Creating Your Best SEO Content

If you’re new to the realm of search marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “SEO content” bandied around in marketing meetings. This beginner’s tutorial is intended to provide answers to three questions:

  1. What exactly is “SEO content”?
  2. What different sorts of SEO content are there?
  3. What is the purpose of my SEO content strategy?

If you have any questions concerning SEO content development tactics that I haven’t addressed here, please leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them here or in a future blog article. Also, if you’re seeking for COVID-19-specific SEO recommendations, see our post 13 SEO Strategies for SMBs During COVID-19.

Let’s get this party started!

What Is SEO Content?

To understand what marketers mean by SEO content, it’s useful to split it down into its component parts:

  • The term “SEO” relates to search engine optimization, or the process of improving a website so that it can be easily found via search engines such as Google.
  • By “content,” we mean any information that exists on the internet and can be accessed over the internet (more on the various types of content below).

So, combining these two ideas: SEO content is any content published with the intention of generating search engine traffic.

I’m not going to tell you everything you need to know about optimising your content for search engines; that’s a topic for another guide. But here’s a short review on what you’ll need to do to optimise your online content:

  • Keyword Research: If you want to increase traffic from search engines, you should conduct keyword research before you begin writing. This allows you to concentrate on keywords with a high search volume — in other words, write about topics (or find keyword niches!) about which people are already seeking for information.
  • Keyword Optimization: Understand where and how to employ keywords in your content to improve searchability. (SEOMoz has an excellent guide to on-page optimization.)
  • Content Organization: The content on your website should be logically ordered. This is not only helpful for SEO, but it also makes it easier for visitors to your site to find additional connected information. (The more time people spend on your site, the better.)
  • Content Promotion: Increase the visibility of fresh content you publish by sharing it on social media and creating links to it (both internally and from external sites).

A Quick Word on Intentions

It is critical to remember that if search engine traffic is your main goal, your results will most likely suffer. To satisfy both search engines (which will reward you with higher ranks over time) and potential consumers and return visitors, you must provide value that goes beyond search engine optimization. In other words, don’t create “thin” content that ranks and gets clicks but adds little value to the search engine user. Websites that push “thin,” poor-value content risk being punished by Google; they also have high bounce rates and low conversion rates.

Types of SEO Content

Any of the following can be included in SEO content:

  • Product pages are the lifeblood of every retail e-commerce site. An excellent product page can be used as SEO content as well as a PPC landing page.
  • Blog Posts – One of the simplest methods to develop a consistent supply of great SEO material is to start a blog. Blog entries, in general, are more interesting and likely to draw links than product pages, so they can be a wonderful approach to establish some authority for your site. (Remember that blogs are quite adaptable, and you may use them to host any of the content kinds listed below.)
  • Articles — Consider a news item, an interview, or a feature piece. This is the type of content you’ll find on the majority of newspaper or magazine-style websites.
  • Lists — A list is simply a type of article, but framing it as a list (for example, “10 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill” or “101 Things I Hate About Google”) makes it easier to scan. When encountered in search results or social media feeds, these types of titles appear to be more clickable.
  • Guides – A guide is a lengthy piece of material that explains how to do something in depth. (Guides are frequently divided into multiple web pages, but it’s best practise to allow users to view long content as a single page if they prefer.) You can post a full guide on your website, or you can post a summary or excerpt, requiring visitors to fill out a registration form to read the full guide. This can be a good strategy to create leads, but bear in mind that setting up a registration barrier will most certainly decrease the amount of SEO traffic you can bring to that guide.
  • Videos — Because there are fewer videos on the web than text pages, it may be easier to rank on the first page for a competitive term by making a video rather than an article. Videos can be a terrific method to attract and reach an audience, depending on the type of site or business you run. Consider making video tutorials for your items. Alternatively, illustrate a process connected to your business — for example, a plumber may create a video describing how to unclog a sink. (A word on SEO: You may want to provide a text transcript of your video; here are some extra video optimization ideas.)
  • Infographics – Infographics, or big-format visuals containing a huge amount of data (typically in the form of graphs or charts) about a single subject, can generate a large number of page views and links. However, because so much of the content is incorporated in the image and thus not legible as text by search engines, the rest of the page must be carefully optimised. To get started, pick one of these five free infographic templates.
  • Slideshows – A slideshow is a method of displaying a collection of connected photos. Sometimes images are more significant than text – for example, if you’re attempting to convey what all the celebrities wore to the Oscars. Again, SEO of your title, captions, image file names, and so on is vital because the search engines have less to “read.”
  • Glossaries – I swear more people look up terms on Google than in dictionaries. (Do you even remember where you put your dictionary?) If you work in a specialised field, a well-designed glossary can be an excellent approach to attract some search traffic. Consider cookery terminology, medical terms, fashion terms, architectural terms, and so on.
  • Directories – A directory is a handy taxonomy of links to sites or resources related to a specific topic. A perfume blog, for example, may compile a list of places to buy perfume, ranging from major department stores to independent shops across the country.

