SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
HOW DOES SEO WORK
You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using magically replies with a long list of links to webpages that could potentially answer your question.
Why is SEO important for marketing?
SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line.
Content SEO refers to creating content that helps your web pages to rank high in the search engines. It includes everything to do with the writing and structuring of content on your website. There are three major elements you need to consider to produce content that will make your website rank well: keyword strategy, site structure, and copywriting. Content SEO is important because search engines, such as Google, read your website, so the words you use on your site determine whether or not your site will rank in their results pages. Of course, your website should be well-designed, with a great user interface, and all the technical stuff that makes your site rank in Google should also be covered. But without good quality content, your site does not stand a chance in the search engines.
Keyword research is basically the steps you take to create an extensive list of keywords you would like to rank for. Every content SEO strategy should begin with keyword research because you have to know what your audience is searching for if you want to generate traffic. Keyword research helps you to discover the terms you should be aiming to rank for. If you do your keyword research right, you should have a clear overview of the terms people use and the terms for which you want the pages on your site to be found. This overview will serve as a guide for writing content on your website.
On-Page SEO Optimization
The on-page SEO factors are those elements that happen on your website. These are the things that you have complete control over, meaning that you can work to improve these factors over time by following best practices for SEO. This goes beyond just your content marketing to the deeper levels of your site’s HTML.
Here are just a few of the on-page SEO factors that can help you improve your search ranking:
- Title Tag – The title tag on each page tells the search engines what your page is about. This should be 70 characters or less, including both the keyword your content focuses on and your business name.
- Meta Description – The meta description on your website tells search engines a little bit more about what each page is about. This is also used by your human visitors to better understand what the page is about and if it’s relevant. This should include your keyword and also provide enough details to tell the reader what the content is about.
- Sub-headings – Not only do sub-headings make your content easier for visitors to read, but it can also help improve your SEO. You can use H1, H2, and H3 tags to help search engines better understand what your content is about.
- Internal Links – Building internal links, or hyperlinks to other content on your site can help search engines learn more about your site. For example, if you are writing a post about the value of a specific product or service, you can link to the product or service page in your blog post.
- Image Name and ALT Tags – If you are using images on your website or within your blog content, you will also want to include your keyword or phrase in the image name and alt tag. By including this information, you also help give your SEO definition. This will help search engines better index your images, which may appear when users perform an image search for a certain keyword or phrase.
When strategically placing your SEO keywords and phrases on your pages, it’s important to avoid over-optimization. Google and other search engines will penalize your page if it attempts to use keywords too many times throughout the content. In addition, you want to make sure that each piece of the content focuses on just one or two keywords. This helps ensure that your content is specific and relevant. Trying to tackle too many keywords at once may negatively impact your search engine optimization as it often makes for un-focused and thin content. While site content plays a vital role in your search engine rankings, it’s also important to consider your site architecture. Part of the optimization process is to ensure SEO definition on all parts of your web pages. You want to use a website design that makes it easy for search engines to scan or crawl your pages and content. Building internal links between your pages, creating a sitemap, and submitting your sitemap to search engines can both help improve your site’s crawl ability and give your search engines a better understanding of your content. Yet another concern when it comes to your site’s architecture is whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. Many consumers are searching for information and brands on their mobile devices. You need to make sure that these users are able to view, read, and navigate your website from their mobile device. Not only does this impact the user experience, but it can also affect your SEO optimization.
Off-Page SEO Optimization
In addition to the on-page SEO elements that your organization has control over, there are also off-page SEO factors that can impact your ranking. Though you do not have direct control over these off-page factors, there are ways that you can improve your chances of having these factors work out in your favor. (But more about that later!) Here are a few of the different off-page SEO factors that can impact your search engine rankings:
- Trust – Trust is becoming an increasingly important factor in a site’s Google ranking. This is how Google determines whether you have a legitimate site that visitors can trust. One of the best ways to improve trust is by building quality backlinks from sites that have authority.
- Links – One of the most popular ways to build off-page SEO is through backlinks. You want to be careful here as spamming sites with your links is a quick and easy way to get your site banned from the search engines. Instead, take the time to build relationships with influencers and fans who create quality content and will link back to your site in their own content.
- Social – Another important off-page SEO factor is social signals, such as likes and shares. When it comes to boosting SEO, you want to look for quality shares from influencers. The more quality content you publish, the more likely you will be to get people to share your content with others.
Though you do not have direct control over what happens outside of your organization, you can increase your chances of improving off-page SEO simply by creating quality content that others will find valuable. By giving your SEO meaning, you can catch the attention of more search engine users. The more relevant and interesting your content is, the more likely others will be to link to your content and share it on social media. The more people trust your content, the more the search engines will as well.
Why is keyword research so important for SEO content?
Proper keyword research will make clear which search terms your audience uses. This is crucial. we regularly encounter clients who use particular words when talking about their products, while their customers use entirely different words. Optimizing SEO content for words that people do not use doesn’t make any sense. Doing proper keyword research makes sure that you are using the same words as your target audience and therefore makes the whole effort of optimizing your website worthwhile.
Some terms we use in keyword research
We tend to use the word ‘keyword‘ all the time, but we don’t necessarily mean it has to be just one word. ‘WordPress SEO’ is a keyword, as is ‘Google Analytics plugin.’ So you can have keywords containing multiple words!
How many keywords?
