Creating SEO friendly content sometimes seems as though it’s easier said than done. Sure, it’s easy for the experts to step up and create this content without really even thinking about it – they know what they’re doing. It’s completely different for people who aren’t sure where to begin. That’s why we created this guide. Here is an eight-step process for creating SEO friendly content.
Let’s start with a quick definition of “SEO.” These initials stand for Search Engine Optimization. When you do a search for keywords on Google, the website is able to pull up plenty of results that match what you’re looking for. How does it do that? Well, the search engine has a bunch of coded “bots” that are sent out to crawl various websites. Those bots note the keywords that are used, as well as the other information provided, and bring that information back to the search engine. Then, when you do your search, the algorithm created by Google (or Yahoo, or another search engine) is able to find the perfect sites for you. On the other side of things, you can ensure that your website receives the search engine rankings that you desire by following a number of SEO friendly content guidelines. Here’s how to get started.
1) Understand Keywords And How To Use Them
There are two main types of keywords that can be picked from a Keyword Research Tool. Some are long-tail keywords, while others are shorter strings. The long-tail ones go in and out of popularity. Some experts say that they must be incorporated into SEO friendly content, while others disagree. They stem from people’s use of electronic search helpers like Siri and Cortana. They ask a specific question and expect to get the results that they need. Website owners have begun incorporating those long-tail keywords that tend to form a question into their content to draw in these users. The other type of keywords has been around for quite some time.
They consist of short strings that tend to be no more than three to four words in length. In order to update your website with SEO friendly content, you need to use one or both of these types of keywords. However, you never want to go overboard. Search engines frown on a practice called keyword stuffing. This occurs when you use keywords in just about every sentence. Standard practice calls for a keyword percentage of about 1%. This means that if your article is 500 words long, the keywords appear no more than five times. You can go up to around 3%, but need to be cautious about going over that amount.
2) Break Up Your Text With Subheadings
Subheadings are generally used to promote readability. People don’t like to see hundreds of words all globbed together on a page. Instead, they like it when the website owner has made it easier on them. Subheadings make it simple to skim through the content, pulling out what matters. It also makes the search engines happy. SEO friendly content is very easy to understand, and the search engines look for this. On top of that, you can work a few keywords in your subheadings, as that helps as well. Subheadings also help you – the content creator – as you can better organize your thoughts with them.
3) Create Useful Content
SEO friendly content is also useful. People like to learn things about a product or a service, or even about history – or any other topic for that matter. The more that you can teach them, the better. The entire purpose of creating a blog or a website is to prove your expertise in a subject. You can sell your goods and services at the exact same time. We’ve stated before that search engines reward people who are experts in their fields. If your content is useful, then this is exactly what you’re doing – proving how much you know.
4) Use Quality Pictures
Pictures are an important, yet often overlooked, part of creating SEO friendly content. Without good pictures (and we’re talking, large, clear images that match your content well), people won’t be so sure that your website is an authority on your subject matter. The search engine bots will notice if your pictures are duplicated exactly from another source, and they punish you for this. While you don’t need to go out and take your own pictures, you should at least use a quality stock photo site for them. As long as you are careful about which ones you choose, you’ll be in good shape.
5) Include Captions
Captions can help explain what is in each picture. They are also a good place to add in keywords and further prove your expertise. While more experts on SEO friendly content will state that captions don’t matter, we disagree. They do. They provide a nice finishing touch to each blog post and make it very obvious to the reader what they are looking at. Without good captions, your blog posts won’t shine. They’ll just look as though you stuck pictures onto the page without really thinking about it.
6) Make Sure That Your Articles Aren’t Too Long
Length matters. SEO friendly content doesn’t consist of entire novels shoved into one single blog post. Ideally, you should make your articles at least 500 to 800 words long. Any shorter than that and the search engines won’t pick up on them. They’ll mistake it for standard content, not a blog post. You can go longer than that, but try to keep it under 3,000 words. It all depends on what you’re trying to explain. Some longer articles just look padded with content, as the message could be expressed in a less lengthy manner. However, other subjects just seem to lend themselves to detailed articles. It all depends on the topic and what seems natural.
7) Include Links to Outside Sources
One of the most important things about SEO friendly content is the fact that it contains links to outside sources. And not just any outside sources at that – those that are also experts in your field. This shows that you did plenty of research and fully understand your topic. Ideally, you want people linking back to your content as well, so this serves as kind of a “feeler” to get information about your site out there. People will see that you linked to them, so they’ll check out your site as well.
8) Share Your Content
Your content needs to be shareable. While we understand that it belongs to you (after all, you created it) and you might feel a little attached to it, you do need to set up your content to be shared on social media. Most website and blog platforms make this easy, as they contain plugins that you can add to the code on your site. All that a reader has to do is click on the button and then share your content with the world. It will automatically go to their Facebook page, their Twitter account, or whichever other social media sites you allow. Of course, every one of these options includes a link back to your site, spreading the word about your creation. How does this help your SEO friendly content? Well, it all comes back to search engines themselves. They like to see that you have created engaging, shareable content. It makes you seem like more of an expert on the subject, and they will reward you appropriately.
Now that you know how to create SEO friendly content, you can get started. Remember to minimize the number of keywords that you use per article, as well as produce thoughtful content that proves your expertise on the subject. These two things, combined with the other tips here, can take your website to the top of the Google search results list.
Sameer Panjwani is the Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats, and research your competitors. A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services.
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