In digital marketing, everyone knows that SEO (search engine optimization) is the key to increasing the quality and volume of your website traffic. It’s what makes your content stand out in organic search engine results.
Clearly, SEO greatly helps content make it to the spotlight. But how does content help SEO? In marketing, digital or otherwise, content serves as a foundation for information, entertainment, utility, and education.
And without it, increasing brand awareness or generating quality traffic to your website can be rather difficult. Likewise, without SEO, even the most wholesome content can go unnoticed in the digital space. Internet users simply won’t find it in the results of their online searches.
SEO and content have a symbiotic relationship, they need each other to produce outstanding results. And when you proactively combine SEO and content, you get SEO content—digital content that is specifically designed to rank higher in search engines such as Google, YouTube, Amazon, and more.
So, let’s look at how you can increase the quality of your content to help SEO deliver the results you desire.
1. Know your readers and their pain points
Ideally, in digital marketing, content should help readers find solutions to their problems while also creating value for the author. When creating a piece of content with that purpose, it’s important to know who your readers are and identify the pain points they have.
In order to achieve that, read blog comments, check product reviews, and look at what people are searching for in relation to the solutions you offer to see what your readers struggle with the most. You can also have a look at your competition and see what their audience struggles with to produce content that would attract them to you.
2. Focus on being relevant
Your audience’s pain points can be complex and a single blog post is rarely enough to alleviate them. Narrow your scope and focus on what’s most relevant to your audience. Through your writing, you want to offer your readers some kind of immediate relief, and you can only achieve that if you focus your efforts on what matters the most to them at that time.
Otherwise, you risk producing pieces of content with low readability due to complexity or ambiguity. So, break down a broader topic into multiple subtopics that are easy to read and provide immediate relief. In no time, you will have a series on the same topic which increases your credibility, showing just how dedicated you are to helping your readers.
3. Confirm your reader’s interest in your topic
Once you decide on a topic, it’s a good idea to confirm whether or not your readers are truly interested in it. Use keyword research tools to check the search volume of keywords on your topic.
Define primary and secondary keywords to weave into your content and make sure you include the primary keyword within the first 100 words of your writing. Next, use social research tools to see how popular the topic is and Google Search to find similar posts addressing it.
4. Use what makes you different
Chances are, your post won’t be the first on the topic, so evaluate what the competition delivered and try to make your version better by identifying weaknesses in competing posts. Those weaknesses are your opportunities to shine and show your expertise.
Focus your efforts on going deeper into the topic than your competitors, use as much relevant data as you can find to support your narrative, and appeal to your audience’s emotions with words, colors, and visuals that provide a superior reading experience.
5. Clarify expectations within the title
Your headline has to be irresistible. It has to immediately capture attention and tempt the reader to click on it. So, make sure you use power words for amplified emotional impact, but don’t go overboard. More importantly, use high-volume keywords at the beginning of your headline to gain a competitive edge.
Make sure your headline states exactly what your blog post or page is about and what readers can expect from it. And ensure you deliver on those expectations, otherwise, your readers will lose interest and you will lose credibility points.
6. Use headings for structured storytelling
When consuming your content, readers expect a superior experience that delivers high-quality information backed up by research in an engaging way. And what’s more engaging than a well-told story?
Regardless of the topic, you can structure any content in a way that increases interest with each heading. Great headings make readers follow the story until its logical conclusion, offering them a sense of accomplishment and empowerment for exiting your page more informed than before.
So, craft headings that nurture the reader to the conclusion of your story and use keywords not only to optimize them but to also describe the part of the story they mark.
7. Insert internal links
The more you focus on subtopics pertaining to a broader topic, the more you can build links internally on your website. This practice enables you to keep readers hooked to your website and move from page to page in order to get the full story on the broader topic.
With internal link building, you’re not only boosting your SEO but you’re also enhancing the user experience, which is always a win-win situation.
8. Illustrate your story
Use graphics and images to make your story easier to read and remember. Visuals add value to any written content as they help illustrate a point, create an entertainment factor, and relieve the reader from reading extensive paragraphs.
More importantly, you can use images to boost your SEO by adding ALT tags that describe the image using an optimal number of keywords.
9. Tell your readers what’s next
Whenever you finish reading a story, you have a feeling of nostalgia and can’t help but wonder what would be next. Your readers feel the same. And you have the power to give them something to read or do next.
Include a call to action in the conclusion of your article or blog post that fits with your objectives. Whether you want your readers to go to another one of your blog posts, subscribe to your newsletter, or even purchase something, insert a link accompanied by a few power words that incentivize them to click on it.
10. Write a great meta description
If you could summarize the point of your content in one sentence, what would that sentence say? With a meta description, you only have 148 characters to make your point. So, do it including one or two keywords.
Meta descriptions are the first words under the title that people read on search engine results pages (SERP). It is meant to provide a brief summary of the content on your page and inform the reader whether or not they will find the solution they seek if they click on your page.
Considering the importance of meta descriptions, make sure you pay more attention to them next time you publish content.
11. Avoid these pitfalls
The 10 best practices presented above can help you take your SEO content to the next level. But as you work toward your goals, it’s important to also avoid some bad practices that might negatively impact all your hard work. So, here are three to steer clear of:
Don’t target the wrong keywords. Longtail keywords that stretch between three to five words and have higher search volume with low competition are much more effective.
Don’t copy-paste content. When you write on a topic everyone else has also written about, there’s no reason to do it unless you have something different to offer. So, fill in gaps with more information, do extensive research, and cover everything you can about that topic. Follow the example of content you would link in your own posts and produce that type of content yourself. Become the one that gets the most effective references.
Don’t publish before polishing your draft. Give yourself some time before publicly posting your draft to review and edit it accordingly. When you’re focused on crafting your content, you might miss a comma or a dash or may not be aware of how often you repeated certain words. Allow yourself to read your draft at a later time and catch any errors, rephrase sentences without filler words, add more keywords, and replace jargon with descriptive words.
SEO content is vital for increased visibility in search engine results. If you need help crafting quality content that boosts your SEO, feel free to check out our full SEO service or reach out to us for more information—we are always happy to help you build and execute a comprehensive SEO plan.
Otherwise, remember that quality content is not just a meta description and a title ranking high in SERP. It is content that truly delivers on its promises and provides readers with a superior experience that weaves in entertainment, education, and utility.