“Content isn’t the king. It’s the kingdom” – unknown
Underestimating the power of content could mean a slow death of your marketing campaign. Them more value you add to the words you share, the more people are likely to read them, thus increasing your conversion rate.
However, top-notch content is not sufficient for your marketing purposes. To help you get the best out of it, you need to throw a little SEO into the mix. In fact, you need a lot of SEO.
Search engine optimization relies heavily on the information you present to your audience. Meanwhile, poorly optimized content loses half of its quality. In this article, we’ll talk about creating SEO-friendly material that doesn’t just bring value to the readers but increases your revenue.
What is SEO-friendly Content?
Many people mistakenly believe that creating SEO-friendly content boils down to sticking keywords all over the place. Of course, keywords are an important part of the deal. However, search engine optimized text is much more than that.
SEO-friendly content allows you to rank your website high on the search engines. These blogs, articles, checklists, videos, and images allow the search engine to understand the high value of your website.
In the past decade, Google algorithms have come a long way to check the value and relevance of the content. So spraying it with keywords simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Let’s look at ways to create SEO-friendly content for white hat search optimization efforts.
1. Take Advantage of Headlines and Subheadings
Headlines and subheadings serve several important purposes:
- Catching attention – a headline needs to hook, shock, pique the interest, and entertain the reader. Without a good headline, the person may never continue reading your article, thus increasing the bounce rate of your website and making it less likely to appear high on the search,
- Easy–to-read – without subheadings, the text appears as a blur, which is hard to decipher. While it may have worked in the past, today, people are highly pressed for time. Their attention span is short, and they often prefer to skim rather than read. Sub-headings simplify skimming. Meanwhile, readers are more likely to share easy-to-read texts.
- Keyword saturation – you can use headlines and sub-headings to place keywords, which are more likely to be noticed by readers and search engines.
When a search engine is crawling through the website, it recognizes headlines and uses them to get an idea about the value of your content.
For video and visual content, headings and subheadings are often the only places you can use keywords and share your ideas.
2. Add Internal and External Links
Search engines look closely at the number of links you are using as well as their quality. While your marketing team is working hard to get other websites to link to your content, you have to do the same for your older posts.
Interlinking can be highly valuable for readers. While directing them to other articles to help get the necessary information, the internal link also shows excellent website organization.
If you want to support your ideas by linking to another website, make sure it’s reputable. Sending readers to low-quality websites is counterproductive. If the users don’t get valuable information, they may never come back to your website. Meanwhile, the search engine will give you a lower ranking.
When you use valuable and reputable sources inside your content, you gain respect from your readers. However, you may want to try to avoid linking to Wikipedia.
Another way to use backlinks for SEO purposes is to write guest posts. By posting your SEO-friendly content to other blogs and linking it to yours, you can increase the respectability of your website.
3. Pay Special Attention to the Length
About five years ago, the majority of articles were about 300-500 words. Part of the SEO effort used to be a race for volume. The more articles you published, the better the rating and higher traffic you could get. Such is not the case with SEO-friendly content today.
The majority of high-quality articles you find on the Internet today exceed 1,500 words. Google has changed its article-length preferences.
After doing extensive research, search engines realized that longer and higher-quality content is what interests users the most. Google tries to show its readers top-notch content that gives in-depth answers to their questions.
So today, it’s not enough to write superficial 300-word articles anymore. You have to share value, and value doesn’t come in small packages.
Take advantage of Google Analytics to see which articles get the best response from the readers. Find out which posts bring you higher conversion rates. You are likely to see that longer pieces of content are doing a better job than their short counterparts.
4. Use Keywords from the Start
Before you sit down to write an article or give the task to your copywriter, it’s vital to come up with a list of keywords to use. If you want to stick keywords inside the content AFTER it has been written, you are likely to face a fiasco.
Incorporating keywords into the content as you write is much easier than changing the text to accommodate the new requirements.
Numerous keyword search tools are currently available online. Many of them are free. However, it’s worth understanding that simple keyword generating tools can’t provide you with sufficient information. You need an expert to sift through the results and come up with the most useful words and phrases to use.
Remember, stuffing keywords all over the place is a bad idea. They should all fit into the text organically. Doing it when you have a hundred phrases to incorporate into a 1,500-word article is tough. That’s why you need to choose the most relevant keywords.
Don’t forget to insert keywords into the title, headline, sub-headings, meta descriptions, and ALT tags.
5. Optimize Visual Content
SEO-friendly content doesn’t necessarily have to be textual. You can achieve excellent results by using images and videos. They are a bit tougher to surround with keywords. However, you can put them into headings and ALT tags.
Using videos and images is essential to making your content noticeable, interesting, and, most importantly, shareable. People are more likely to use the services of a company that has a colorful website with attractive photos and useful videos.
When optimizing your images and videos for SEO, remember about their size. Heavy files slow down the loading time of your webpage. This is especially annoying for mobile device users.
Since the majority of your target audience is likely to access the website with a smartphone at one point or another, make sure the content is optimized for their needs. Different free tools exist to work with the size of visual files.
6. Add Social Media Buttons
You don’t just want your content to reach your target audience. You want it to find its way to your target audience’s audience. That’s why you have to make your content shareable. Add social media sharing buttons to your content. Meanwhile, don’t forget about the comment section.
By allowing readers to comment on your content and ask questions, you are gaining valuable insight into what your audience truly needs.
7. Answer Questions and Solve Problems
The best way to create SEO-friendly content is to make it valuable. For that, you need to either answer a question or solve a problem with your article. It’s possible to create easy-to-ready, long, subheading-filled articles that don’t carry any value. Yes, they may be excellent for your keyword-stuffing purposes, but they can be completely useless for your audience.
Remember, it might be possible to fool Google into thinking that your content carries value. However, you can never con your readers. So you may get good search engine ranking but never receive any valuable conversions.
Kill two birds with one stone. Get high rankings and excellent conversions simultaneously by providing top-notch content.
8. Keep it Fresh
If you want your content to bring you results, you can’t stop writing it. One of the parameters search engines consider is how well you update your website. Meanwhile, your readers are likely to want new food for thought and new solutions to their problems.
So be ready to create new content regularly. The more valuable articles you offer, the more respectable your website can look. At the same time, a variety of content can help you improve your backlinking methods tremendously.
9. Make it Simple
If you want to increase traffic to your website by using content, you have to keep it simple. Jargon-filled articles are great but only if you are sure that your target audience understands it.
Remember, experts need a break too. So when they are looking for information online, they are likely to choose something that sounds simple. Meanwhile, an average reader quits trying to understand the content if it’s too complex. Use simple words and short sentences to optimize your texts.
Creating SEO-friendly content involves a good understanding of the target audience, keywords incorporation, size and length consideration, sharing quality, and much more. The above tips can help you get a good start in content writing for search engine optimization.