Quick Ways to Create Search Engine Optimised Content
Search engine optimisation commonly referred to as SEO, is a powerful way to help you get your product or service in front of the right people at the right time.
SEO can be a bottomless pit of tiny tweaks and tactics, used to slowly increase your search engine rankings. If you want to rank highly for major keywords, it WILL take a considerable amount of effort.
But small businesses and busy marketers who don't rely solely on SEO can still take steps to increase their chances of driving traffic from the big search engines if they take the right approach.
Most businesses already create content on their websites as a way to add value to their customers and position themselves as thought leaders. With a few pieces of valuable knowledge, this content can really drive a dramatic difference to your overall search engine performance.
Create Content Clusters
Too often we see businesses start creating content for content's sake. Although this approach may lead to some individual pieces of content proving interesting and popular with your audience, it is unlikely to benefit you from an SEO perspective.
Realistically, taking a 'scatter-gun' approach to content is also unlikely to help you position yourself as a leader in your given industry. Using content clusters is a good way to develop focus within your content, as well as encouraging good SEO practices.
Content clusters are made up of the key areas your business specialises in. For example, a specialist flooring company may focus on:
Each of these areas would have a dedicated section on your website. These dedicated pages would then hyperlink out to other related content published on the site. So, hardwood flooring may link out to blog posts such as:
How to pick a hardwood floor for your home
How to lay hardwood floor
Caring for your hardwood floor
This internal linking from one key 'pillar page' shows search engines that you are a specialist in that area, making them more likely to promote your website when someone searches for that specific term.
Researching keywords becomes significantly easier when you know which content pillars you will be focusing on. The keywords for your pillar pages are likely to focus on the specific subject of that page.
For your subpages picking your keywords can be a little more tricky. As these pages are more specialist, you will want to focus them on long-tail keywords. These keywords are much more specific than a typical keyword. They usually have much lower search volumes and as a result, are a lot less hotly contested.
For example, the keyword 'hardwood flooring' will be significantly more difficult to rank for than 'sustainably sourced oak flooring'.
You can find examples and ideas for longtail keywords by using tools like Google Keyword Planner, which gives you helping information on search volumes and competition. For more specific longtail ideas you can also use the Answer The Public tool, which effectively gives you a cluster of ideas based on your main keyword.
Finding the best keywords can be a little labour-intensive for the busy business leader. But once it is done, it is done and you will be reaping the benefits for months to come.
Keyword Density & Placement
When you have your keywords, you need to make sure you use them properly in your content.
In the past, search engine optimisers would stuff the keyword as many times as they possibly could into content to get it to rank highly. In fact, some would even have lines and lines of the keyword printed on a page in white font (so you can't see it). This is because ranking would be based on how many times you use a keyword on your page.
Google is now a lot smarter. Keyword stuffing is more likely to get you penalised for using dubious tactics that pushed up the rankings.
Although there are lots of numbers bounced around on what specific percentage of keywords you should use, nobody really knows the answer to this. A much better approach is to make sure that you use your keyword regularly, but only where it is natural to do so.
You should also include your keyword in your content title.
Create Quality, Link Worthy Content
Creating awesome content is all too often overlooked as a key part of search engine optimisation. Instead, optimisers spend their time working on the finer technicalities of content.
Quality is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, Google are always adjusting their algorithms to better serve its users. That means they are always seeking to serve them better content. Where once accepted techniques like keyword stuffing fall out of favour, Google will always find a way to promote great content.
When you create quality content, this will also encourage your readers to share it far and wide. Not only does this drive valuable traffic to your site, but links across the web also highlight the value of your content to search engines.
With this in mind, it can be beneficial to outsource your content writing needs to a professional. This can actually be more affordable than you think, with some professional and experienced writers starting at around £80 for 1000 words.
Create Evergreen Content
Although of-the-moment content can be great for generating interest and traffic to your website, search engines like Google are pretty good at identifying information that is outdated. This means that the effort you put to creating content can often be short-lived in these cases.
Instead, focusing on creating evergreen content can be a big benefit and have an accumulative effect on your search engine traffic. This also means crucial elements like backlinks can build up over time, increasing the chances of increased rankings.
Optimise Meta Descriptions & Images
A very quick win for those publishing blog content is optimising your meta descriptions and images.
Most CMS like WordPress, Wix and Squarespace make it super easy to create a dedicated meta description for your pages. When writing these ensure that you include your keywords and use up all the space you have. It is also worth thinking of your meta description as a mini-advert for your content. It should be compelling and intrigue someone who may read it in the Google search results to click through.
Using images is a crucial part of creating great content. But Google cannot see an image like you and I can, that is why they include 'alt tags'. These are tags that help Google understand what the image is. For example, you may include an alt tag like 'oak hardwood flooring' so that Google understands how it adds clout to your content.
Not using your alt tags is missing an opportunity to increase how positively Google sees your content.
Consistently Update Content
Updating your content is a great way to drastically increase your search engine rankings with very little effort.
Doing this shows search engines that you are consistently reviewing your content and providing the most relevant and up-to-date information. This, in turn, increases the chance that they will promote your content to their users.
Try reviewing old content and updating it to make it more relevant today. For example, we may update this article in 12 months time to include new tips on increasing SEO through content creation.
Ranking on search engines can include a lot of leg work. But that doesn't mean you cannot benefit from search engine traffic with just a few updates and tweaks to your current processes. Follow the tips we have outlined in this article to help your business get more from your content.