Content SEO is arguably the most important element of on-page SEO. Content SEO is about optimising and creating your content to rank high in search engine search results. But, excellent content SEO will propel your page to the top.
So, what is content SEO? How do you make good content SEO? This article will teach you to make great SEO content and optimise your pages for users and search engines alike.
Your content optimisation begins with keyword research
Before you even think about your introduction, you need to do your research first. In this situation, we mean keyword research.
Being aware of which keywords users type into that search box most frequently is good for two main things:
- You’ll know which content makes your users happy
- You’ll know how to optimise your content! This increases your chances of getting noticed by the search engines and means higher traffic and rankings
When you complete your keyword research, you should come away with three main things:
- What main keyword are you targeting?
- Long-tail keywords related to your main keyword
- LSI (Latent Semantic Index) keywords related to your main keyword
You will then use all of these keywords in your content SEO process. Your target keyword should be included in your URL, page title, and h1 heading, while your subheadings should consist of the long-tail keywords. The other related keywords, the LSI, can be included in both your subheadings and the body of your content.
Always accompany your non-text content with text
Search engines can make sense of text more than all other types of content. So, since this is search engine optimisation, have plenty of text content on every page. Even if you promote content in another format, you should still use text.
Say you’re showcasing a video. For SEO purposes, it’s a good idea to put some text on that page. For example, you could add a transcription of what is said in the video, provide a description, or give further information on the same topic.
Put keywords in your title, body, and heading
Place your main keyword in the first few paragraphs
Everyone knows that your main keyword should appear in your title and h1 heading. But did you know that it’s also a good idea to showcase your keyword a couple of times in your first few paragraphs?
There’s a rule that the content found on the top part of your page is the most important. This is the space in which you set the baseline for what the rest of your content is. So, be sure to give the search engine crawlers what they want!
Put long-tail-related keywords in your subheadings
One of the main points of SEO is to incorporate variations of your primary keyword into your content. You don’t just repeat the same keyword over and over again.
So, once you’ve found the long-tail keywords that relate to your main keyword, why not use them in your sub-headings? To find good long-tail keywords, simply type your main keyword into the Google search box and take note of the words that come after. These search terms should all make great long-tail keywords.
If this doesn’t yield results, one other way to look for keywords is to go ahead and press Enter. You’ll find the “People also ask” section with your search results.
Add LSI keywords to your content
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Index. It refers to how well a phrase pairs with your main keyword. With Google introducing their new machine learning technology, Rank Brain, the broader meaning of keywords and their synonyms is now considered. This makes LSI keywords integral.
So, how do you find LSI keywords? Again, there’s another simple trick: just search for your main keyword in Google. Then, scroll down to the bottom and look for the “related searches” section.
Make your intent clear from the beginning
Don’t you hate it when you click on a search result and the page is different from what you expected? Google does too, which is why they aim to address misleading content. This makes it essential to think about your user intent.
User intent refers to the type of content a user wants to see when searching for something. The easiest way to satisfy your users’ intent is to take advantage of what Google knows. Try Googling a prospective title, for example. Do you see a featured snippet above the search results? This phrase is Google trying to answer the question that is your title.
So, if you want to rank high for that term and maybe even make the featured snippet, you need to answer the question directly and within the first paragraph.
In summary: if your title is a question, give a short answer in the first paragraph before giving greater detail about your topic. Gone are the days of forcing users to scroll through less relevant content before reaching what they want at the bottom!
Use good internal links
We’ve all seen those blog posts that are spammy with links. Almost every other word is highlighted blue, and if you make the mistake of clicking on one, you’re taken to a loosely-relevant, virus-laden pop-up fest. But if you do it right, internal linking can serve you and your users well.
Do you know how you use Wikipedia, so click on a link to another article? This technique is internal linking done right. Good internal links help Google form “content relevancy”, which helps us get better SEO!
When choosing your internal links, use anchor text with meaning. This helps crawlers get a better idea of the linked page.
Use high-quality external links
Linking to your own articles is a good idea, but what about adding external links? Linking to other websites is a great idea, as long as you trust the website and it is relevant to your users.
Make your non-text elements understandable
We all know that content comes in many mediums. It’s not all just text. But search engine crawlers don’t know that! So, you must optimise the non-text content on your pages for them. For example, you should give images names relevant to what they are, with appropriate ALT text that describes them well. Add a descriptive line or two under the picture as well. This makes your images more accessible for robots and people who use screen readers, too.
Keep your content easy to read
For both your readers and SEO, keep your content easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bold and italic for important points, lists, short and long sentences, and anything else that helps you stand out.