How to write SEO friendly content that suits your visitors
It’s useful to know the techniques behind writing quality content but it’s also useful to deliver it in an SEO friendly manner. Sometimes people think SEO friendly content means stuffing as many keywords as possible, whilst many struggle with making their content SEO ready whilst keeping it’s substance and appeal to the reader.
A few simple tips to how to keep your content interesting but also favourable by the search engines.
Research your topic
The first thing to do before putting down any words is to research the topic you’re about to write about. What content might people want to read in that particular topic? and how might people benefit from reading your article? make a list of potential ideas.
Look into how unique the content is you’re about to write, the very worst thing you can do is to copy something that someone else is already written, the second worst thing you can do is rewrite someone else’s work. Keep it fresh!
Sometimes it can be good to research statistics, in some cases you might be writing about something that others have wrote about a million times over. So how do you keep it unique? The answer to this is to make it more informative than the others, sometimes info graphics can help deliver the information in a different manner to make yours seem unique.
Come up with a unique and engaging title
When creating content is there a question you are answering? could you start the title with ‘How to’ or are you summarising a particular topic? maybe a title starting with ‘6 ways to’.
Imagine yourself as the user, you know nothing about your company, you see a tag line, would you click it?
Some of the best click through rates come through engaging titles that sometimes contain unusual things, it’s again important to keep your title unique.
Keep it the correct length
Short posts might not give away much information, but short an sweet can be good so long as it does not lack substance. Something short and interesting that people might want to share could be best depending on your audience, so bare that in mind.
Longer posts will be more informative, and if unique and relevant, your chances in the search engines will increase. However, remember with longer posts, you should brake the content up with headings and images to make it easier to digest which we explore further when looking into structuring your content.
Structure your content
Sometimes your content just needs a good structure to make it SEO friendly, we will look at some of the different methods you can use to structure your content in an SEO friendly way.
Heading Hierarchy, this is a heading three!
Use the Heading tags in your content and structure them in the following way:
You can see from the above, it shows an index for your content. This will tell the search engines which each section is about, which are subsections and the relevance of each part.
Using a good heading hierarchy also makes your content a lot more user friendly, if someone is only interested in reading a selected part of your text it makes it easier to pick out. If you’re making points about what you’re writing about with your headings then it’s great for the user as it gives them the option to skim the headings just to see the points your making throughout your post.
Include Images (where relevant)
Images can make your posts a lot more appealing by braking your content up for the user. Use your own images where possible to keep it unique. Be creative with your images and don’t rely on stock images to sell your blog.
Use SCHEMA citation
Schema is a collection of different HTML tags that can make your content semantic for the search engines. on schema.org you can find these tags for testimonials, organisations, products, local businesses and much more.
<div id="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization"> <ul itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress"> <li itemprop="name">Company Name</li> <li itemprop="streetAddress">Street Address</li> <li itemprop="addressLocality">Town</li> <li itemprop="addressRegion">County</li> <li itemprop="postalCode">LO10 0HG</li> </ul> </div>
An example of how you might format an address with schema citation. Every itemprop tells the search engines which of these represents the different sections of the address.
Use the keywords naturally
Write your content without thinking about keywords, if your content is relevant you won’t need to think about keywords.
After reviewing the content, if there is no mention of the keywords or no similar words then it’s likely that your content isn’t relevant enough and you will need to go back and start again.
When writing your content think of all the relevant information you could include about your topic. Think of questions that people might have about the topic you are writing about and how you can answer them.
Put your name to it – Google Authorship
Recently Google allowed the linking of websites to their Google plus profile pages, while it’s no secret that Google+ isn’t as popular as other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, it is still worth while considering.
Google have publicly stated that they will be using a new author rank addition to their algorithm so it’s worth jumping on the bandwagon now.
Adding authorship can also increase the click through rate from the search results page with Google now showing an image of the author next to the result. (below)
Setup authorship of your post – use rel=author
<link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/105754772941609221374?rel=author" />
This shows you are the author of the post
Setup publisher of your post – use rel=publisher
<a href="https://plus.google.com/113208329428844020565" rel="publisher">Google+</a>
This shows the brand to which has published the post
Once you have setup your post, spell check and read it back to yourself to check it makes sense. There are just a few additional things you can do to boost your chances of exposure.
Use your title tag to put the name of the post or the keyword the page is referring to, finalise with “- Brand Name” to make it look authentic and make users aware where it’s coming from.
Use your description to summarise what the post is about, include your main keyword in here so it is highlighted in the search page.
Social Share Buttons – Strategically Placed
Make sure you include the ability to share the content. Put your social media share buttons in the best possible place. You may want to include more than just once set.
Ask yourself the question, at what point of the content may someone want to share? If they are going to read the first bit and ignore the rest, put it at the top. If a user is likely to read the whole section and comment then put it at the bottom of the page for when they have decided it’s a worthy share. You may want to include sharing particular images or videos as someone scrolls down the page.
Open Graph Data
Don’t forget when finalising the content that you make a point of completing open graph data that can be used on social media sites such as Facebook when a post is shared. Make it similar to your description and include your eye catching unique title. Add a creative image that summarises your post.
An example of Open Graph Data from a previous post
<meta property="og:title" content="Online Directories, are they still effective for SEO?" /> <meta property="og:description" content="Is using online directories to build back links an old technique or do directories still have value in today's SEO world?" /> <meta property="og:image" content="http://www.specialist-seo.co.uk/wp-content/seo-media/2013/07/online-directories1-250x250.jpg"/>