Your Guide to SEO Optimized Content
Not all types of online content are created equal. Saying that they are is a bit like saying that all TV shows fall into the same genre. If that were true, then we hope you enjoy watching Daniel Tiger later, followed by Breaking Bad and topped off with your favorite episode of Bachelor In Paradise.
The truth is that there are hundreds of different types of content you can create for your online platforms such as ebooks, blog posts, infographics and case studies. Each of these types of content can be written a certain way to impact an audience. The way you target and write your content completely changes the way readers receive it.
While each type of writing is beneficial in its own way, it’s important to understand when to use which. For some audiences, creative writing will get you the type of traffic you’re looking for. For others, you may want to write highly technical or academic content for educated readers.
However, if you are a company striving to attract visitors organically, then you are looking for one of the best “genres” of content you can get: SEO optimized content. This is the kind of writing that is easy to read, engaging and focused on a specific topic or niche. The truth is that the majority of online content can be categorized as “SEO content writing.” Nevertheless, there are key things that differentiate good content from great.
In this post, we will explore what, exactly, that means and how to write the kind of content that, if it were a TV show, would get highly ranked on IMDB.
What Is SEO Optimized Content?
To better understand what we mean by SEO content, we find it helpful to break the term apart into its two distinct concepts:
What Is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization,” which is the process of optimizing content so that users can easily find it via relevant search terms. Google and other search engines use complex algorithms to determine what articles will best answer a user’s question or search query.
For example, if you searched “best tv shows ever created”, Google would give you a list of articles that are relevant to your query, such as IMDB lists, critic reviews and top TV show lists. You won’t get articles about car parts or cupcakes unless a tv show about either is considered to be one of the “best tv shows ever created”. This is completely possible, as The Great British Baking Show is a personal favorite (here’s to you, Mary Berry!).
But how does Google find the best articles for this query? This is where SEO optimized content comes in. There are certain factors that search engines look for, such as quality writing, keywords and “easy-to-crawl” formatting. If other people are sharing a blog post that seems relevant or including a link in their own posts, Google takes this into account.
Ultimately, users get search results that are pretty accurate- this is why they don’t usually scroll past the first page. Your goal as a business or influencer is to get on the first page for search queries relevant to your niche.
What Is Content?
“Content” refers to any information that lives on the web for the purposes of being consumed online. There are many different kinds of content, but generally, businesses use content to inform, persuade and engage readers.
One of the most popular ways to produce content for your business is to create an active blog. This is where you can share informational content such as FAQs, How-to guides and Top 10 lists. Additionally, you can answer common questions about topics in your niches, which generates traffic and establishes your brand as an authority.
SEO content on your website is a great way to generate traffic, which leads to bigger brand authority and potential for leads. Most SEO optimized content is informational, but you can also optimize landing pages and product pages.
When you put SEO and content together, you get web-based content that is created to increase visibility in the search engines and attract more organic traffic. The best way to do this is to use SEO techniques in your writing. Optimize your content in a way that enhances the readability, quality and appearance of your content.
Why Do Brands Invest in SEO Optimized Content?
So why do businesses try so hard to get their content ranked on the first page of search engines? Getting ranked on Google is a key part of content marketing. In the past few years, online shopping has increasingly grown more and more popular. Customers no longer have to rely on nearby stores for the items they need: Now they have access to the entire world.
This is beneficial to both customers and businesses. However, this global access has created a very competitive market. Companies must find unique ways to reach their target markets. One of the best ways to get to them is through content marketing. If you can bring customer awareness to your business, you have a much larger reach and potential to convert leads.
There are numerous reasons to make content marketing your top priority. One of the biggest reasons is to connect with your audience and build trust with existing and prospective customers. Publishing quality content on a consistent basis enables you to interact with your audience in ways that are impossible through traditional advertising methods.
Additionally, SEO optimized content helps generate qualified leads and improve conversions, which are goals that marketers of yore would never have dreamed about.
What the Stats Say About SEO Optimized Content
Before we take a deep dive into the top SEO content writing benefits, we’re going to first address the hard facts of the matter:
- 53% of U.S. consumers say they research a product using a search engine before they make the decision to buy or walk away.
- 49% of marketers say that organic search traffic (which is traffic generated through SEO efforts) has the highest ROI when compared to all other lead generation efforts.
- Sites that land in the #1 spot on Google for a query receive 32% of all clicks.
- Google’s Search Quality Senior Analyst says that content is the second-most important ranking factor.
- As of 2020, Google saw 81,000 searches per second, 4.9 million searches per minute and 292 million searches per hour.
What these numbers tell us is that using Google search is a lifestyle that many people follow, and SEO is an integral component of this lifestyle. Given this information, it’s easy to see why the overwhelming majority (93%) of B2B marketers make SEO content marketing a top priority each year, and why you should, too.
How To Write SEO Optimized Content
A lot goes into creating content that ranks — so much so, that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of guides available on the web designed to teach you how to write SEO content. In addition to our guides, you can find one here, and here and here. However, to enjoy SEO content writing benefits, you should, at the very least, make a habit of doing the following with each piece you intend to publish:
1. Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research serves several important purposes. For one, it helps you better understand how your audience searches for your particular products or services (i.e., What language and terms members use). This is a great way to target your content in a way that will be picked up by search engines but is still valuable to your audience.
