It’s no secret SEO (search engine optimization) is very important to the success of your content. Through SEO, you can strategically target those people who would have a vested interest in your content. The value of SEO continues to grow each year with search engines like Google understanding, even more, how important it is in driving traffic to websites. Not only that, but if SEO wasn’t important then people would have no reason to use search engines. This will be detrimental to the success of Google and other search engines. If you’re a blogger, then it’s very important you think about SEO when writing and think about the ways you can optimize your content. You want to find ways to get the most out of your content and this is especially true with so much competition online. You need to find creative ways to get an edge over your competition. However, many beginners don’t know how to optimize their content, and this is a major problem. Personally, I look at content writing in two ways –
First, your ability to write for people and engage them by providing value. Secondly, content writing so it’s optimized for search engines. This means strategically using the right keywords and placing them in the right areas so search engines can identify your content. When search engines can do this seamlessly, you’ll rank more quickly and generate a lot of organic traffic.
Today, I’ll be going through the top SEO tips. We’ll be looking at writing content and optimizing it at the same time. We’ll be looking at how to write the type of content people want to read and making sure it’s been optimized for search engines at the same time. This way you don’t need to write content twice for a different purpose but once to fulfill both objectives.
1) Starts With Research
Research is the most important part when writing content. Through research, you can identify what keywords to focus on, your competition and the demand. Personally, you want to write content high in demand because this type of content never slows down. It continues to build over time and gets enormous social media engagement. Social media has changed the way content is found and if you’re not using it, you’ll never gain the momentum needed to increase brand awareness. Therefore, I’m going break down research into two categories: First, research done through search engines to identify the right keywords to use. Secondly, research done on social media to find out what content people resonate with.
Search Engines – Through search engines, you’ll be able to find your competition and what they are writing about. I start by typing in “target” keywords in the search field and then skim through the content in the results. Where do I find the right keywords to type in? Use Google Keyword Planner or just type in a keyword related to your content. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish through your content and the best keywords to fulfill this purpose. After, go through the top 5 websites and gather some ideas. Look at the type of content being written by your competition and the engagement they are getting. These are all great content topics for you when you sit down to write content. You’re objective when writing is to create content better than that of your competition.
Social Media – You have tools like AHREF and Buzzsumo which will provide you a complete profile into the URL typed into the search field. You will find how many times the content has been shared, external links, and domain authority. Simply copy and paste the URL into the search field and skim through the results looking at Facebook, Twitter and Google + shares. When you do this, you’re doing the following –
Your finding out the type of content people love to read and resonate with. You want to write content that people love to read and provide value.
Once you have determined your keywords and have content ideas ready, you can start to write out your content keeping a few things in mind –
a) Write content better than that already online. The internet is massive so I’m sure you’ll have others that have written on the topic. Your goal should be to look at what your competition did and create something better.
b) Length matters so write in-depth content. Case studies have shown the longer the content, the higher your rankings. Try to answer every possible question your reader could have when writing content.
c) Images are awesome because they increase engagement. Some people prefer to pull value out of an image which is why infographics are so popular. Social media platforms have been tweaked over the years to display images entirely too.
2) Content and Keyword Ratio
The right keyword ratio has been up for discussion for years. For example, if you place too many keywords in your content it’s considered – keyword stuffing. If you don’t place enough keywords, you’ll fail to rank for the right keywords in search engines. There have been several case studies done trying to answer this question – What’s the right keyword to content ratio when writing? Here’s what the general consensus is among the top bloggers –
First, you should have no more than “1” target keyword and “4” related or LSI keywords. This is the right number to give your website a keyword profile. It’s a great number to provide Google enough information on what your page or website is about. With this number, you also have 5 keywords you can rank for within the search results. Just make sure each of the keywords used have enough search volume. Secondly, the ratio of keywords should be anywhere between 3%-4%. We calculate this by percentage because it does fluctuate depending on a number of words you have in your content. The more words, the greater keywords you can add into your content. Third, don’t forget to decorate the keywords as you place them within your content. Google has mentioned time again about the power of text decorations and how they help search engines determine what keywords are important. I recommend bolding your “target” keywords and underlining the remainder.
