A Simple Guide for Creating SEO-Friendly Content
Why the Old SEO Isn’t Working Any Longer!
A few years ago, all you needed to succeed online was a business website. When things became competitive, you simply added a few appropriate keywords. If you lost rankings, you just added more. And that’s just not working any longer! Creating SEO-friendly content is a must, but few businesses understand how and why to do it. Let me explain.
High-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search.Search Engine Watch
Adapting to the New SEO
Search engine optimization has changed a lot over the past few years. Instead of merely publishing text with the right keywords, small business marketers now have to create SEO-friendly content specifically tailored to show up in search results.
57% of marketing executives say on-page content development was the most effective SEO tactic.Content Marketing Institute
If you seek increased audience engagement, better search ranking, and social content sharing, you need an effective strategy for creating SEO-friendly content. Sounds complicated? No worries, this is much easier than you think. To help you get started, I created a simple guide for you to follow.
Easy Steps for Creating SEO-Friendly Content
Write Engaging Copy
It’s 2021, and if you are simply creating content for the sake of creating it, you are missing the point. Your website visitors don’t want just to read your content; they want to engage with it! That means sharing your content, commenting on your content, and otherwise extending its reach.
Most content marketing leaders focus more on engagement and conversion than traffic.99Firms
Google, Bing, and other search engines are placing more importance on the overall topical user experience. Therefore engaging content that gets shared will earn your higher rankings than just having content on your site. Let’s face it, folks, nobody is going to engage with your website if you put them to sleep, are they?
Keep It Consistent
Google requires fresh and unique content for your website to rank near the top. So you better create and post new content. But you have to be smart about it! A consistent flow of informative yet easy to consume and share content is the only way to get more views and engagement.
The average Google first page result contains 1,447 words.BackLinko
It is also essential to post and share content when your audience is online. Social media tools like Buffer, Commun.it, Agorapulse, and AddThis provide crucial insights into the times your target audience is most active. Be sure to share content during those times consistently.
Unless you are selling diapers, your audience wasn’t born yesterday, or even the day before! According to a lot of online content, my life will be so much better if I just use a particular product or service. Not to mention how I need or should improve certain parts of my anatomy. Look, folks, not even my cat believes this kind of crap!
Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique.HubSpot
So stop trying to fool your online audience; it isn’t going to work any longer! You are much better off reinforcing your brand and story by embracing honest and transparent dialogue with your online visitors. I know and understand that you want and need attention. But entertaining content that is open, honest, and focused on your brand will earn you much more street cred than simply being sensational.
If you are a pet store and you write a blog post about an upcoming event at the Humane Society, that makes sense. If you are a pet store and write about stock car racing, you will lose your audience. Your branded content must connect the dots between the products and services you provide and your target audience’s lifestyle and expectations.
No, I am not talking about your business website! I am talking about your content. SEO-friendly content has to be mobile-friendly as well. Businesses that don’t optimize their content for mobile consumption are missing out.
Up to 70% of web traffic comes from a mobile device in 2021.TechJury
You need to create content in short, bite-sized chunks that are easy to consume on mobile devices. Break up your long-form content to make it easier to consume. Maybe it will work better in a different format, such as a white paper or case study. And be sure your images are optimized for mobile consumption as well.
Pay attention here, folks. Being cohesive is essential. Having mobile-friendly content doesn’t mean posting and sharing different content on different channels. If you tell more than one story, you will only confuse your audience. A better approach is to tell one story and make your content platform-neutral. Here is a great new term for your local pub trivia night.
Think of platform-neutral content like this: You are watching a movie. There is a disclaimer that “This movie has been adapted from the original to fit your screen.” How nice of them to provide you with such a great experience, isn’t it? It works the same way for SEO-friendly content. Create content once and then adapt it to your audience’s content consumption preferences.
Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)
You spend all this time creating SEO-friendly content only to leave your readers hanging at the end. That’s not very nice, is it? Your readers expect there to be some sort of action to take or benefits for them. So by all means, give it to them! Any piece of content on your website should have at least one CTA.
CTAs encourage engagement by providing links to more related content, such as additional service pages, blog posts, case studies, and white papers. They also entice your online visitors to sign up for your email newsletter and check out your social profiles. In turn, that boosts click-through rates, which is a key ranking signal.
Optimize for Semantic Search
OK, this part sounds a bit scary, but it isn’t! Semantic search simply means to explain things the same way you would talk to a customer or client. Instead of just spewing out keywords (I mentioned this is not working any longer, remember?), you need to provide search engines with more detailed information.
Use the same approach you would use to answer a common question. How much information do you have to provide, and in what order, to explicitly answer the question? Step-by-step instructions are another great example.
Optimize for Voice Search
The most significant difference between voice search and traditional search is the wording. For example, when people type a search query, they may write something like, “best sushi Sendai.” However, when they use voice search, it will likely be more conversational. Therefore, the search term will be longer and look more like this, “What are the best sushi restaurants in Sendai?” Your content needs to reflect this by using long-tail keywords.
Use Schema Markup
Microdata markup is a crucial aspect of creating SEO-friendly content and almost always overlooked. Schema markup provides search engines with more information regarding the who, what, when, where, and why of your web content. Yet less than 3% of all websites have implemented schema markup, or are using it correctly.
Get On Google My Business
If you are a local brick-and-mortar business, you really should get a Google My Business listing. Yes, I know that many of you are not entirely familiar or even comfortable with that platform. The name alone should tell you why that is important. Here is another: more than 50% of all mobile searches are looking for a local business!
50% of consumers who performed a local search on their mobile phone visited a store within a day.Hubspot
People spend a lot of time looking for businesses that are in a specific area. Maybe they want to come on their lunch break or on the way from picking up the kids. Regardless of their intentions, registering a business on Google My Business will help you show up in Google Maps and standard search results. Can you say win-win?
Creating Your SEO-Friendly Content
I did my best to keep this guide to SEO-friendly content creation as simple as possible so that you can easily follow it yourself. If you still feel apprehensive, imagine telling a friend or associate about your small business, fabulous restaurant, or must-have product. What would you say? What words best describe what you want to say?
The primary purpose of creating SEO-friendly content is to start a conversation with your target audience. By doing so, you will build engagement, trust, and eventually convert visitors into consumers. So here is a little (or big) tip for you: create a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page. It is a great way to start a conversation. Be sure to include some fun background bits about your business.
If you already have a well-developed content marketing strategy applying these tips for creating SEO-friendly content should not take too much effort. Perhaps you only have to learn a bit more about your audience, create an editorial calendar, or add a few different content formats.
Maybe you are new to content creation or SEO or don’t have the time or skills to do it yourself. In that case, you should consider engaging professional help. The only thing you have to lose is more online visitors! Ouch!
Are You Writing SEO-Friendly Content?
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