Most people understand that web content is king when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Quality content is overwhelmingly the most important part of the SEO puzzle; the major search engines analyze and rank content over other site features like links, latency, and site speed.
Creating valuable web content that performs for SEO purposes isn’t simply as easy as putting some words together and hoping for the best. The process of creating valuable content is just that: a process. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to unlock the maximum potential in web content. First, however, it is important to understand how search engines evaluate this content.
How Do Search Engines Evaluate Content?
Major search engines such as Google and Bing use a complex algorithm that looks at the features of a given web property and ranks it according to the algorithm’s parameters. There are many components of these algorithms, and each search engine continually tweaks the performance of their tools. Some of the features search engines evaluate include:
- Keywords, including frequency, placement, and context of those words in the body of the text and in URLs and page headers
- Time-on-Site or “Latency”; in other words, how long a given user spends viewing a specific page of content
- Site speed, or how quickly the site loads
- Site traffic, including how many visitors come to the site, where visitors are coming from, and what visitors do when they land on a given site
- Links pointing to and from a given webpage
Here, the keywords one adds to text-based content is the real key to unlocking the content’s SEO potential. It is critical to understand that just sprinkling keywords into the content isn’t sufficient to satisfy the search algorithm, however. A great strategy for creating valuable content is through the use of keyword targeting.
What is Keyword Targeting?
Keyword targeting is the strategy of identifying the words that help people find your website in online searches. There are a variety of options for identifying keywords and related terms; many online tools exist to help content developers and marketers to pinpoint the specific keywords and keyword phrases that a typical searcher would likely use.
When determining which keywords to add to your content, it is vital to maintaining realism throughout the process. Frankly, many keywords will be identified that are saddled with incredible competition; established websites, particularly on competitor websites, already enjoy the SEO advantages of these keywords in their content. However, similar terms are almost certainly available to target. One of the best ways to find these under-utilized terms is by evaluating what competitors are doing.
Potential keywords should also have a relatively high search volume level. The same online tools to help you find keywords in the first place can also give you an idea of the search volume of a given term. Unless the business or organization occupies a very small or unique niche, low search volume terms should be avoided.
What is the Intent of Keywords?
The goal of any SEO strategy is to increase traffic to a given website. Not any old traffic will do, though – digital marketers and content developers want to bring the RIGHT kind of traffic to the web properties they create. And by “RIGHT” traffic, we mean the types of visitors that are likely to do more once they arrive on the site: place an order, sign up for a newsletter, like or share content, etc.
To arrive at keyword intent, take a close look at what you want site visitors to do once they arrive. Do you want them to make a purchase? Do you want them to learn more about the products or services you offer? Do you want them to be informed about a policy or news event? With these considerations in mind, it becomes easier to develop keyword-rich content that satisfies the needs and desires of your visitors, while also ensuring high rankings in search engines.
Take Advantage of Headers
There are different parts of a page of content, and search engines evaluate them all as part of their algorithms. The header is perhaps the most critical part of the page. One should strive to include a targeted keyword in the H1 header – preferably within the first 65 characters of the page headline. If your content has a long title, consider rearranging words so that the keyword is closer to the beginning. Creating impactful titles with included keywords can be a difficult part of the process, but there are online keyword analysis tools that can provide valuable clues.
Keywords in the Body
The days of “keyword stuffing” are long past, thankfully. When content developers and marketers used to be able to cram as many keywords and keyword variations into the body of text on a given webpage, current search engine algorithms actually penalize that practice.
Today, it is far more important to provide natural writing. Quality content, filled with information for site visitors, ranks much more highly than awkward text with keywords placed at random. If you write more naturally as you develop content, the keywords can be added in a natural, organic way. Consider utilizing a professional web content writer for maximum impact and SEO performance.
Keywords in the URL
That’s right: search engine algorithms even evaluate the URL for a given webpage. By adding keywords into the URL, you can help ensure high SEO rankings, ESPECIALLY if you competitors neglected to do the same.
Building Links for SEO Performance
As in years past, hyperlinks pointing to and from a given webpage are given quite a bit of consideration in search engine algorithms. No longer is quantity important, however; today, the quality of links is much more critical.
Internal linking between one page and another provides a lot of SEO power and is easy to accomplish. An added benefit is that it provides the typical site visitor with improved navigation, and tends to keep that visitor engaged longer on-site.
When linking to outside sources, strive to link only to quality, trustworthy resources. Major news sites, business information sites, and professional portals are all good choices. The goal is to provide your site visitors with additional information and context, making your own site content that much more valuable.
There are many other tips and tricks digital marketers use to get the most out of website content. By focusing on keywords, providing context, and offering engaging, insightful information, your site will satisfy your visitors as well as help position your pages at the top of search engine results pages. In future blog posts, we will explore some of these other SEO tricks to help you get the most out of your content.
Our professional content writers and SEO professionals can help you. Contact us today.