How to Create Content for SEO
Everyone knows the important role content plays in search engine optimization. If you’ve been following the field at all, it’s been repeated over and over again: content is king.
And while this is 100% true, there’s another side of this that is rarely discussed – HOW do you create good content that will help your SEO efforts?
While there’s no single answer for how to do that, this piece will give you a background on why good content is important and give you some strategies you can employee to create the kind of pieces that will rank highly in search engines.
Let’s start with the basics:
What is SEO-Optimized Writing?
SEO writing is the process of creating content with the intent of improving a page’s ranking in search engine results. This means finding and using relevant keywords, developing content that answers search and is structured in a logical way that both search engine crawlers and human visitors can easily understand.
If done well, this will allow you to improve your organic traffic, convert more visitors and reach a larger audience.
Writing SEO-Friendly Content
Step 1: Identify Search Intent
Before you can create click-generating content, you need to know what people are searching for. There are a number of different reasons people could be searching for information, but the most common are:
- Informational – Users are looking for specific information, e.g., the weather forecast, the line of succession to the British throne or the Pythagorean theorem.
- Commercial – Searchers using commercial queries are in the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey and are looking at their options. For example, they might by researching “iPhone 14 vs Galaxy S23.”
- Transactional – This is people who want to buy something. They could be looking for “Adidas shoes” or “where to buy acrylic paints?” These users know what they want and they’re looking to find a product page.
The keywords being used in the search query will vary depending on the intent of the search.
Quick tip: You should not try to appeal to several search intent types with one piece of content. This will water down its effectiveness.
Step 2: Research Your Keywords
Now that you know WHAT people are searching for, it’s time to find out which words and phrases they’re using in those searches.
There are a number of ways to do this including brainstorming and analyzing competitor’s sites, but the easiest way is to use a good keyword research tool. Most of these allow you to put in a “seed” keyword and they generate a list of words and phrases that are commonly use in searches with it.
Once you have a solid list, identify which ones target which types of search intent. By this point you should have a number of ideas for content. Select one of them and use that as the main keyword and theme for your page.
Step 3: Write Your Outline
Well-structured content is not only essential for human readers, who don’t want to scan an unbroken wall of text, but are also a great way to help search engines understand your content.
Use headers strategically with a H1 at the top of the page that includes your main keyword.
From there, divide your content into logical blocks and separate each into a subsection, differentiating them with <h2>, <h3>, etc .
Each H2 heading should support your H1. H3s should support their H2 and so on.
Step 4: Write Your Content
Once your outline is developed, the writing process is generally much easier. As you write, focus on clarity. Here are some best practices to consider while writing:
- Only write as much as you need to. In other words, don’t use a 10-word phrase when three words would do the same job. Keep your sentences short, if possible.
- Keep your paragraphs brief. Limit them to 1-2 sentences whenever possible to improve scannablity.
- Ask and answer questions. This will help users find the information they want and also assist in capturing voice search.
- Use numbered or bulleted lists to convey lots of information in an easy-to-read manner
Step 5: Write an Optimized Title Tag and Meta Description
Your title tag is the piece of HTML code that tells Google what to display as the title of your page in search results and browser tabs. It also signals what your page is about, so search engines can include it in relevant queries.
Here are a few best practices for writing good title tags:
- Include your primary keyword
- Keep it brief and accurate
- Make sure it is unique
- Try to keep it between 50 and 60 characters
The meta description is the snippet of text that shows up on SERPs and entices searchers to click your link. Specified in an HTML tag, these don’t directly influence SEO, but they do play a large factor in soliciting clicks.
For optimal meta tags:
- Keep it between 120-160 characters
- Include your keyword(s) – but don’t overstuff them
- Include a call to action like “try it free” or “learn more”
Step 6: Add Images and Alt Text
A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why visual content is so powerful. Whether you’re using photos, infographics or checklists, images improve user experiences while also providing excellent content for generating backlinks.
Make sure every image on your site has its own unique alt text. Try to keep these descriptions under 125 characters and use keywords, if possible.
Step 7: Edit and Revise Your Content
The key to successful writing is rewriting. Now that you’ve taken a bit of a break from your original draft, go back with fresh eyes and look at it again.
Are you answering the search intent you targeted? Is your content clear and easy to understand?
Look for places where you can change long sentences into shorter ones, phrase things more succinctly or make a stronger point.
Step 8: Publish Your Post
Once you’re satisfied with the content you have created, it’s time to push it live. Be aware that it may take some time for search engine crawlers to discover this new content (you can accelerate this process by using good internal linking practices).
After your page is indexed and included in search results, take a closer look at how it ranks. If it’s behind the competition, examine their pages and try to figure out why. Don’t be afraid to make changes – very few things are ever truly evergreen.
Take the Mystery Out of SEO
There are so many facets to search engine optimization it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. And that’s exactly why you need evisio.
The platform built to streamline the entire SEO process, evisio automatically scans your site to find things that are hurting your search rankings, as well as opportunities you can capitalize on. It then presents you with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for fixing these issues. The result is better search rankings, with fewer headaches.
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