It is very hard to give an exact number of keywords you should focus on. And then again, it’s very simple: You just need to have a lot – as many as you can come up with. More than 1,000 keywords are probably too many though! Even if you’re a reasonably small business, you’ll probably end up with a couple of hundred keywords. But you don’t have to create pages for all of these immediately. The great thing about having a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is that you can gradually add content. Think about what keywords you would like to rank for right away, and which ones aren’t immediately important. Determine what your priorities. Classifying your keywords is essential. Some keywords are very common and competitive (head), while others are long-tail. Decide which are your most critical, high-level keywords – the ones that generate sufficient traffic for your website and best fit your business. You will probably only have a few of these general keywords for your business, the rest of them will be more down the tail. In the next section, we will give more in-depth information on long-tail keywords (and the importance of these keywords). SEO content focusing on the most common keywords should be on the top-level pages on your website (homepage and the pages one level beneath your homepage), whereas content focusing on long-tail keywords should be more on the tail end of your site. Search engines are always trying to answer the exact needs people have, and they’re getting better and better at guessing people’s intent. So, put simply, if 95% of the people searching for [change car tire] have informational intent, and you’re optimizing for transactional intent to sell tires, you’re probably not going to rank most of the time.
What types of tools used for SEO
There are multiple free tools available to help you with your keyword research. Check out our article about keyword research tools if you want to find out more about practical tools. Site structure The second important aspect of content SEO is the structure of your site. First I will explain why site structure is critical, then I’ll show you what an ideal site structure looks like. I will also give tips on how to (quickly) improve your site structure without completely disrupting the core of your website.
Why is site structure important for content SEO?
There are two main reasons why site structure is an important ranking factor and therefore imperative for SEO content: # Good structure helps Google to ‘understand’ your site The way your site is structured gives Google significant clues about where to find the most important content. Your site’s structure determines whether a search engine understands what your site is about, and how easily it will find and index content relevant to your site’s purpose and intent. A good site structure will, therefore, lead to a higher ranking in Google. By creating such a structure, you can use existing content that has attracted links from others to help other pages rank as well. Your site’s structure will help spread some of that link juice to the other pages on your site. On a commercial site, that means that you can use quality content you’ve written to boost the search engine rankings of your sales pages too. # Good structure makes sure you are not competing with your own SEO content On your website, you will probably have multiple articles about similar topics. If we wrote eight articles about SEO, Google wouldn’t know which of these is most important. If we didn’t clarify this with our site structure, we’d be competing with our own articles for Google’s top spot. So, solving problems like this using a sound internal linking structure will result in higher rankings overall.
The ideal structure of a site
Ideally, you should structure your site like a pyramid. On top of the pyramid is your homepage and on the homepage are links to some other pages (such as category pages). These pages, in turn, link to even more pages. In an effective content SEO strategy, your keyword strategy, and the way you structure your site work together. In a proper keyword strategy, you’ll have thought about common, competitive keywords as well as more long-tail niche search terms. You should make a similar dichotomy in your site structure. Pages focusing on more common search terms should appear high in your pyramid, while pages optimized for more long-tail keywords should appear in a lower part of your site structure. These long-tail pages at the bottom of the pyramid must link correctly to the pages higher in the pyramid. Moreover, when other websites link to your product, chances are some of them link to the first URL, while others link to the second URL. But if these duplicates all link to the same URL, your chance of ranking top 10 for the relevant keyword would be much higher. Canonicalization is the solution to duplicate content.
The third and final aspect of a successful content SEO strategy is copywriting. You should write articles that are attractive to read, and that makes your audience want to stay on your website. At the same time, you want to make your SEO content attractive to Google. But some people go too far and optimize their content so overtly that they become terrible to read. We suggest optimizing your text for search without adversely affecting the originality of your idea or the readability of your text. Original SEO content doesn’t necessarily mean brand new content. Of course, if your story is completely new, that’ll automatically mean it’s original. However, giving your (professional) opinion on a particular topic also counts as original content. Your own personal angle to a story will make your content unique and original.
Think about your audience
If you want to write original content, you should think about your audience and who they are. Also, ask yourself:
- # What do you want to tell your audience?
- # What will be the main message of your article?
- # What is the purpose of your article?
Thinking about these questions will help you to come up with an original idea for your post or article. Content design Content design is a process that helps you produce content based on actual user needs. It doesn’t just help you figure out what your user wants, but it focuses more on what the user actually needs. Thinking about your content in this way will help your user to get that content when they need it, in the language and format they need it. Content design isn’t just a technique to help you produce better content – it’s a new way of thinking about content. If you want to know more about content design, read our post on content design: a great way to make user-centered content.
Copywriting requires readable SEO content
A key requirement for writing high-quality content is to write content that’s easily readable. Readability is important both for your audience and for Google. After all, not only do people read your articles, but Google does too. If your text is well structured and clearly written, readers will understand your message, but perhaps, more importantly, it will also help Google understand better too. If your main message is clearer to Google, your post is far more likely to rank well in the search engines. Readability is about many factors, including text structure, sentence length, and writing clear paragraphs. Read all about the importance of readability in this post. For more tips on readability, you can read our post on how to make an article more readable.
Content should be optimized for search engines
The final requirement for writing high-quality content is to make sure the content is optimized for search engines. You want your SEO content to be easily found. Findability has to do with increasing the likelihood Google will pick up your content for the result pages. It’s important that you take this final step after you’ve written an original and readable post.
Conclusion on Content SEO
Content SEO is such a huge part of SEO. It encompasses all the aspects of writing and structuring content on your website. Content SEO is essential. Google reads and scans your website text. Google’s algorithm decides the ranking of your site largely based on the content you publish. And we all know content is king. So, you need to write awesome SEO content, focus on the right keywords, and structure your website in such a way Google understands it. It’s a lot of work, but it will pay off in the long run. You can learn more about our blog Web design and Deployment and Application Development.