There are some simple steps you can take when writing content to improve the search friendliness and help your content be found. We offer SEO plans which include content review and recommendations, but it's the most beneficial to have your content be SEO friendly right from the moment the content is freshly published. While this article is mainly concerned with blogging, the topics covered are relevant to any content on your site.
Why should you write fresh content?
Search engines mainly care about two things: content and links. When there's little content on your site, or it never changes, search engines will have a hard time determining what your site is about and when to include it in search results. Search engines also prefer fresh content which is less likely to be out-of-date, and more likely to be relevant to current market trends and events. Publishing authoritative information to demonstrate your expertise can also help customers establish trust in your business.
How often should you write content?
Studies such as this one by Hubspot have shown that more frequent content results in an increase in website traffic, and that that traffic will hopefully result in an increase in sales. Our basic recommendation would be to write 1-2 articles per week, but there are many factors that can help you determine the best frequency for your business:
- Do you have something new and relevant to write about?
- Will your customers get annoyed by excessive posting?
- How frequently can you write without sacrificing the quality of your articles, or time needed for your other tasks?
- How frequently are your competitors writing new content?
Quality is the Highest Priority
The most important thing to remember is that you're ultimately writing content for humans and not search engines, as the goal of most businesses is sales, not website views. If your content is low quality, poorly researched, inaccurate, or awkward sounding, it will turn away visitors. We'll frequently see sites where the content is stuffed full of keywords (known as keyword stuffing), or written mainly to increase the use of keywords - while this can bring a temporary boost in traffic, more of the visitors will leave without buying anything, and search engines will ultimately correct for this. Even if it results in less traffic, even if it results in lower visibility, it's always a better long term strategy to do things right the first time, write high-quality content and attract better quality visitors.
Make sure your content is relevant to your business and audience - if your content is improperly targeted, it's not going to result in sales, and the readers you'll attract are not ones interested in your products.
Proofread your content; spelling and grammar mistakes reflect poorly on your business and it's easy to fix them. No matter what CMS you use on your website, you can easily check spelling and grammar by copy-pasting your content into Word, and then fix any mistakes. Improve anything that sounds awkward or unprofessional - the tone of your article should be professional and authoritative, yet friendly.
Use Keywords Appropriately
Keywords are the search terms for which you'd like your content or website to appear within search results. This is a topic for many more articles, but if you'd like help determining which keywords to use, contact us or your current SEO company for assistance with this. Using keywords is as simple as naturally including them in your content. They should not be bolded or stand out in any way; simply included naturally within the text of a sentence or title. This should only be done when it doesn't compromise the quality of the article, as you'll just lose any additional visitors you'd get. There's a limit to how many keywords you can use on a page, so choose 5-7 and use them one or more times (more is better up to about 10 times) when it makes sense to in the content. Often this will be done naturally while you're writing if you're choosing a relevant topic for your business.
The most important places to use keywords are within the page titles, and subheadings, links and image descriptions throughout your article.
Engage your Readers
Link to 2-5 other pieces of content on your site throughout your article. This helps engage visitors and keep them on your site for longer. The link text should be a keyword or brief description of the page you're linking to - for example, instead of writing "click here", write "Information about our Widgets" or "Widgets in Lancaster, PA", because this text is a ranking factor for the page you’re linking to.
Use other media to connect with your visitors and help make your points, including images, charts or video to keep visitors engaged.
Use headings to organize your content. If you’re one of our Drupal customers, this can be done by selecting the dropdown labeled “Normal” and choosing the appropriate heading level. Heading 1 should be used for your page title (and should never be selected if you’re using Drupal or wordpress - the CMS will add that for you), heading 2 for the main sections of your content, heading 3 for subsections, and so on. It’s important to use the headings in this order so that search engines can make sense of it, and not the one that “looks best”. You can use the other controls in the text editor to customize the size, justification, boldness and italicize the heading. For consistency, it’s often best to leave these as intended in the theme so it looks the same across the site.
Be consistent. It’s tempting to change the text color, fonts and size, but this often makes your content look unprofessional and hard to use, and saves time as well. Avoid making text look like links - if your website’s theme uses underlines to signify links, don’t use underline within your content as this will make it hard for visitors to navigate your site.
Now that you've finished and posted your article, your next step is to make sure visitors can find it and generate awareness of it. Make sure your content is linked to from somewhere else on your site, whether it's through a navigation link, a blog page containing recent posts, or highlighted on your homepage.
Post your new article to your business's social media pages, so that your followers will see it. Depending on the type of business this could include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or a variety of others.
If you'd like to know more, or would like to discuss further SEO options for your business, contact us for a free consultation, where we can discuss your SEO goals, and recommend an SEO service for you. Our services include a 1-time SEO review with recommendations, as well as several recurring plans where we continually review your website, make changes and recommendations for you.