How to optimise your content for topical relevance using SEO Scout's content grader

Content relevance is about more than just ticking boxes for search engines. If you want your content to be genuinely valuable, you also need to tick boxes for the reader.

Using the content grader tool by SEO Scout allows you to meet and exceed the reader’s expectations. Knowing what to include and what to leave out of a page can be a minefield, but with the SEO Scout content grader tool, you'll never be left in the dark again.

In the guide, we'll explore how to write compelling content that search engines and users love using the Content Editor tool.

What is content relevance?

Content relevance is all about being useful to the reader. It's not just writing keywords and stuffing them into every nook and cranny of your content. Prioritising content relevance is the most important factor for achieving success.

While content length is certainly relevant for SEO, and we know that longer content tends to form better than short-form content, this isn't the whole picture. Crafting content that is relevant and matches the intent of the end-user is one of the best SEO strategies you can use in 2021.

Our content grader tools allow users to input content into a criteria-driven template and then see potential improvements. You can use this tool to help improve existing content or to start creating content from scratch. This allows the content writer to change the content so that it's relevant to the reader and search engines.

Why is content relevance important for SEO?

In the early days of search engines, search engine crawlers looked for keyword frequency to help understand the context of each page. SEO professionals picked up on this and abused the system, hiding and stuffing keywords into content to try to cheat their way to the top of the rankings.

Search engines responded by adjusting their algorithms. And SEOs again responded by adjusting their approach. This dance has continued to the present day. The role of the SEO professional is to try to stay one step ahead of the search giants. And the role of search engines is to provide the best possible experience and weed out spam results.

Today, common advice seems to be that creating quality and relevant content is the best way to stand out. We know that search engines pay attention to valuable and relevant content, giving it better SERP rankings in the process.

Relevant content is what attracts visitors. Visitors who like your content are more likely to share it on social media or reference it on their blog or website. This builds more authority and increases search engine rankings.

Writing content with relevance in mind means that you're not only writing for humans but also computers. It's certainly a difficult task, but luckily there are tools to help make the process easier.

What is the SEO Scout Content grader?

The SEO Scout content grader is a new tool that you can use to help optimise your content for topical relevance. It uses metrics like keyword density, keywords in the title and first paragraph, and content length to assign a grade which gives you an idea of how well optimised your content is.

So, where exactly does it get this information?

SEO Scout extracts this information from the top 30 results. Using the SERP analysis tool will allow you to see how each result stacks up.

Remember that SEO isn't an exact science. It isn't always the longest piece of content that ranks the highest. And it isn't always the fastest loading sites that get priority.

By looking at the average results from the top

How to use the content grader tool from SEO Scout

You're going to start with a focus keyword. This should be your primary goal for the piece, but don't worry about focusing too narrow. The tool will also help you to find supporting keywords. Run a New topic search for your target keyword and let SEO Scout work its magic.

Before you jump straight into the content editor, it's worth exploring the findings. This can help shape your research and help you to understand what should be included in this piece of content.

Keyword groups

The Keyword groups tab is a great place to start. This will give you a broad understanding of the topics readers expect to find in your content. When you're close to a topic, it's difficult to understand it as an outsider, but this tool can help you take a step back.

Questions & Answers

Formulating your article in the form of questions and answers is excellent for SEO. This tab can help you to extract some great article headings that will help to shape your content. These are longtail keywords that can also help your rankings.

All keywords

Looking for secondary and supporting keywords? This is the tab for you! These keywords should help to inform your research. Use these keywords to plan additional supporting content, or use them to create your keyword-rich headings.

The content grader's metrics and what they mean

Head to the Content editor and get comfortable with the metrics. The comprehensiveness score measures how well your content added to the content editor stacks up against the top 30 results. This looks at metrics including the word count, grade level and keyword frequency and gives you a percentage score.

You don’t always have to aim for 100%; you simply need to score higher than the best percentage. This is visible above your comprehensiveness score.

Tips for getting a high content relevance grade with your content

Now you know what you're going to write about, it's time to think about structuring your content for success. When writing SEO content, always keep the following factors in mind:

  • Make your headings informative
  • Remember your audience
  • Use keyword-rich headings to help with skimming
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  • Use internal linking to provide additional context

Creating a killer outline

Start by outlining your content using keywords included in the entities panel, Questions & Answers, and the Keyword groups.

If you're wondering how many headings you need to include in your content, you need to start with your target word count.

Remember that internet users don't typically read word-for-word; they scan the content. This means you should use keyword-rich headings to help signpost your content.

If each paragraph is between 50-150 words, and you include no more than two paragraphs per heading, then you know that a 1000 word article needs between 3 and 5 subheadings. For a 2000 word article, aim for 6 to 10 subheadings.

Keep content short and sweet

Try to focus on writing shorter sentences, no more than 20 words long. Play around with sentence structure and vocabulary to help keep your writing grade level aligned with the recommendations.

Content that is easy to understand and easy to skim typically performs better in search. Remember that the recommendations outlined in the SEO Scout Content Editor are based on what is currently available. If you think readers would benefit from a comprehensive explanation of the topic at a lower grade level, don’t be afraid to create it. This could be a winning strategy if users struggle to understand what is already out there.

Keep an eye on entity usage

As you write, you'll notice certain words are highlighted, and the usage is adjusted on the panel to the right of the screen. The entity usage panel is invaluable to making sure you hit all relevant points in your content.

You can toggle these suggestions on and off or choose between seeing all entities or just the unused entities.

You'll also see a range for how often to include each word. The ideal use panel will be red when you have used the term at least once, but not frequently enough. Once you hit the target, the current use bar will turn blue.

This is helpful as it can prevent you from over-optimising your content. Over optimisation can be very damaging to your SEO strategy and should be avoided.

Top tip: You can also toggle the entities highlight to show readability issues. This will highlight any sentences that are too long or considered hard to understand. Addressing these issues will bring your grade level down.

Use internal linking

Internal linking is standard best practice for SEO. You can use internal links to provide additional context, strengthen your content's argument and improve content navigation for readers. In the content grader keyword group tab, you will see a list of keywords that are closely related to your topic. These keywords are great candidates for internal links.

Get a second opinion

Using the Guest Editor link allows you to share the content editor with your team to get feedback and suggestions on the content. Content creation should always be a collaborative effort, as there may be gaps in your knowledge that another contributor could help close.

Content relevance is the key to successful content marketing. If you've been struggling with SEO, it may be time to take a step back and reassess how relevant your content is to its audience. Thankfully, the SEO Scout Content Editor tool makes this simple and painless.