Essential Search Engine Content Types You Need to Learn to Write

We’re swiftly moving along 2021, but the pandemic is still looming large. For many businesses (especially SMBs), this means slashing their marketing budgets. However, cutting marketing dollars doesn’t mean you get lazy with your digital strategy. On the contrary, you should get busy optimizing your content with the latest SEO trends.


Some companies have in-house content marketers, while others work with content marketing agencies. Whatever the arrangement, you need to know about the different types of content for search engines, and how to optimize them.

Content Favored by Search Engines (other than blogs)

While web copy and blogs remain crucial to SEO, there are several content types and elements that can boost your rankings in 2021 and beyond. Top examples include:


Voice search

Featured snippets

Video

Infographics

Interactive content (webinars, quizzes, etc.)


Most business owners and even some SEO professionals ignore these content types and put all their eggs in the text-based content basket. However, an SEO strategy for 2021 and beyond should include a mix of all the different content types users engage with digitally.

Voice Search

Fun fact: 60% of smartphone users used voice search in 2020. And the number is expected to rise this year. That’s a good enough reason to optimize your content for voice. This will also help you engage more with the rapidly growing mobile audience.


When speaking into their phones, they use complete questions/phrases instead of standalone keywords. These are what we call ‘long-tail’ keywords. Search for these keyword phrases and incorporate them naturally in your content. Include location phrases like "near me", and common question words like “Where”, “What”, “Who” etc. in your content. You should also make your website’s metadata more relevant to voice searches.



Featured Snippets

Structured content ranks well, and header tags help provide structure to on-page text. This is especially true for listicles, where each subheading is a complete topic of its own.


So try to keep your header tags short (preferably six words or less), and incorporate your target keywords naturally. This will not only make your pages easier to read (and crawl), but Google will take these header tags and use them as featured snippets on its results pages.


Snippets are blocks of text that contain exact answers to search queries. You see these right above the organic results at “position 0”.


Along with header tags, search for question-based keywords and write your content to answer those questions. You can also look at the ‘People also ask’ section of the results page for suggestions.

Interactive Content

Interactive content is all the rage now, and it will only grow more popular in the near future. Content like online polls, webinars, virtual tours, and courses provide great value to your audience, especially when they’re stuck at home during a lockdown.


The strategy to optimize interactive content is more or less similar to optimizing any other web page. This includes using relevant keywords in the page’s title tags, meta details, captions, and alt-text.


Let’s say you’re organizing a webinar. You can make graphics to promote the speakers and create explainer videos to give participants an idea of what they can expect. Later on, you can use the webinar to create optimized blog posts, e-Books, infographics, or YouTube videos. The possibilities are endless.


Visual Content (videos, images, infographics, etc.)

Did you recently come across content without visuals? Can’t remember, right?


Ignoring images and infographics is an example of content marketing that doesn’t work in 2021.


Captions and alt-text come in handy in optimizing visual content like videos and infographics, both on your website as well as on YouTube and social media. Here are some effective ways to optimize your captions and alt-text:


Keep all titles and alt text unique for each visual

● Include target keywords

● Alt-text and captions should be complete statements


A helpful tip is to use the optimized image title for each file you save on your PC or Google Drive. Nothing ruins SEO like images with titles like “untitled(1)”!


Finally, when you add captions for images on your blog posts, make sure to format them with italics to differentiate them from the rest of the copy.

To sum up, there’s more to SEO than writing articles. To make the most of your SEO efforts in 2021, start creating and optimizing content for voice and video searches, while adding interactive elements into the mix.