You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” a million times – but it pays to know what that means in different contexts. The content you’ll want to create for social media marketing might differ from the content you’ll create for SEO – though the two may have synergy.
Why is content so important for SEO? It’s important that we ask this question because understanding why we’re creating content can help us understand how to create content. That’s the approach we’re going to take in this article – we’ll explain why content boosts your SEO efforts, then expand on how to create content from there.
Why does content matter for SEO?
The goal of SEO is, quite broadly, to make your website rank well for specific keywords. That means we have to keep Google’s algorithm in mind whenever we change your website. Content needs to serve this goal – making the algorithm happy. Our content can do this in many ways, but the top four are:
- Including keywords and semantic terms that are related to the keywords you want to rank for
- Helping the algorithm understand what your website is about
- Encouraging search engine users to stay on your website for more extended periods of time
- Encouraging other websites to link to your pages
Almost all of the content you create should keep these goals in mind – there are exceptions (like login pages), but they’re few and far between. Now that we know what we’re making content for, we can analyze how we should craft content to meet our needs.
How to create SEO-friendly content
Do your keyword research
Our first goal is to match keywords and their related semantic terms in our content. To do this, we need to know what keywords we want to target – and that’s where keyword research comes in. There are a number of qualities you want the keywords you target to have, including:
- High search volumes
- Low competition
- Relevance to your industry
All of your SEO-oriented content should target specific keywords – that’s how you’ll start getting eyes on your website. These keywords will differ substantially from niche to niche. It can be helpful to research what kinds of content are ranking for certain keywords – write “listicles” for keywords where listicles rank highly, make videos for keywords where videos dominate the SERPs. Pretty straightforward.
Remember: “Keyword” means basically any search query. “Dog groomer” is a keyword. “How to wash your dog” is another – we’d refer to it as a longtail keyword (and not just because some dogs have long tails). Short and long keywords will both be relevant to your content strategy.
Once you know what keywords you’re targeting, you should include those keywords (and semantically-related terms) in your content. Avoid keyword stuffing, however – writing about a keyword does more than just including it as many times as possible.
Format your content for easy reading
Take a quick gander through this article again – but instead of paying attention to the nitty gritty of the content, look at how we’ve formatted it. Paragraphs are short and generally keep to one idea. Headings are used – H2s for topics that are broader in scope, and H3s as topics get more niche.
These headings aren’t just used to make reading easier for our human readers – they help robots parse our content, too. Notice that our headings all contain keywords relevant to the niche we’re writing about. We’re answering a question about SEO-friendly content. Our keywords answer questions relevant to the broader question, such as why content matters for SEO and how to format your content for easy reading.
Here’s the best part: Because these are questions that humans ask, we don’t need to “cater to the machine” as such. We’re providing useful information for you, our readers – and that just happens to be exactly what Google’s algorithm wants to see.
Write engaging content
Every piece of content on your website should be unique and uniquely useful. There are other articles you can find about creating SEO-friendly content – none of them approach the topic exactly as we have in this article.
Basically, you’ll want to do your research, find out what questions people truly want answers to, and put your own spin on answering the question to create something that gives people new insights. Unfortunately, there isn’t a great way of explaining how to do this – you’ll just have to practice or hire an SEO agency to do the work for you.
Here’s the great thing about engaging content: It keeps users on your website for longer (decreasing bounce rate and increasing your site’s perceived utility in addressing certain keywords), and it encourages people to link to you. We’re not going to delve into link-building here – it’s a little out of the scope of this article – but know that great content is what will get you links in the long run.
Go forth and create content!
Now that you know how to create content that will boost your SEO efforts, it’s time to get to work. Of course, you may not have the time to create all that content yourself. Worry not – our SEO agency in San Antonio is here to help.