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What you should know about SEO content

Tom Chapman
Tom
Tom is our SEO specialist, and brings around five years’ agency experience to the table.

May 9, 2018

5 minute read

Screenshot of a WordPress page

Content creation has been an important part of many businesses ever since Bill Gates uttered his famous quote, “Content is king” back in 1996. Regardless of how you feel about this statement, articles and blogs soon became common features in a variety of industries. It also gave birth to the term ‘SEO content’.

These days, SEO content frequently carries an unfair reputation because of the way it was employed by unscrupulous agencies. These articles were often stuffed full of keywords, written very poorly, and provided little customer value. Fortunately, times have changed.

SEO content is still vitally important for search engines but must be of an extremely high quality to succeed. Consequently, before you get started on optimising your website through content, there are several points to bear in mind.  

Let’s talk about keywords

In 2018 – there are still organisations which believe SEO content must contain numerous keywords to rank in search engines. Whether making the text the same colour as the background or merely writing phrases such as ‘cheap used cars’ 500 times, this strategy can actually damage your website.

How many SEO keywords should I use?

Unfortunately, there is no correct answer to this question. Instead, focus on using keywords naturally and – where appropriate – in important areas, such as headings. As for the text body, refrain from any keyword usage which would be considered spammy or detrimental to overall quality.   

Keywords should be related

Years ago, it was believed you could rank highly by writing your chosen keyword repeatedly. Search engines have become much smarter and will now also focus on topics related to the phrase. For example, if a business was selling used cars, but didn’t mention any vehicle brands, that would be unusual.

When creating SEO content, structure pieces around what the audience could be searching for. Making a domain relevant for a topic is far more beneficial than creating a series of articles targeting the same keyword.

Are you doing your keyword research?

Merely guessing what your audience searches for will only get you so far when it comes to SEO content. Therefore, keyword research should be conducted to gain a proper understanding of what your customers are interested in.

There are several ways to do this. However, a couple of free options which might be useful are Ubersuggest and Answer the Public. Even the slightest bit of keyword research will dramatically help your SEO content.

Have you implemented a strategy?

Once keyword research is complete, you might be tempted to jump into producing content straight away. However, this must always have a purpose. As well as improving visibility, you might want to increase brand awareness or drive conversions. Once decided, this should be clearly communicated to everyone involved in the content creation process.

Despite this, a survey published in 2016 by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that just 40% of B2C marketers had a documented content marketing plan. This figure was even lower at 37% for B2B marketers. Consequently, this suggests around 60% of these businesses are creating content with no clear strategy in mind.

If you don’t have a content strategy in mind, SEO content is just being created with no purpose. This makes measurement extremely difficult.

How do I evaluate success?

Relevant measurements should be implemented in line with a content strategy. For example, if the aim of SEO content is to improve visibility for a specific set of terms, then evaluating this using Google Search Console could help evaluate success.  

Once determined, other elements could be implemented to further gauge success. For example, this could include optimising meta data or improving site speed. For more information on these, consult our blog on the matter.  

How much content should I produce?

This goes back to the common adage ‘quality not quantity’. The general consensus is that quality is best due to the vast amounts of content added to the internet every day. After all, there are 656 million tweets posted daily. Yours must be truly special to stand out from the crowd.

However, instead of creating outstanding pieces which take hours to produce, we’d recommend looking at your target audience and determining how much content they need. In some cases, they might be interested in shorter pieces with digestible information.

To create truly effective SEO content, it must resonate with your audience. Understanding them, and their needs, will tell you how much to produce.

Is your team able to produce SEO content?

In 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a study which ranked England lowest in the developed world for literacy levels. Furthermore, it has been estimated that around 5.1 million adults in the country would not pass an English GCSE exam.

Although everyone makes spelling and grammar mistakes, if your content team routinely makes these errors, it might be worth outsourcing content to a professional. Alternatively, extra funds should be allocated to train these individuals up to a good standard.

SEO content must be of a high quality to resonate with your audience and be successful. Otherwise, this can directly impact the bottom line. One entrepreneur even claimed that a single spelling mistake can halve a website’s online revenue.

This is almost certainly an extreme case. However, it demonstrates just how important grammar and spelling is when creating SEO content.

If in doubt, talk to a professional

Venturing into the world of SEO content can be overwhelming for the inexperienced. However, it doesn’t have to be. If you have any queries about creating content for SEO, speak to us today about our content marketing services.

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