Now that you have determined the ratio, we can start to pay closer attention to writing the perfect content.
3) Writing the “Perfect” Content
There’s a science behind writing the perfect piece of content. For example, so many elements matter when creating highly engaging content. There are about 12 major areas you need to be concerned about when creating content for marketing purposes. However, there are 4 that matter most so let’s go through each of them –
a) Headline – one of the most influential reasons why people click-through to your content. When people are conducting a search using Google, the headline is the first thing they see displayed within the SERP’s. A creative headline is a way to outshine your competitors within the search results. It’s recommended to include your target keyword in the title of your content.
b) Clutter – you want to avoid clutter so space out your text equally. Too many words can scare people making them think they’ll have to read a lot of content when trying to find a solution to their problem. Remember, people are interested in finding a clear quick answer to their questions. Set the word spacing to 1.20px.
c) Add Images – I’ve always said images are a great way to engage those readers who don’t speak English as their first language. Images are an alternative way for people to pull out the value you are trying to provide. Another reason why you should add images is that they are so affordable to create and take very little time. Infographics can be created using Canvas in a few minutes.
d) Value – hopefully by now you have researched your competition and know what they are missing. I encourage you to create content that provides the best value to your readers. If you don’t then you’ll have a hard time building engagement and retention with your readers.
4) Optimizing Your Final Product
We’ve gone over ways to write the perfect piece of content for your readers. By publishing high-value content, you’re able to give your readers what they need – pure value with a solid solution. I say, “solid solution” because I’ve always said the best content online provides a complete solution to a common problem people are having in your niche. That’s important! But, when you finally publish your content, you need to make sure it’s been tweaked for search engines, so you rank for the right keywords. If you’ve been blogging for years, you know where to focus but if you just started, then you need to keep the following tips in mind.
First, always include your “target” keyword in your title. This is the first element Google reads when indexing and is the first thing seen by people in the search results. By matching your title with what people are searching, you’ve increased the likelihood of a click-through by 25%. Secondly, include two related keywords in the description section of your content before going live. If you are using WordPress for blogging, then towards the bottom you have an area you can add the title and description. You’ve already taken care of the title so now focus on the description and add two related keyword phrases related to your content. This description will be seen by people searching in Google under the title of your content. Make sure the keywords you choose are relevant to your “target” keyword. Third, don’t forget the ratio mentioned above when writing your content. You want to scatter your keywords throughout the body of your content at a ratio of 3%-4%. As people read through your content, they’ll see these keywords, and this will reinforce to them that they’ll find a solution after finishing your content. Decorate the keywords by using bold, italic and underline.
We have gone through the importance of writing content for your readers and optimizing it for Google. If you are a beginner, then implement the strategies will take some practice but over time you’ll automate the entire process. If you are using WordPress, there are some savvy plugins you can install to help streamline the entire process. I would do a quick search in Google to find the top-rated plugins. I recommend SEO Yoast to help you optimize your content before going live. Now, here’s a quick breakdown of what was covered –
First, always start by researching your niche and main keywords. Create a list of the keywords you want to use in your content to streamline the writing process. Secondly, don’t forget the 3%-4% keyword ratio that’s perfect to let Google know what your content is about. This will help during your indexing process. Third, write your content keeping the following in mind –
- Avoid clutter
- Optimize your title with the keyword
- Add images to help illustrate your point
- Value is the major thing that will differentiate your content compared to the others online.
Last, what’s left is for you to optimize your final product and this can be done by focusing on some important factors like title, description, the body of your content and using crafty text decoration. The goal is for you to engage your readers while being optimized enough for search engines. Organic search will account for almost 75% of your traffic as your blog starts to grow. It will provide a lot of targeted traffic to your content leading to even greater conversions. But, you need to ensure your content has been optimized correctly or you’ll receive traffic not engineered to convert on your website.