SEO content is an integral part of any content marketing strategy. You cannot expect your website to rank high in the search engine results pages (SERP) without content. It is, therefore, essential that you structure and produce high-quality SEO content to gain search visibility.
In this guide, you will learn what SEO content is, how it is useful and much more.
What is SEO Content?
SEO content is when quality content focuses on drawing in organic traffic to a website. It optimises your site in such a way that the audience easily finds your page in the top 10 search results through search engines like Google.
Create high-quality SEO content, and you will see a boost in search traffic and also your website’s revenue. It is crucial because great content gets your website recognised by Google and other search engines, simultaneously ranking your site higher in SERP.
SEO Content is relevant to any page that targets a particular keyword phrase. It may be of different kinds such as blog posts, guides, local pages, articles, product pages, glossaries, and much more.
The 80/20 Content Rule
The 80/20 Content Rule has been a golden rule for social media advertising and marketing. The rule states that 80% of the content and social media posts should be relevant to your brand or company.
Additionally, it needs to target a particular keyword phrase. The content must also educate, entertain, and provide well-researched information to the audience.
20% of the content, on the other hand, should be created as link baits to promote your business, products, services, etc.
Therefore, 80/20 is an effective and great rule of thumb to make your audience understand and appreciate your services.
The SEO Content Process
One of the most critical factors in the process of SEO content is to create valuable keyword-targeted posts or content.
Let’s learn more about each step and strategy you will need to create quality SEO content with targeted keywords.
Find your Keywords
It is crucial to find keywords relevant to your content. Every SEO content tactic should start with keyword research. You need to keep an eye on what your readers and audience are searching for to generate organic traffic.
Keyword research is simply to create a broad list of effective and related keywords for your content. You need to carefully choose the keywords so that it delivers the result from the search in search engine you aim for.
You can follow these four steps below for keyword research:
- First and foremost, you need to plan the structure of your business and write it down.
- Secondly, create a list of the keywords that the readers will search for.
- Consider looking at search intent.
- Lastly, you need to create web pages for all your keywords.
Creating a keyword archive with a minimum of 100 keywords or even more is highly recommendable. In the end, targeting each and every keyword is impossible as some are too competitive, and not all are qualified.
With that said, let’s jump to the next step on how to qualify your keywords.
Qualify your Keywords
Creating SEO content is more effective when you validate your decisions with the data. This is the fastest way to help you get the results.
Qualifying your keywords means you need to verify if the keywords are worth targeting by understanding the user signals. Here are some of the methods used to qualify a keyword.
It is highly advisable that you keep a frequent look on Google Trends. Take advantage of it to check if your keywords are making progress and trending over a given time.
It is impossible to target only those specific keywords which are trending high. Also, you need to keep in mind that Google Trends is an additional tool for the process of qualifying your keywords.
One of the most popular techniques for keyword qualification is the search volume feature from Google Keyword Planner. It plays a vital yet simple role. However, many make a mistake of stopping the process here.
What people are doing wrong is they base their decisions on the amount of search volume a keyword or phrase gets.
You may be wondering – how is this a problem?
Well, it is a mistake because not all keywords get qualified only through search volume. There are other means you can get your keywords qualified.
Not all posts or topics are indeed worth sharing on social media. However, what you need to understand is that those topics are still excellent additional qualifiers.
BuzzSumo is one such tool you can use. Simply insert your keyword and find out whether it includes social engagement or signals. Go wider if need to, to get a better evaluation.
To simply put, user engagement is valuable. There is no doubt that search volume is a definite keyword qualifier. Then again, you could say that user engagement is more prevalent and common than search volume.
Go to an online platform where you know your possible audience could gather. It may be a Facebook group, Quora, or even Reddit.
Once you have done that, try and find out the topics that generate the most engagement, views, and comments. All these user signals will give you keyword qualification.
For instance, let’s say ‘backlink SEO’ is your targeted keyword, and it is already determined to have search volume. However, you want to qualify the specific keyword phrase more.
All you have to do is copy the targeted keyword and take advantage of the search function on sites like Reddit. You can even take the help of Google to evaluate user engagement on your topics.
Subsequently, the process of looking for user signals is quite helpful when there is no search volume present.
Backlinks are known to be one of the essential parts of SEO strategy. Therefore, it is crucial that you first verify the link worthiness of your targeted keyword.
By prioritising your keyword link value and worth, other websites may link their page to your SEO content.
How can you find out?
