It’s important for SEOs and content marketers to understand that content and SEO go hand-in-hand, Oftentimes, each is only concerned with their respective are of focus. Without coupling the two, marketers are missing out on the opportunity to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Understanding the process behind creating SEO content is a good place to start. Google has noted that ‘content’ is a top ranking factor, but many are confused about what makes “good” content when it comes to SEO. Rather than just churning out unfocused content, businesses should focus on creating high-quality SEO content.
High-Quality Content Creation
Your first priority should be to create high-quality content that is written especially for your target audience. It should address their questions, discuss potential pain points, educate on relevant topics, and help your audience solve problems.
This requires research and foundation-setting, including building an audience persona. An audience persona can help you determine what type of content and topics your target is searching for as well as their biggest pain points and motivations. From there, you can determine the best types of content to produce (white papers, blog posts, guest posts, infographics), as well as where to promote and distribute content (social channels, email, industry publications, etc.) Strive to cater to your audience’s preferences.
Content should also be shareable. If it is written based on an audience persona, it begins to become inherently shareable because it will be of interest to your target audience. However, you shouldn’t stop there. Include appealing images and create content that is easily shareable on social channels. Include Twitter-friendly soundbites and be sure that your website has social sharing buttons.
Finally, get back to the basics. Your content should include relevant headers and sub-headers and be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Be sure to proof and edit your content before publishing and only link to reputable sources when referencing data points or other important information.
SEO Content Creation
Creating SEO content requires additional research. Start with keyword research to ensure that you are targeting the correct words and phrases as you create content. Identify core and long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business/brand and build out your keyword strategy from there.
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Next, marry your keyword strategy to your content strategy. From a high-level perspective, consider the following:
Avoid keyword stuffing: Google is intelligent and heavy-handed when it comes to keyword stuffing. Avoid overusing keywords and be sure that every instance adds value to the overall piece of content. Use “find” features in word processing tools to keep tabs on how many times you’ve used a keyword and trim if necessary.
Broaden keywords: Make sure to work in long-tail and related keywords throughout your content. Use these keywords as organizational tools when building out longer-form content (e.g. use as subheads).
Be natural: Don’t force keywords or use the awkwardly. As with keyword stuffing, both Google and humans will quickly notice if you are haphazardly throwing keywords around. Humans are adept at picking out forced sentences. Make sure you’re writing naturally and allowing the language to go with the flow. Consider using plurals or other variations of your target keyword.
Be thorough: While taking the keyword-stuffing and forced use suggestions into account, do be sure to include your keyword in important places. This includes the titles and H1s, in the URL, within image text, and within the first paragraph of copy.
This is only meant as a simple guide to help you get started on an impactful SEO content creation journey. Download this FREE keyword research checklist for more detailed information to get a jump-start on creating SEO-friendly content.
This post originally appeared on the Content Rewired blog.