Peo­ple are con­stant­ly crav­ing use­ful infor­ma­tion. Once you show them that you have a lot more to share through some­thing like “how-to” con­tent pages, you will be reward­ed by shar­ing it with oth­ers and estab­lish your company’s cred­i­bil­i­ty.

Cre­at­ing SEO-friend­ly how-to con­tent is a good way to catch your audience’s atten­tion, fuel SEO, fos­ter deep­er lev­els of engage­ment, and take on the cus­tomer jour­ney from brand aware­ness to sales.

To under­stand how impor­tant how-to con­tent is to your over­all con­tent cre­ation game, let’s take a look at some inter­est­ing stats:

  • Accord­ing to Think With Google, “how-to” videos get the most atten­tion of any con­tent type on YouTube, even more than video games and music clips.
  • Google has report­ed that “how-to” search­es have increased by more than 140% over the last 13 years.
  • The graphs from LawRank reveal more and more how-to search­es on Google and YouTube.

So, how-to blog posts and arti­cles become some of the most sought after and linked to con­tent online. Even if you know the ben­e­fits of this con­tent cat­e­go­ry, get­ting it right can be chal­leng­ing. With these valu­able tips giv­en below, you’ll cre­ate SEO-friend­ly how-to con­tent that strikes the tar­get every time.

1. Perform some research

Before cre­at­ing your how-to con­tent, you need to do some research that allows you to find the right top­ics and lead you in the right direc­tion. As it takes a lot of strate­gic work, plan­ning and time, you can start by using con­tent research tools like Buz­zsumo, Ahrefs, and the oth­ers. Many of these tools pro­vide insight into top­ic ideas that are trend­ing in your niche.

You can start with a lit­tle more inter­ac­tive research. Using polls and quizzes is a great prac­tice to raise audi­ence engage­ment by ask­ing for the type of how-to con­tent they’re search­ing, find out weak points that your tar­get audi­ence has, and sup­port your con­tent with these unique insights. The tools like Sur­veyAny­place or Sur­vey Mon­key help you engage peo­ple and get some insights in return.

When doing some research, check out the most pop­u­lar com­mu­ni­ties and forums like Quo­ra, Red­dit, Yahoo Answers, and oth­ers. You can fol­low a spe­cif­ic cat­e­go­ry and reg­u­lar­ly track the most trend­ing how-to con­tent peo­ple are inter­est­ed in at present. You can also use these com­mu­ni­ties as an addi­tion­al ben­e­fit to build mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ships and estab­lish your­self as an author­i­ty in your indus­try.

Where SEO and con­tent con­verge, you need to do key­word research. Start your how-to con­tent gen­er­a­tion by under­stand­ing and find­ing your key­word phras­es that your poten­tial cus­tomers look for. That’s where key­word research tools come into play.

I rec­om­mend using SE Ranking’s Key­word Sug­ges­tion Tool to detect the most rel­e­vant key­word vari­a­tions peo­ple are using across the web. The main advan­tage is that the tool has a par­tic­u­lar algo­rithm that finds the best key­words for your niche, includ­ing traf­fic costs, month­ly search vol­ume, KEI, and oth­er para­me­ters.

Final­ly, keep track of your com­peti­tors’ how-to con­tent, and check out which con­tent they are cre­at­ing and which one has the high­est engage­ment. Use their best expe­ri­ences and improve your how-to con­tent.

2. Use “how-to” structured data

Google has recent­ly added the oppor­tu­ni­ty to prop­er­ly mark up how-to con­tent that lets you appear in rich results on Search and Google Assis­tant. Using How­To struc­tured data can dis­tinct­ly tell Google that your con­tent is relat­ed to a how-to and reach­es the right users.

The best thing about imple­ment­ing How­To struc­tured data is the abil­i­ty to get users through a gang of steps to fin­ish a task suc­cess­ful­ly. More­over, you can also fea­ture text, images, and video. If you want to focus on the how-to on the page, How­To struc­tured data can help you add val­ue to your con­tent.

Here’s how it looks like in the search:

To find out more about adding the markup to web pages that have step-by-step direc­tions on, you can vis­it the devel­op­er docs for Google Search and a “how-to” action with markup for Google Assis­tant. Notice that you don’t need to cre­ate a sep­a­rate web page to imple­ment this struc­tured data. You can do it with­out a page.

