If you’re searching for ‘SEO content’, then the chances are that you’ve come across the phrase ‘content is king’ more than once, and it’s true. Great content holds the utmost importance when it comes to search engine optimisation, as without content, your website and webpages are unlikely to rank at all.
If you’re looking for pointers on what SEO content is, why it is important, the elements of content and how to create excellent content and develop a successful content strategy, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything that you need to know about content and search engine optimization.
What is SEO Content?
SEO content is essentially exactly what you think that it might be; it’s content that is explicitly created with attracting audiences and ranking for relevant keywords in mind.
Why is it important?
As previously mentioned, without content (let alone great content) your website is unlikely to appear in the SERPs at all; therefore, this is why having content on your site is essential. As well as this, having SEO content in particular on your website is crucial as it will help you rank for your target keywords which are related to your site, business and any products or services that you are offering.
So, for instance, if your website sells pet supplies online, then you might want to rank for the keyword ‘buy dog beds online’ therefore you work out the search intent behind the search query and create a page which is optimised for that keyword. That way when someone types the keyword or search query into a search engine, you’ll appear in the search engine result pages for that keyword, and if your SEO is content is good enough, then you could find yourself on page one for that query.
Different types of content
You may think of SEO content being as just a written piece of text, but in fact, content comes in many various forms, and here are just few:
Guides - Guides are generally long pieces of content (which can be in one large format or smaller individual formats) which contain everything you would need to know about and concerning a specific subject related to your keywords. The written content in guides is usually broken up and subsidised with other pieces of content such as images, videos and infographics.
Product pages - Product pages are useful if you’re selling or advertising services or products on your website. This will contain all the information your customers would need to know about the products and/or services that you are advertising on your website. (But this usually only applies to eCommerce sites)
Blog posts - Blog posts are content that is regularly posted on your website, aimed at exciting and intriguing audiences to your website, and are usually concerning subjects which are related to the subject matter on your site.
Articles - An article is similar to a blog post but tend to be content that you’re more likely to see in a newspaper or magazine format, such as news, features and interviews.
Infographics - Infographics provide information with a much more appealing image format. These usually come in the form of graphs, charts and statistics and can help to improve the possibility of attracting high quality backlinks and social media links and social shares to your website.
Videos - Videos can be used instead of written content, or in accordance with written material. While creating a page with a lot of content may be time-consuming, in some cases it is quicker and easier to produce a video on the same subject and still be able to rank for that keyword. Alternatively, you can always create a video in addition to your content to shorten up long-winded written content and make it more user-friendly and appealing. As audiences may not want to read an article which will take them 20 minutes but may watch a 10-15-minute video.
Different elements of SEO content
Creating and writing content, in whatever format can be extremely time-consuming, therefore you want to ensure that if you're putting a lot of time and effort into creating your content strategy, then you want to ensure that it’s going to perform well in search engines for your targeted keywords and search queries.
That’s why it’s essential that you know and understand the different elements of creating and pulling off successful SEO content. Here are four of the following crucial aspects of SEO:
First things first, one of the most important aspects of SEO content is carrying out keyword research. In fact, keyword research is the first step that you should take before you even start planning or writing any content you intend to produce, as without it your content is unlikely to reach a high position in the search results.
Keyword research is the first thing that any content creator should do before sitting down to plan and write their content, and it will help you to figure out what keywords you are likely to rank for and which keywords are either too competitive or don’t have a high enough search volume to warrant a piece of content.
When it comes to keyword research, ideally, what you want to be looking for is keywords that are ‘low hanging fruit’, meaning that they have a substantial search volume, but aren’t too difficult to work for. Then once you’ve had the chance to identify your keywords for your content, you can go ahead and choose your angle and your content title.
Another critical aspect of producing SEO content is ensuring that whatever content you create is optimised by using keyword optimisation. By carrying out your extensive keyword research before you planned your content, you should already have a number of keyword opportunities that you think you can rank for and it’s time to optimise your content for these keywords.
Perfectly optimised pages for keywords are massive ranking factors for your website appearing high in the SERPs. Therefore, when it comes to optimising your content, there’s no point in putting your keyword in every sentence in order to give yourself a chance of ranking for it as you’re likely to receive a penalty for over optimising your content from what is called ‘keyword stuffing’. Instead, you should ensure the following when optimising your content:
- That the content reads and flows naturally, no forced or out of place keywords
- That you’ve answered all the questions and subjects that surround the topic of the content
- That the word count isn’t too long or too short to cover the subject or topic in detail
Organisation and layout
There’s no point in spending hours on a piece of content that isn’t organised or doesn’t make sense in regards to organisation and layout. Both the content and the layout of the page or of the piece of content you are creating should flow and make sense. By ensuring that your content flows, you are improving the overall user experience of your page, think about it, who’s going to share or link to an infographic that doesn’t logistically make sense? No one.
