In 2011, Google made it clear that content made up a large part of their ranking algorithm. In 2012, Google penalized anyone who didn’t follow suit. Plus, in 2014, there were over 500 algorithm changes. This is why it is extremely important to write SEO-friendly content. What is SEO-friendly content, you ask? It is penning content with the goal of attracting more visitors to your site by putting them front and center.
In the past, people tried to stuff content with keywords. Well, Google is getting smarter by evaluating various components of pieces of content. Essentially, your content needs to be written for and consumed by human beings. You want to provide valuable and relevant information to your audience. In addition, you should write in an engaging style that beckons your audience to spend time reading your content, share your articles and bookmark your site. So, how can you write SEO-friendly content? Read on to learn more.
Determine a Topic and Choose a Good Title
This is not about clickbait. You want to decide on keywords to rank for by determining what questions your audience might type into Google. Look up the top search results. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The first question you should ask is what do you want to write about? Take some time to think this through. They say you write best when you focus on what you know. On the other hand, we learn through research.
So, think of a topic that would appeal to both you and your readers. The next step is to figure out how your hand-picked topic relates to corresponding keywords. Before you know it, you have a set of keywords. That wasn’t too difficult, was it? Now, play with those keywords. Put a little effort into mixing and matching until you come up with at least three different headlines. What do you want in a headline? It should be:
- Communicate urgency
- Cause intrigue
You also want to consider “social” headlines. Through social media, you have more opportunities to go viral. The easiest way to get a lot of traffic through social media is by writing social headlines. People turn to social media for unique and entertaining content. They want to read something that makes them say “A HA!”
Think of titles that make you click. What types of phrases have piqued your interest the most in the past? Now that you’ve got several titles, you’ll have to pick the one that works the best for your keyword. Plus, you don’t have to throw the others away. You can save them for your blog or another similar topic.
Express a Unique Point of View
We’ve all searched through Wikipedia, but that is to glean information on our topic of interest at the moment. You can aggregate a list of information–but how do you make it stand out? Even if it is an informative piece, you want it to be engaging. In order to make it SEO-friendly, you must have an unapologetic point of view. No, you don’t have to become the most controversial person on the web just to get followers. Yet, you need an angle.
You must be upfront with your values, personality and beliefs. The reason is because this is how people connect with you. In our digital world, readers want to find writers that resonate with their belief systems. So, decide your point of view before writing. If your readers can relate to you, they are more likely to share your work.
Keywords Aren’t Dead
Although the last thing you want to do is stuff your content with keywords, you do want to ensure you use keywords that make your piece relevant for as many searches around a topic as possible. It is critical to use keywords that directly correspond to the content. Then, when someone lands on your page, are they satisfied with the information you’ve presented?
Pay Attention to the Intro
When someone lands on your site, they will only give it a few seconds of their time before asking “Should I stay or should I go, now?” Why even have an intro? Well, you need to grab enough of their attention to coax them into staying and reading the rest of your stuff. Remember, you are the subject matter expert in your industry. Don’t let the other industry insiders make you feel like you know nothing about your business.
Use your intro to say something that resonates with your digital buddies. You should start with offering the benefits of reading your article, then perhaps a downside to not reading your piece. Of course, you also want to sweeten it up by making yourself and your story relatable. You can do this by taking a stand on a subject. Convey your point of view immediately. Your readers will soon want to know more about you and what you have to share.
Make it Meaty
If you are a carnivore, you can appreciate a succulent, marbled and thick piece of high-quality meat. Doesn’t your mouth water just thinking of it? Well, why not offer your readers something fatty and beefy? Some of you may recall the popular 1980’s commercial with Grandma yelling, “Where’s the beef?!”
You should synergize your content in order to satisfy your readers. Don’t act like a parrot–share what you know. Remember, Google targets low-quality content. Get to the point, and be concise. Offer clear thoughts and a clear message. Google likes an intro, body and conclusion. Although small tidbits to use include:
- Shorter paragraphs
- Short sentences
At the same time, you should write naturally. Never write for the search engines. That is just so 2004. After everything, please write with quality in mind.
Long gone are the days when your content was used merely for window dressing and clicks. With so much content already published, you have to put more effort into producing quality pieces. Moreover, they need to be on topics that your audience prefers. So, what are you waiting for? Start writing!