SEO has straightforward rules, but it can also be complicated. Especially if people who are not following the rules are constantly ranking above you. In this article, we will discuss a few great SEO optimized content examples, and see why a simple article can beat a lot of competition.
I’ve tried to gather contents that have different approaches but are all successful within their search term. Make note that other factors can be effective that is overlooked in this article. If you’ve found them, you are more than welcomed to mention them in the comments section below.
Read more: What Is the Ideal Word Count for SEO?
How to Articles
‘How to’ articles are the most common articles for the purposes of content marketing. Each day there are millions of users searching for their answers through Google search results, and smart and SEO-optimized articles can have their clicks and have their attention.
Here are some SEO optimized article example, that address questions starting with ‘How’.
‘how to draw a rose’
Some may think writing a long article is a guarantee for success. ‘how to draw a rose’ is a keyword with an estimated 105K searches per month. But the #1 position is held by the 500 words tutorial by Envato.
Envato is a big name and has a very reputable domain. But reputation doesn’t necessarily get you to the top. In this post, the writers have recognized that a visual concept such as drawing requires visual demonstration.
They have created precisely what the searcher needs. A 10-minute video with a simple explanation (without getting into the history of roses demonstrated in renascence art etc.) and a written (+ pictures) explanation for people who prefer reading the tutorials.
Everything is made to seem simple (from requirements to the steps) but the result is stunning. Also, the steps are properly highlighted with pictures to show each step. The sentences are short and straight forward.
The sentence ‘how to draw a rose’ or the phrase ‘draw a rose’ is never repeated in the text, while the internal and external links appear in lists rather than within the sentences which are considered more organic by SEO conventions.
The post appears short and has a great comments section. Envato lets the commenters to upload pictures. So they have uploaded their results and have described the process. Many times the comments can be as informative as the text (if not more). The writer (Monika Zagrobelna) answers them with specific replies and without a copy/paste hello and thank you to everyone.
In the end, they also push their product which can help a designer achieve more.
The #2 result is yet another step-by-step tutorial.
‘how to lose weight’
‘How to lose weight’ is many people’s number one issue and a very prominent keyword with 266K searches every month.
Google indicates with its featured snippet that a list of solutions is what the algorithm is looking for. At the time of writing this article, the UK’s health service (the NHS) is holding the featured snippet as a highly reliable source.
Holding the #1 position is the very reputable Healthline. (Although there are no non-reputable sites at this level of search volume.)
With the Meta Title ‘How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science’ Healthline is emphasizing three important points:
- It is fast
- It is simple (no complicated diet and exercise)
- It is scientific (it’s not hoaxical)
What else does a searcher want? The writer starts with short sentences that repeat this very simple pledge. And mentions them in different words and in a bullet point in case you are scanning.
Then the article moves to Google’s favorite format: A list of numbered Headings which are the solutions to the question. (Note that Google can see the Headings as a list and show them as a featured snippet.)
The article offers a lot of great internal links (which are anchored with the keywords of the target article) and external links (as citations to the claims the writer is making).
Everything is in the service of the user experience and no-spamming for the sake of SEO best practices (including using keywords and semantical phrases organically).
The article also connects you to a sea of related articles that are useful and promising. Google has even picked up a few of them as extra links to be shown underneath the snippet.
There is also a second article from the same website with the title ’30 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Naturally (Backed by Science)’ which offers many different ways to do it (as the other article mentioned above, only promises one easy way).
Despite Google’s two article limit per page, Healthline has managed to find 4 articles (including smaller links) in one of the most important keywords in the world. All with good information and a medium-length article.
‘how to screenshot on windows’
We covered some more conventional examples above. But sometimes websites create a landing page, specifically for addressing the audience’s question and they come up with some great results.
Everyone who has a windows computer will find themselves in need of taking screenshots. The same goes for Mac, iOS, and Android users.
take-a-screenshot.org has been created for addressing this need. This website is compiled of pages simply explaining how to take screenshots with different devices and is active since 2008.
They rank in most of their target keywords, including #1 on Windows. The website has a simple interface and goes through the steps, one-by-one. Also the domain name directly points to this subject.
They have nothing else on the site other than some Google ads (which is presumably their source of income) and essential pages.
There are other websites that have tried this method. Including socialsizes.io which has succeeded in some of its target keywords.
The skyscraper method is a very popular SEO concept especially within startups and less authoritative websites. I have heard the skyscraper as a content creation method more than any other approach, with SEOs attempting to go big to get ahead of the competitors.
With Google handling most of its traffics to the old-guards, writing skyscraper content (meaning content that is longer and much more comprehensive than the compotators’) seems like a convincing way to get ahead.