These are just a few examples of fundamental SEO material, but don’t allow this list limit you – the options are almost limitless.

How to Create a Content Strategy for SEO

If you’ve been haphazardly producing content in the hopes that some of it may eventually rank, it’s time to buckle down and commit to a more rigorous SEO content strategy for the web.

Here are four stages to define and improve your SEO content strategy:

Define your goals

First, decide what your goals are for your website or business. Do you want to increase sales through your website? Do you monetize your site with adverts and so only seek to attract traffic and return readers? What types of material you should focus on will be determined by your aims.

If your primary goal is to increase product sales, you should prioritise appealing, informative product pages that are optimised for both search and conversions. Your secondary focus could be on useful blog content that demonstrates when and how to utilise your items, with links to those pages when appropriate (it’s preferable if your blog isn’t wholly self-promotional, though).

If your site is based on an advertising model and your goal is to attract new readers through search, you should prioritise rich content (such as long-form articles or video resources that are informative, entertaining, or both) and “stickiness” (“sticky” content keeps visitors on your site longer or encourages them to return).

Consider your audience

Know your audience – surveys and analytics tools can assist you in gaining a better understanding of your typical visitor or client. Consider creating marketing personas, or fictional people that reflect your ideal website users and consumers. Then consider what kinds of content those personas would be interested in.

For example, if you run a business-to-business website aimed at C-level executives, you might want to develop high-level white papers that can be downloaded and stored for later reading.

If your company caters to teenagers and tweens, you may want to focus on regular updates that include less text and more graphics and video. You should also ensure that your site is mobile-friendly.

Create an editorial calendar

Once you’ve determined who and why you’re targeting, you can begin to create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is a schedule that specifies when and what type of material will be published. This will help you stay to a regular schedule (which is especially crucial if you have a blog) and will keep you from fumbling at the last minute to come up with a topic for new content.

A few pointers for developing and sticking to an editorial calendar

  • Share the editorial schedule with your entire marketing team using Outlook (or Google Calendar). Set up reminders for authors so that they are notified when a deadline is approaching.
  • Consider establishing ongoing features, such as a meatless Monday recipe on a food blog. Many blogs publish link roundups once a week (including this one). Create a category page for each continuing item so that visitors can easily access all of your Meatless Monday recipes or link roundups.
  • When creating more complex types of content, such as movies and infographics, allow yourself plenty of time. These frequently require numerous rounds of editing to perfect and can be more difficult to optimise for search.
  • Don’t plan too far ahead of time – Calendars frequently get thrown off track after a month or two owing to changes in marketing goals, funds, or staff, so don’t try to plan out a calendar for the next year and risk wasting a lot of time and effort.

Analyze and re-assess

Finally, keep an eye on your site’s metrics. Analyze your SEO material on a regular basis to evaluate what is and isn’t working. Page views, links, comments (on blog posts and other types of content), social sharing (Facebook likes, tweets, etc.), and conversion rates are all good indicators of success and engagement. Your analysis should have two objectives:

  • Look for trends in your triumphs so you can replicate them. Is your target audience fond of videos? Then create even more videos! Adjust your editorial calendar in the future so that you can devote more time and effort to the content kinds that are most popular.
  • Set aside time to update and improve existing SEO material — If you try to optimise an article for a specific keyword, but it is receiving more traffic for a different variation of that phrase, go back in and re-optimize it for the new term. By including that term in the headline, for example, you may be able to considerably improve traffic.

That’s it for SEO Content 101. As previously said, please leave a comment if you have any more questions on developing and optimising content for SEO.

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