You can go to Ahrefs, and in the Keyword Explorer, insert your targeted keyword. Then, scroll down, and you can check the ‘Backlinks’ section.
One indication to know if a keyword is link-worthy is to check if your competitions have backlinks.
Sometimes, some keywords are not of much worth. In such cases, it is better to focus on the growth of the overall authority of your website. You can make this possible by developing link or share bait and some other tactics like guest posting.
Having said that, keywords that are not link-worthy are not competitive enough. It means there is no need of many backlinks for your website to rank.
This method will help you narrow down your list of keywords and prioritise the ones which will bring you more traffic. After this process, the next step is to analyse your competitors.
Evaluate the Competition
It is a fact that determining the quality of a keyword is important. But you also need to figure out if your website is able to rank for it. Hence, a competitor analysis is what you need to help you achieve it.
The first thing you need to do is select 10 potential keywords and then choose one to start your analysis.
You can execute a 10-second analysis since it helps you in prioritising your list of keywords the best way.
What you can do is download Moz toolbar or aHrefs, and enter your potential keyword in Google search. Next, let it do a quick results scan.
In view of that, how does the keyword make it through this first test? Here are some of the positive signs you need to look for are:
- First, you need to look for the domain authority (DA) or domain rating (DR) of the websites. It is a good indication if a page ranks with a domain rating or authority below 50.
- You can check YouTube videos or pages as they usually do not have quality content.
- Most web 2.0 subdomains have low authority and are quite easy to outdo.
- Some Quora threads or forum pages have rich content. However, the data and information are unorganised, so you can consider this as a good sign.
- Press release sites or any typical article websites such as Hubpages, eHow articles, Ezine articles, etc., are good signs.
- In most cases, you will get more click-through rate (CTR) on the search engine results page (SERP) if there are restricted SERP features.
- Know that your potential keyword has value if advertisers like Google AdWords are keen on investing money on it.
Now, let’s look at some bad signs:
- Ranking sites or pages with DA/DR more than 70+ indicates the high authority of the websites, which is a bad sign. It does not mean you cannot outdo these high authoritative websites. Just that it will not be an easy feat and will probably take more time.
- If Google is performing various SERP features, a site’s CTR will automatically decrease. While it is not hard to get your website through the SERP features, it will not be predictable, unlike the organic ways.
Regardless, if your prospective keyword does not pass the first test, do not remove it from your list. You can always target it later when your website gains high authority.
Through this process, you will be able to focus on your list of keywords. Once you have completed this stage, you can move to the next step.
Establish your Search Intent Strategy
The success of SEO is highly dependable on the search intent of the users. You can be at ease because establishing search intent is relatively easy. All you have to do is evaluate your targeted keyword’s rankings results.
Depending on the type of content a user searches for most, you need to create yours accordingly.
For example, if you get a majority of blog posts results, it is advisable you create one too. It is the same case if the majority results point to product pages, create a product page you can rank for.
Here is where search engines like Google come into play. It shows you what the users are searching for.
With that in mind, let’s look at the four types of search intent you need to know of.
- Informational: Users try to find information on certain topics or search for answers to specific questions.
- Commercial: Some users browse to purchase something in the future and are researching the products before buying them.
- Navigational: People input a word and search it on Google to find a specific page or website instead of typing the URL.
- Transactional: After the commercial intent researching, buyers search to purchase a product.
Surely, a content of more than 2000 words is a great idea to gain traffic. It is, however, not the only factor you need to consider. Nor does it mean the content needs to be in a blog post form.
Establishing and satisfying the search intent is what matters the most.
Now that we have covered that part let’s move to the next part of the process, i.e., developing your content strategy.
Develop your Content Strategy
The most crucial part of this stage is to develop a high-level content strategy.
To gain visibility and traffic, you need to beat your competitions. It is quite simple. Creating content that is unique and noticeably different than your competitors. Make sure it outshines the one that is currently ranking high.
While it is easy to say that it is simple, creating a page that is ‘different’ from others is critical. You will find that most pages and sites that rank high on Google stick to this practice.
To achieve the best result, we will help you learn how you can distinguish your content from your competitions. But, before you create your content, you need to learn about your competitors’ strengths and shortcomings.
It is recommendable that you create a Word document or Google Doc for your research.
Below are a few main elements you need to analyse.
As mentioned, one of the necessary actions you need to take is to satisfy the search intent. Having said that, content with a high word count is also beneficial.
Know your top competitors’ average word count. Double it, and that outcome will be your targeted word count.