Once Google marks up your page, you can vis­it a new enhance­ment report in the Search Con­sole to track all issues, warn­ings, and errors relat­ed to your how-to pages.

3. Optimize your content for SEO

Any con­tent needs SEO to stand out from the rest on the inter­net these days. Today mar­keters try to cre­ate less con­tent for search engines, but more for peo­ple con­sum­ing them. But it isn’t pos­si­ble to remove the SEO ele­ment com­plete­ly. The effec­tive con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy means focus­ing on key­word and user intent research.

Once you fig­ure out what search queries your tar­get audi­ence is using and what sort of con­tent they are search­ing for, you can devel­op a good con­tent strat­e­gy that can solve their issues and keep them mov­ing through your fun­nel. Tak­ing into account this approach makes your con­tent more infor­ma­tive and engag­ing – every­thing that search engines love today.

When you focus on con­tent that appeals to your audi­ences, ensure to bring back to SEO nat­u­ral­ly.

For exam­ple, you can use top-per­form­ing key­words like “how-to” or “how do I”. Includ­ing key­word phras­es in a nat­ur­al way and using the way your audi­ence is ask­ing for help can give you a dou­ble advan­tage.

What con­cerns word count, long con­tent tends to rank bet­ter in organ­ic search results, because it is detailed and meets the needs of your read­ers. Accord­ing to Buffer, 1 600 words is con­sid­ered as the ide­al length of a blog post. Just try to cre­ate con­tent that answers people’s ques­tions at once, con­sid­ers pain points, and ful­fills the promis­es to your read­ers. To stir them into action, you can include an entic­ing call to action to show them to move off what they want.

Optimize your content for SEO

4. Visualize your content

Some­times peo­ple can stop read­ing your how-to con­tent because it has a straight text. To liv­en up your dry con­tent and make read­ers more engag­ing, includ­ing more visu­al appeal into your con­tent can bet­ter explain the process and attract the reader’s atten­tion.

Visu­al­iz­ing your con­tent is a great way to cre­ate a great user expe­ri­ence and share­able assets. That helps pro­vide users with a clear idea to com­plete the process you’re explain­ing. Exper­i­ment with dif­fer­ent types of visu­als until you find the right com­bi­na­tion for you.

Screen­shots and graph­ics are effec­tive for dif­fer­ent guides and tuto­ri­als that give detailed steps for par­tic­u­lar oper­a­tions: where to click or what a spread­sheet should like. Info­graph­ics are great for break­ing up your text into blocks to help users share a sec­tion that res­onates with them.

White­board videos can be suc­cess­ful since they can eas­i­ly break down large com­plex prob­lems. For exam­ple, Lavent Law gives instruc­tions on what to do after a car acci­dent in a video for­mat by cre­at­ing a sep­a­rate web page.

5. Check the analytics

Once you’ve post­ed your how-to blog posts and arti­cles, you need to go back in a few weeks and look at the ana­lyt­ics. You can eas­i­ly find out whether your con­tent is get­ting enough traf­fic, how long vis­i­tors stay on the page, where they go after read­ing your con­tent, and what paths they are tak­ing.

All of this will help you get a glimpse at your suc­cess and improve your how-to con­tent to bet­ter direct vis­i­tors to the page. To get advanced web ana­lyt­ics, you can use Fin­teza for track­ing the activ­i­ties you are inter­est­ed in.

The tool pro­vides in-depth audi­ence analy­sis from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, builds con­ver­sions fun­nels across all pages, and detects weak page zones. You can also set any con­ver­sion goals based on vis­it­ed pages or events.

Final word

For­tu­nate­ly, there’s a lot of how-to con­tent on the web, but it doesn’t mean that all of it is infor­ma­tive and engag­ing. Let’s imag­ine how much time we could save if illus­trat­ed, detailed, and use­ful how-to con­tent had been avail­able. Why not be the guide your vis­i­tors search for? Now you have every­thing to cre­ate SEO-friend­ly how-to pieces of con­tent.

SOURCE: Search Engine Watch