How to Create Content that Ranks Top of Google

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There’s a question we get asked a lot here at Exposure Ninja – “How do I get my article or website to the top of Google?

A question that involves both our love of search engine optimisation and creating great website content?

Count us in!

We’re masters of creating human-centred content that still keeps Google’s 200+ ranking signals happy, and now we’re going to share our top tips for creating awesome content with you too.

In our recent Digital Marketing ROI Survey, nearly 70% of respondents said that they believe content is very important to their business, and that high-quality content is important for earning search engine traffic.

Alongside that, 63% said that they believe their blog content adds value to their website and company and 57% said it also helps drive traffic to their website.

We’ve also seen how great content can help you rank higher on Google with our own clients, so you know this info is coming from a place of experience!

P.S. We also wrote a whole book about how to get to the top of Google, and you can download the 2022 eBook version for free right now!

Front cover of How To Get To The Top of Google

Get to the top of Google for free

Download a free copy of our bestselling book,
"How To Get To The Top of Google"

How to Create Content That Ranks: Step-by-Step

Let’s start with a list of steps:

  1. Conduct Keyword Research
  2. Prioritise Your Content
  3. Check out Competitors
  4. Identify The Target Audience
  5. Create An Outline
  6. Write Your Content
  7. Optimise the Metadata
  8. Add Images, Videos and Resources
  9. Backlinking and Internal Linking
  10. Update and Optimise Your Content

This guide will cover all of these steps in more detail.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the basis for all the content on your website. This is what will help guide what you write, who you write it for, and why you’re writing it for them.

This sounds a bit like a riddle, but it’s really not.

There are various different types of keywords that you will come across in your keyword research. Different types of keywords will need different types of content.

Think about how your customers use search engines.

Are they just going to type in one word, or are they more likely to type in a question related to your product or service?

If you’re a local business, you may also find that your customers will add a local term to their search, like “bathroom fitter near me” or “bathroom fitter in Nottingham“.

So where do you start?

We’ll use the bathroom fitter example, but these methods apply to any business.

How to Find Short Keywords and Phrases for SEO

Keywords and phrases that are on the shorter side are normally better suited to website pages such as your homepage, category pages, and product pages.

There are several tools you can use to carry out your research, and for this example, we’ll be using SE Ranking*, but you can also use other tools such as Ubersuggest and Semrush*.

Start off by typing in a basic keyword related to your business – in this case, we’ll simply use “bathroom fitters“, as we know that’s our business’ main offering.

Screenshot from se ranking of the results for bathroom fitter

Screenshot from SE Ranking*

There are at least 312 similar keywords to “bathroom fitter“, and 478 related keywords.
We suggest that you target between 25-50 keywords and phrases, as it’s likely there will be many here that aren’t relevant.

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing keywords related to bathroom fitter

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing keywords related to “bathroom fitter”

Here we have plenty of keywords we can start working with.

The search volume gives you an idea of how many people are searching for that keyword each month. It’s good to find a balance between broad high volume keywords and more niche low volume keywords.

When should you target low volume keywords?

Niche low volume keywords are great if you offer a service that competitors don’t. You can create website pages dedicated to these services and then catch this low volume traffic that your competitors aren’t catering to.

These keywords may seem low volume, but if you target multiple smaller keywords these add up to larger overall volumes of traffic and there’s less competition to worry about.

Also, if a keyword only has 10 searches a month, but is likely to lead to the purchase of a £10,000 product, then it’s definitely worth ranking for that term!

It’s important to note that sometimes keyword tools don’t have the correct, or fully accurate, data, so don’t always take the results from a tool at face value. It’s a tool to help you, not to tell you exactly what to do.


Identify Long-tail Keywords and Phrases for Blog Content

Long-tail keywords are ideal for creating longer content based on the types of questions your target customer has about products and services in your niche.

By typing “bathroom fitter” into a tool like Also Asked or Answer the Public, we can see that people have a variety of questions throughout their journey to conversion.

Screenshot of results in Also Asked for the search term of bathroom fitter

Also Asked can help you find blog topics

“Do bathroom fitters do electrics?” gives you the chance to create content explaining the process of installing electrics in a bathroom, and selling that service alongside the general bathroom fitting service.

A question like, “Do bathroom fitters do everything?“, gives you the opportunity to explain all the different services you offer and link to those services throughout your content.

Search Intent

Once you have several keywords and phrases that fit your business, now you need to look at search intent.

Search intent is the reason why a person is typing a word, phrase or question into a search engine.

Bathroom fitters near me” could be a searcher looking to hire a bathroom fitter soon, so they would be best served by a page that describes your location, or unique selling points and the benefits of hiring you.

Do I need to hire a bathroom fitter or a plumber?” could be a searcher at the start of their journey who knows they need work done to their bathroom but aren’t sure where they need to start. They could benefit from a blog that discusses exactly what a bathroom fitter does, that uses your work as examples throughout.

