How to Write SEO Friendly Content
Content optimization is not difficult but it requires to follow the process and structure the content.
If you are a content writer then you might have faced difficulties in writing SEO content.
This guide will help you out on how to write SEO oriented content.
However, first, you need to know why certain elements contribute approaching an optimized content.
Content is the Primary Ranking Factor
"Content is a King". It remains one of the powerful and important ranking signals of Google or any other Search Engines.
Why is the content important to publish?
You would not publish content without any reason. Probably, you will be publishing content to meet the following goals.
● To rank on top of the SERPs.
● To build links.
● To generate leads.
● To educate and engage an audience.
● To drive social engagement.
It's important to know why you are creating a piece of content as a part of SEO strategy. It's not a secret that SEO and Content hold hands together for the better search visibility.
Assuming, you understand why you are creating content, moving to the list of strategies on SEO content.
Read on the blog to get a clear idea about writing a well-optimized content.
#1. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the first step before you start writing.
There are two ways for the keyword research.
1. Keyword research using tools
You can use Keyword Planner provided by Google AdWords or Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools help to determine the keywords which are being searched by other users. It shows the monthly search volume and competition ( Low/Medium/High ) of your selected keyword. Prefer to choose a keyword having at least 100-1k monthly search volume.
2. Autocomplete feature
Autocomplete feature is when you start typing your keyword in Google's search bar, it will show you the list of related keywords to your typed phrase.
You can refer the keywords suggested at the end of the search result.
Then you can check the search volume of those keywords using above mentioned tools.
Prefer to follow both methods for keyword research.
Chosen keywords influence other on-page SEO factors. Format a content with a set of keywords and you are good to set up your success from the start.
#2. Use Semantically-Related Keywords
Focus on including multiple keywords to ensure that your content can consistently drive traffic through search. It's conventional wisdom to demonstrate relevancy by using semantically-related keywords throughout the content.
Long back, the search was controlled over keyword density ( a number of times a keyword mention / total number of words in a web page ), but after Panda and Hummingbird update, it's advised to use the keywords which are semantically related to each other throughout your content.
Here the magic happens when you use semantically related keywords. Imagine how much traffic you can get for the hundreds of search queries
Get more ideas on semantically related keywords using LSIGraph.
#3. Targeted keyword in First Paragraph
The ideal method is to use a keyword in the first paragraph. Stuffing within the first 100 words is recommended.
Bottom line: Don't try to stuff your targeted keywords forcefully x number of times. It was the time when Google was considering it but those days are long gone.
Always try to fit your targeted keyword nicely and naturally.
#4. Search Engine Friendly URL
URL plays an important role in SEO. It's necessary to know that search engine friendly URL benefits search engine as well as users.
See the following two URLs and both are relating to "How to write Content"
Which would you understand by the URL and which one would click on?
Probably the first right?
Why first URL?
It's very simple! By the URL itself, you can understand what the page or content is about.
Prefer to use the keyword in URL.
Always avoid confusing, complex and long URL.
Use shorter URL. When there are two URLs having the same content, Google will try to pick and show the URL which is a shorter one.
#5. Optimized Title Tag
The title tag is a vital element in on-page SEO. The optimized title tag starts with the focus keyword.
Ideal format to write a Title Tag is
Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword - Brand
Write your title tag within 60 characters following the above structure.
Check how your title tag will appear using Moz title tag tool.
The title tag is what shows up in the search result and users are going to click your link based on title tag. If it is well written, indicating what exactly the page is about, it will increase a chance to improve CTR (Click Through Rate)
<title> your title goes here </title>
#6. Optimized Meta Description
You might be wondering that why meta description is added here as one of the key elements in SEO oriented content when Google is not giving much importance it to ranking factor.
The meta description is the description which appears in SERPs.
Here, the meta description is mentioned to improve CTR. A well-written meta description benefits in getting clicks. And CTR is considered as one of the ranking factors.
Write a meta description of less than 160 characters to avoid truncating. Make sure you add your focus keyword in a description in such a way that encourages visitors to click on the link.
<meta name = "description" content = "description goes here"/>
#7. Optimized Heading Tags
Heading tags are used to structure a webpage to make it SEO friendly. It is specified from h1 - h6. Heading tags are used to enlarge the font size.
What can be the structure of using heading tags?
Your title or main heading should be in h1 tag.
<h1> Main heading </h1>
Make sure you do not use multiple h1 tags.
After using h1 tag, wrap up your subheadings in h2 tag.
If there any heading under the subheading, you can use h3 - h6 tags.
Always use heading tags in a hierarchy. If all your subheading bears the same weight, use h2 for all and for headings within the subheading, start with h3 in a hierarchical order.
#8. Include Image & Video
Make your post with an appropriate and attractive image and video if any.
From the SEO perspective, image and video help to improve user engagement. The content which keeps a reader engaged has a positive impact on the search engine.
The use of image and video not only help users get information, but it improves your page bounce rate also.
Bounce rate is a length of time visitor spends on webpage before closing it.
It's not a secret that people can learn better if the content is visualized.
You can use an infographic as an image. That will create an interest and will help the user to stick on your content.
Make sure you use your keyword as an image alt text. It will help you to rank in Google image search results also.
#9. Internal Linking
Internal linking is one of an excellent SEO strategy. It is a way to navigate both readers and search engines to give the link equity to other relevant pages.
How many interlinks you can add per content?
You can interlink as many as you want and where it make sense and which adds value to the targeted page.
It's recommended to link on one focus keyword and for rest of the links, including some LSI keywords.
#10. Outbound Links
Always add an outbound link if you are citing any source. People are afraid of linking out because of leaking PageRank.
Don't worry, citing a reliable and authoritative source into your content will help readers to read on further on that subtopic and it will allow search engines to better understand the relevancy of your content.
#11. Social Share Buttons
Social share buttons don't have a direct impact on SEO. It is important that your readers can share your content on their social media platforms. By adding social share buttons, your content will get more exposure and increase a reach.
#12. Last updated Timestamp
Again, Last updated timestamp doesn't have any direct impact on ranking. It helps to improve CTR.
The last updated timestamp helps readers to know that they are reading fresh and up to date content.
While searching a query on Google, it shows the result with and without a mentioned date.
The results with a mentioned date are using timestamp. Users have the tendency to click on the result which is showing the latest date to get the latest information.
#13. Write for the Readers
You probably wondering, what is the use of this element here. Content is for readers only.
While writing, and especially considering from SEO perspective, people forget that Google follows what makes users engaged.
If you write for the search engines by overstuffing keywords aiming to rank on top it is not going to work.
Always write for your readers following the appropriate structure.
#14. Improve Readability
Setup a coherent structure which helps your readers to understand the information better. If readers enjoy your information, they are more likely to share it on their social media platforms and may subscribe to get another update with your piece of content.
Use simple words and avoid using passive voice since it's complex to understand.
#15. Format content for Google Featured Snippets ( Answer Box )
The featured snippet is the Answer box section appears at zeroth in SERPs
It's more likely to get clicks if your page appears in an answer box.
Google prefers to fetch a result in answer box, if it is a question based structured such as (“how to,” “what is” and “list of” queries). Provide the accurate answer to appear into the featured snippet.
So, there you go with the essential elements for perfectly optimized content. Follow the techniques smartly with creating a decent content structure.
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