What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is the practice of increasing a website’s visibility and traffic from the organic listings on search engines like Google and Bing. It is commonly regarded as one of the most powerful marketing channels for its cost-effectiveness, as Top of Funnel customers tend to start their customer journey by doing a Google search for specific products or services.
To be ranked and seen on Google, websites not only need to have technical foundations in place (e.g. crawlability/indexability) but also high-quality content. Below are the 7 main steps to make SEO friendly content, both for main pages and how to write a SEO friendly blog article for your website, to increase your businesses organic visibility in search engines.
1. User First, Search Engine Second
Although this may not seem intuitive for how to optimise your content for SEO, content should always be written for the user first, and search engines second. This means, when it comes to optimising your content for SEO, the content needs to read well and fulfil the user’s search intent above all else.
In the old days, the search engine robot was extremely limited and rankings were primarily based on keyword density (or the number of times a keyword was mentioned on a page). As a result, search engine optimisers often added excessive keywords to get their website ranked, E.g. “Buy a Brisbane wedding cake from the wedding cake Brisbane shop”). This was known as “keyword stuffing”. Unsurprisingly, this would often result in a poor user experience and would eventually affect the quality of the search result.
Google has since deployed its latest content algorithm – BERT – which is much more sophisticated in understanding natural language spoken from a human being. This means that outdated practices like keyword stuffing are no longer necessary, and Google will instead prioritise original, relevant and high quality content that resonates with your target audience.
2. Keyword Research
With that being said, you still need to ensure that you’re targeting relevant keywords, which starts with conducting keyword research. This involves asking what key terms or phrases your customers would search to find your business’s website. For example, a customer might search for your Product/Service + Location e.g. “wedding cake brisbane”. Once you have some initial keywords, you can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or other Paid tools, such as SEMrush or Ubersuggest to find relevant secondary keywords.
Generally, you should go for keywords with high search volume, as these will generate substantial traffic. However, keep in mind that these keywords usually come with high competition. If you’re a smaller business, it will often be more beneficial for you to focus on more niche, long-tail keywords to reach your target market (i.e. phrases consisting of three or more words e.g. “luxury wedding cake in Brisbane”).
3. Content Type and Scope
After selecting your primary keywords, the next step is to determine the scope of your content. What is the purpose of it and what types of search intent are you trying to fulfil?
These are the common content types and scope based on the three key search intents:
|Search Intent||Content Type||Content Scope|
|Informational (I want to know)||Blogs||Comprehensive; Long-Form Content (1– 2,000 words)|
|Q&As||Concise & Direct|
|Navigational (I want to go)||Location page||Business Name, Address & Phone|
|Transactional (I want to buy)||Buying guide||Detailed content (>1,000 words)|
|Product page||Name, Description, Call To Action (200 – 500 words)|
4. Structure Page With Skimmable Content
Once you have a clear scope for your content, the next step is to plan and structure your page in a search engine and user friendly way. When reading a webpage or blog article, users are likely to skim content for the sections that are most relevant to them.
To make this easier for both users and search engines, make sure your content has clear sections with small paragraphs and relevant headings to signpost the content according to the user’s search intent. Avoid large blocks of texts and use elements like lists, images and diagrams to break up the content throughout the page. This will also increase the chances of your page being ranked in Google’s Featured snippets.
Search engines will also allocate different weight to a website’s content based on the location and relevant header tags. Therefore, you should always include the most important information with the target keywords at the beginning and end of the page.
5. Avoid ‘Thin Content’
Another key ranking factor for search engines is the length of your content. Google is more likely to rank pages with thorough content and penalises pages with “thin content”.
A typical blog post should have a minimum of 500 words, with the optimal length being around 2,000 words. Although, keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity, so you should avoid writing pointless information just to reach a certain word count. For non-blog pages (such as the home page, services pages, category pages etc.), you should aim for 250-500 words at a minimum.
6. Optimise Metadata
Metadata is the text that shows on the search engine results page, which describes what a web page is about. It consists of the following two elements:
According to Moz, the meta title is one of the major ranking factors for search engines to assess your page content. Best practices for meta titles include featuring the target keyword of the page and keeping it under 60 characters long to avoid the title being truncated.
In comparison, the meta description is a text snippet of up to 160 characters, which should describe what the page is about. Effective meta descriptions will include a compelling Call to Action (CTA) to encourage searchers to click on your page and complete the desired action. For example, “Buy online now” or “Get a free quote today”.
While common content management systems (such as WordPress and Shopify) will usually have a default metadata setting, you should always optimise the metadata on your website’s main pages to facilitate the search engine’s understanding and increase your chances of obtaining a better page ranking.
7. Utilise Multimedia Elements & Optimise Images
To provide a better searching experience, multimedia elements such as images and videos have been increasingly used to answer different types of search queries. Therefore, it’s beneficial to include relevant images and videos as supplementary content for search engine indexing.
To further optimise these for search engines, you should also implement alt tags (or alternative text) for all your images, and ensure these are keyword optimised where appropriate. Alt tags help Google understand what an image is and will further enhance your page’s ranking signal.
How To Optimise Your Content For SEO
When it comes to how to make SEO friendly content, the most important thing to remember is to ensure your page is informative and fulfils the user’s search intent. Don’t waste your time trying to rank for keywords that aren’t relevant to the purpose of your page, as this will simply increase your bounce rate.
At Springboard Digital, content is a key component of all our SEO package options. We’re experienced in writing SEO friendly content for businesses across a range of industries and can cater to a wide range of marketing budgets. Find out more about our SEO services.
If you have any questions regarding how to rank your website organically, feel free to get in touch with our team!