Search engine optimization (SEO) is what drives the majority of online businesses today. The opinions on what matters more (or what is THE real king): links or content –are divided. Some say content, other claim links... No wonder simple marketers or online business owners remain baffled by this question.
In order to help finding the answer to the question, we have conducted a small research and here is what we found out from the experts about combining the two – and writing SEO-friendly content.
What does SEO-friendly mean?
Without going into much ado and explaining the origins of SEO, it would be enough to say that sites need to be written well – both coded and filled with (relevant) textual content.
Both prerequisites allow for robots – spiders, crawlers, bots – to enter and read site content and rank it according to their standards. Without going into further details, it is important to highlight that there are three aspects of SEO that need to be kept in mind:
- Technical SEO – accessibility or the ability of a search engine to crawl your site and index its pages.
- On-page SEO – the things you do/write on your page that influences ranking, e.g. keyword density, position, H1, H2 titles, image alt tags, the number of words, etc.
- Off-page SEO – basically, link building in its most refined form.
Even though there is no such thing as a ‘Complete Search Engine’s Official Playbook’ – that enlists all relevance factors, there are, however, some things that e.g. Google – the mother of all search engines – prescribes as good SEO practice. These all need to be taken into consideration when trying to rank a page high on Google.
Therefore, SEO-friendly means writing and arranging content on a web page so that it helps it become highly ‘rankable’ (is that even a word?), relevant and, above all, readable.
User behavior as a major factor?
Lately, a lot of SEO experts and content marketers suggest that user behavior is more important than SEO – that is, all those reactions and responses people have and leave when interacting with your page. These include time spent on it, the number of seconds when they click the BACK button, whether they continue exploring your site or not, etc.
Even though user behavior is influential, it is not a major factor on the SEO-friendliness scale we are talking about here. When writing content for a specific audience (‘Know Thy Audience’), one must keep in mind that the content needs to be not only useful (what the majority of experts today call ‘quality content’), but also SEO-friendly. Thus, think user-friendly, but respect all SEO ranking commandments.
So this leads us to answering the aforementioned question.
3 tips for writing SEO-friendly content:
1. Solve real-life problems (which people type in and search for)
Restraining yourself from writing whatever comes into your mind first is the best way to start. Mind you that people search Google when they need help with something. They either want to do something, know/learn something, or go somewhere.
Your content should, therefore, answer their real-life problems, driven by their intent. So, if a searcher’s intention is to learn how to write SEO-friendly content – that is exactly what they are going to type into the search field. And here is what they would get.
2. Mind the context
The context is what brings people to your site. You need to know that if you are writing content for a website which sells, say, shoes, you are going to have to invest a lot of effort into ranking it for this keyword (the competition is severe for this one). Therefore, instead of using short keywords, try using long-tail keywords which belong to a narrower context.
This basically means that your site does not sell ALL shoes, but it can sell top-quality leather shoes with high heels. And there you have it – you have narrowed down your context to a target-oriented niche and will be able to get better results for long-tail keywords.
3. Improve readability
Clear thoughts, clear message.
Content organization helps both humans and robots read content. Nobody wants to read a 15-page chunk of text without paragraphs, headlines or images, for example.
Remember your mother tongue teacher demanding that your texts have an introduction, body, and a conclusion? Google likes reading this kind of texts, too. Moreover, both people and bots like content that has a clear outline, organized into lists, with short sentences and preferably short paragraphs (no more than two-three sentences).
Since the brain needs visual stimulation, try adding some images to break down the text and make it more interesting.
- Short sentences
- Short paragraphs
- Use images
All in all, you need to keep in mind that writing for a certain audience means answering their needs and basically this should be enough for your content to be SEO-friendly. This is possible only if you have enabled all technical aspects on your site and plan to schedule a link building campaign. Good luck in writing your SEO-friendly content!