Websites and Google are very much hungry for content. If you don’t satisfy Google’s hunger for content, your website’s chance of ranking for valuable keywords will diminish. It is not just Google that is hungry for content: Your potential customers are hungry too. They want to know about your business, find answers to their key problems/challenges and learn more about the topics that your business is an expert in. But where do you start with preparing SEO friendly content? Read our guide on how to prepare SEO friendly content to get started.
You will need to create different types of content to serve different purposes. Being reliant on a single form of content like blogs but neglecting to publish other useful types of content such as case studies, guides and whitepapers will stop your business from reaching its full potential online. In this article, we outline our step-by-step process for preparing SEO content, while also making some recommendations as to our favourite tools and techniques for creating SEO friendly content.
What Is SEO Friendly Content?
SEO friendly content is any piece of content that is created in such a way to improve the keyword rankings of a website. Search engine friendly content should be logical, well structured, focused on a small number of keywords and created with your customers in mind. Google now more than ever before takes user experience and the value that a piece of content brings to users into account, so any SEO friendly content needs to deliver as much for people as it does for search engines.
What Are The Key Features Of SEO Friendly Content?
Every piece of SEO friendly content is unique and has its own characteristics based on its purpose and audience. Despite this, all forms of SEO friendly content share certain features that make them search engine friendly. These key features include:
- Clear and logical – The purpose of each item of content should be clear from the outset and in the first paragraph. If the content is a blog post about choosing a conveyancing solicitor, it should say so. Effective content is also logical. It is easy to read and makes sense to its target audience.
- Well structured – Every piece of content on your website should have a clear and accessible structure. Think of how a book is structured with chapters that each have their own title.
- Focused on a small number of keywords – Trying to target too many keywords in a single piece of content is a wasted effort. It will only confuse Google and your potential customers. Generally, it is recommended that you only target 2 keywords in a piece of content, a focus keyword and a secondary keyword.
- Created with your customers in mind – While you will want to appeal to search engines with your SEO friendly content, it is critical that you consider your customers too. When creating content, you do not face a binary choice between search engines and people. The most effective content focuses on both.
Preparing SEO Friendly Content: A Step-By-Step Guide
Preparing SEO friendly content does not have to be difficult. By following a few tried and tested steps you can easily create content that works for your website and its customers.
1) Research And Select Your Target Keywords
Preparing content without researching and selecting your target keywords is like getting into your car without a destination in mind. The best way to research potential keywords is to map out your key services and then use a keyword tool to search for these services. By doing so, you will find related keywords for your content.
Keyword tools that are particularly effective for keyword research include free tools such as the Google Keyword Planner (this is available to any business with a Google Ads account) or Google Trends, which you can access without an account. For example, if you are an accountancy practice you could use Google trends and search for ‘accountant’. From this search you will find that ‘what is a chartered accountant’, ‘tax accountant near me’, ‘what does an accountant do’ and ‘accountants near me’ all have an increased level of search interest ranging between 40% and 120%. This demonstrates that these keywords would all be worthy target keywords for SEO friendly content.
It is then simply a case of selecting your target keywords. In this case, ‘what is a chartered accountant’ is the most popular but ‘what does an accountant do’ is equally as relevant. You could target both keywords in a single piece of content, with the first as the focus keyword and the second as your secondary keyword. When selecting your target keywords, you will want to take the following factors into account: search volume, level of competition, relevance to your customers and ease of writing content.
2) Choose A Suitable Content Type
Once you have researched and selected your target keywords, you will be in a great position to choose the type of content that would best suit your selected keywords. There are many types of content that you can choose from including: blog posts, product pages, services pages, guides/whitepapers, glossaries/FAQs and case studies. As there are so many types of content to choose from, you might think that it is going to be a challenge to choose the best type. However, it can be relatively easy as not every content type suits every keyword. Following on from the previous example for an accountancy practice and the keywords from Google Trends, we would recommend the following:
- What is a chartered accountant – blog post or guide
- Tax accountant near me – service page or video
- What does an accountant do – blog post or guide
- Accountants near me – service page or video
Choosing the right content type is about considering the selected keyword and what someone searching for it is looking for and expecting to find. For example, if someone searched for ‘what does an accountant do’ and they are taken to a service page that displays available services, they would feel like their question had not been answered and their intent not matched. In this case, they are unlikely to engage with the content or complete an action that is valuable to your business.
3) Decide On Subheadings And Structure Your Content
Effective SEO friendly content has a clear structure and uses the appropriate headings tags. Structuring your content around subheadings is a great way to logically divide it into sections while also creating headings that you can optimise for SEO. The type of content that you are creating will mostly determine how many sections and how long each of your sections will be. For example, if you are preparing content for a service page you are likely to have shorter sections, whereas if you are writing a blog article you may create longer sections.
Each section should have a clear purpose and its own heading that is optimised for your target keywords. If you were writing a blog post targeting ‘what does an accountant do’, some of your headings may be: What is an accountant, key tasks for an accountant, what qualifications does an accountant need and what key skills does an accountant have. Depending on how many headings your content has, you will want to use the main heading tags in your text, with your title as the H1 and then subheadings and sub-subheadings as H2, H3 and H4 as appropriate.
4) Optimise Your Content For Its Target Keywords
The final and arguably most important step is to optimise the content for its target keywords. If you have already completed step three, the headings should already be SEO friendly. To optimise the remaining sections of text, you will need to think about how you can include your target keywords in the main text in a natural way. Stuffing numerous mentions of your keywords into the text will not make it SEO friendly content. Each keyword placement should be natural, unforced, and logical.
While there is no prescribed number of mentions that you should aim for as it varies depending on the content type and length, including a minimum of three to four mentions of your target keywords is considered to be best practice. While you are optimising your content, it is worth taking the time to re-read it and check that it flows well and is easy to follow, then adjust as required. This will help to ensure that your content is accessible while giving it the best possible chance of ranking for its target keywords.
We Can Help Your Business Prepare SEO Friendly Content
Preparing SEO friendly content is not always easy. There are many steps involved and it requires dedicated expertise and time from your business. As a professional SEO agency, we help businesses improve their organic visibility and reach new potential customers with our SEO management services. Our SEO management offering includes creating SEO friendly content and optimising existing content. This ensures that your business is in the best possible position to improve its keyword rankings and increase its organic traffic.