SEO and content go together like peanut butter and bananas
Or maybe fish and chips if you like. In the land of content marketing it’s not advisable to write without SEO in the background. On the other hand it’s not a smart move to focus on SEO at the expense of quality copywriting that’s useful to readers. That’s why SEO and content belong together. So, here’s what to consider when writing or commissioning a blog.
Essentially content marketing relies on SEO and vice versa
Google picks up the keywords with its algorithm but it also rewards good quality content too. The days of endless SEO keywords stuffed into pages, is over thank goodness. However, that doesn’t mean great quality content will be rewarded immediately. SEO and content are symbiotically linked these days.
So what is the definition of good quality content?
Actually it’s not what you may think.
Your content might well be long enough, have the correct number of transition words etc. but is it something people actually want to know or read?
We all want search to pull up quality results
Google can ascertain this using AI. Their algorithm, Rank Brain spends its days shuffling through search engine results. The aim is not to pick the next Charles Dickens but to see what is the most relevant content that should appear in answer to a search query. Google employs RankBrain because it wants search to be relevant so people will keep using Google. It’s nothing personal but you can begin to see why SEO and content are so important.
SEO and content plus people equals happiness
What’s exciting and scary simultaneously is that Rankbrain is learning from us all the time. What it has discovered is that AI can delve into the intent people have when they search for something. That means the search results will now reflect what the person is looking while bearing in mind that context.
Not only this but it takes bounce rates and the time spent on page into consideration too. So when you type in a super long search phrase Rankbrain perks up its little ears and delivers far more quickly than mere mortals can.
SEO and content means your content writers need to understand SEO principles
Recently I commissioned a piece from a very good writer. Yes, it was a well-written interesting article but did it actually fulfil any specific purpose? Was it successful from an SEO perspective? Not really. In the end I was forced to spend time reframing the article to suit SEO considerations. Yes, you can pick up content very cheaply but does it actually pass the Rankbrain criteria? Probably not. Think twice before you say that an SEO experienced content writer is too expensive. Your cheap article may cost you many lost sales and a spell in Google obscurity. If that’s the case you might as well put your money down the drain. SEO and content have to underpin one another.
Google does reward content that offers real value for searchers, otherwise what is the point?
Of course your content needs to be valuable. Yes, it requires personality and a lively colloquial or conversational tone but as much as you might enjoy a bit of fun but if you need information and answers that’s key. Google does reward content that offers real value for searchers, otherwise what is the point? There are so many articles on almost every topic you have to add something unique.
If you are wondering how SEO and content affects someone sitting down to write a blog here are your top tips
SEO and Content Top Tips from the Experts
- Do some searches of your preferred keyword(s) and see what surfaces. Ask yourself if you can add to the debate.
- Check what is missing from these searches and write about that
- Develop a personality and be prepared to do masses of research. Your aim is to answer a question or educate your reader.
- Consider when someone might be searching for an article like yours. What do they need to know by the end of it?
- Think about the length of the article. If it is 1000 words + ensure you break up the article into headers, sub headers, bullet points etc. Hone your double readership techniques so people can read and scan easily. They’ll want to check BEFORE the start reading whether it will be worth their time investment.
- Ensure your content is optimised to retain relevance. Yoast is a very useful tool if you are using a WordPress site.
- Pay attention to every little detail regarding SEO and content, alt tags etc.. Focus will pay off in the long term.
- Concentrate on your page titles and ensure they have your main keywords in them and are engaging enough to make people click for more information.
- When you are preparing your content think about your primary and secondary keyword phrases. This will give you an opportunity to cover ‘semantic search’ ie all the things that sound like your original keyword phrase so you cover all bases and all types of search.
- Don’t try to stick keywords into your content for the sake. Write as you would speak.
- Keep your urls short and to the point. Don’t jam them up with capitals, weird characters or underscores.
- Images are so important in so many ways. Yes they make your content pretty but there are also a lot of images searches going on so make sure the alt tags are correct and don’t say something like “screenshot 18th June” They will help you show up and get indexed for long tail searches if you do this correctly.
- Something many people forget to do is interlink your content. So, for example why not add Google Maps to your location or the website where your office building is located. This is very cool for local search purposes. You can even go as far as linking to your local chamber of commerce. Why do that? Well imagine you were trying to rank for digital marketing agency, Cornwall these links will show that Cornwall is your focus and not London or Glasgow. People want reassurance
- A page’s Meta description isn’t used directly in algorithms employed by search engine ranking. But, because it appears in the search results, this plays a massive role in whether users will click the link or not. Therefore as Google and other search engines continues to focus on engagement signals (think SERP click through rate), meta descriptions will continue to be central to the visibility and potential engagement of an article. It is your two second advertisement for your article. It says “look at me I’m everything you’ve ever needed to know about pancakes! (or whatever)”
- Finally your social media efforts and impact on others will also remain important. Google are working on a ranking algorithm where social shares will be taken into account. Surely they are a great indicator as to whether an article does its job. So make it as easy as possible for people to share what you’ve created. You can try the following best social media plugins for starters.
Writing blogs is not a five minute job. Use experts to help you get the most from your content marketing.
You may need a native English speaker (if you are writing in English obviously)
You will need a writer who understands the relationship between SEO and content
You really need a writer that understands the reader needs value and quality
You will often need a writer who knows Yoast like the back of their hand
You certainly need to invest wisely in your content marketing efforts.
Take a look at our services page and see just what we might do for your business when it comes to SEO and content, web development and web maintenance.