Writing a comprehensive article may not work on some keywords. For example, there are many keywords
Here we explore a couple of success stories in Skyscraping.
‘easy ways to make money’
Save the Students have offered 40 ways to make money easily. ‘easy ways to make money’ is a great keyword for skyscraping. Because it requires a list of ways that can go up in numbers and the audience will appreciate a lot of options to choose from.
The article offers good writing and genuine options to choose from. Also, the right references to read more about the subject. The site focuses on helping young people in banking and finance. So this article’s audience is exactly what Save the Students is looking for.
‘foods that lower blood pressure quickly’
While everybody offers 10-20 foods to lower blood pressure quickly, Medicine Net has come up with more than 40. Although the article is surprisingly short.
They have separated the foods into categories of fruit, vegetables, whole grain, reduced-fat dairy, and finally nuts, seeds, and beans. Then they just give a short explanation and list the foods.
The introduction to the subject also emphasizes the central massage of the article, which is how simple taking these foods is and how they don’t have any side-effect to worry about as they are all healthy everyday meals.
The page scrolls into showing other articles on causes and remedies of high blood pressure with a CTA reading ‘CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW’ (Yet to find it!).
‘best free vst plugins’
VST plugins are magic components that add effects and such to your music software. Evidently, there is no such thing as too many VST plugins, as LANDR has introduced 200 free VST plugins and is currently ranking #1 in the sought after keyword.
The article has everything you expect from a skyscraper. A TOC for easy access to each category, useful Youtube videos at the start of each section, and a cool and simple design for you to find each plugin and ways to have access to them.
The article does not get into useless information, but rather starts with the very useful section of ‘How to use this guide’ and then comes the plugins.
‘best christmas vectors’
A lot of graphic design keywords are conducive to offering longer lists, as the designer appreciates as many ideas as he can have access to.
This is why most image, vector, font, and tools websites offer long lists and mention the big number of offerings in the title. Pinterest has been very successful with this strategy despite the occasional lack of relevant content.
And sites like GraphicMama also use the same idea to offer 100+ vectors and rank in ‘best Christmas vectors’.
Cornerstone articles (also known as pillar pages) are the main article that is created to bring several of your articles around the same subject together.
‘investing in stocks for beginners’
Investopedia has great beginners’ guide on this subject, which also helps them to explain ideas around stock exchange and provide links to other articles on the site, related to the same subject. The searcher will find a lot of important references, mostly through internal links.
‘how to start a business’
Business News Daily has written a great article on how to start a business, and have found ways to refer to other articles inside the site, as well as articles from other websites.
This is a well-made page that you can bookmark and find a lot of references about starting a successful business.
‘What’ articles are informational and can attract a lot of backlinks. Here we mention some examples of successful What… SEO articles.
‘what behaviors are considered criteria for a hostile work environment’
A law question like the one here usually requires an in-depth but still simple and straight-forward answer from your website. This can lead the readers to ask you for further advice or even leave their cases in your law firm’s hands.
Smithey Law Group has written a very straight-forward article to explain this. They have used bullet points and examples masterfully to create a clean and clear explanation.
They also explain the issue to both employer and the employee with well-written examples, to illustrate the case and use proper outbound links for further information.
There are CTA at the beginning and the end of the article for maximum conversion.
‘what is a low grade fever’
Both articles start on point. Both also use ‘What is a Low-Grade Fever?’ as an H2 that will give the answer to the audience’s question, which makes them reliable candidates in case google wants to add a featured snippet to the search results.
Vicks uses the opportunity to push some of its products, while Healthline directs the audience to other useful articles and shows ads as a way of monetizing the content.
In ‘What’ questions, usually there are a few simple Glossary results that direct you to a short explanation of what the term means. For example, MD Anderson features in this search result page with just a four-line explanation.
‘sliding into someone’s DMs’
There are a lot of trendy subjects people want to know about. They are also looking for something more than just a definition.
Cosmopolitan has written a proper guide to what sliding into someone’s DMs is and what should you do to be successful.
Bustle has broken into the first page by offering 17 casual lines to make the sliding work. Usually, when a SERP is dominated by a certain type of article (for example, ones that offer a definition) Google tries to add articles for different user intents to the mix.
Great SEO optimization is reliant on certain basics. But it is also reliant on you recognizing the opportunities and using them to your advantage. Here we looked at some SEO optimized article examples to see this very point.
Simply writing long articles or spamming semantic keywords is not enough for a successful SEO strategy. Each keyword is unique and requires unique attention. And studying your competitors and other examples of SEO optimized content can help you in understanding your audience.
If you have more to say about these articles, or other ways of being successful in the game of SEO, mention them in the comment section below.