If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Content is key to any successful business website.
At the same time, you’ve heard that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to ensuring your business website is easily found by potential customers.
So what are you supposed to focus on? Content, or SEO. Why not both?
It may seem like a lot to juggle at once, but this is how you can write SEO-friendly content for your own business website.
Understanding SEO-Friendly Content
In a nutshell, SEO-friendly content is just that: it’s website content that manages to appease the bots and algorithms to appear at the top of search engine results pages (more about SERPs here).
But you might be wondering how that works. After all, we’re not entirely sure what entices Google bots and algorithms the most. We know that having more traffic and including specific short and long-tail keywords can increase your chances of ranking high, but there’s no single perfect formula that marketers can use to make sure your page is constantly the number one result for prospective customers.
One thing is clear, however: SEO-Friendly content is not keyword stuffing. Have you ever searched for a product to learn more, only to attempt to read what seems to be 1-2000 keywords loosely strung together with a title and no basic concept in sight? While incorporating keywords is a major factor in search engines finding your content, keyword stuffing seems to be the antithesis of what search bots and algorithms are looking for.
Furthermore, content that awkwardly attempts to create an article or blog post out of a bunch of buzzwords and terms incorrectly cobbled together will really irritate your audience. People don’t want to waste time reading your keyword research: they want to read actual posts that will entertain and inform them.
At the same time, that doesn’t mean you need to abandon searchability and just hope for the best.
Writing Content with SEO in Mind
When creating content, you always want to write for your audience. People will not read articles, blog posts, descriptions, or any other content that does not provide them value. If it is clear that your content is merely a bunch of keywords stacked together, very few people will like it, share it, comment on it, or even read it in the first place. In fact, they’ll probably use their annoyance as fuel to find another resource that has actual information to share with them.
Remember, your audience is looking for a trusted authority. That means creating content that’s not always a sales pitch. Write about things that are important in your niche or industry. Discuss common problems, challenges, or exciting news that relates to topics your audience members can understand and appreciate.
Advice #1: Check the Stats
This seems like super-basic advice, but it is one way to help your content climb through the search engine rankings. If you use a program like Google Analytics, take a look at the amount of time users spend on each page, or how far they scroll each time they visit. This can help you understand if they’re actually reading your content, or taking one look and running away. If this is important enough that it is its own metric in Google Analytics, then it clearly matters to the search bots and algorithms.
Sites that are valuable to users will rank higher than those that mean nothing.
More About Keywords
So what about keywords? Use them? Ignore them? Experts agree that using keywords is very important, but in a way that makes sense. Your titles, headings, and meta descriptions are a great place for keyword density, but in the context of the article itself, consider using keywords in a way that sounds natural.
For example, if the product you are highlighting in an article is “glow in the dark collars for cats”, and you use the full phrase “glow in the dark collars for cats” every single time you refer to your product… well, just imagine it:
These glow in the dark collars for cats help me feel safer around my cat, especially in the dark. The glow in the dark collars for cats glow in the dark, which makes my cat more visible at night. That way, when it’s dark, all I have to do is look for my cat’s glow in the dark collar for cats… .
Therefore, it’s important that you always write for your audience. Take advantage of tags, titles, headings, and meta descriptions to stuff in all of the keywords that will help your readers– and Google’s bots– narrow down what they’re looking for in your content.
Extra Ways to Write SEO-Friendly Content
Of course, content is more than just blog posts and articles.
Consider, for example, the images and videos you incorporate in your site. You can also tag these items so they lead to other locations on your site. For example, a picture of a product on a blog entry can lead to that product’s description, or a landing page (check this plugin) dedicated to that product. This can increase relevance and search engine ranking. Link building is alive and well, and will keep your audience’s attention on your site. Just make sure each link leads to valuable information, and an easy way to get back to where they were.
You can also hire a freelance copywriter to have SEO-proof content. Here below you can find some ideas.
Social media is another key component of SEO. Content that is shared and has more organic traffic will rank higher. Consider adding a basic call to action in your long-form content posts so that your audience feels compelled to share or interact with your content.
It may seem that search engine optimization is a game no one can win, but writing SEO-friendly content can improve your search engine results page ranking. When writing content for your site, you should review your analytics for details on how each type of content performs, whether that means click through rate on your articles, open rate on your emails, or view rates on your videos. The more customers value your content, the higher the SEO ranking.
However, you can work towards search engine optimization in small ways, too, such as using high ranking keywords in titles, tags, and headings, and in descriptions of images and videos. Make sure your content links back to your site, and that your business– and you– receive credit for everything you’ve written.
Most of all, make sure your audience can like and share your content. Organic traffic is always a good thing, especially when it increases your search engine rankings!