The structure of the text on a page has never been as important for SEO.
By carefully structuring the content on a page, you can significantly increase the chances of your page ranking well in the SERP.
Interested to know more? Let us delve deeper into the importance of text structure.
Why is Text Structure Important for SEO?
A good text structure instantly improves the readability of content. This helps the reader understand the information on the page.
Improved readability will enhance the quality of the user experience, leading to a variety of positive signals.
Google will take these user signals into account when deciding how a page ranks.
How People Scan Content
People will normally scan the content on a page before deciding if the information is worth reading.
They will do this by skim reading the headings and the first lines of paragraphs in order to decipher if the information is of use to them.
It is very important to make sure your headings and the first paragraph of the following content are aligned. I will explain this in more detail further down the page.
How Google Scans Content
Google scans content by looking for the following elements:
- The semantic closeness of text – this relates to the proximity of related words on the page.
- Structure of headings – Google scans the headings for keywords to see they match the topic of the page.
Although it is common knowledge that google cannot physically read the text on a page, it has become much more advanced since the BERT update. This has helped Google to better understand the language on a page through the use of NLP.
It is for this reason that the structure of the text on a page is extremely important for good search engine rankings.
Well-structured content will also reduce the bounce rate from the page. This is a strong ranking factor that Google takes into account.
The First Paragraph Sets Reader Expectations
The first paragraph of text should briefly inform readers about what the post contains.
It should be written in short and concise sentences to quickly grab the attention of the readers and encourage them to read on.
It is also a good time to highlight the topic of a page by including main keywords in the content.
The Importance of the First Sentence
The first line after each heading is considered as a core sentence on the page.
This must directly answer the header and include keywords around the topic.
Getting this right will ensure you are in a good position to grab the featured snippet in the SERP.
The quality of the first sentence not only improves the user experience but also increases the likelihood of getting the featured snippet.
The featured snippet is a direct answer to a question which appears above (position zero) the organic results in the SERP. This will drastically increase traffic to your page.
It is only possible to grab the snippet if the text is structured perfectly on the page.
How To Improve The Structure of Text?
The main way to improve the structure of content on the page is to figure out your main keyword or phrases and ensure they are displayed in the right way.
The vector words included will form the corpus of the page.
It is important to ensure google relates all topics mentioned around the main keyword. You should always carefully plan your topics before the content is written using the following steps:
1) List The Topics
Once you have carried out your keyword research, always start by making a complete list of the topics you want to discuss on the page.
The topics should be related to your main keyword to ensure google knows exactly what the page is about.
2) Bundle The Topics
Now you have a list of topics to include in the article, it is good practice to place these into groups.
This is done by bundling related topics together to create H2’s, H3’s, H4’s etc at a later stage.
3) Order The Topics
Before writing the main body content, it is a good idea to put the topics into some sort of order.
There are a number of ways to order topics depending on what the page is about. These include:
- Chronological –
- Didactic –
- Thematic –
- Problem-Solution –
- Inverted Pyramid –
4) Select Headings For SEO
Once your topics are in order, you can start to plan your headings.
- 1 Why is Text Structure Important for SEO?
- 2 The First Paragraph Sets Reader Expectations
- 3 The Importance of the First Sentence
- 4 How To Improve The Structure of Text?
- 5 Transition Words
- 6 Page Sources: