You’ve probably heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Search Marketing, or whatever you call it. And you might know a little (or a lot) about the subject. But chances are, you may not have heard much about SEO content specifically – which is why you’re reading this article.
We’ve put together this guide to help you find out what SEO content is and discover tips for writing articles for SEO.
Table of Contents
What is SEO?
If you’re not familiar with the term SEO, it stands for ‘search engine optimisation’ and describes the process of making your website content as loved by Google (and other search engines) as possible. The goal of SEO is to have your website appear as high as possible in the search results pages.
SEO can be a real game-changer when done correctly. If you nail your SEO performance, you’ll find it massively helps you:
- Get your brand name out there
- Generate lots more traffic to your website
- Turn searches into sales
To rank websites in the most appropriate order, the likes of Google use an algorithm to rank websites for various search terms. This algorithm is based on 200 different ‘signals’ that help determine how relevant your website is and how good the quality of your content.
The fun part about SEO is that the Google algorithm is constantly evolving, which means what worked to get a website running in the #1 spot this time last, won’t necessarily work this year, or next year – so SEO involves constant attention.
Quick side note – SEO shouldn’t be confused with paid advertising on Google, which is based on paying per click. SEO deals with just the organic traffic. Organic traffic is basically people searching and then clicking on non-advertised content.
What is SEO content?
SEO content is basically all the content created with the intention of ranking in search engines, like Google. Without content, you simply can’t improve your SEO performance.
SEO content isn’t just any old content thrown together on a topic. It needs to be written around a set of priority keywords that have been identified as popular and relevant for the chosen subject(s) of your content. Those keywords must be carefully weaved into the content and structured in a way that lets the search engines know what the content is about and what the most important elements are.
If you want to reap the benefits of soaring up the Google ranks thanks to your SEO performance, you’ll need to become very familiar with SEO content and how to create the good stuff.
Why is content important for SEO?
Content is the centre of the SEO universe. Search engines look at millions of websites daily (aka ‘crawling’) in order to find the best content for each search term. When crawling the sites, they look at the content of each page to determine how relevant they are for terms mentioned within the content.
Some of the key factors that affect where your web page ranks are:
- Content structure
- How well it’s written
- Themes covered
- Any imagery or video content (including their file names and alt-texts (alt-text being a worded description of the image))
- Number of backlinks (links from other sites to the page)
And why is ranking high in the search results so important?
Well, a recent study found that the first five organic results listed in Google account for almost 68% of all clicks. And, according to Backlinko, fewer than 1% of people searching on Google will click on results that feature on the second page of results. That’s why SEO pros go gaga for Google results that appear on page #1.
Essentially, SEO is so important in modern business. For your SEO to really work and be worth the investment, you need a content strategy behind it. Without content there is no SEO.
How to write SEO content that ranks
So, you’re sold on the idea of SEO and you want to know how to write SEO content. Great stuff. Whether you’re writing articles for SEO pages of your website, or you’re thinking of launching blogs for SEO purposes, keep reading to find out how to write content that ranks.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need to do if you want to dominate the search results and rank in one of the top spots:
1. Choose a topic to write about and do keyword research
It needs to be relevant to your business and also something people are searching for. Find the right keywords to focus on.
Keyword research is a big task, and can be pretty complex if you don’t know what you’re doing, so you might want to hire an SEO copywriter to help. It’s not just about choosing the keyword with the biggest search volume and writing a blog about it, you need to be confident that the ‘search intent’ is suitable for your business. Most importantly you need to make sure the keyword matches what your customers need.
Google in particular is fantastic at analysing the intent of someone’s search. You can search anything and Google has an answer for you.
Understanding search intent for SEO content writing
Thinking about the search intent is key for writing SEO content. If the copy doesn’t quite match up with the search intent, your chances of ranking are slim. And even if you do manage to rank, then when people land on your content and it’s not what they were intending to land on, they will bounce right off. This bouncing off is a BIG issue when it comes to SEO.
The user who left your content after only having read 2 words has essentially told Google, ‘hey, this wasn’t right for my search’ and Google will move your result down the ranking for the search query (keyword) used to find that content.
Google is a people pleaser effectively. And so are you now!
How to figure out search intent
It’s simple really. Google the keywords you’ve got and Check out the top results. See what the content is talking about, the angle the writer has opted for in each result, the businesses ranking in those top spot (don’t get jealous of them though!), also the content format. Is it a ‘how to’ guide, a listicle, opinion piece or is the result dominated by videos?
Search intent is a big deal in SEO. So don’t ignore this very important first step.
2. Now you have your keywords and search intent, you can begin planning your content
By using your keywords and search data you can really plan out what you’re going to write about. This is when you will plan out your introduction, main body content and then the conclusion for a customer to take your desired action.
Planning your content is very similar to if you were writing a normal piece of content. But SEO content requires the same process, but the addition of working in the relevant keywords from your SEO research.
Why is it important to plan your content alongside your keywords?
Remember what we said about the search intent, it’s the same for your keywords. Related keywords around your chosen topic will be essential for telling Google and your readers how suitable the content is for them. And by including all the relevant keywords and search phrases it will massively increase your chances of ranking. DON’T however jam all the keywords into the content, you need to be careful and write the keywords naturally into your copy.
Your chosen keywords should act as a springboard of your content structure and what you will talk about in your content.
Make sure to not only review the typical keywords, but to also see what typical questions your customers are asking in the form of FAQs from the search data.
The below image from ahrefs speak volumes about the importance of SEO keywords for your content.
3. Time to get creative and write – make your content original and high quality
SEO content years ago could just be some form of content that has a load of keywords chucked in. Those days are long, long, long gone. SEO copywriting is essential and the quality of your content will have a huge say on how it performs. I say perform rather than rank because ranking is just a small part of search marketing.
Getting to page 1 is great, but staying there and making people click on your result over others is what counts. Content will be the single most important factor for achieving both of these things.
Another thing is that people say you HAVE to be doing long form (2,000 words or more) content to rank. This isn’t wrong, but it’s not entirely accurate either. Your business, industry, and the topic you’re writing about will hugely impact how much content is required to:
- Make you rank
- Catch your target audience’s attention
- Convert your reader
Just like no business is the same, no SEO content strategy is the same either.
The key to SEO content is writing quality copy that your readers will genuinely be interested in. The content should actually help them, whether it’s to answer a question of theirs or to provide them with a solution.
4. Optimise the content for real people
The key here is our use of ‘real people’.
You want and need readers to love your content if it’s ever going to succeed. What people love is what Google will love. All your SEO content should be well-structured and really easy to read and understand for your target audience.
Use subheadings, short sentences, nice bitesize paragraphs and give the reader some interesting visuals – such as images, videos, illustrations, and infographics.
Making your content appealing is what will really impact how your website’s presence grows over time.
5. Review your use of keywords
Once you’ve finished creating your piece of SEO content, go back and check you’ve used all the relevant keywords in the right places – making sure you include priority keywords as early as possible (and throughout the content).
When you read back through your work, do your keywords stand out like a sore thumb? If they do, then its likely that you haven’t implemented them well enough. You’ve got to avoid jamming every single keyword in your content. It will have the opposite effect and Google will just vomit at the sight of your overflowing keyword junk content.
We have a process to adding keywords into your content. You certainly need to know what you’re doing and ensure your content is still of the highest quality. Content that speaks directly to your audience is essential in all of this!
6. Promote your content
It’s not enough to have great SEO content sitting on your website, you need people to start interacting with it right away. This means you may have to promote it elsewhere. Social media is a great place to start, or send round an email to your marketing distribution list to get folks clicking.
You might think, well then what’s the point of investing in SEO if I’m going to be marketing on social media anyway? The idea is once you have users interacting with your content it will start sending positive vibes to Google that your content is worth ranking because real users are enjoying it. You’ll also, hopefully, get support in promoting your content with readers spreading the word about your business too.
7. Build backlinks
Links from other sites to your SEO content are one of the keys to SEO success. But they’re not easy to achieve. Link building can take weeks, months, or sometimes years to accumulate.
According to Ahrefs, the more backlinks a page has, the more search traffic it gets from Google – so it’s definitely worth the effort.
To do this you will likely need to work with a backlink partner. If this is of interest, get in touch we can help.
Hire professional SEO content writers
Too busy to create SEO content yourself? Fret not. We’re here to help. Our team of experienced SEO copywriting pros can help you create SEO content, including writing blogs for SEO, that will push you up the Google rankings.
We can save you time and hassle by dealing with everything from the initial keyword research and putting together an SEO content strategy, right through to writing and optimising your SEO content.
Give us a shout using our contact form and let’s start with a chat.
What’s the difference between an SEO strategy and an SEO content strategy?
They’re not different, they’re related. An SEO strategy is the action plan for your overall search marketing. The best SEO strategies will have a content strategy behind it, also known as the SEO content strategy. The SEO content strategy is key to achieving your overall goals within your SEO strategy.
Your SEO content strategy will cover what content you’re going to create, when and where you’ll publish it, and who’s responsible for making it happen. The search content strategy will outline the steps you plan to take to improve search rankings. Of course it’s significant in your SEO strategy, but it will also line up with your wider content strategy.
How do I find SEO keywords?
Finding keywords, otherwise known as keyword research, is crucial for creating strong SEO content.
Here’s a quick summary of how you find the best SEO keywords for your content:
- Make a list of the topics and themes that are most important and relevant for your business.
- For each topic and/or theme, add related words and phrases that you think people will be searching for.
- Try to include longer specific phrases in your list too (known as longtail keywords), not just short generic terms.
- Use keyword research tools to help, such as SEMrush, AnswerThePublic, Ubersuggest, or Ahrefs. Using these tools will give you invaluable data around a topic – how many people search it a month being the key stat. It will also give you a range of related keywords, use these as other content opportunities or to work into the same piece of content.
Can I hire an SEO content writer to do it for me?
Absolutely. And you’re in the perfect place right now, because that’s what we do. Funny that. Our team of SEO content writers and experienced SEO copywriting specialists can help you put together your SEO content strategy, find the right keywords to focus on, and create content that ranks.
Interested? Get in touch.
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