2. On Page SEO for Beginners
Article #2.17

Is your content SEO friendly?

There is content and then comes SEO friendly content!

The term SEO content might sound really easy, but still webmasters (well, of course not all) lack on doing that and then wonder, why aren’t they getting the desired traffic. Let me go step-by-step. SEO is (as you all might be aware), search engine optimization which helps in making your site user and search engines friendly. Content is any information out there on the web to be accessed by anyone on the web. So to put it together, SEO content is the content that is created to gain relevant search engine traffic.
Unfortunately, webmasters pay attention to only the content part, completely bypassing it’s SEO component. This justifies the subject matter of my article. 

Why is it important?

Well. simply because Matt Cutts ask you to do that, and when he talks, everybody listens!
In a blog post, Cutts said, “As we’ve increased both our size and freshness in recent months, we’ve naturally indexed a lot of good content and some spam as well. To respond to that challenge, we recently launched a redesigned document-level classifier that makes it harder for spammy on-page content to rank highly. The new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words—the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments.” 
This statement from Google essentially puts forward the point that only fresh, well written and unique content will pay off the seo benefits. You need to make sure that your content is frequently updated, well researched and 100% original with no junk content lying around. 

Types of SEO content you can have: 

  • Product Pages: These are the heartbeats or essence of any retail e-commerce site. A well designed, organized and properly written product page can effectively serve both SEO content as well as a PPC landing page.
  • Blog Posts: This is one of the most basic, simpler and direct ways to create content and attract organic traffic. Undoubtedly, they work better than product pages in terms of engaging the audience and hence getting or attracting more backlinks. 
  • Articles: This can be anything from news article, sneak peaks, an interview, product launch information. This type of content is mostly common in magazine and news styled websites
  • Lists: These can also be classified as ‘types of articles/blog which are organized in the form of lists. Example: 10 tips to write effective SEO content which can promise you a better ranking. These type of content effectively increase the chances of click through rates.
  • Guides: A guide is a larger piece of content explaining in detail about a particular concept. You can either post the entire content of your guide on the website or just post it’s summary and ask the users to fill out a registration form to get access to the full guide (doing this is definitely a good idea to generate leads but will likely reduce the SEO traffic.
  • Videos: Videos can play a good role in attracting audience as users prefer watching over reading. Now since (in general), there are less videos on the web than text for a particular keyword, it is relatively easier to rank for a competitive keyword. It’s better to have a text transcript of the video.
  • Infographics: Infographics are simply large format images containing a lot of information on a particular subject including statistics, graphs, charts etc). These can play a great role in hiking up the traffic.

Wondering what favour is the SEO friendly content returning you? 

To put it simple, SEO friendly content helps the search engines pick the most quality and profitable part of your website. In addition to this, it also provides the following incentives:

  • It is one of the lowest cost marketing technique which is likely to give huge returns.
  • It generates traffic: When you write original, unique and engaging content (and update it from time to time), people will tend to read it, hence increasing the traffic to your website.
  • Help in increasing backlinks: If the quality of your content is good, more people would link to you. If the information conveyed by your content fulfils their demands, they will not hesitate to link with you.
  • Better rankings: Unique and original content is the way to impress search engines and once they are impressed, a good ranking on SERPs is not far.
  • Increase credibility of the brand.

Arm your content writing strategy step by step

If you are producing your content without deploying a logical and sensible strategy and waiting for it to rank eventually, then trust me, you are just keeping false hopes. It’s high time you zero down on a strategy and we are here to help you do so.

  • Clearly lay your goals:

Make your goals clear as a website or a business. Decide the purpose of writing it.You need to make a decision for yourself that whether you want to drive sales through the website or just increase the traffic and readership. These goals will determine the type of content you should focus on. For example, if you are writing to drive your product sales, the content will be informative and attractive aiming towards conversions, or will be explaining systematically and simply on how to use your product.
On the other hand, if you are trying to increase the readership, the focus would be more on writing rich content which is informative and engaging at the same time.

  • Know your audience:

It is very important to know your targeted audience while deciding your content strategy in order to drive the relevant and important traffic. Start off with knowing who these people are and profile them. Then, go on and find out what problems do they have that your article will solve, what are the places they usually go to solve their queries, which of your products will solve their issues etc. 

  • Schedule your content:

Once you are aware of who you want to target, you should consider building an editorial calendar which in a way will guide you on when to publish the new content (including what it should be about). This will help you get a stability in your blogs section as well as avoid the haphazard of coming up with an article at the last minute. You can use Google Calendar for the same to set up reminders for the upcoming deadlines. Don’t hesitate to give yourself the time to spice up the article with creative content, images, infographics and videos. 

  • Keep analyzing:

This is the most important part. Analyze your content from time to time to find out what is going good and what is not. The various parameters to help you judge are page views, comments, social shares and likes and conversion rates. Find out the pattern of your audience to find  what they like the most and invest more time in improving it further and don’t repeat the things which the users are not liking.
If you find out that an article is getting more traffic for a particular variation of a keyword, then go ahead and re-optimize it for the new keyword.

Guidelines for writing seo friendly content:

  • Think before what you are writing:  Before beginning to write the content, I personally introspect on what is the message of your content. What would you want the readers to know when they end up reading the content? What benefit will it provide you, as a webmaster? Once you have all the answers to these questions, you will be in a better state to go ahead writing a beautiful piece of content. 
  • Prepare the structure: Once you are clear with the goal of your article, draft a clear structure including everything that you would like to include in the content. Start with the introduction, the body and finally the conclusion and write down (obviously, in short) what you will be writing in these three sections. Now you can begin the real writing.
  • Keyword research: This is the most important part. Do a thorough keyword research before you begin to write about the article. You need to be very sure of the keywords you want to target in order to drive the relevant traffic.  
  • Focussing on the introduction: The introduction marks the first impression on your users and well, the first impression forms the last. Introduce some of your important keywords in this section. Make sure that the introduction includes the main pain points that the article will solve. This proves to be an incentive for the people to read the rest of the article.
  • Including catchy headings: Headings make the page look neat and organized. It also helps the users to judge whether they want to read further or not. It also assists them in finding a way through your content. Make sure you include catchy headlines which act as a bait for the users to click on your article and read more on it.  
  • Write useful and engaging/crisp content: Write content which is informative and entertaining at the same time. Secondly, avoid duplicacy of any sort and make sure you write fresh and original content. Crisp and engaging content are always liked by people. The more people like your content, the more they will share it and the more they share it, more are your chances to make it on the top positions on SERPs. 
  • Make links as part of your body: When you include links in your article, try to avoid ‘click here’ and rather include it in your copy. Another important point is to add the backlinks from only authoritative, relevant and quality websites as it plays a very important role in building trust and creativity with readers.
  • Optimize images: All text and no images makes the content look boring. Include relevant and interesting images but make sure that you optimize it and put alt tags on each of them so that it can be crawled by the search engines. 
  • Take a stand: This will set your content apart from the rest. Don’t hesitate to go against a fact if you have relevant logics behind it. Adding your own opinion will make the content interesting to read. 
  • Being better than the competitors: Isn’t the entire SEO game all about this? Research your competitors to know the keyword they are targeting, it’s quality. the topics they are focussing on etc. When you get the results, plan your content strategy in such a way that you are ahead of them in every aspect. 

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