The SEO Content Guide Your Business Needs
Search engine optimization is a powerful tool in the marketing toolkit. If you are trying to grow your brand online, you likely have heard of SEO content and know that it can be important to your digital marketing success. However, knowing about SEO content and truly understanding it are two different things. Furthermore, knowing how to write SEO content is another hurdle to success.
The good news about SEO content is that anyone can create it. The not-so-good news is that anyone can create it – so you will have a lot of competition. Fortunately, with a few strategies and good practices, you can make SEO content that increases your visibility and grows your brand.
Follow this 10-minute guide, and you’ll have a better understanding of SEO content and gain a competitive edge.
What Is SEO Content?
SEO content is any kind of content created to accommodate search engines. Keywords, images, headings and other formatting are used to help get ranked higher for a user’s search query. Getting attention from search engines doesn’t mean that the content is robotic or overly technical; in fact, it’s the opposite. SEO content (if done right) is user-focused, readable and excellent quality.
How Does SEO Content Work?
When someone searches online for ideas, products, answers to questions or other information, the results and their order are determined by an algorithm. The algorithm is designed to ensure that the searcher will get relevant and helpful results.
It determines this by examining the contents of the pages in its database and analyzing them based on specific criteria (such as the techniques mentioned above). By doing this, the search engine can deliver high-quality and relevant results quickly.
Search engine optimization is the process of editing your website and other online marketing channels to better match the search engine algorithm’s quality criteria. SEO content is the actual content that you want to optimize. You may have existing content to optimize, or you may produce new content specifically to improve your visibility in search results. Typically, this content helps serve both your SEO and content marketing strategies.
How Does SEO Content Help Your Marketing Strategy?
Even beyond content marketing, SEO is highly important in your online marketing mix. Although becoming viral seems exciting (or terrifying, depending on the context), this isn’t the fastest and most probable way to get seen on the internet. There’s no real guarantee that you can actually go viral – even if you try.
What you can do is steadily build up your brand authority online. As you produce effective SEO content, you may start ranking for dozens or hundreds of keywords that potential clients are searching for. Although it may be a quieter way to get the attention of your target market, it’s a proven way to build trust and ultimately score sales.
SEO can be used to increase the organic traffic (people who find your website without clicking on a paid ad) to your website. It can also help to make your business easier to find when someone hears of you through word of mouth. SEO can even encourage other brand and industry experts to link to your website. In short, developing strong content for your SEO is valuable.
Types of SEO Content
There are many different types of content that can help your SEO and grow your brand. This page is primarily focused on written content. However, audio and visual work can also be helpful. The following are a few of the major types of SEO content and how they could potentially benefit your business:
1. Articles and Blog Posts
These are written pieces about a topic that you think your audience will be interested in. They typically are informative rather than promotional. However, this isn’t always the case. They are among the easiest types of content to create.
Benefits of This SEO Content
Articles and blog posts give you the opportunity to be creative. Because of this, it’s not too challenging to get a steady flow of blogs, which can help gain and maintain traffic to your website. This kind of SEO content is a great way to grab the attention of readers and familiarize them with your brand.
Whether you are a large or small business, we encourage you to keep a consistent blog of useful, engaging content. The benefits of a blog are much too large to miss out on.
2. Website Pages
These are the pages of your website. Most of your SEO webpages will likely either be product or landing pages. However, all of your webpages, even the contact page, should receive SEO treatment.
Benefits of This SEO Content
Although blogs and articles can do you a lot of good, your main goal is to lead customers down the sales funnel. Your main web pages are what secures those sales, so you’ll want to make sure this content is the best it can be.
Having persuasive product and landing pages can make the customer’s journey so much smoother. You build trust, reflect your brand voice and persuade customers to buy.
3. Guides and Whitepapers
If you want to take a deeper dive into a topic, consider producing some guides and/or whitepapers, like this example from LinkedIn. These are typically much more in-depth and focused on more technical audiences.
Benefits of This SEO Content
Offering valuable content like guides and whitepapers gives you an edge in the industry. First, it shows that your brand is knowledgeable and could be considered an expert in the industry. Secondly, this is a great way to build a deeper relationship with potential clients. Often, businesses will trade valuable information for a reader’s email, which allows them to continue the relationship and encourage follow-ups.
Sometimes video makes the best content. Not everyone likes reading as a primary way of taking in information. Tasty is a perfect example of how video can be the most useful way to share content. Take a look at one of their most popular videos, “These Are All Cakes.”
Of course, search engines aren’t (currently) very good at watching video. So, you will need to include additional written SEO such as a transcript and/or description.
