There has been a misconception in the air about search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. While some argue SEO and content marketing are the same, others, somehow, deny it saying they don’t fit together. However, there is a thin line between SEO and content marketing that has to be understood. The relationship between SEO and content marketing is that great content is the basis for SEO success. Content and SEO go hand-in-hand and most SEO experts agree with the fact that content is an important part of SEO strategy. If you observe carefully, the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors begins with the content “elements,” with the very first element being about content quality.
Before we dive deep into SEO-friendly content, and how it can drive traffic to your website, let’s talk about what SEO is, and why SEO is all about content marketing?
SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content for search engines so that it shows up higher in search engine results pages (SERP) for specific search terms than content from other sites. When you type a search query into a search engine and hit enter, we all know what happens – You get a list of search results in pages that are relevant to your search term which is a result of SEO.
SEO and content complement each other and there is no SEO without content. To increase your website’s SEO power, publishing quality content is the thumb rule as it improves your website’s authority and relevance. Simply put, SEO content is any content that is created to increase search engine rankings further driving traffic to your website.
There is no “secret recipe” as such for writing SEO-friendly content. However, it is very important to create SEO-friendly content that can keep both users and search engines happy. There are a few prominent things that one should know for writing content that ranks well in search and at the same time is useful for readers.
Create original content
Your content has to be original, unique, and authentic enough to stand out. There’s no point in creating content if it’s not original and you should write something that someone has not done before. At times, you may find it difficult to come up with new content ideas and often come up with an idea from a different source. It’s still okay if you offer your unique perspective that will add value to that particular topic. Your text should not be copied from some other website or online source. In order to check for the originality of your site’s content, use a plagiarism checker to check for the authenticity. Above all, duplicate content won’t help you rank higher in SERPs.
Optimize the title
The first thing that will get noticed or that users will come across while carrying out a search is the headline. Choose a post title that satisfies the criteria such as the keywords people use to search are related to the topic of your page. Try to make your title more social and attractive to users capturing the attention of the right audience. Also, try to get into the shoes of a user and judge whether your title would encourage you to click and visit that page. Lastly, your title length should be less than 65 characters. It is a good idea to include your focus keyword in the headline, however, avoid redundancy and also make sure that your URL is relevant to the title.
Use headings properly
The most essential yet often overlooked aspect of SEO is the headings. They help search engines to get a quick overview of your content. Follow a clear structure with headings and paragraphs that facilitate reading both from a user perspective and also from a search perspective. Header tags that range from H1 to H6 should be used to create an outline and add structure to an article or blog post. Use headings wisely, do not use multiple H1 tags on each page and also don’t use the same text in the header of every page.
Focus on keywords
If you want to write keyword-rich content, start your keyword research before you actually write your content. Keyword research is perhaps the most important SEO factor. Using a keyword thoughtfully and organically in your content can offer an overview of the topic you’re focusing on. Using a keyword phrase in your title will make your article more likely to be viewed by your target audience.
Optimize the length of your posts
Always aim for the readability of the content. Though Google tends to prefer longer articles, it’s not necessary to churn out a lengthy post each time you update your blog. The audience needs to understand your content and breaking up your lengthy posts into manageable chunks for your readers can help you deliver content relevant to the target segment. Also, check for simplicity of language, the lack of grammatical or syntactical errors, and the sentence structure.
If you want to improve your search engine rankings, you need quality links and they are one of the most important ingredients of a healthy SEO strategy. Internal linking by creating a logical sequence from one post to the other may lead to a series of posts that offer additional value. This further makes it easier for search engines to understand your key topics. External links that you use to support your content can add worth to your content if you use a link of reputable sources that have bigger credibility.
Optimize images for SEO
The optimization of your images is yet another important step that provides an additional opportunity to show up in search results. Though it might not take much of your time, it is useful to optimize images for all the blogs or articles. Make sure your image’s file name has a keyword. It is recommended that you always keep the file name relevant and don’t forget to add alt text or a title (caption) for your image. It often makes sense to add a caption to your images and think like a user when naming your images. Focus on quality images and be careful with the file sizes, as they affect the page speed.
Think like a user
Every piece of content you prepare should focus on the user. Keep these questions in your mind before you write any content – what does a user expect from you, how does a user search for something on the web, how can you enhance the user’s experience? Users, while searching on the web, tend to enter more words to get specific results. Instead of focusing on a single competitive keyword, create more substantial, natural and helpful content for the end-users.
If you want to write SEO-friendly content and achieve consistently good results, you need to understand the close relationship between SEO and content marketing. Factors like content uniqueness, post title, on-page content optimization, link building, and internal linking structure can deliver content that is understood by search engines and appreciated by your audience. Ultimately, this will give you a strong online presence that benefits your business for years to come.
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