Two, it helps you identify your audience’s pain points, needs and interests. SEO optimized content is only useful if you write relevant, engaging content targeted at the right readers. If you can determine what people want to know, you can better reach them. Additionally, if you know why they need a product or service like the ones you offer, you can give them the answers they are looking for.
Three, it reveals the level of competition you face for certain terms. Some keywords are highly competitive, and they may be hard to rank for. If you’re just starting out with SEO optimized content, aim for the keywords that are easier to win. Once you start ranking for them, you can begin targeting more difficult keywords.
And finally, keyword research can help you know how to market to your audience in the future. As you begin to understand what they are searching for, why they are searching and what companies are competing with you, you can create a strategic plan that can be more effective and successful in the future.
2. Identify User Intent
Identifying user intent is just as important as identifying appropriate keywords to target because if your content does not align with searchers’ intent, it won’t perform well. User intent is the reason behind a user’s search query. Users type in specific keywords to find something they are looking for. Of course, they may also simply be looking for general information about a topic. Knowing what exactly your readers expect from an article can help you target them more directly.
For example, some people may be looking for a specific product or website. In that case, ranking for that keyword may not be beneficial to you if a customer is looking for a specific brand. Of course, if you can find a way to convince readers with this intent to come to your website, this may be a great strategy.
The best way to identify user intent is to assess the top-ranking results for the terms you intend to target. Before targeting a keyword, type it in the search bar and see what shows up. What types of content perform best (blogs, landing pages, category descriptions, etc.)? How are the top results formatted (listicle, long-form blog post, infographic, how-to’s or news articles)? Finally, why are people searching for information related to a particular query?
If it seems that the content showing up matches the user intent you are looking for, you can feel confident in creating SEO optimized content for that keyword.
3. Optimize Your Content for Search
Now that you have done keyword research and have found a few keywords with potential, it’s time to optimize your content for SEO. You can target a few keywords in each piece of content, although we recommend you make one keyword your focus. Sprinkle these keywords throughout the content.
We have gotten best results through inserting keywords every 100-200 words. Depending on the length of your article or blog post, you may have the main keyword in the content 10-20 times. Ideally, you will incorporate the main keyword into the title, first paragraph, meta description, title tag and where appropriate throughout the body. Use secondary keywords and variations in headers and throughout the body as well.
Along with incorporating keywords into your content, make sure your topic is focused directly on those keywords and is high-quality. High-quality SEO optimized content includes the following factors:
- Good grammar
- Concise writing
- Brand Alignment
As you use SEO techniques and create quality writing, you can create the best SEO optimized content.
4. Focus on Content Structure
How you choose to organize your content doesn’t just affect aesthetics — it also affects readability, which ultimately affects SEO. Here are a few tips to help with formatting.
Use a Hierarchal Structure
By organizing your content in a logical way (think a clear headline with a strong lead-in and introductory paragraph, keyword-optimized headers, concise paragraphs, numbered lists and bullet points and a strong conclusion), you can make your content easily scannable for both human eyes and the search bots.
Use a hierarchal structure to help readers easily read through your content. This includes using H2s and H3 heading styles, which helps optimize your writing. Headings and bullet points can help you organize your content. This is especially useful when writing long-form content.
Use Images To Break Up Text
Another great way to help readers and improve your SEO optimized content is by adding images. Relevant images can enhance a reader’s understanding and guide them through the content and can be more appealing than content without pictures.
Additionally, you can add alt text to images, which helps Google find your article and gives you more reach online. If you’re not using images within your blog posts, you are behind the times.
Use White Space
Headings, bullet points and images all contribute to the overall white space of your article or blog post. Readers can get intimidated by large blocks of text. If you want to reach readers and persuade them to keep reading, make your content as appealing as possible. Break up paragraphs and keep your sentences concise.
5. Promote Your Content
Though strategic SEO content writing efforts will pay off eventually, you can speed up results by promoting your content in places your audience is most likely to see it. Share it on social media, send links via email and build links through networking and your own existing content.
Additionally, you can speed up the lead generation process with strategic writing. An easy way to help direct readers through the sales funnel is to include links to other parts of your website in the content you write. Don’t forget to include a gentle call to action at the end of each informational post.
You may also find it useful to go back every few months to update blog posts, fix mistakes and splice articles to better target a keyword. If your SEO optimized content is evergreen, your articles can continue to bring traffic each year.
Invest In SEO Optimized Content Today
To see the most out of your SEO optimized content, you will need to do much more than conduct keyword research, identify user intent, optimize your content and so on. For a more in-depth overview of what it takes to create a *perfect* piece of SEO content, check out the requirements of SEO content writing from one of our co-founders.
Additionally, you may find that it takes too much time and effort to create the kind of content that brings success. That is why high-quality copywriting agencies such as BKA Content are here to help. Our teams of writers can create SEO optimized content that engages readers and brings in new traffic.
To learn more about our services, click here. To add to our pool of SEO content knowledge, share your tips in the comments!