Benefits of This SEO Content
In just the past decade, we’ve seen a huge surge in video popularity. People enjoy consuming video content, as it is often easier to comprehend than reading. If you want to jump on this trend, make sure you use SEO techniques to get the most out of your video content. This can be a great way to build up a following and persuade leads to convert.
Again, people like to have multiple ways to engage with your brand. Photos, infographics and illustrations can all be great content. Computers are starting to get good at image analysis. However, writing descriptions is still essential.
Benefits of This SEO Content
Images are a crucial way to keep readers interested in your content. You can use images (and their alt text) to break up text in your blogs and articles. You can also design infographics that are useful. These kinds of images can be shared easily across platforms, which can lead back to your website and brand.
Tips On Choosing The Right SEO Content For Your Business
Depending on your strategy, some SEO content may be more suitable for your website than others. However, as a general rule, we encourage you to use SEO content on all your landing and product pages. Once you’ve mastered that, starting a blog and consistently posting content is a great way to start building up brand authority.
Once you’ve established a solid content strategy and can maintain it, that’s when you can move to white papers, infographics and videos.
Characteristics of Effective SEO Content
The greatest challenge of SEO (and all online marketing) is that there are so many competitors. You need to stand out against billions of other websites. The good news is that not everyone is competing for the same audience or the same searches. Plus, getting noticed is very possible. It is easier than it sounds. The following are some characteristics of effective content:
- Specific Focus: As you plan your SEO content, don’t try to target really general searches. For example, “gift ideas” is both extremely general (the searchers may not be interested in your products) and very competitive (it will be hard to stand out). Something like “gift ideas for woodworking enthusiasts 2021” may be a much better option.
- Strong Headlines: Your page or article headline is a big part of what will attract visitors. First, all search engines weigh the headline strongly. If it is relevant and high-quality, it will likely rank well. Second, people who are searching tend to read headlines first. If it doesn’t grab their attention, you won’t get clicks.
- Interesting Content: This probably goes without saying, but the actual content needs to be interesting, relevant and helpful. Search engine companies try really hard to design algorithms that find the content people want. So, your top focus should be making good content for visitors.
- Effective Keyword Usage: Keywords and search phrases are at the very heart of SEO content. You should start the process with careful keyword research. Then, you should carefully use your keywords in your content. Ideally, you should have headlines, prominent paragraphs and internal links all featuring your keywords. However, don’t stuff your SEO content with keywords. Keep it natural.
- Good SEO Tags: Search engines and people both appreciate descriptions of your content. Web content can be tagged with descriptions of the page, images and more. Using these tags is important (as a bonus, it also improves your website accessibility for people with disabilities).
- Links (Inbound & Outbound): Linking to your other content as well as to outside, authoritative sources will improve your SEO. Plus, if you can earn inbound links from other websites, your SEO will also improve. Focus on writing great content to earn inbound links.
Benefits of High-Quality SEO Content
It’s pretty obvious that SEO content can help you increase traffic on your website, but there is so much more to high-quality content than that. Having engaging content that is useful to your readers gives them reason to choose you over competitors. It also builds your authority as an expert in whatever industry your business is in.
To really understand it, it may be helpful to look at it from the flip side. What happens if you have poor-quality content filled with errors and run-on sentences? When people see content that is less than helpful or confusing, they usually leave the site pretty quickly.
To put it simply, high-quality content is an important factor of success. It also helps you avoid losing potential clients right off the bat.
How To Create An Effective SEO Content Strategy (6 Steps)
Learning how to write SEO content is relatively simple, but mastering SEO takes practice, experience and refinement. However, by following the six steps described below, you can make some significant progress with increasing your brand visibility. Even a basic effort is enough to start earning more traffic.
As you strive to improve your SEO content strategy, follow these steps to stay on track and get the most out of your efforts.
Step One: Plan Your Content
All great SEO and content marketing needs to be grounded in a thought-out strategy. This starts by identifying some topics that your audience is likely to be interested in. Try starting with some of the commonly asked sales questions. For example, if you sell camping supplies, a common question may be: “Which tent is good for beginners?” Some good topics for this may be “The top 5 tents for first-time campers,” or “10 essentials for every camping trip.”
Other topics may just be ideas that you have that may be interesting to your audience. You can also get topic ideas through keyword research (more on that below). Overall, your goal should be to think of topics and headlines that your audience is likely to care about.
It can help to determine a few different audience groups based on the sales funnel. People who have never heard of your brand will only be interested in general topics. Those who are close to buying may want content about your products specifically.
Step Two: Research Keywords
Keywords play a big role in SEO content. They are the words and phrases that your audience is entering into the search engine. Learning how to research them effectively will boost your SEO effectiveness significantly.
