If you’re in trying to build an online business, you no doubt know that search engine optimisation, also known as SEO, is paramount to your success. Search traffic around the world is booming, and it’s one of the most reliable ways to get people to your site who are from your target audience and going to spend money.
Building a website with SEO in mind requires a multi-faceted approach that can be rather complicated at times. However, the actual content you are producing needs to be at the core of everything you do. In other words, without good content, everything else you’re doing will be less effective.
Fortunately, with a basic understanding of SEO, you can create content that is going to set you up for success. In a nutshell, here’s how you do it:
1. Focus on Keywords but Don’t Overdo It
When you dive into the SEO world, the first thing you will hear about are keywords. These are the terms that people are typing into search engines. Google (and other search engines…but let’s face it, Google is king), will look for mentions of this keyword in your content to determine its relevance and where it should rank in search results.
As a result, it’s important you include this keyword in the title of your content, the first and last paragraph, a few of the subheadings you use, and then throughout the rest of your content.
But this doesn’t mean you need to be putting your keyword in at every possible second. Overdoing it, a practice also known as keyword stuffing, can make your content unreadable to users, which will hurt the post’s performance, and Google will also penalize sites that appear to be favouring keyword numbers over content quality.
There’s no hard rule for how often you should mention a keyword, but between one and two percent seems to be a good number. So, if you have a 1,000-word article, shoot to include your target keyword between 10 and 20 times. But again, focus on writing naturally and including your keywords when it makes sense to do so.
It’s also important that each blog post you have be written around one target keyword. Targeting for more than one keyword will likely cause you to perform poorly for both, as Google prefers content that is focused around one topic.
2. Target Secondary Keywords
Having said that, a good SEO tip is to also write your content with secondary keywords in mind. These are terms that are related to your primary search term but that still gets some decent search volume. They might be variations of the same term or longer terms such as questions or definition requests.
To target for these, consider making subheadings about each one and including a few mentions of these keywords.
In a perfect world, when you do this, you will not only rank for your primary keyword but also for all these secondary ones, too, which will boost the amount of search traffic you can generate, leading to more users, more leads, and, most importantly, more conversions and sales.
But even if this doesn’t quite work out, writing around these secondary keywords can still be useful. It will help demonstrate to search engines the relevancy of your content, which can help it perform better with your target keyword.
3. Use Lots of Media
Google and other search engines favour content that is rich in media, specifically videos and photos. This makes sense, as blogs that include this stuff are usually more interesting and engaging. As a result, when you are planning out your blog post and deciding what to include, plan the images you’re going to use alongside them.
If possible, embed YouTube videos to help bring your content even more to life.
Of course, putting lots of images in your content does not guarantee you will rank, but it definitely helps you create something that is more well-rounded in terms of SEO and stands a much better chance of performing in a way that drives actual traffic.
4. Write for People
Lastly, when you’re writing with SEO in mind, it’s really easy to lose focus and start writing just for Google. This will not work. Yes, Google uses an algorithm to analyse your content and determine where it should rank, but it also takes into account things such as bounce rate and time on page, metrics used to determine how much people like the content you are producing.
As a result, it’s important to always remember that your final audience is made up of human beings. This means making sure to write in an interesting, clear, and engaging way, and to also break up text into smaller paragraphs and subheadings of no more than 300 words. It also means writing a short, grabbing introduction that lets your reader know they’ve come to the right place within seconds of landing on the page.
This will make your content easier to digest, which will boost some of the stats we mentioned earlier. It won’t guarantee better rankings, but it will put you on the path. And it will also just make your content better, which can never be a bad thing.
Let’s Start Writing
Now that you have an idea of what you need to be doing when you’re writing so that your content ranks well, it’s time to put pen to paper. Or…fingers to keyboard. However, know that almost nothing in the SEO world is set in stone. Things are constantly changing, and what worked one week might not work the next.
So, be ready for a long period of trial and error and be ready to change your strategy as soon as it becomes clear something isn’t working. Do this and create good content and you’re well on your way to leveraging SEO into better website performance and success with your online business.