For instance, let’s say your competitor’s page has a word count of 1000 words. Then, you need to focus on creating content of 2000+ words.
Most top-ranked pages use media such as videos, images, and audios, which help them rank well on SERPs. Check if your competitors are doing the same. If not, you should use this as an advantage to beat your competitions.
While creating an article is easy, it is quite challenging to develop other media forms. So, usually, most people are unwilling to take up the challenge and opt for the easiest way.
The readability score of your content must always be high. You need to make sure that your readers find it easy to understand your topic and digest it. It is easily achievable with short paragraphs, well-organised writing, multimedia, and headings.
Most readers will quickly jump from your page to another if they find your content boring and challenging to understand. Therefore, this is another reason why readability is crucial.
Simplify your content so that your readers will instantly grasp what you are trying to say. Using complex words will only confuse your audience more.
Contents that are detailed yet easy to understand engages your audience and are what attract more traffic to your website.
User Experience Design
No matter how much money you invest on your website, it will not rank if it lacks user experience. Some sites make this grave mistake, and you can take advantage of this.
Websites that gain organic traffic and search visibility are mostly content as well as user-centric. Searchers that visit your site are most likely searching for answers to some problems. Hence, you need to make sure your content is precise and relevant to the topic.
It is a bonus if you can sell your customers something because you provided them with the information they required.
Surely, you must now understand how to analyse your competition, so the next stage is – how to differentiate your content.
This phase is an easy and simple one. Real-life experience results in quality content. Each person has a different and unique experience, so do you. Be yourself and express your expertise in your writing, videos, etc.
Below are some more methods to make your content unique.
- Make use of case studies or unique data from reliable resources.
- Your content should be relevant and engaging.
- Ensure using short paragraphs.
- Your headings should tell a story.
- There should be no distractions, such as ads, pop-ups, etc.
Create your Content
Prior to creating your content, you first need to plan the process of content production. Establishing the system at an early stage will help you scale swifter when adding new team members.
The positions needed to consider for building a successful content production are:
- First off, you will need a Project Manager who will oversee all the projects and ensure everyone is aware of everything going on.
- A Content Strategist, the brain behind structuring the content strategy.
- A copywriter who will write the content.
- Graphic designer to design your content’s custom and unique graphics.
- The Subject Matter Expert (SME) who will ensure the accuracy of the content.
At the early stage of starting your company, you may have to take the role of all the positions. Now, let’s take a look at the workflow keeping in mind the position.
Step 1: Create an overview of your content such as your targeted keyword, word count, data you will be using, etc.
Step 2: Send the overview to your writer.
Step 3: Allocate graphics for your content to your graphic designer.
Step 4: Have your SME verify the content and graphics.
Step 5: Finalise the corrections and revisions.
After you complete these steps, optimising your content comes next.
Optimise your Content
While optimising your page is a golden rule, it does not matter a thing if your content is trash. You need to focus on the quality of the content before optimising it.
Below are some important methods to optimise a page:
- Keyword placements: Your keyword needs to be in the title tag, URL, the first sentence, and written throughout the content a few times.
- Loading speed and mobile-friendly: You need to ensure that your page loads fast before your readers get frustrated and jump to your competitor’s page. Also, make sure your page is mobile-friendly.
- External Links: It is essential to add links to reliable sites and sources such as .gov, .org, .edu, etc. It makes the audience trust your content.
- Keyword variations: Make use of the suggested results provided by Google. It helps you get keyword variations that you can place in the headings and your content as well.
There is one other thing you need to keep in mind. Depending on your content type, the process of your content production will vary. For instance, you will not use the same procedure to create text-based content and an audio or video asset.
Once you have completed the stage of optimising your content, it is time to publish. But the story doesn’t end here, you need to start promoting your content and its assets using an appropriate link building strategy.
Your website should be updated regularly. It is important to publish new and quality content at the right time. It keeps your readers engaged and provides them with the information they need. However, if you do not promote your content it won’t make any difference.
You don’t want to lose the audience, as a result, of a decrease in organic traffic and low ranking in SERPs.
As we all know, Google’s algorithm plays a vital role in placing your website in search results. With that said, it bases its decision also on the content that you published on your website along with other SEO factors.
Now when we covered all the features of developing and writing the content for your content marketing. You can create top-quality SEO content and target the right keywords to get your website in top 10 search results on search engines such as Google.
Focus on great content done right. Use tools such as Surfer SEO to check your blog post on-page – keywords density, media, word count and more. Hence, it is a fundamental element of any content marketing strategy.