There are many tools that you can use for search keywords. You may want to start with free options such as Google Keyword Planner. However, it is often worthwhile investing in a premium solution to help you find and plan more keywords.
Sometimes researching keywords will help you to identify topics. Nearly all keyword tools provide at least some insight into how often people are searching for specific terms. Many have features for finding related keywords, especially long-tail search phrases (long keywords based on a root keyword). This can provide a lot of insight into the topics that people are interested in.
It is important to note that Google and other search engines are optimized for human-oriented search. So, while keywords are important and need to be incorporated into your content, they aren’t some sort of magic solution. Pick keywords that make sense for the actual people in your audience. The more you keep the human element in mind, the better off you will be.
Step Three: Write Something Worth Reading
Once you know what you are going to write about and how people are going to find it, it is time to start working on the content itself. The most important criterion for successful SEO content is that it should be worth reading for the intended audience. If you can learn to deliver on that sole requirement consistently, you will be in excellent shape.
Of course, writing worthwhile content isn’t always easy. Naturally, a good topic can help a lot. Additionally, you should create informative and useful content. So, avoid making your writing overly promotional or biased. If the reader doesn’t learn something that will help him or her, your piece is likely ineffective.
As always, keep the audience in mind. If you are selling toys for kids, your content will be very different than if you are selling industrial machinery. Content for the former case should be lighthearted and emotion-oriented; SEO content for the latter should be detailed, fact-based and persuasive.
Step Four: Create Calls To Action
When you have your audience’s attention, the important next step is converting that attention into action. Common actions you may want the audience to take including buying something, filling out a form, clicking through to the next page and calling your business. The actions should be appropriate for the sales funnel stage you are targeting. If you have a long sales cycle, don’t expect to convert many sales from a blog post targeted at the awareness stage. However, you may be able to earn lead contact information.
Your calls to action should be highly visible, motivating and action-oriented. Typically, the best CTAs instruct the reader to take action such as “Contact Our Sales Team.” Usually, they are stronger when they are specific. For example, “Contact…” is better than “Click Here…” However, the efficacy of CTAs can vary from audience to audience. So, it is helpful to A/B test them to get the wording just right.
Step Five: Publish
Next, you are ready to put your SEO content out on the web. If you are publishing a webpage, you may simply want to make it live and ensure it is linked in navigation. You may also want to create ads that link to your product pages and landing pages.
For blog posts, articles and similar content, you should promote them on other channels. Social media can be great for getting the word out about an interesting blog post. This is especially true because your followers may share the piece if it is valuable. Promoting your content will help you to earn links and other engagement that can improve SEO.
Step 6: Measure and Monitor
Measurement is one of the most important parts of any marketing strategy. When you can measure your success, you can home in your strategy. Search engine algorithms change all the time, and the providers don’t share the ranking criteria. So, you need to constantly monitor your SEO content to ensure that it is working the way you want it to.
Fortunately, this can be very easy. Basic website analytics programs are often enough to see pageviews, bounce rates and other relevant metrics. A little more work can help you delve even deeper with metrics on the sources of your traffic and more.
Then, keep publishing content and monitoring it. Try some A/B tests and similar strategies for content refinement. Before long, you will start to see real results that you can continue to fine-tune.
SEO Content FAQs
Now that you have a general idea of how to create and promote your content, here are a few specific questions that may benefit you. If you still have questions about SEO content, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, and we’ll reply right away.
How Long Does It Take For SEO Content To Rank on Google?
This is based on multiple factors. For brand new websites, it can take up to a year for search engines to accurately rank them. In that time frame, expect a few significant fluctuations in rankings.
For individual pages of blog posts, they can begin ranking within a few months. However, because new content is constantly being published, you may also see fluctuations that can make or break your rankings.
This is why it’s important to continually update and optimize your SEO content to keep it at the top.
Does Social Media Help My Website’s SEO Content?
Unfortunately, there is no direct link between search engine rankings and social media. However, posting on social media can increase your visibility and traffic. However, even if you get thousands of shares on your social media platforms, it has no impact on your search engine rankings.
How Long Should SEO Content Be?
Of course, this is dependent on what kind of SEO content you are using. If you are writing optimized product descriptions, you don’t want them very long. However, Hubspot suggests that blog posts should ideally be between 2,100-2,400 words.
If you do decide to write lengthy blog posts, make sure that they contain valuable information. Too much fluff can scare away readers and hurt your rankings.
Get Help Creating Strong SEO Content Today
Learning how to write SEO content can help you to increase your brand visibility. It is a crucial part of any marketing strategy.
However, it is often easier and more effective to hire a marketing team that specializes in creating content that ranks. BKA Content can help you achieve the digital marketing results you are seeking. Contact us today to learn more.