When it comes to content creation, it is important to keep two audiences in mind: your actual target audience and search engines. Back in the early 2010s, when SEO was relatively new and Google’s search engine algorithms were not nearly as advanced as they are today, it was easy to rank with content with techniques that are now considered as “black hat SEO“. Fast forward to 2021, where Google’s search engine algorithm has become so advanced that it can almost read and understand website content as well as a human! Fortunately for us “white hat SEO” marketers, this makes the process of generating content for target audiences and search engines much easier. Let’s jump into the most effective methods on how to make content SEO friendly.
Top 6 SEO Content Writing Tips
Creating content that is SEO friendly isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does take time and dedication to see the results from your work. If you are willing to devote the time towards producing blogs on a consistent basis, then follow these tips in order to max out the full SEO potential of your content.
Perform Market & Keyword Research
An important step in the content generation process, if not the most important step, is to perform extensive market and keyword research to see what your competition is doing and what keywords are the most beneficial to target. I like to use Ahrefs to do competitor analysis and keyword research, as I have found that their data seems to be the most accurate among the different SEO toolsets available out there.
When first performing market research, identify at least 3 companies/websites that offer similar services or products to yours. Once you have narrowed your competition down to 3, review these X KPIs from each competitor to get a full understanding of where you stand and where you need to improve.
- Strength & Number Of Referring Domains
- Keywords Relevant To Your Service/Product Offerings
- Top Anchors
- Domain Authority
- Social Media Presence
After you have reviewed your competition, now it is time to perform keyword research on services/products that are either the most profitable or the most valuable to rank for. For this example, let’s say I am a roofing company looking to increase my online visibility for “roofing”.
Figure 1.1 shows data for the keyword “roofing contractor”, which is an incredibly hard keyword to rank on the front page for with a keyword difficulty of 66. As appealing as it may be to target this keyword specifically as roughly 7,400 people search for this on a monthly basis, Ahrefs estimates that you would need at least 167 domains link to your target page in order to get in the top 10 in SERPs, which would take a lot of work and a lot of time.
Instead, let’s try and see if we can target “long tail keywords“, which are longer and more specific keywords that are related to the primary keyword you are trying to target. There are many benefits to acquiring long tail keywords as they are often formed as questions which help when searchers are using voice search, are generally easier to obtain and can help you rank for the primary keyword faster when ranking for multiple long tail keywords that are related similarly to the primary keyword.
Figure 1.2 shows keywords that are related to “roofing contractor”, which can be a gold mine for discovering valuable long tail keywords to target. Immediately I spot what I think would be a valuable long tail keyword to go after, which is “how to find a roofing contractor”. The reason I believe this to be a valuable long tail keyword is because it is a question that a user would search for when looking to acquire roofing services, which would increase the probability of that user becoming a qualified lead if they landed on my blog.
When clicking on “how to find a roofing contractor” I find that this is a valuable long tail keyword, as the keyword difficulty is only 12 and has a monthly search volume of 40 (as shown in figure 1.3). It is important to remember that even though 40 is a low monthly search volume, those 40 searchers are highly likely to be qualified leads ready to purchase.
Include Keyword Variations & Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Once you have identified they keywords you want to target, it is time to start creating content! It’s important to include your target keyword throughout your blog/service page/etc, but it is even more important to use the target keyword sparingly, as Google identifies content with the too many of the same keywords as keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is a big no-no and could lead to your website being blacklisted, essentially eliminating your website from front page contention forever.
Instead of using the same target keyword over and over again, try to use variations of the keyword so you can still send signals to Google about the context of the content, while avoiding the potential of keyword stuffing. For our example, keyword variations for “roofing contractor” could be “roofer”, “roofing company”, etc.
Use Proper Header Tags
Think of header tags as chapters in a book, chapters break up content into sections based on the information discussed within each chapter. The use of proper header tags can be beneficial many reasons such as providing context to the reader as to what each section is about and making it easier for search engines to crawl, navigate and understand the content. H1 tags should only be used once, as they are considered as titles, describing the main topic of the content. H2 tags can be used multiple times, as they describe the primary topic of each section. H3 through H6 tags should be used under H2 tags as they act as sub-headings, describing section parts within the H2 section.
Figure 3.1 shows the proper use of header tags throughout a piece of content. The title of the blog “SEO for Insurance Agents: A 2020 Update” is tagged with an H1 tag. The section titled “5 Ways Insurance Agents Can Improve Their SEO” has been tagged with an H2 tag, as it introduces a main section of the blog. Finally, the sub-heading “1. Consistent & Informative Content Generation” has been tagged with an H3 tag, describing the content section within the main section.
Add Images With Keyword-Centric Alt Text
Unfortunately, a few bad eggs took advantage of Google using image alt text as a ranking signal back in the day, but it still holds some value for SEO and more importantly provides users that are visually impaired with a description of what the image is when using screen readers. When adding alt text to images, make sure that it makes sense for visually impaired users, rather than using it as a way to add your target keyword.
Images themselves however, can help with certain KPIs such as average time on page, bounce rate and exit percentage. Images are a great way to keep users engaged while reading your content, giving them something else to look at rather than staring at a huge wall of text. In my experience, the blogs which perform the best often have images spaced out enough that there is a least one viewable image on the screen at all times.
Perform Strategic Interlinking With Descriptive Anchor Text
By performing strategic interlinking, you are able to “share” SEO value from another page or post, provide users and search engines more context to the content by linking to a page which goes into greater detail about the topic and make it easier for crawlers to navigate your website. Not only does interlinking provide users the ability to learn more about a specific topic or subject, but a descriptive anchor text can give both users and crawlers an idea of what the link contains.
Descriptive and keyword-centric anchor text, if used correctly, can provide your blog immense SEO value and can increase the amount of time a user stays on your website.
Consistently Produce Engaging & Informative Content
One of the biggest keys to running a successful SEO campaign is the ability to produce engaging and informative content on a consistent basis. Websites that consistently produce content are viewed as an active knowledge contributors, giving Google more reasons to crawl those websites more frequently. It also provides websites the ability to rank for more keywords, expand their online visibility and establish themselves as an industry leader. Unfortunately not all businesses have the time to consistently produce content, which is why ordering custom content from a reputable content generation company is a viable alternative.
Reach Out To The SEO Content Writing Professionals
Here at Rank With Content, our SEO specialists have years of experience generating SEO friendly content. If you would like more information on how to make content SEO friendly or would like custom content created for your website, give us a call at 571.200.8863 or order custom content or prewritten content online today!