multi-paginated article.