Want your business to grow without increasing your marketing budget? Then make sure you produce SEO friendly content.
Here’s how it works.
Search engine optimized (SEO) websites with solid authority and a good backlink profile rank higher in the search engines.
If your website shows up on the main page, you’ll get more clicks, shares, likes, and customer engagement.
If nobody ever finds your page, then even the best-written articles are pointless.
Needless to say, if you want your business to thrive, you need to make sure you write SEO-friendly content.
I’m not saying it’s easy. There is plenty of thought and foresight that goes into writing strong SEO content.
But once you learn the basics and include them in your content production process, you’ll see it’ll generate good results without adding to your workload.
But for today, let’s stick to the topic of SEO optimized content.
Here’s what you’ll read about.
- Use headlines and sub-headers
- Add links to previous content
- Optimize the length of your article
- Choose your keywords wisely
- Optimize your images
- Make the content shareable
- Write high-quality content
- Content optimization tools
Bonus: Learn how to combine SEO and email marketing. Grab this free guide and grow your list through search engine optimized content: A Crash Course to Email List Building Through SEO
Before we go into details, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.
What does SEO friendliness mean?
SEO-friendly content is the type of content that’s created in a way that helps the search engines rank it high.
Although some marketers think this means it should be stuffed with keywords, it’s really meant to help them search engines find, understand, and connect your content to the topic you’re trying to cover.
As you’re about read in this article, making your content SEO-friendly takes much more than just spraying keywords around your posts, videos, and other forms of content.
How to make your content SEO-friendly
1. Use headlines and sub-headers
Using headlines and sub-headers does several things for SEO optimization.
First, it makes your writing skimmable and therefore easier to read for your readers. People are more likely to share things that are easy to read.
The same goes for search engine robots. When crawling through your site, they’ll recognize your headlines and use them to better understand your content, like which parts are the most important ones and so on.
Also, having headers and sub-headers increases the keyword saturation, but remember to not abuse this to game the system.
2. Add links to previous content
One of the ways search engines rank content is by the number of backlinks they get.
Good content tends to get a lot of backlinks – both external and internal.
If you want to drive traffic and rank your older content higher, then you can’t forget to link to them from your newer posts.
This helps the search engine robots – and people – to find your best articles.
Plus, links to high-quality, reputable websites increases the validity of your own website. The better the links, the higher your page will rank in search results.
Also, using credible sources within the body of your text creates trust with your readers.
3. Optimize the length of your article
Back in the day, most blog posts you’d read would have up to several hundred words. It was a numbers game, the more posts you’d publish, the more traffic you’d get.
These days, it’s rarely the case. Even on the GetResponse blog you’re reading right now, you’ll mostly find articles that are 1,500+ words, and published less frequently.
That’s because in the last several years, Google has shown that it gives higher priority to longer, higher-quality content. They aim to provide their users with best-possible answers and this often boils down to having posts that provide the most thorough answer to the user’s query.
It’s not enough to write 300 word articles anymore. But it’s also not about watering down your content.
Take a look at your Google Analytics reports and see which posts generate the highest engagement for you. Which ones are visited the most and which ones are read for the longest amount of time. And then, which ones generate the highest conversions, e.g., newsletter sign-ups.
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4. Choose your keywords wisely
Some marketers like to just sit down and start writing. They leave SEO optimization for the last moment.
Others start by writing down the keywords they want to incorporate in their content.
That’s the approach I prefer.
You start by identifying keywords relevant to your topic. You either come up with them off the top of your head, use the keyword planning tools like the one from Google, use a more advanced SEO tool like Ahrefs or KWFinder (compare them here), or hire an SEO agency to do that for you.
If you haven’t started this process just yet, you should start with this guide to keyword research.
And once you start writing, use the keywords in the title, headlines, meta descriptions, ALT tags, and main copy.
5. Optimize your images
Images are essential to making your content interesting and shareable. People are far more likely to purchase from a company whose website has attractive and relevant photos.
You can optimize the photos by adding keywords to the image files and providing the ALT tags.
Make sure you also optimize the size of the photo. Pictures that are too large will slow down the load time and hurt the SEO.
Make the image as small as possible without compromising the visibility or quality. Many image editors will let you do that with their in-built features. If yours hasn’t got it, an alternative is the Squoosh app, a free tool that lets you resize and compress your image files quickly.
6. Make the content shareable
So, you’ve successfully managed to write an SEO-friendly, content rich, interesting article that people want to read. The next step is to make it shareable. Websites like ShareThis and AddThis make it easy to add social media buttons to your website so people can share the content easily.
7. Write high-quality content
This one should be pretty self-evident, but it isn’t always applied. The best way to get people to read and engage with your content is to write content that is useful and entertaining. Search engines reward sites that have high-quality, relevant content. Quality is more important than almost every other factor on the list.
Content optimization tools
Hemingway Editor is a fantastic resource for everyday writing tasks, but it’s especially helpful when reviewing articles for SEO optimization. Hemingway Editor analyzes your articles to find and highlight any sentences that are difficult or “very difficult,” to read. It also highlights instances of passive voice. Articles that are highly readable are more frequently shared, and articles that are shared the most get the best SEO rating.
Grammarly is like a premium version of Hemingway Editor, and more. Besides highlighting passive voice and long sentences, it also shows you grammar, punctuation, and writing style errors. Having grammatically correct content is an important part of optimizing an article for both humans and search engines, and an easy way to get an advantage over your competitors who neglect proofreading their content with a pro grammar checker.
The basic version of Grammarly is sufficient for most bloggers, but if you really want to take it up a notch Grammarly offers a discount for students which anyone can use to get this tool cheaper.
Read-Able is similar to Hemingway Editor in its ability to analyze your articles based on readability. But instead of highlighting sentences that are difficult to read, it gives your text an overall readability score. The score tells you what age group will be able to read the page easily. If you have a URL for the website, you can enter the URL instead of the text.
Keyword Density Checker scans your text or URL address to find out how many times you have cited each keyword. It’s particularly helpful if you have a very large article, and you want to make sure it’s not overly saturated with keywords. As mentioned before, keywords should take up about 1-2% of the text.
This on-page optimization tool analyzes your website or URL address and gives you an overview of the SEO Optimization factors. You can add up to five keywords, which the algorithm will search for and tell you how often each word is used.
Hopefully, you have found this content useful. If you use the tools and tips mentioned in this list, you will be able to create SEO friendly material regardless of the industry for which you are writing. You will eventually learn to write content that people want to read and share. SEO friendly websites get more traffic, and higher traffic levels improve your SEO score. What other ideas do you have to improve the quality of your SEO? Do you have any additional tricks to achieving better search engine results? Share them in the comments.
And don’t forget, if you’d like to learn how to build an email list through SEO, we’ve got a guide just for that: