SEO content is any piece of writing created to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs) for Google and other search engines. When writing SEO content, you’ll put a lot of thought into research, readability, and visual design to ensure that you’re producing content that appeals to the metrics that search engines use to decide where pages rank.
SEO content should draw readers to your website and keep them there, maximizing their “dwell time,” or time spent on your website before returning to the SERPs to look for other information. To meet this goal, develop a strong and consistent voice for your website, and organize every piece of SEO content to be straightforward and readable.
If you find yourself using vocabulary that might be unfamiliar to your readers, pause to define it. Avoid long, convoluted sentences. By breaking down complex concepts in ways that are clear and understandable, you’ll be providing a service to your readers, as well as improving your search engine ranking.
Identify Your Audience
Any time you’re considering a marketing strategy, it’s important to stop and identify your goals first. What audience are you hoping to capture with your SEO content? What actions do you want them to take?
If your goal for SEO content is to convert website visits into product sales, your content might have a stronger focus on those products. For instance, you might write blog posts highlighting creative uses of your product, or profiles of satisfied customers and how your products helped them.
Or maybe you host ads on your website and are hoping to boost ad sales. In that case, your goal is to bring customers to your website and keep them there. Your content in that case might include more deep dives into topics that relate to your brand, which searchers can use as a resource and share with others.
Once you know what goals you’re hoping to achieve, spend some time thinking in depth about your ideal audience. Learn what online spaces they frequent, and hang out in those spaces to get a sense of the topics that interest them. If you can tailor new content to current events of interest to your audience, you’ll get more clicks and shares.
You should also be checking in regularly with your desired readers on social media. Not only will this help guide your overall content strategies, but it can give you terrific new ideas for blog posts and other content.
Types of SEO Content
Blog posts are perhaps the best-known example of SEO content, and they’re a classic for a reason! Blog posts allow you to produce fresh content on a regular basis, thereby increasing the likelihood that a given post will be shared on social media or in other forums.
Moreover, a blog post offers the space for an in-depth look at a given topic, at a time when searchers are excited about long-form writing. (Recent studies show that blog posts of 2,000 words or more have been consistently outperforming shorter posts.)
But there’s much more to SEO content than just blog posts. If your business includes product sales, every individual product page should be designed with SEO strategies in mind. Think about the voice you’ve created for your brand, and use that voice consistently across your product pages.
Lists can be a reliable way to engage your audience, whether they are written lists or contain visual elements, like a slideshow. As with any SEO content, it’s important to keep your audience in mind when you’re putting together a list post. Rather than reproducing stale, shallow content, put some time into brainstorming before you begin writing to ensure that you’re sharing valuable information.
How-to guides and video tutorials can provide valuable content that users will return to again and again. Google noted a 140% increase in searches for “how-to” topics between 2004 and 2017. When you’re building a how-to post, it’s great to start with some background on the topic, then share a clear step-by-step guide. It’s important for any SEO content to be well-organized and clearly structured, but never more so than when you’re creating a how-to guide.
No matter what kind of SEO content you produce, be sure that it supplies Google’s prime directive of “E-A-T”: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Cite your sources by linking to reliable, well-established websites, and dig deep into each topic to find new insights to share with your clients.
Measure Success for SEO Content
Writing and publishing SEO content is just the beginning! Consistency is important, so create a content schedule and stick to it. Be sure that you’re sharing any new piece of content on social media, not once but several times—remember that your audience members aren’t always using the same platforms at the same time of day and might miss something when you first share it.
Your SEO content strategy should be informed by the results you’re getting, so it’s vital to keep a close eye on metrics for your content. What types of content tends to garner the most page views, comments, conversion rates, or shares on social media platforms? Invest time into creating more of that type of content. You can also revitalize old content by revising it to reflect your changing content strategies.
If you notice that posts on a specific topic are garnering more engagement than the rest of your content, be sure to build on that success. Do more research into the topic to discover additional topics within that broad heading, then write new posts on those subsidiary topics. This helps position you as an expert in that specific subject area, which in turn builds brand awareness and creates a more stable customer base.