Don't Just Copy What Ranks When Writing Content for SEO: Transcript of Bonus Episode #1
Welcome to the SEO Rant, in fact, welcome to a bonus episode of the SEO rant. My name is Mordy Oberstein. I am your host. You might know me better as Wix's liaison to the SEO community, but let me remind you, this has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with that. This is pure Mordy magic.
So let's get into what I saw. I saw something that really annoyed me. I've seen it a million times before, but I have had enough.
It was about writing content for SEO or writing SEO content, as it's called.
It's a typical thing that you normally see in this case. It always starts with doing your keyword research because typically speaking, who's writing this stuff? Tools that talk about keyword research. So obviously they are going to focus on doing keyword research as an integral part of writing SEO content. And I'm not saying that's wrong.
This is really part of a larger peeve of mine. You need to be careful about the content you're consuming.
Understand why it's being written or understand the perspective of the people who are writing. If they're an SEO tool, writing about whatever it is and they do, you know, there are keyword research tool... of course, there's going to be a heavy focus on keyword research and there might be some things left out, not nefariously, but because the tool has a focus on the keyword research because that's what they do, you might not get the full picture.
OK, that aside, what I saw that kind of annoyed me in this particular case was your typical advice on writing content for SEO. So things always talk about going to the top of the SERP, see what the pages on the top of the SERP are doing and copy that. Well, they don't say to copy that, but what they're saying, go and see what topics they are covering and make sure you cover those topics as well in your content.
And by the way, what I love about all of this stuff is that at no point does anyone ever say stop, consider the user and make something uniquely valuable for the user.
It's all about the process. It's all about getting in there and analyzing competitors and keywords. And we totally forget about the user and all this stuff. So that's my biggest peeve and think it's the meta peeve.
But when you go to the top of the SERP, and I'm not saying you shouldn't do this, of course, you should.
But what I'm saying is when you go to the top of the SERP and you're looking at a page, the top-ranking page or the second-ranking page, whatever it is, and you're trying to see, OK, what subtopics what topics are they covering on their page?
First off, again, you're not creating content that is unique for the user doing this. You're just basically copying what's already there. I'm not sure why you think that's going to work, but what you're not considering is... let's give an example, OK?
Let's say it's a page from a car mechanic or a car company or a car whatever, all about the things you need to check on your car to make sure it's working properly. They talk about the brakes, they talk about the engine, they talk about the steering wheel. I don't know.
The steering wheel makes absolutely no sense. But you get what I'm saying. So they cover all these topics.
I'll cover all these topics. But maybe there's something on the page, despite the fact that it's ranking number one, that would really be awesome to have on that page that is not there. You know, X, Y, and Z are on that page, X, Y, and Z topics or subtopics on the page.
And now you're going to copy that.
And because you're doing it, because you're so focused on that, you end up not thinking about, A, B, and C that wasn't covered by this page. And let's say A, B, and C are really helpful to the user.
In other words, just because a page that covers topics X, Y, and Z, doesn't mean there's something that is better. If Google has something better or more comprehensive or the focus on the topic is a little bit different then maybe what is there now wouldn't rank number one. Don't be distracted simply by what's there, think about what's not there that would be really helpful to the user, like how to price these things on repairing your car right?
But you're not thinking about what's not there, what's not in front of you, and the only way you're going to think about that and understand, hey, you know what? This page can really be improved upon. And maybe I shouldn't talk about topics X, Y, and Z. That doesn't really make so much sense. The only way you're going to know what's not on the page ranking well is if you start thinking about what is good for the user, what's the intent? What would be valuable to them? What would make sense for them to see? What would really be comprehensive? What would really cater to multiple users coming for multiple reasons around the same topic?
And you're not going to get any of that by simply looking at what's on the what's already ranking on the SERP.