We are always going on about how important content is for the SEO of your website, as well as to get your customers or readers interested in what you have to say or sell! While it is all well and good saying that content is really important, how exactly DO you write the perfect website content? Here is our quick guide to making your content the absolute best it can be for SEO purposes.
How Content Used to Work
It is almost hard to believe that many tactics which are now considered seriously old fashioned are only 10-20 years old…there are loads of things that SEO agencies used to be able to do, quite effectively, before search engines made everything a lot more difficult.
Back in the early 2000s, keyword stuffing was a popular technique which actually used to work really well. Nowadays, although keywords are still highly important, content is much more about solving questions and finding answers for customers. You used to be able to create a whole load of pages which targeted similar keywords, with exact match keywords a popular tool back in the day. Now, we still use exact match keywords, but instead we tend to match broader themes, groups and concepts.
Old fashioned methods of SEO were much more about writing for the search engines rather than for customers, often with websites having one set of content for search engines and another set for customers to see. This is a dangerous technique now, which is more than likely to end you with a penalty from Google. These days, we are very much about enhancing the user experience at the same time as answering their questions – search engines love content which helps users to find information.
The steps to success
1. Keyword research: Nowadays we do not have to create a million pages which target related keywords, however we can create one or two pages which include all the keywords about a particular subject. It is a really good idea to think about the long tail keywords – these could be questions that customers are likely to ask when looking for your product. A good way to find some of these is to look at the “people also ask” box at the bottom of the search results page!
2. Consider the intent of the user: Within your topic, it is likely that your customer or user will have one of three major search intents. Informational (people simply looking for information), Investigational (looking for more specific information, probably comparing different products or services) and Transactional (looking to buy, sign up or do whatever you want them to do). You need to make sure your content allows your reader or customer to do whatever you want them to do on your page – are you wanting to provide information, allow people to compare different items or easily buy/sign up to your service?
3. Be AI ready! Google and other search engines are getting more clever every day, with fancy ways to search including the voice search (using things like OK Google, or the Amazon Echo devices for example). People using these new ways to search often search via a long sentence or question, with Google now using more signals to determine what users are searching for. It is important that the content on your website makes things easier for search engines to rank – try to build your site with a hierarchy of related topics, subtopics and clusters. If your site easily flows through the topics seamlessly, you will be satisfying the user’s intent from different perspectives.
4. Employ TF-IDF: here at SEO Moves, we make use of a clever formula to discover the additional keywords your page could be missing, or needs more/less of. To put it more simply, the TF-IDF checks how often a particular keyword is used on a page, compared to how often search engines expect it to be found, based on a larger set of documents/web pages. If you increase the prominence of important keywords, and decrease the prominence of unimportant keywords, search engines will see your content as “better” than before. If you want to see more about this, Google have been using the TF-IDF formula for several years.
5. Design your content for skim reading: it is a fact that people are becoming more lazy online! We very rarely have time to stop and read reams of text. Try to organise your content in a clear structure, with blocks of text intermingled with images, tables, lists, bullet points etc. Shorter sentences are easier to read than long, drawn out sentences.
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