As a business owner, freelancer, or digital marketer you’ve likely heard, or read, about the emphasis placed on content development in order to increase website traffic and improve your website’s search engine rankings.
These goals can be accomplished with search engine optimization (SEO) and content. Together, “SEO content is any content created with the goal of attracting search engine traffic,” which in turn increases traffic to your website and the potential for conversions and sales.
Writing SEO Content
Creating relevant and useful content is rather involved. It requires many considerations. When you add SEO to the mix, be mindful of two end goals; to provide:
Usability (e.g., content deemed useful by an end user), and;
Accessibility for search engines
What are some examples of SEO content?
Digitally speaking, any content (information that lives on the web and is consumed via the web) is SEO content. Everything you publish online has an opportunity to meet the usability and accessibility guidelines.
However, to make things easier there are a few categories SEO content can be attributed to. It includes: product pages, blog posts, articles (i.e., lists, guides), video, infographics, slideshows, glossaries, directories, etc. Pretty much, any content that is published on a digital platform can be classified as SEO content.
How can I write SEO content?
As a former educator, I often like to tell my content team that creating SEO content is no different from writing an academic essay. The steps involved are very similar to writing an essay because you need to know why you’re writing something, who is going to read it and how to structure it. The only true difference is the marketing and networking surrounding content creation.
So, here’s a quick look at how you can position yourself as an expert by writing and distributing SEO content for your startup or small business:
Define your goals.
Before you start writing SEO content take a few moments to write down the goal(s) you want to achieve. Do you want to increase backlinks, readership, site traffic, social engagement or all of the above?
Next consider important SEO ranking factors. The goal is to ensure your content generates the right type of signals for search engines.
Do your research.
Once you’ve gained clarity on content goals the next step is to think about your audience. When you write SEO content, have a specific individual or buyer persona in mind beforehand. Are they beginners in your domain of expertise or are they looking for more advanced information? The time spent on research entails crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s in regards to keyword research, audience demographic profiles and topics.
Create fresh, quality content.
It’s time to put the pedal to the metal. You’ve gathered all the information you need to begin. To make your content appealing, forget everything you know about keyword density. A keyword’s purpose, within content development, is to serve as a guide.
When you’re writing, focus on delivering a stellar and high quality post that leaves your audience with fresh ideas and insight. Also, add visuals and graphics, when applicable, to increase engagement. Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement (Wishpond).
Also, use a lot of white space (i.e. frequent paragraph breaks) to improve readability and use formatted headers and sub-headers to divide content ideas. Lastly, end your post with a clear call to action. What do you want someone to do after reading your post?
Optimize your content.
Before your content can go live, it needs to be optimized. This is the step where you can focus on keywords. Select keywords should appear in your title tags, links and headlines, when applicable, and in meta tag descriptions. Also, work with your webmaster to ensure reduced page load times, otherwise you’ll risk a high bounce rate and loss of readership and traffic.
Promote your content.
Never publish it and forget it! Make an effort to promote your content. While this last step may not be directly connected to writing SEO content, it has immeasurable value in link building and content promotion.
Make sure to use internal links, by linking to previous posts, and external links (i.e. link to third-party sites for sourced or “borrowed” information). Lastly, utilize your social networks to get the word out.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Alisha Gupta is an SEO professional at Techmagnate, a leading SEO company in India. Apart from her work in the SEO industry, in her spare time she loves to travel, attend blogger outreach seminars, network and indulge in discussions with other bloggers for insights and perspectives; and ultimately pen her views and experiences. Connect with @tech_magnate on Twitter.