Creating SEO-friendly content is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your website. Optimizing content for the search engines gives your content the best chance of ranking well in the search engine result pages (SERPs). SEO-optimized content should also be user-friendly. This makes your website engaging and informative which offers real value to readers.
In this article, you will learn what SEO-friendly content is and how to write content that ranks well in the search engine results.
What is SEO-friendly content?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. As the name suggests, content is written in such a way that it is easy for search engines to index and know what the article is about.
However, writing content that is good for SEO means more than just stuffing keywords into sentences. If you want to write good articles that rank well, you also need to write for real readers who come to your site for information.
This means striking a balance between your content being user-friendly and optimized for search engines.
Easy ways to write SEO-friendly content
What are the basic rules of writing content that your audience loves and that performs well in search results?
1. Keyword research
Keywords are the foundation of any content that is optimized for search engines and captures user intent. The best types of keywords to use are long-tailed keywords as these help users and search engine to find specific content.
There are a number of ways to do basic keyword research for your blogs or articles.
You could start by typing a phrase into a Google search page to see what autocomplete suggestions you get. Or, you could do a specific search and see what the related searches at the bottom of the page are.
Another way is to see which pages rank well for a similar topic you want to write about and use some of the long-tail keywords they have.
Google Keyword Planner lets you search for keyword ideas in multiple ways.
2. Write catchy titles
Catchy titles are good for SEO if they contain your main keyword and are written in such a way to capture your audience’s attention.
To write titles that will boost your click-through rate, make sure they offer some kind of value. This is why lists and “how to” articles always rank well. You also need to keep the title to 60 characters or less so that they see the whole title in the SERPs.
3. Utilize headers properly
When it comes to writing your article or blog post, give some thought to the structure of your content. The best way is to split your content using H2 and H3 headings. In each of these headings, you should use a form of your keyword that accurately describes the section. This not only helps optimize your content for SEO but also helps readers to scan the article to get the main points.
4. Optimize on-page content
Apart from optimizing your headers and sub-headers, there are a number of ways to optimize on-page content. Here are the main ones:
• Keyword density. Don’t repeat the same phrases over and over in your content. Use phrases that are similar or are synonyms. This not only makes your content more interesting to read but helps you optimize content for multiple keywords on a similar subject.
• Images. Make sure that all images are optimized for SEO by adding a long-tail keyword in the alt-tab.
• Meta description. Your meta description should be keyword-rich and briefly explain what the article is about.
• URLs. It is also important to make sure that your main keyword is in the URL and is short and to the point. Most content management systems (CMS) automatically generate URLs, however, you should edit out unnecessary words to make them as short as possible
5. Optimize the length of your content
If you want to provide value for your audience and optimize your content for SEO, then you need to write long articles. Writing long articles of 1,500 words or more means that you can thoroughly cover a subject and use a variety of long-tail keywords. Google also gives more priority to longer articles as these usually provide the best answers for users.
However, writing regular blogs of 500 words or more is also a good way to keep content fresh on your site.
Tools to help you write SEO-friendly content
In order to write content, there are a number of excellent tools you can use. Here are a few of the most useful ones.
- Hemmingway Editor. Using the Hemmingway editor (http://www.hemingwayapp.com/) will help you write content that is highly readable and will be easy to read.
- Yoast. Copy and paste your content into Yoast’s online content analyzer (https://yoast.com/research/real-time-content-analysis/) to see if you have all your headings and content optimized for SEO.
- Keyword density checker. This is a great tool (http://www.smallseotools.com/keyword-density-checker) to make sure your content isn’t over optimized. You should aim for a keyword density of between 1 and 2%.