Content & SEO. Two different things or one ideal couple? A lot of people think SEO and content are separate players. Well, they aren’t. They perfectly complement each other. SEO is all about content and content is all about SEO.
There are still blog posts on how perfect content doesn’t need SEO or why content marketers don’t need SEO. The truth is they’re all wrong. Stop looking at them as “SEO vs. content marketing” and start exploring how well they fit together.
Can you imagine high-quality content without on-page SEO or without quality backlinks? Likewise, can you imagine a perfect website in terms of SEO made of content that no one reads?
There are traditional differences between content & SEO:
- SEO is for search engines and it’s more technical stuff
- content is for human beings
You need to forget about them! Content & SEO overlap. You simply have to create unique content and optimize it for search engines and people at the same time. It can be even called SEO marketing or SEO writing.
What content should I create?
This is the first and most important question. The answer is simple: “Unique”. Creating original, thought-provoking and engaging content is a great basis for optimization and vice versa. They must go hand in hand from the beginning. You can choose from various content types.
Blogs are very popular, especially in last years. A good blog is a great source of user engagement for e-commerce websites, SaaS businesses or professional service providers. It’s also a way how to earn money by doing what you love (travel bloggers, industry bloggers). Unique blogs and ideas can make you a thought leader.
- it’s not about length, it’s about content density
- stand out from the crowd, be original
- conduct your own research and discuss
- simplicity is a must, clearly describe the product, how much is it and how to buy it (CTA)
- use professional photos of products and write appealing copy
- website speed is more important than ever
Do you want to be an influencer? Writing a review is nothing new but in the world of the internet, everything can be reviewed. You can write reviews of tools, films, bars, restaurants, you name it. When you become a trustworthy influencer, you can form people’s minds and profit from sponsored reviews.
- be specific about what you’re reviewing
- create your own standard of what is superb or poor
- provide a link to the reviewed product
Case studies refer to “How we do …”, “How we managed …”. Writing case studies means to let people know how you do things, how you managed to increase your revenue or how you failed.
- don’t be shy, people aren’t interested in stodgy success stories
- show the humans behind the company
- prepare enough original data, knowledge and be honest (don’t lie)
Everyone likes them! They’re easy to download and share. However, authors frequently use them as a text substitution. Infographics then end up as complicated images with a bunch of copy, so they lost the potential. Creating infographics means making information nice and easy to absorb.
- use the most important data
- create a story, add charts or pictures
- embed infographics from various tools such as Piktochart to keep your content indexed
- content isn’t readable for search engines when uploading infographics as pictures
Guides, how-tos, tricks & tips
They’re also part of blogs. “Guide” and “how to” are attractive keywords. You can create various guides or how-tos, though, there are thousands already. Don’t copy others, hand over different tricks & tips than competitors.
- use multimedia, or at least screenshots
- create guides for your own tool or service as it is original itself
- place guides directly to the tools to get a strong backlink and traffic
Top lists, lists
Another favored form of written content. There are thousands of top lists out there so think wisely about the topic. Writing lists is an opportunity to include downloadable items to collect leads.
- the headline says everything about the post
- stress extraordinary facts
- keep the structure simple
- use proven data sources
Having unique information and opinions from an industry guru is excellent! It helps to build credibility, traffic and backlinks. Moreover, interviewees with large audience generate high traffic for free.
- try to interview thought leader (famous person in the industry)
- set clear structure of the interview
- questions should flow naturally
- allow some space for the interviewee, readers are curious about the person and their thoughts
Higher engagement, shares, likes, improved SEO, more leads and conversions. These are just a few of benefits of using video content. Videos can increase conversion rates by 80% and their overall contribution is possibly countless.
- write a script
- prepare some budget, it’s better to hire a professional for video making
- include transcript
- upload the video to YouTube
They are a strong source of leads generation. No one gives you contact details just like that. You need to give them a good reason. Ebooks usually come in PDF and contain a long piece of information.
- think of it as a book: you need a killer topic, title, preview, credible author, proper proofreading and catchy design
- motivate users to download: use ebooks with special hints or tricks added inside when compared to the content on the website/blog.
What’s the ideal blog post length?
A few years ago, the longer the post was, the better it ranked. Lengthy posts stuffed with keywords were considered to be on top positions. Somehow, it got to the point, where it looks like there are hundreds of almost identical articles with the same keywords. Creating long posts on purpose doesn’t work anymore. User engagement is a strong factor in Google search algorithm.
If you write an article, you need to keep reader’s attention. It starts with the title, first paragraph, content type and most importantly the overall content structure.
Content structure of a blog post means correct usage of <title>, <h1, h2, h3, …> and other HTML tags. They should go hand in hand with desired user engagement. Look at it from a customer’s perspective. You can download on-page SEO checklist infographic to keep your blog optimized at its finest.
When it comes to time, according to Medium, 7-minute posts are ideal. How long does it take to read your posts?
How about duplicate content on my other articles or website sections?
Sooner or later, we all get to the point where we need to repeat a few of our words written somewhere else on our website. Another case is online vs. print version of a website or discussion forums providing two versions of their website for mobile devices.
If there’s too much of duplicate content across your website, you can use 301 redirects or rel=”canonical” link element. You can find out more on Google Search Console help pages.
If you don’t plan to copy lines of text, you can keep calm. Google algorithm differentiates whether you do it on purpose or as a natural part of your new content.
Just in case you think of copying someone else’s content, you can stop reading this guide. It’s a plagiarism and we’re strongly against it. The risks, not to mention the costs, of being a copycat are excessive. Google will penalize and skip your website from the search results.
Creating great content starts with research. Think of the topic, ask your friends, conduct polls on Facebook or anywhere else. Once you set the point, scan the market and carefully read all top ranking websites. Don’t copy them, try to create your own unique content and optimize it perfectly. Right after, you can start promoting it. Once again, content & SEO are friends and they help each other.
Part 5: Keyword research