SEO writing 101: How to make the perfect outline

Great content starts with a good outline. The content blueprint keeps your article structured and optimised for search engines so you can reach your target audience. 

To make it easier for you, writers well-versed in the industry here at QWERTYlabs, have curated ten steps on how you can make the perfect SEO content outline. Find out below: 

1. Know your audience 

You should deeply understand your target readers if you want to create a relevant outline. Use the customer journey chart to understand a reader’s thought process. You can also use Google Analytics to find your niche audience based on the demographics. 

Understanding your readers lets you use the most optimal information to interlink your article and most compelling call-to-action brief. 

2. Optimise your outline topics using Google NLP 

Google’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) provides a list of phrases or keywords related to your topic which are extracted from the highest ranking content on the web. You can use this information to include subtopics that will add depth to your article. 

3. Know how to cut sub-topics or headings

Headings are crucial to articles. They help break up a long narrative and turn the blog into bite-sized pieces so readers can easily find the information they need.

You can create your outline using headers 1 to 5. H1 serves as your blog’s title, while H2 acts as the subtopic. Under H2, the H3s summarise any supporting information. 

Some articles may require H4 and H5. However, it cannot be straightforward for your readers to follow, so it is advisable to only limit your papers up to H3. If you have anything more to discuss, keep the words in bold or italic. 

4. Arrange your headings accordingly 

Your headings serve as a series of topics that are connected. Through your outline, it’s ideal to arrange them depending on their relevance. We suggest using the inverted pyramid method to discuss your topic, starting from a general perspective and leading to more specific ideas. 

The most significant chunks of information should be in H2s. Meanwhile, if you want to include details about your subtopics, you can create an H3. 

Additionally, Google scans headers to see if your article answers the searcher’s intent. A better header structure can equal better visibility for your content. 

5. Answer the 5 W’s and H 

The journey of your target audience to your article starts with a question; thus, your content should answer your reader’s query to pique their interest. 

In creating the flow of your outline, start by answering the 5 W’s and the crucial H. Here are examples of questions you can answer in your outline:

  • What is SEO marketing?
  • Who needs SEO marketing?
  • Where do I use SEO marketing?
  • When is it relevant to use SEO marketing?
  • Why do I need SEO marketing for my business?
  • How do I work with SEO marketers?

Creating your H2 topics based on these questions will give your readers all the necessary information about your subject. 

6. Use keywords based on the reader’s intent

An article is only good if it is valid and valuable to the reader. Understanding the reader’s search intent would be best, so your outline also has a clear objective. 

To do this, start with a keyword. Let’s say your Keyword is the ‘best crypto casino’. What would someone looking for these keywords want to find in an article? Build on that idea and use it to optimise your content headings and information. 

Since your reader is looking for the ‘best crypto casino’, you should list different crypto casinos in your article. A comparison is also beneficial so readers can see what each casino offers. 

Making your article as informative as possible will ease the reader into making an informed decision by the time of your ‘call to action conclusion.

7. Keep your keywords and related keyword in mind

Keywords can help your article rank high on search engines since it determines the relevance of your content to a particular topic. Therefore, it’s best practice to include your keywords in your outline so you won’t forget to add them while writing your article. 

List down all the topics you want to discuss and divide them based on relevance to your keyword. We recommend allocating keywords for every H2, so each heading is focused on one topic, making the information easier to digest. It can also make keyword usage more organic since no random keywords appear in lines where they shouldn’t be.

8. Add a question from Google PAA in your outline

People Also Ask or PAA is a list of curated questions that appears for each search term in Google. These queries directly align with what the reader might find helpful in their search. You can have a higher chance of ranking in Google’s PAA box using these questions. 

However, please don’t get too excited about adding questions since they should still be relevant to your content. Aside from that, you can add as many PAA questions to your content as possible. 

9. Consider your competitors

Your content will compete with over a thousand other articles. You must ensure you have more to offer than your competitors if you want to rank higher on search engines. Use SEO tools such as Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner to see the top articles relevant to your keyword. 

Use these as the basis for your article and make it better by providing more details, relevant topics and unique information that are valuable to your readers. 

10. Start your outline with research

Do your research and create your topic and subtopics based on your findings to optimise your outline’s best points of discussion. 

Finally, get a second opinion. Show other people your outline and allow them to pitch in on how to improve it. 

Work with the pros at QWERTYlabs 

QWERTYlabs knows how to get your target audience hooked from the outline to the content. With our writers who spare no expense in creating content with high-value ranking potential, your brand will be on top of its game. Start working with professionals and give your brand a market-leading status. Contact us today and let QWERTYlabs help you outperform the top-ranking blogs in your niche.   

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