One major challenge that every website or blog owner must overcome is how to create content that will appeal to their target audience, and yet is optimized for search engines like Google and Bing.
This is a huge challenge indeed especially for those new in the website game. It can also get really technical along the way.
But the secret is to take it step by step and truly understand the importance of SEO and content creation.
What is all the fuss about Content?
These days, a blog or website will not thrive without quality content especially because the number of competing sites is increasing as the world’s access to the internet is increasing.
No matter what product or service you’re offering, your online business will not grow without compelling content.
And what does compelling means?
This refers to content that appeals to end users like potential clients, target customers, and readers. Your content must be able to achieve the following:
● Solve a problem for your end user.
● Make your end user care for you, your product and service enough to become regular customers.
However, the truth is being able to create relevant and highly valuable content is not enough.
All that effort will go to waste if nobody will see your compelling posts and articles!
This is where SEO comes in.
Content is the heart of any website while SEO is the soul – the driving force.
But make no mistake about it, content does not play second fiddle to SEO.
They should be a highly compatible married couple working towards similar goals. No partner is superior to the other, but each one has a slightly different role, function, and purpose.
Truly Understanding the Purpose of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization is often talked about in many resources for growing online businesses. Yet, there are still many business owners who still see it a vague concept, and therefore misunderstanding its purpose and relevance.
SEO is a method of optimizing your content so that it becomes more visible to your target audience using search engines like Google and Bing.
When a person types in a search query into a search engine, the search engine will determine which website content can truly satisfy such query.
With millions of websites out there, search engines like Google have to rely on highly complex algorithms to sort and rank websites and blogs depending on the level of their content value.
What conclusions can you draw from this explanation of SEO?
● Even if you think your content is of great value, it does not necessarily mean Google would gladly show it to your target audience.
● Your main objective is to make search engine notice your content and show them to the relevant audience.
No one really knows exactly how Google algorithms work, but over the years, SEO experts have offered proven strategies on how to optimize website content.
Search engine optimization strategies include:
● Increasing site speed – pages that are slower to load discourages visitors to stay.
● Page linking
● Getting rid of error backlinks
● Optimizing mobile interface
This article will mainly focus on SEO and content creation.
So now let’s answer the question:
How do you make SEO and content work together to get that desirable traffic and engagement?
As mentioned, there are many solutions offered out there, but this article will mention the most important steps or fundamentals that any online entrepreneurs can easily digest.
1. Research for keywords and integrate them well into your content.
Experts claim that first step for SEO is to research keywords. There are many recommended online tools that help anyone find keywords. Some are paid and some are free like Google Keyword Finder tool in Google Adwords.
But first things first:
What are keywords? Why do you need to research them?
To understand the function of keywords is to put yourself in the shoes of your end users or target readers. Most of them use search engines solve a problem, satisfy a need or fulfill a desire.
The product or service may be what they just need, but they don’t know you or your business. They may not know any company for that matter, so they rely on Google search engine to find it out for them.
They then type related words or phrases in the search box that will help search engines find the exact information they are looking for. These string of words or phrases are called keywords.
Your job as an online entrepreneur is to smartly determine the keywords that will lead them to your content. After determining the right keywords, you need to create content that uses keywords?
But a word of warning: Do not compromise content quality for keywords!
Keywords are like signposts – guides that will allow you to write content that is highly useful to your end user.
In the past, SEO -focused writers just stuff their content with keywords but provide no real value. Such method will not anymore fly with Google. Their current versions of search algorithms like Panda and Penguin are so much more sophisticated that they can now detect if your content is just a big pile of meaningless words.
2. Create content that will build authority and enhance user experience.
Content can be in the form of posts, articles, photos, videos, infographic. Regardless of the content form you create, you need to make sure that it solves a problem, enhances user experience and provide great value.
It is your content that will build your fanbase. It is through your content that the audience will decide whether it is worth their time to subscribe to your site or listen to what you have to say.
Aside from providing value, your content (especially if you run an online business) must ultimately make end user take action, whether it is to:
● Buy a product or service
● Subscribes to your newsletter list
● Become a member
3. Focus on Creating Attention-Grabbing Headlines.
Many content creators and copywriters still take this step for granted, but headlines can either encourage or discourage an end user from consuming your content.
Many studies have shown that as accessible online content and information are increasing, people’s attention span is decreasing.
The key is to keep them interested and make them click your link. That is why headlines are so important. There is an art (and science) to creating attention-grabbing headlines. Here are some proven tips:
● Headlines that tell readers ‘how to’ do things or solve problems often get more attention.
● Headlines that list things in numbers are very clickable.
● Headlines that have a ‘shock’ factor grabs more attention.
Word of warning: Stay away from click baits as you will just cause resentment to your end-users who felt they have been deceived. One way to avoid clickbait headlines is to create content that can perfectly match the impact you created with your headline.
In other words, deliver what you promise! If you say you have a solution to enduring body odor then prove it.
4. Keep your content always updated.
Major search engines like Google and Bing have reputations that they need to uphold especially if they want to stay at the top of their game. They like giving audience not only the most reputable content but also the freshest! Consistency is the key. Make sure to publish new content every week.
If you have old posts, you don’t need to delete them altogether. You can edit them, add more information and make them relevant to the current times. This simple act will keep you on Google’s good side.
5. Make your posts longer.
Articles or posts are still considered the best form of content. If you’re writing a post, the recommended SEO-friendly word count is at least 1000 words.
But take note, it’s not really about the length; it’s actually all about the details. A more detailed article gets more attention because there is nothing that Google hates than lousy and shallow content.
Your focus must be to provide as much details in your articles. If you keep this in mind, your post will naturally have more word count.
6. Include targeted keyword or phrase in your introduction.
Your introduction, like your headline, must be stellar! It should hold your readers’ attention and interest enough to make them read until the end, where most online entrepreneurs make their pitch.
To help Google further understand what your content is all about, insert at least one of your targeted keywords or phrases. Do not insert keywords for the sake of it, even though it looks awkward and grammatically incorrect.
7. Make use of meta description
Meta descriptions are the snippets located below the post titles that are shown on the search engine page results. They give potential readers a sneak peek of what your content will discuss.
Meta descriptions should only have 150 – 160 characters, so choose your words carefully. The best meta descriptions can either:
● Start with a question
● Briefly describe what the post is all about in a straightforward manner.
If you’re using Wordpress, you can install SEO plugins that can make it easier to enter meta descriptions and keywords for Google to look at. The most popular and highly recommend Wordpress SEO plugins are Yoast and All in One SEO Pack.
Creating with fresh and optimized content that provides true value to end-users is a prized skill. Like every other essential skills, you will need to have patience, discipline, and consistency to master it.
Fortunately, if you’re convinced that SEO copywriting is not something you will be good at, then it’s very much possible to just hire a freelancer or firm to do the job. You can view this hiring as part of investing into your online business.
Nevertheless, having a deep understanding of how to craft content and integrate SEO principles is very much beneficial for any online entrepreneur. At the very least, you can determine if your hired SEO specialist or firm is worthy of your time and investment.
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