30 Aug How to write SEO-friendly content
There’s no point having amazing content if no-one sees it – that’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can help. SEO is a way of getting your content ranked at the top of the page so more people are likely to visit.
Search engines look for indicators that your content is high quality and relevant to the subject. So, you just pack your content with certain keywords to send your site soaring to the top? No! It’s not as simple as that. Search-engine algorithms are highly sophisticated now, and are very smart at detecting keyword-packed copy. Too many keywords and your site will be categorised as spam, and treated accordingly.
Using a copywriting agency should form part of your content strategy. Such agencies create killer content that search engines love, while still being relevant and valuable to human audiences. Here are some of the top SEO-friendly tips that will help you get the best results.
Know your keywords
If you have a service or product that you want to promote, the idea is for your content to rank highly when someone enters a keyword into a search engine. This involves having a strategy based around all important keywords.
You may know some of the most common keywords, but to get maximum visibility, don’t just rely on your instincts, but do some research. There are a number of tools, both free and premium, that find the full spectrum of keywords that are entered into search engines.
As mentioned above, it’s essential not to stuff your content full of keywords. As a rough rule of thumb, aim for keyword content of around 2%.
Split up your content
A page full of text with no subheadings (known as H2s) is an instant turn-off for most audiences, so it’s good writing practice to break down your text into bite-sized chunks. Using subheadings also helps with SEO, too.
Use important keywords for your headings (H1s) and subheadings and it will enable bots from search engines to identify the important parts of your content more easily. This will make you rank higher for relevant search terms, as well as being better for human audiences.
Pitch the length of your content correctly
Writing for online audiences is very different to publishing in a printed medium. You’ll only have a fleeting chance to grab readers’ attention before they click onto something else. This means not only laying out content in an attractive way but getting the length of your content spot on.
There’s no right or wrong answer, because the length of your article depends on your target audience. For some brands, it may be appropriate to write 1,500 words or more, but for others, this would be a huge turn-off to their demographic.
That said, Google regards content under 300 words as ‘thin’. It also likes high-quality content, and in recent years has prioritised content that is longer and more in-depth.
You’ll need to strike a good balance between what your target audience enjoys alongside getting recognition from Google. In most cases, aim for a minimum of 600-700 words.
Get your quality right
This is such an obvious tip but it’s one that’s often overlooked and it really does matter. Search engines like Google check the basics, and if your content is found wanting, you’ll be penalised.
Spelling mistakes (‘typos’) will steadily destroy your ranking even if the content is relevant and informative. Have a quick look at the sites that appear at the top of Google searches; you’ll never find glaring errors.
Of course, the quality of the content matters, too. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to write about and convey it in a way that’s easy to understand for the best SEO results.
Make your content shareable
Your goal is to get your content seen by as many people as possible, so you must consider social media your friend. People like to share articles, blogs and content they find interesting, and social media is the perfect vehicle for them to do this.
There are online tools you can draw on, such as Add This, which enable you to add social-media buttons to your content.
Aside from reaching a wider audience, the other benefit is that search engines value content that is regularly shared. Therefore, simply by making it shareable, you’ll be gaining valuable SEO kudos – that’s a win-win!
Simple yet effective
These tips for writing SEO-friendly content may seem remarkably simple, but they deliver excellent results. While you may want to rank on search engines, it’s essential to keep your human audience in mind at all times, and not simply write for the bots.
If you produce good-quality content and have an in-depth understanding of your subject, you will be well on the way to ranking at the top of those all-important search engines.