Instead, you should ensure that every piece of content that you create has been carefully planned out and is coherent; you can do this by providing that:
- All topics and subjects that you talk about are related to one another, and you haven’t just included that topic because you want to rank for a specific keyword.
- You group subjects that are related to one another together, and that the content flows coherently from one item to the next item.
How to Create Successful SEO Content
Now you know what there is to know about what SEO content is, the different types of content and the essential elements of producing successful SEO content, there’s only one thing left, and that is how to write successful content. In this final section, you will find all the pointers you need on how to produce excellent SEO content which will see you climbing high in the SERPs.
Know your goals
Who is your target audience? What keywords do you want to rank for? What is the aim of your content? To generate likes, follows, social shares, a call to action? Gain new customers, sales or to acquire high quality backlinks as part of a link building strategy? Before you even set out writing your content, it’s a good idea to write down your goals, including the keywords you wish to rank for, what the aim of your content is, what type of audience you want to reach and how you intend to this content to reach them.
Know your audience
Is your audience clearly defined? Alternatively, is it a little bit unsure at the moment? Well, before you go ahead and start creating content, you want to ensure that you know for sure who your target audience is and how to reach them. If your business is a small local business and you want to reach audiences in your local area, then there’s no point in you trying to appeal to an audience outside of your target area, so it helps to keep this in mind.
Ideally, when creating content, you want clients and customers to keep returning to your website, and one of the ways to do this is to post content regularly so that audiences will repeatedly return to your site to see what you have to say next. That’s why it’s a good idea to post interesting, innovative and up-to-date content which will interest audiences, as if you post generic and unimaginative content, then you might not make a big enough impact for audiences to return.
Monitor what works and what doesn’t
If you’ve posted a variety of different types of content with varying levels of success, then you may want to take a closer look at why some of your content is more appealing to your target audience than others. For instance, if you’re finding that articles and product pages do better than blog posts on your site, then try to focus your attention onto creating articles and product pages for your website. Alternatively, if you find that blog articles on particular subjects are performing better than others then try to analyse why some pages aren’t doing as well as others. For instance, take a look at the length of the content, the amount of rich media in the articles, the subject matter and the format and layout of the page.
If your content is hard to read or understand or maybe even doesn’t flow very well, then you aren’t producing good content. What you want to aim for is clear, concise and comprehensible content, without any complicated industry jargon. Ideally, but depending on the subject matter, you want to be aiming for a readability score of around 50 to 70 on the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale, any higher and you could be over complicating your content.
Provide researched and factual pages
Google is currently rewarding E-A-T pages, meaning that pages with Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness are more than likely to rank higher in the search results than others. Therefore, that is why it is crucial for you to be an expert or to hire an expert to write on the subject and you must also carefully fact-check and research your content before you go ahead and publish your work.
Therefore, it is also vital for you to do the following to boost the E-A-T of your page:
- Be or hire an expert in the field that your writing in
- Research and fact check the content thoroughly
- Update the content regularly to ensure it is relevant and up to date
- Ensure your website is updated and maintained at a high standard
It is also worth mentioning that the following subject matter for sites and webpages must be content written by qualified experts:
- Financial information or advice
- Medical information or advice
- Alternatively, any webpage which could have an effect on a person’s financial situation or affect their happiness
In fact, the pages mentioned above are also deemed by Google to be Y-M-Y-L pages, which stands for ‘Your Money or Your Life’ pages. What this means is, if a page contains subject matter which has the potential to affect someone’s well-being or their finances, Google requires these pages to be written by experts. Y-M-Y-L pages include things such as:
- Legal advice
- Home and car repair advice
- Alternatively, any other subject matter which has the potential to have a detrimental effect on some’s financial, physical or emotional wellbeing if it wasn’t factually correct
When used effectively and correctly, content creation is an essential and integral part of search engine optimisation; you just have to ensure that you know how to both plan and execute your SEO content campaigns properly in order to reap all the best benefits that are to be had from producing optimised content.