By Sogi Chukwuanu
Optimising your content for both search engines and users is an incredible way to enhance your online visibility and reach.
But what does search engine optimised (SEO) content actually mean? And are you using it to its maximum potential within your business?
In this blog, we’ll explore five key tips for how to make your content SEO-friendly and rank higher on search engines. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is SEO content writing?
SEO writing simply means writing content with the goal of ranking higher on search engines for your chosen keywords. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not solely about writing content for the algorithm. Rather, it should be about providing users with valuable content that gets noticed by search engines.
In fact, Google itself prioritises user-first content rather than low-quality, wafer-thin content written solely to gain higher rankings.
When you approach SEO content writing from a user-first perspective, you’ll:
- Provide incredible value for your audience
- Attract new people who may have found the answers/solutions they were seeking in your content and
- Get consistent, organic traffic.
Here’s how you can achieve this:
1. Perform keyword research
Search engines mainly use keywords to understand content. This means that if you want to rank high and reach a wider audience, you need to identify relevant keywords and optimise your content for them.
However, there are two major mistakes businesses tend to make when it comes to keyword research. Let’s explore these in detail.
At first glance, it seems logical to choose as many keywords as possible in order to optimise your text. But surprisingly, this often has the complete opposite effect. This is called keyword stuffing, and it’s one of Google’s highly-punishable offences.
The best way to avoid this is by selecting a primary keyword that directly relates to your main topic and using it naturally within the text. You also want to plug it into a keyword research tool like Semrush or Ubersuggest to get more keyword ideas.
Choosing unattainable keywords
While it can be tempting to aim for popular keywords, if you’re a small business, you’ll likely be competing with established, more authoritative websites for the top spot. The higher a keyword’s monthly search volume, the harder it will be to rank for that keyword.
That’s why it’s advisable to target keywords with a lower search volume and difficulty. For example, the phrase “financial advisors” has a monthly search volume of 33,100 and a difficulty of 68. This means that it may be difficult to rank well for it if you’re a small, local business.
However, when we switch to a long-tail, more specific keyword like “financial advisor in manchester,” the numbers seem more promising.
In a nutshell, it’s best to target longer-tail, lower-competition keywords as these are often more attainable.
2. Match search intent
Search intent is simply what your ideal readers want to see when they type in your primary keyword.
For instance, if I type in the keyword “best financial advice for young adults,” Google understands that I’m probably a young person trying to find financial planning tips and tailors the search results as such.
This means your content has to match what your readers are most likely to be searching for and must cover the topic sufficiently. Place yourself in their shoes and try to gauge the usefulness of your content. If you were a young person seeking financial advice, would you find the tips in your blog useful and actionable? Or would it just be fluff?
3. Create an optimised title
Your blog or page title often determines whether users will read your content or not. That’s why it’s important to create one that’s not only unique but also indicates what problems they’d be able to solve by clicking on your content. You also want to include your focus keyword in the title, as this can increase your chances of ranking on the search engine results page (SERP).
4. Create and optimise the meta description
With your title out of the way, you can now focus on creating a well-written, optimised meta description. As the name implies, the meta description gives readers an inkling of what to expect from your content. It typically appears like this:
While they don’t directly influence rankings, they do determine whether readers will view your content or skip it. You want to keep it brief (Google truncates snippets to 155-160 characters) and ensure that it actually conveys the content’s message rather than false promises.
Keeping it brief and specific gives users a snippet of what your content is about, and if they deem it interesting enough, you’ll have a new visitor, which goes a long way in increasing your traffic.
5. Break up your content with strategic, optimised headers
Readability is also an important part of search engine optimisation, which is why it’s so important to break up your content with headings. Not only does this help Google better understand your content, but it also allows readers to easily scan for the information they need. Ultimately, this enhances the user experience.
In addition to optimised headers, you can also improve your content’s readability by:
- Using shorter sentences
- Keeping paragraphs scannable by including only one main idea in each one
- Or even using bullet points (like this).
The old saying “quality is better than quantity” is especially true when it comes to SEO content. Having an extensive cache of information doesn’t matter if readers can’t immediately scan through and pick out what they need. The more effort you put into enhancing the user experience, the more desirable results you’ll get.
P.S: Check out our blog, How Blending SEO And PR Can Boost Your Brand And Content Visibility.
The bottom line
Although most of the tips in this article are best suited for blogs, they can also be applied to other content mediums such as books and podcasts.
Are you breaking up your chapters with strategic headings? Is your podcast title optimised to ensure it appears in search engine results? How about your blurbs and episode descriptions?
Paying attention to these seemingly tiny details will help you broaden your reach and visibility, thereby introducing you to more potential customers.
If you’d like some support with your content marketing, book a Clarity Call today to find out more about Write Business Results and how our team of experts can help.