If you were around for “Gangnam Style,” then you’re probably familiar with PSY. The Korean artist gained global fame with his hit song, but his influence stretches beyond K-Pop.
On the heels of PSY’s success, online marketers decided they needed a term to describe the look-alike effect they saw with their content, as well as others, that had the word “style” in the title.
What is ‘Style SEO’?
This is when a piece of content has been strategically written to appear similar to another piece of content, usually at the top of the page, in the hope that search engines will “see” the similarity and rank the piece of content higher.
If an article is visually similar in layout and visual components but doesn’t fully replicate the content of another article, then it’s not “style”, and it isn’t “SEO.”
Many SEOs see “content relevancy” as the primary driver of “style,” but others define it more strictly as a form of keyword-based optimization.
I consider both approaches equally valuable, and I recommend focusing your time and energy where it makes the most sense to help your content go viral.
How “Style SEO” May Impact Your Rankings
If you’re an established site with a ton of posts, you can probably get away with publishing long-form content and taking your time to write each one. This form of writing is your unique “style”, and it can be highly valuable for ranking.
If your content is fresh and original, it can be even more valuable – and likely to rank well, unless the writer is an expert in his field, he will use someone else’s content, rewrite it, and thus is not unique.
If you’re publishing content often, you may find that you can get away with shorter, more engaging pieces that get the most shares and links.
Great content may go viral these days, and it can be highly effective. However, you shouldn’t completely ignore “style” in the hopes that it’ll help you rank.
If your content isn’t getting shared or linked, it may be competing with content that is, so you should still pay attention to “style”.
6 Steps to Improve Your Content’s “Style”
1. Write Longer Content
When it comes to creating content, I find that there’s a “sweet spot” for length.
When content tends to get the most shares and backlinks (usually), it’s around 1,500 words.
However, I’ve seen people share content that’s 3,000 words, so it depends on your business and your audience.
If you’re working to increase your organic traffic, it may make sense to publish longer content.
However, I would recommend testing the waters first with shorter pieces to understand how SEO impacts the way your blog post is shared and ranked as not all industries require long content to rank.
In one of my other sites, the site ranks on long-tail keywords with short content because no one else targets those keywords, even without any backlinks.
2. Add images to your post
In a survey conducted with over 300 content marketers, the researchers discovered that only 8% of them use images to describe their content’s topic.
The researchers also found that only 1 in 5 content marketers use images to describe their content’s structure.
So if you want to get the most out of your content, I recommend trying to quality images to break up your content into small, easily read chunks.
In our posts, we always use at least three images:
- One in the head of the post
- One in the body
- One for “featured image” to show in the main blog page
Make sure that you have the copyright to use the image. I have subscriptions with sites like: Freepik, Shutterstock, Depositphotos. You can get annual deals on some of the sites.
3. Add “Resources” section
At the end of the post, add a section with all the resources you mentioned or linked out to, this can add to the authority of your post. You can also consider adding a section with “See also”, just like Wikipedia.
If you use WordPress you can use plugins like YAARP to display similar posts in the end of your blog post.
4. Add a content table
At the beginning of your post, or after the opening add a content table with all your subtopics, this can help the reader to understand what your content will be covering and allow easy navigation in case the reader wants to read specific parts.
At this blog, we use: “Easy Table of Contents” WordPress plugin.
5. Write headlines up to 15 words or 80 characters
According to a study made by BuzzSumo that checked what’s the best headlines for Facebook shares, like and interaction. The sweet spot for your headline is 15 words or 80 characters, more or less than that, the performance of the article drops.
They also recommended:
- Using emotions when crafting your headline.
- Using lists, for example, 10 ways to cook rice.
- If you decide to use a list, go for: 10, 5, 15 items.
- Avoid using keywords such as: “control of your”, “your own business”.
6. Add Video or Audio
Some readers prefer to consume their information with a video, or audio, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on those readers.
There are several ways to convert your content into video or audio:
- Using 3rd party software that automates video creation, some generates only visuals and background music, and some use computer automation to create the audio. Personally, I don’t like anything that uses a computer-generated voice, but that’s my opinion.
- Hiring a voice-over artist, you can find them in a place like Upwork or Fiverr, some charge 5$ per 150 words, some charge 20$ for the same amount.
- Some software add automatic computer-generated voice to your posts like previously said, and I don’t like computer-generated voice, it lacks emotion.
- Using an agency to create a video for you, that would be the best in terms of quality, but very pricey, in a previous business of mine I had a video done for 1500$, but it was worth every penny, brought quite a few customers.
If you reached this far, you could see that we have not implemented all suggestions, the art of writing content is to know when to use the tips for better content, and when to dismiss the advice and try something new, it may not work, but it may, and can surprise you.