How to become a bathroom fitter” shows the intent to pursue a career in bathroom fitting, so it’s likely not a great fit for a business unless you offer training courses.

This guide is perfect for you if you want to dive deeper into keyword research.

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Download a free copy of our bestselling book,
"How To Get To The Top of Google"

Prioritise Your Content

Now you have a list of keywords, phrases and questions, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Prioritising your content is crucial! This will give you a place to start from.

Start off by identifying the keywords that you want to optimise your homepage for. Then, your category pages and service pages (if you have them), then your product pages.

Now you can move on to creating longer-form content that ranks at the top of Google.

Yet again, you will want to prioritise this content. Start with your most popular products and services and go from there. if you’re still not sure where to start (perhaps you’re a new business and haven’t had enough sales yet to know what is your top seller) then researching your competitors is the perfect place to start.

Check out Competitors

It’s always worth looking at what your competitors are doing on their websites.

By taking a look at their blog content and key pages, you’ll be able to get an idea of how much content they are including and what they are writing about.

Just because your competitor has decided to take a certain route doesn’t always mean it is right for you – they may have made the mistake of targeting keywords with the wrong search intent or be running lots of paid ads to a poorly optimised website, which is resulting in traffic but not sales.

If you have identified some industry competitors based on offline sales or your experience of the industry, make sure you check your online competitors too. These are the companies that are ranking highly on search engines for the terms you want to be ranking for.

If you’re a fitness brand selling protein shakes online, then typing in a keyword such as “protein shakes” would help you identify these competitors – both organic and paid.

Examples of PPC Ads on Google Search

Examples of PPC Ads on Google Search

Examples of organic Google search results

Examples of organic Google Search results

You can see an estimate of how much traffic your competitors are getting to their websites by inputting their URL into a tool such as SE Ranking* or Semrush*.

Sticking with the protein shake example, we’ll input The Protein Works‘ URL into SE Ranking’s Competitive Research tool.

This will help us see how much traffic they are getting – if the website looks good from the outside but is getting low traffic you may not want to take inspiration from them for your own website content.

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing website traffic

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing website traffic

We can see that The Protein Works are estimated to get getting around 223k organic visitors to their site each month, and 37k paid visitors to their site.

Not only that, but we can also see their most valuable keywords and the pages that are getting the most traffic.

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing top keywords

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing top keywords

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing top pages

Screenshot from SE Ranking showing top pages

This narrows down the most important pages for you to take a look at during your competitor research. It will give you an idea of how much content you should be including on your homepage, product pages and category pages, as well as which blog topics have gained your competitors the most traffic.

The keyword section will help you identify any gaps in your keyword research, and as a result, you may end up re-prioritising some of your content.

Front cover of How To Get To The Top of Google

Get to the top of Google for free

Download a free copy of our bestselling book,
"How To Get To The Top of Google"

Identify The Target Audience

Target audience is very important when it comes to how you write content for your website.
Don’t worry if you haven’t figured out your target audience yet, or even if you’ve got two or three different customer types, we’ll talk you through it!

Start here – with six questions to identify your target audience. This is a great exercise even if you feel like you have your target audience nailed down, as you might learn something new about them.

Now you have an idea of your target audience, start thinking about them in terms of content.

What do they need to learn to make a purchase? The type of content you create for an educated audience will be very different to the content you put out for your uneducated audience.

If you’re selling office chairs then someone who has no clue will likely want to learn more about the benefits of having an ergonomic chair and see the different options available to them.

An educated buyer may want to know the benefits of purchasing from you.

The uneducated buyer benefits from a long piece of informative content, whereas the educated buyer will be more likely to scour a good product page or category page that really sells the benefits of your product over competitors.

Create An Outline

Creating an outline gives you a foundation for writing the rest of your article. Without that, you’re going to have a much harder time creating your content.

This works great for blog posts and long-form content, but don’t be afraid to use it for shorter content, like category and product pages.
Splitting your text up into sections can help your audience digest it better, so the outline should mostly focus on headings. You can see this on the Exposure Ninja homepage and several other pages on our site.

Example of homepage headings on the Exposure Ninja homepage

Example of homepage headings on the Exposure Ninja homepage

You can see the outline for this blog by looking at the headings. These were chosen via the Skyscraper Method, which is a popular way of creating blog outlines.

For this method, you search your chosen keyword or phrase in Google and then look at the content that ranks highly for this search. If they’re already ranking highly, it’s likely they’re doing something right.

Look at the headings and take inspiration from these for your own articles. Your goal here is to improve on what is already out there, not copy existing content.

Write Your Content

Now is the time to write your content!

At Exposure Ninja, we always get asked, “How long should my content be to rank?

Honestly? As long as it needs to be.

This sounds like a cop-out answer, but it’s the truth.

The Google ranking signals aren’t as simple as content length, and there’s a lot more to it than just copy length.

