You need to stop treating SEO and content as separate processes, which is not the way to approach content in 2019, and i’ll explain why below.
I keep hearing that a website with great content doesn’t need to be optimised. WRONG! Having great content definitely gives you a head start, but you will still need to optimise it for search, otherwise it will get lost in page 10, or more. This ‘whiteboard Friday’ video from MOZ on on-page SEO gives you some nice tips.
Many businesses define a really strong content strategy, but completely disregard optimising it for search, then are disappointed when their website doesn’t rank as well as they would like.
SEO and content should work in harmony. I believe that you should write for your readers first and foremost (since we’re selling to humans, not robots) but, while creating content always consider the terms people might be searching in order to find it. I’m not saying to do this at the expense of the users experience, and of course your content has to make sense. Instead of taking the more common approach of SEO vs content, and leaving the on-page SEO best practices until your content is live, we recommend increasing efficiency by creating content and optimising it for search simultaneously.
Why is content so important for SEO?
The term “content is king” is a phrase that will always hold true, and Google follow this too which is why content marketing has become a full-time job for many. When defining your content, you have to create unique original content that inspires, engages and sparks conversation. Google is all about usability; providing its searchers with the best possible experience by delivering relevant content based on the user’s search query, fast. Having unique, relevant content that is well optimised will significantly aid in drawing the traffic naturally.
What content types are best for SEO?
- Blogs: The most popular form of content and are a great way to engage visitors. Remember to be “original”, use your own research and focus on the quality. WordPress is a great tool for blogging.
- Reviews: Writing reviews on products relevant to your industry is a great way to give opinions and insight.
- Case Studies: When you do something well, tell the world about it. Readers love hearing about success stories, and you never know, that success story might just win you more business.
- Videos: Have shown to have 3 times the engagement of standard text-based content, and is a great alternative for some of the content types in this list (product reviews, tutorials, case studies). Be sure to include a transcript to enable the search robots to soak up the content too.
- How to’s: Providing information on how to do something is fantastic for helping those looking to learn, and it shows you as an expert in your field. Often people turn to Google to ask questions , and if you are answering those questions, then you are on to a winner.
- Round ups: Round up of recent relevant news in your industry is a useful tool for readers. Here is a tip: linking to credible external domains will also contribute to your ranking factors.
- Podcasts: Podcasts are growing in popularity. With the rise of streaming services, people are listening to more podcasts (including myself). These are great for engagement, especially for those who like to listen on the go. Similar to video, make sure to include a transcript.
Will writing SEO content get me to page one on Google?
The short answer is no. Writing effective SEO content is a great start, and will do a lot towards your search engine success. That said, your website will be penalised if it isn’t pulling its weight in other areas, or there are other complex issue that exist, such as: speed, architecture, broken links, mobile content (responsiveness) etc. SEO is one small piece of a much larger puzzle and it is important to highlight that if you don’t have your other on-page search engine methods in order, having the best optimised content for search is unlikely to have much impact.
Remember to create SEO content
So, there you have it. Remember to keep in mind both your human readers (primarily) and the robots that crawl the website. The best way to do that is to think about SEO during content creation. Don’t create content, create “SEO content”. If you are unsure on how to create a strong SEO content strategy or if you have already defined your content and missed out optimising it… I can help! There are also a growing number of ‘SEO Content Creators’ and ‘SEO Copywriters’ who are very good at achieving just this and would be another great resource to approach.