Getting your content out on the web is easy. Getting your voice heard and having people read your content is sometimes not so easy. The first thing to recognize when writing content for a website is that you are writing for an audience, but you want to find the right balance between readability and keeping the content SEO-friendly so you have a shot at showing up in the SERPs. When it comes to writing content, there are several steps to make sure it is SEO-friendly.
Here’s what you need in order to achieve SEO-friendly content:
Choose Keywords and Use Them Wisely
If you want your content to be SEO-friendly, first you must choose relevant keywords based on results of keyword searches. You have to think like your audience and brainstorm keywords and search queries people might be putting into a search engine. Once you have a good list, you can incorporate these into your body copy, as well as titles, headers, and tags. You also don’t want to go too keyword-crazy. Body copy should usually be around 1-2% keywords. So, if you have 400 words, you should incorporate roughly 4-8 keywords.
Create Unique Content
This might seem like an easy step, but you’d be surprised by how many websites display duplicate content. Google wants to answer people’s search queries so it looks for the most original, unique web pages to do so. The text should not be an exact copy from another source or another page on your site. Here’s why: Google can recognize duplicate content and it’s pointless for them to rank a page or (in some cases) an entire site if it has copied content.
Write Informative and Lasting Content
I am a firm believer of quality over quantity, but anything below 300 words likely won’t take precedence over a competing article or website. That is, unless you have some kind of miraculous writing skills. Google gives priority to lengthy content because it likely has more information, but anything too long could also lose a reader. Sticking between 300 and 800 words is ideal.
Incorporate a Call-to-Action
Part of SEO is getting your audience to engage. A call-to-action does just that and adding something like “Subscribe today” to your body copy is a great inbound marketing method. It opens the door for your audience to click through to another part of your site and engage deeper within your site’s overall content.
Include Links in the Copy
Links can be extremely helpful from an SEO standpoint if they’re incorporated into your body copy, especially if you can use keywords as anchor text. This tells Google that the specific keyword is associated with the page you are linking to. Internal links are great for user experience too, as long as they’re relevant.
Writing SEO-Friendly Content for Specific Niches
Creating SEO-friendly content isn’t always that easy. A lot of times, you might be writing content for not-so-glamorous topics (think steel bars vs. bed and breakfasts) which makes it harder to get your content out there on the web. Keyword research, links, unique content, and CTAs are still necessary for tough niches, but you might have to tweak your strategy a bit in some cases. Often times, you have to create content for niches you aren’t familiar with. It’s all a matter of who your audience is, brainstorming for relevant and timely content within the industry, and how to get search engines to see the content.
- Use Google Alerts. First, you need to know what you’re going to write about, and it can be difficult to brainstorm within niche markets. One way to keep an influx of content for a niche site is to use Google Alerts to monitor new content within your niche. This is great for blog posts.
- Think like Your Audience. For niche websites, you must understand who your audience is and what they are trying to achieve. Your audience might be searching for answers on a specific topic or want to share information about it. In many cases for niche markets, people put specific questions into Google hoping it will spit out an answer, so incorporating FAQ content can be a good place to start.
- Take a Look at Competitors. Find popular blogs within the same industry. What are they doing that you aren’t? What can you do that will set you apart and be more valuable to users?
Many things come into play with SEO and ranking out in the SERPs. There’s certainly no equation or magical answer to creating content that is SEO-friendly, but these tips will point you in the right direction to turn out some good results overtime.