If someone lands on a homepage that is full to the brim with text and difficult to navigate, they are likely to bounce back to Google to find another result. If the text on the homepage is just enough to get the brand offering across and is complemented by great images and calls to action, they’ll be more likely to stay.

On the other hand, if they are looking for information on a product or service, and land on a blog page with lots of useful text, images and videos, they’re going to be more likely to stay. If they land on a blog with a few words, they’ll be less likely to stay.

It’s important not to write for the sake of hitting a word count – make sure your content is the right length for the topic and its location on the website.

This guide walks you through exactly how to create killer content.


Front cover of How To Get To The Top of Google

Get to the top of Google for free

Download a free copy of our bestselling book,
"How To Get To The Top of Google"


Optimising your page’s metadata is one of the most important steps to helping your content rank highly on Google.

Metadata is the information that appears on search engines when a keyword or phrase is searched.

The blue text is the meta title, and the black/grey text is the meta description.

Screenshot of Exposure Ninja's metadata

Your meta title should be frontloaded with your target keywords where possible, but keep in mind that we’re writing for humans and not just search engines. Google keeps this in mind too, so if your title is just a weird mix of keywords, it won’t be as effective as a proper title with your keyword at the end.

The meta description isn’t used by Google to determine page rank, but it is used by people when they’re deciding which search result to click on. As traffic to your website is a ranking factor, as well as how long people stay there after clicking through, it’s important that your meta description makes people want to click your result.

Think of it as the blurb to your article. Just fewer words. And not on a book.

Here are some top tips when it comes to writing metadata.

Infographic with top metadata tips

How to Write Perfect* Metadata

We talk about metadata a lot at Exposure Ninja, and that’s because it’s too important to skip.

Add Images, Videos and Resources

Throughout this article, we’ve included plenty of images, videos and resources to help you with your content journey.

This isn’t so much some tactical SEO thing as it is us actually wanting to add value to this article.

It’s all well and good writing walls of informative text, but not everyone finds reading the best way to learn. Some people prefer videos, others need images to illustrate a point.

Regardless, it’s just nice to put out content that people will actually enjoy.

From an SEO and search engine ranking perspective – images and videos keep the reader on your page for longer, which Google sees as a good signal which helps them place your content in rankings.

Alongside this, if you write great content that someone finds helpful, they’re likely to remember you in the future when it comes to making a purchase.

Backlinking and Internal Linking

Getting quality backlinks to your site is a key part of ranking highly on search engines.

When high-quality, relevant websites link back to your site, Google sees this as a sign that your content is also high-quality, hence why others are linking back to it.

You want these external links to be authenticbuying low-quality backlinks in bulk could cause you to be penalised by Google, putting your ranking in danger.

Another benefit of backlinking is the potential traffic you’ll get from visitors who have clicked through from the web page that included a link to your site. If your content is of value to them, you may even get a customer as a result!

If you’re wondering how to get backlinks, this video explains 17 different ways you can start building your backlink profile.

Although backlinks are important, so are internal links.

These are links on your website that link to other pages on your website.

Internal links help search engines navigate your website during the indexing process – the process that adds your pages to search results. They also help to share value around your site, based on Google’s PageRank, the formula that Google uses to determine the value of a page.

Internal linking also helps search engines understand what specific pages are about, using signals like the anchor text (the text used when linking to another page) as well as the content of the pages that are linking to a specific page, to see if there are any common themes.

Update and Optimise Your Content

There you go! Your content is written and shared! All done…

…or are you?

In any industry, new information comes out, new trends arise and things change from time to time. Instead of writing a whole new article that includes some of these changes, it can be more effective to update and refresh old content when changes are needed.

Updating content from time to time is also important if you’re planning to go through a rebrand, or have a new case study under your belt that fits the theme of the article better than what you had originally.

Don’t be afraid to go back and update old content! It’s a great chance to add more value and climb those rankings when new information comes about.

How to Create Content that Ranks Top of Google – Step by Step

That was a lot of info, so of course, here’s a reminder of each of the steps to help you keep on track with creating awesome content that ranks at the top of Google!

  1. Conduct Keyword Research
  2. Prioritise Your Content
  3. Check out Competitors
  4. Identify The Target Audience
  5. Create An Outline
  6. Write Your Content
  7. Optimise the Metadata
  8. Add Images, Videos and Resources
  9. Backlinking and Internal Linking
  10. Update and Optimise Your Content

*Some links within this article are affiliate links which Exposure Ninja receives a fee for promoting (these links are not sponsored). Exposure Ninja only promotes services we already use within our marketing stack.

Front cover of How To Get To The Top of Google

Get to the top of Google for free

Download a free copy of our bestselling book,
"How To Get To The Top of Google"
About the Author
Jess Percival
Jess is a Digital Marketer here at Exposure Ninja. She splits her time between social, video and blogging with some live streaming and gaming on...

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