Search Engine Optimized Content is important for your website. For your search engine rankings, for your online visibility, and for attracting the best SEO traffic to your website. Basically, it's all about lead generation via getting more traffic to the first page of your website, or having a person who is searching online, finding and clicking through to your search intent optimized blog post.
Whether your website is an ecommerce store, or you are selling a service or solution, you need web pages to appear as high on the search engine results as possible. People searching for certain terms or who are asking specific questions, need to see your website or relevant article(s) appearing near the top of the Google Search Results.
In our previous article, How to optimise your blog post for SEO, we covered the basics of Google SEO Best Practices and Guidelines, that are the foundation of search engines.
In this, and future blog posts, we are going to carry on breaking down and focusing on these key points, so you can learn how to become proficient at SEO Copywriting, and have your content pieces truly stand out in the search engines results pages.
The Relationship Between SEO and Content Marketing
There is a strong relationship between Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing. It's important to analyse the current search results and Also Asked, when you are planning out your content piece or blog post.
The goal of content marketing is to draw in new customers / website visitors. But without proper optimization of your website content, you won't find the success you're hoping for in ranking on the search results of a particular search engine, specifically Google.
Most of the search engine traffic comes from your content, as well as links from other trustworthy and high-ranking websites.
How do I make my content creation stand out?
The aim is to ensure that your content stands out on every web page, article piece, and blog post.
Search bots are highly proficient at analysing, and they look to see if your article is well written and factors in the most important aspect - User search intent and primary focus on relevant topics.
If you have this covered and your piece is rich in SEO content, such as including relevant ranking keywords, and is well-structured, so it reads and flows well, your readers should be hooked enough to read through the entire piece.
And this done perfectly will ensure you eventually rank well on the search engines.
Optimizing Content on every Page and Blog Post
As mentioned above, there are specific guidelines and best practices that you need to follow in your written content.
To get to the top of the search engine results pages, it takes proper keyword research, linking internally throughout your website, linking to external sites, and most importantly patience. Time is the one factor that you can influence - using the below methods - to quickly climb up the search engine rankings:
Keywords are Important!
Keyword research to include the Relevant keywords for your piece of content is important to search engines because they are a ranking signal. When a search engine indexes a page, it checks for the words on that page and determines if it is relevant to a search query. If the page is relevant, it assigns a score to the page based on its keywords.
However, when doing keyword research, you will have a long list of potential keywords that all feature on the search engine rankings. You might feel tempted to use almost all of these keywords on your web pages or blog posts to try to generate more web traffic. Don't fall into this trap. Overstuffing with keywords can get you penalized because Google sees this as going against its best practice guidelines.
Monitor for Duplicate Content
When you write SEO content, you want your SEO efforts to yield the best results. Part of these efforts are to have a good content strategy, where you have planned out your articles and blog posts, to be published over the course of a few months.
Based on your research for the search volume of a particular search term or user query, it's entirely possible to overfocus on your target audience, and fall into the trap of creating content pieces that are too similar. Almost to the point of duplicating content. Keep a constant check on this. You don't want the search engines to think you are just copy/pasting articles with only slight wording changes.
Table of Contents
One of the really helpful SEO techniques is to include a table of contents at the start of your blog post. Normally, the structure is your article title, followed by an introduction paragraph of 3-4 sentences, and then your table of contents.
This helps readers quickly identify the relevant content sections that they are looking to learn more about. Website visitors generally skim read a blog post the first time. And if you provide an easy way for them to get an overview AND to navigate your article, the search engines will see that users are spending more time engaging with your high-quality content.
Another great method is to have your table of contents in a floating sidebar that scrolls down along with the user, as they are reading through your article.
Strategic initial Keyword Placement
Google and the search engines reference the title and meta description of your blog posts and displays them in the search results by analysing the keywords that are relevant to your article as well as correlating with the target keyword(s) that internet users are searching for.
However, Google also considers the long tail keywords in your article, that are relevant to and contain your various target keywords.
A great tip is to - as soon as possible - construct your introduction paragraph and first H2/H3 section headline, with various iterations of your short and long tail keywords in your title. These HAVE to read and flow well, so that the search engines know that you are still serving high-quality content to the reader.
Optimize the Length of Your Posts
In January 2013, Google's Panda algorithm update affected 12% of all search queries. The purpose of this update was to penalize websites with content that was too short and did not add value to searchers.
However, this does not mean that you have to have thousands of words in your content pieces. The Panda update was implemented to put a stop to content "spam-farms", that posted loads of irrelevant content in order to push up website traffic, so those websites could make lots of money from Ad revenue.
Keep your posts real, and make them serve what they are supposed to be doing. Fulfilling excellent information sharing to users that are wanting to find out more about that particular topic. See what works for you on average - be it 800 words or 5000 word pieces.
As long as you write a post that reads and flows well, that satisfies the intent of search users, and follows the guidelines of E-A-T and Y-M-Y-L, you will be fine.
When optimizing an article or blog post for SEO, one of the most important factors to consider is the topic of your post. SEO friendly content is highly topical. In other words, you want to try and write content about a topic that has been searched for a lot in Google.
This is vitally important in your initial keyword and topic research for your overall content strategy.
Part of your SEO success is incorporating keywords that are being highly searched for, but that are also low in competition. A great way to achieve this is to aim to write about what is currently trending in the world and on the search engines. If you are quick, you can beat a lot of strong competition by having your topical posts up first - and being indexed by the search engines.
In future articles, we will cover the best methods for topic and keyword research. Especially on how to find main keywords that are low in competition.
Use Location-Specific Phrases
Google is getting increasingly better at understanding geographical locations. It's getting to the point where if your business is a local one, it is a good idea to include a city name in your title tags, meta descriptions, and first paragraph.
This will help Google and the other search engines to identify (and validate) that your content piece or website business should be ideally served to users searching the internet for products or services in their specific region.
Lastly, Think Like a Customer!
The first thing you need to do when writing SEO optimized content is to think like prospective customers. People come to your website to find answers to questions they are asking the search engines. They want quality presented information about your products and services, and they want to be entertained or inspired in some way.
This is how humans function in their initial information gathering, and what the entire Marketing Industry is based around.
Search Engine Optimization of your landing page and subsequent content, such as product pages and blog posts, is a great example of how to provide just the right search result, by having the right keywords built in to your great content structure.
Once you have succeeded in increasing the number of potential customers to your website, this will boost your conversion rate and click-through rate if it's an ecommerce store, and hopefully also facilitate greater organic sharing on social media.
Whatever the goal of your website, be it selling or providing information, never forget that the objective is that you want your website and content articles to be the top most ranking on Google and the other search engines.
SEO optimized content, done right, just makes it that much easier for more people to eventually find your website.