Write SEO friendly content in 10 easy steps
SEO often sounds like the holy grail of online strategies. While there is nothing sure about SEO, some basics can help you getting better online results.
I am managing and developing daily about 10 websites that have never been punished by any Google Panda/Penguin update. This gives me confidence in sharing my expertise with you and help you getting your site up on Google.
First thing first: do not fall for any "easy trick" or "quick fix" for getting your site better rankings. I wrote an article a while ago called "How to become rich within 24 hours and see your website first on Google? The secret Marketing." that highlights some major traps that could get your site blacklisted by Google.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) isn't an easy concept. If I had to explain it in a few words I would say "All the means that can help your content to be understood and indexed by search engines for people to find it when typing a related query".
In the past, SEO included any method enabling you to increase your traffic: as Google does not officially share its methods of indexing content, marketers have only been guessing and experiencing strategies to get content on Google. What we know for sure is that easy and quick methods usually turn out to be harmful to your site.
If you must consider your SEO strategy, see it as a way to convince people that your content is valuable instead of convincing robots.
Those following tips are just a few examples of "basic things" that you must include in your content strategy. You can go further with my article "Content strategy: how to attract trusty customers".
1. Create keywords list
SEO is all about keywords. Before developing your content, you must always think about the keywords you want to include in it. The point is to think "what should visitors type to find my page?" and "what type of query would people type when looking for the type of content I provide?".
List your keywords and keyphrases carefully, you will need to use them in your text.
2. Do not duplicate
To be noticed by Google, your content must be unique. If you copy pieces of other articles, you are likely to be blacklisted.
3. Create valuable content
To be noticed by Google, your content must bring something new. Even though your content would be unique, if it does not bring something different, something valuable, Google will most likely ignore it. Create content that brings value to your visitors. If your treat a topic that has already been discussed a million times, try taking a different approach.
4. Create quality content
Google is indexing your content to provide it to its own visitors. Consequently, Google will give more credit to quality content: make sure you check your grammar and spelling, that is essential.
5. Organize your content properly
Both for Google and for your visitors, organize your content in such a way that it is easy and pleasant to read.
Break your content into titles, subtitles, headings and paragraphs. That would help Google understanding your content and your visitors will have more ease locating what they have interest in.
6. Use the proper tags
When creating titles, headings, subtitles, paragraphs, etc. make sure you use the proper heading tags so that Google could identify them easily.
7. Use keywords wisely
We were talking earlier about creating keywords lists. Now is time to use these keywords properly. There are three rules to observe with keywords: first, you must use them early (your main title or heading should contain your most important keyword), second, you must use them in a logical way (don't put lists of keywords in the middle of your text: each keyword must be properly used in a correct and logical sentence) and you must not overuse them.
8. Link your content
Internal links (links to other pages of your site) and external links (links to other websites) are essential. Whenever you can, create links to valuable content that completes yours. In my articles, I often link to other articles you might have interest in to complete the topic or to other people's websites that bring more details or a different view.
9. Update your content
Do not consider your article "finished" once published. Get back to it regularly and update it, improve it.
10. Select niche keywords
How do you expect to compete with leaders on generic keywords? Instead, create and use very specific niche keywords: you will reach a smaller market but you will find very interested visitors. This is the long tail theory.
Have you ever considered the possibility that SEO might not be the answer to all web questions?
Try this little exercise. Go on your Google Analytics account (or whatever equivalent you are using). Check out your web data for the past 30 days and identify the main traffic sources you got. What is the ratio of people coming from Organic searches (Google,Yahoo!, etc.) compared to the one coming from Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Scoop.it, etc.)?
If most of your traffic is coming from Social Media and equivalent it might indicate that those people that visit your site actually heard of you from other people. Words of mouth is running, and you might focus your resources in helping it instead of putting all your energy into great SEO strategies that bring you a lower return.
More importantly, how much time do those two categories of people stay on your site?
Very often with my websites I have noticed that people coming from Social Media platforms stay much longer on my sites and browse more pages than the one sent by Google. Do you know why?
Simply because those that come from Facebook come after receiving a recommendation from one of their contacts. They KNOW already that they will like my content.
Those coming from Google had no other info about my page than what Google understood of it. If my page wasn't clear enough or using the proper keywords, there is a high chance that those people clicking on my link arrived on a page that is different from what they were looking for.
SEO is great. SEO is important. But do not neglect other "human" aspects of your site, they count too, often even more.
Tags: SEO content writing content efficient content