What is SEO-optimized content and how to create it
SEO means business.
If you want to get your name out there and your services high up in search engine results, then it is vital to get accustomed to good SEO. It’s a clever way of getting more views, more reads, and more business.
Good practices for Search Engine Optimization entail honing your website content so that it ranks first when people Google your brand (interest associated with it). The content of the site relates to the material which users normally come to read. Most often, your site’s ‘content reflects its raison-d’être, your knowledge and your interests.
Since top search engine results tend to show the best and most relevant sites, having your business appear at the top raises your credibility and opportunities for conversion.
Here’s how you do it.
Arachnophobes need not Fear: Web Spiders are your Friends
In order to get to know SEO, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some basic terms. You may have heard of indexing and web crawling: two key ways in which Google searches and lists the content for the world wide web.
Google has many different bots or ‘spiders’ that go ‘round the internet and visit websites to track the content therein. They ‘crawl’ around the site following the paths given by linked web pages – this is why sitemaps are useful, so that Google bots can go deeply into the website and help index it.
The content that the bots come back with is then put into Google index, which gets added to search results. If you’re beginning to think that webmasters have no control over where the bots go, that’s not the case, there are various methods – such as using robots.txt files and selective meta-tags – to help control the bots’ path. To get a higher ranking, you can select only the best and most important parts of your site for indexing. If there is effective SEO-optimized content in place on the site, this helps the Google bots index it.
The Content Cross-Country: Post Frequently, Evenly and with Pace
When it comes to posting quality SEO-optimized content, keeping a frequent schedule is vital to keeping your site indexed. Google sends its bots out regularly to crawl pages, and it’s common for bots to visit sites daily. If you are posting new information regularly, this is seen by the crawlers, and your site will feature higher in search-engine rankings. If you happen to link to well-known and trusted sources, your site will also be indexed as one which uses credible information.
If, for instance, you run a music blog and update it often with specialized articles, you are far more likely to be featured in search engine results. This way you are broadening your reach, and you will also see your site ranked when users enter specific keywords into Google. (It’s also a good idea to create a content calendar to ensure that you are updating your site with frequency and with a range of SEO-optimized content to suit the kinds of clients that you want to reach out to.)
Size – and Structure – Matters:
If you write short posts, such as those under 500 words, notice your site will get less traffic. Writing short posts may be easier, but in the long-term, it’s not an effective strategy. You may find that after a while you run out of content for new posts faster than you imagined.
Longer posts are better. Not only are you able to get more detail into your post and cover more ground, but Google has more to work with. The longer your posts, the more keywords you can fit into your SEO-optimized content and the more Google can work out what your site is about and which kinds of users it helps. The difficult part about creating longer posts is keeping them relevant and interesting. The answer to this is structure: dividing your article into small, easily-readable sections and easily-readable and entertaining text. Writing around 1000 words is far better for Google – which means it’s far better for you. Just be sure to keep the content coming, keep it high-quality, and strike that golden balance between article length and information usefulness.
Unlock the Secrets of Keywords – and how to choose them
Choosing which keywords you’re going to use for your articles is key to getting those search engine queries and rankings. Keywords are the words that people will enter into a search engine. They are what leads them to your content.
Selecting the right kinds of keywords can have a large effect on how your content marketing strategy performs in a search engine. The crawlers decide on your rank by comparing your writing to other pieces that use similar keywords, they then base this ranking on relevance and how well these other sites are visited and ranked (i.e. how long people stay on your website after finding it).
Keywords must be specific. In our music blog earlier, it would not be enough for the site to discuss “Latin music”: “salsa” would be better, while “tango” would be better still. But to make things more successful, it’s better to be a bit more exact – this is where long-tail keywords come into play.
The phrase ‘long-tail keyword’ is a bit misleading, what it means is any phrase that contains three or more words. So “tango music dance lessons in London” is a phrase that addresses something concrete, and a service that you or a colleague may provide. Make your long-tail keywords specific, not broad, so that people who search have more of a chance of honing in on your specific service and specialty. You can even use long-tail keywords in the title of an article you’re writing, such as “Tango in London: lessons in Argentinian dance from a master of the craft.” In order to make things more effective, you can use services like SEMrush and Moz, SEO tools that can help you research keywords, build links and provide other tricks to optimize pages so that they appear higher in search rankings.
Choose one Keyword and Focus on it
Sometimes it can be hard to choose the right keyword for your content. And though it can be possible to pick a keyword out of the ether, sometimes it pays to do a little research. Fortunately, there are lots of resources that can assist you in attaining that end.
Autocomplete is one such tool – by typing your keyword into Google, you can see via the autocomplete function what is trending and what kinds of searches people are doing. Another successful tool is Google Keyword Planner, which can tell you how many people over the last year have input particular words or long-tail keywords.
When citing your keyword in your SEO-optimized content, use it early on and frequently in your article, in your headings and ideally in the URL: but don’t overuse it, otherwise it’s keyword stuffing. Also, don’t make the mistake of citing your keyword across multiple different articles – you will only end up competing with yourself in Google, and it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get multiple articles from your site turning up in the first page of search results. If your chosen article is not ranking highly enough, update and improve it – do not try to write another article on the topic.
How to Work Keywords into Text
Certain tools can help you to get better keyword density into your written content articles like Yoast, SmallSEOtools or SEOcentro. These services are well-renowned for assisting with SEO, with Yoast providing a WordPress plug-in to help get more visitors to your site and getting more visitors from social media.
One thing to avoid is link farming: this is when a site links to another so that Google is deceived into seeing the site as more popular than it is and giving it a higher ranking. These sites can be recognized by the fact that they link to sites that bear no relation to the topics covered in their own. Google has worked out ways to blacklist sites that use link farms, which means that they don’t end up appearing in search rankings—and may carry steep penalizations.
Tracking Keywords and their Success
It’s one thing to have your keywords in place in your written content, but it’s another to see if they’re actually effective. It’s important to keep track of which keywords have been used for which posts in your SEO-optimized content, and it’s also important to measure the success of your efforts. This can be done by looking at tools such as Google Analytics and finding out which keywords are being successful for you. When creating an account, you’ll be able to look at custom keyword reports and track organic keyword conversions – this is a way of seeing which keywords have resulted in sign-ups, subscriptions or purchases.
Conclusion—and a word on Content Marketing
Now equipped with some of the basics of SEO-optimized content, you are far more ready to navigate the SEO landscape and get your written content ranked higher. One further thing that you can investigate is assembling a content marketing team who will specialize in creating high-quality content and driving traffic to your site.
Passing the writing work on to seasoned and capable writers will have an even more significant impact and will help clients find you much more easily. It will boost your credibility and your notoriety in your specialist field. SEO can be something of a minefield, but we’re here to help you safely navigate your way through to success.
This article was, in fact, co-written with WritingBunny.
Author: Laura Varon
Content creator, marketer, translator. I studied advertising because I wanted to know a little about everything and I am a translator because I want to know a lot about a lot. I co-write with WritingBunny.