Not so long ago, most articles about SEO focused on deeply technical optimization stuff. Today, everyone knows that SEO and content are two important pieces that make up digital marketing. To ensure both elements work effectively and yield tangible results, these SEO and content should never be separated.
There is no point in crafting content that nobody wants to read. It’s even worse to craft content that gets buried among the thousands of Google search results. Even if you manage to make it to the first result page with poor content, who will ever read or share it? Establishing a solid relationship between SEO and content should be a top priority for website owners.
How to Create SEO-Focused Content Which People Will Read
#1 Write Genuine Content
Crafting unique and original content is important, but many content creators continue to produce poor content. Plagiarizing content will get you nowhere and can result in Google punishing your website. Here’s an example of what plagiarism and how it can negatively affect your business.
Unique and original content begins with unique and original content ideas. Ideas have to be fresh and thought-provoking. If your content ideas have been around for some time or overused, people won’t care about sharing your posts and may even ignore your content
#2 Focus on Intent
We all know that keyword stuffing is an old tactic that doesn’t work anymore. Overusing keywords in your texts makes you look unprofessional, discourages a great reader experience and will just get you penalized for breaking Google rules.
Keywords are still important, but remember that Google has become more intelligent over the years. Google can better understand the meaning and intent behind search queries. Try thinking more like a user to learn more about the needs of your targeted audience and what they are potentially typing when using Google search.
With Google focusing on semantic searches, this is the ideal time to leverage the power of LSI. As you build your content, considering implementing keywords that are synonyms or related to the original keyword you want to target.
#3 Stand Out With Strong Headlines
A headline that grabs the attention of users does your SEO a great favor. A great headline encourages users to read your content and ensures high CTRs. Don’t forget to include keywords in your headlines to make it really count for both your users and Google.
In addition to a great headline, another must-have is a compelling meta description that stirs user’s interest and invites them to click on your article to start reading. Meta descriptions also help search engines and crawlers understand that the topic is relevant to a particular search query.
#4 Opt for Long-Form Content
There are so many arguments surrounding written content and which types are the most effective for your SEO strategy. Most people believe Google prefers long-form content. An article of 1000 words or more, it’s easy to weave in a bunch of keywords and LSI keywords without making the content look like a laundry list of search terms.
Longer posts provide more value to readers but it doesn’t make sense to just write for the sake of writing. It’s better to keep your content concise, filling it with just the essential information and eliminating any extraneous fluff.
Also, remember that people prefer mobile devices over desktop computers and longer content is not always the best idea. Reading a long article on a tiny screen is not convenient at all. To please mobile readers, aim to make your content short and catchy, focusing less on length.
#5 Structure Your Content
While you can choose to write your article in one paragraph, it’s much better to utilize headings and smaller paragraphs. Keep in mind that online readers are used to scanning through articles quickly and are less concerned about reading content carefully. If you want to keep your users engaged, you need to pay attention to how you structure your content.
Google also prefers content is well-structured because it can easily grasp the main topic of your post. Don’t forget to include keywords in headings and subheadings when appropriate to increase the effectiveness of your content.
#6 Link Out and In
Building a strong linking profile is not only about buying links, submitting to directories and asking someone to link to your website. Linking out to third-party, authoritative resources shows your users that you are also a trustworthy source and signals to Google that you contribute to making “the world’s information universally accessible and useful”.
As for internally linking to your own pages, this positively influences the crawlability of your website and distributes valuable link juice throughout the most important pages. The SEO value of internal linking is undeniable.
#7 Enable Social Sharing
Content that is often liked and shared on social media is likely to rank higher on Google because it reaches a widespread audience. Sharing content across social media platforms can help build your reputation as a trustworthy source. Encourage readers to “spread the word” about your content on their social networks by placing easily identifiable social media buttons or widgets on your content pages.
#8 Be Consistent
SEO loves consistency – Google loves it too. Update your older content from time to time and add new content on a regular basis. Always stay active to show Google that your website is full of fresh content and up-to-date, inviting search crawlers to index your website more consistently.
#9 Track Your Activity
Analytics is at the heart of any SEO campaign. Without it, how do you know that you are heading in the right direction? Stay on top of your content by utilizing monitoring tools like Google Analytics to gain insights about your reader’s likes and dislikes. Discovering your reader’s preferences can help you strategically plan out your content marketing and where to double your efforts in the future.
#10 Add Imagery
People are visual creatures. It’s why posts with infographics, pictures and other visual elements get about 95% more views than those without. Paragraphs of text, no matter how well written they may be, look visually boring and can turn readers away. Posts filled with aesthetically pleasing pictures can keep your audience engaged with your content.
To positively influence SEO, your pictures should be properly optimized. Pay attention to image size, Alt tag, file name and image captions.
Content and SEO go hand-in-hand, and you will do well to take care of both. To make your content stand out and to see tangible results from your marketing strategy, you need to take an integral approach that optimizes your SEO content.