With the latest reports from the Bing Webmaster Blog stating that poor grammar, typos and poor language will lower a site’s ranking, it’s clear that high quality content drives traffic. The Panda algorithm from Google is a little less definitive, but Matt Cutts has suggested that there is a direct correlation between spelling errors and a site’s PageRank. Google has a more complicated view of ranking content, but in general there are some guidelines to follow when it comes to writing incredible SEO content that makes people interested and also ranks your site higher with search engines. These are just the essential SEO content tips to get started, but another piece will follow with an in-depth look at content strategy.
Don’t Write for Search Engines
If you are thinking about how to impress a search engine, you’ll spend forever researching different topics and looking for the latest trends, but you may never even rank for the page that you wrote. Search engines ultimately are looking for content that is extremely relevant to queries. If a page is too optimized, it’s not fun to read, and search engines will pick up on that.
The best way to write is by choosing someone in your audience and thinking about what they want to read about today. There are ways to make your content optimized without being overly obvious as well.
Write for Relevance not Redundancy
If you look at the content on your site, you should have about 20 different topics that are all relative to your products, service or subject matter, but they shouldn’t all be titled “The Best Ways…” or “The Top Things…” as these types of titles are redundant. Instead, you want to look for catchy titles, things that will stick out and make people want to click on what you’re talking about. When you’re not sure what titles work best for your content, look at authors of similar work or check out headlines of different industries on popular news mediums like the business section of The New York Times. Your title must connect to your content in some way, so remember to work in your angle.
Place Keywords at the Beginning
With a keyword research tool, you can look up the relevant keywords for your products. It’s also as simple as typing in part of a keyword phrase in Google AutoComplete and letting it fill in the blanks. Keywords need to be at the top of your content because it’s what makes your content relevant. If you are writing about “the new iPad,” then you want to have your iPad keyword in the first paragraph. You can start using synonyms later in your content. You should never use your keyword more than three times especially if you have a shorter article.
Headers, Bullet Lists and Videos
Readers online are skimmers mostly. They skim for the most important parts and try to understand what you’re talking about without reading in between the headers. That’s why headlines, subheads, bullet lists, images and video are important. They break up the text and also give something to every type of reader who may stumble across your website content. Bullet lists are the best way to break down articles quickly, but you should be sure that it’s information your reader wants to know more about.
Use Links in Your Copy
Link building is an important part of keyword research. You should always include links with keyword phrases. You don’t want to use unrelated words like “click here” or “go here” when linking.
Always Proofread Before Publishing
Poor quality content that isn’t written well will drag down a site faster than a sinkhole in Florida. You have to improve upon your writing as you go, but you can use spell checker extensions or add-ons to your browser to check for spelling errors, typos and grammar. Before you publish, give your post a final read through and see what makes sense or what needs to be thrown out. This will ensure that you have only the most entertaining or informative pieces for your readers.