Everyone recognizes the need for ranking in search results. Most recognize that content rules. These two, in combination, have resulted in a flooding of content on the web. Statistics show that over 90% of this content is never even visited! A majority of this is deemed spurious, duplicate or near duplicate content. A lot of meaningless content finds its way on the web in the guise of “SEO content”. This not only results in a waste of time, effort and money, it also results in disillusionment about content itself. So, before providing content writing tips, let’s take a step back and revisit the concept of SEO content.
What is SEO Content?
Over the years, writers and SEOs have realized the growing need for achieving ranks at all costs. The competition to achieve ranks and drive traffic has resulted in many writers — and even more non-writers — offering SEO content services. The theory behind SEO content is simple:
- When clients demand more visual sites with less text, it makes it harder for the marketing pages to rank for competitive keywords
- On the other hand, for a web page to rank in search results, it needs to be rich in keywords
- The obvious solution is to create a large number of “keyword rich” — often keyword-stuffed — pages that would rank for some of the peripheral terms
- These pages would also link back to the main marketing pages with the primary keywords that are absent on the marketing pages to create relevance through linking text and a large number of internal links
While it seems like sound logic, is it really?
Quality vs Volume
Go to any freelance project website and you can get writers quoting $5 or lesser per article. Even at a minimum wage of $8 per hour, this would mean just over half an hour per article. What kind of quality should you expect from an article that’s produced in just over half an hour? Where is the time for research? Where is the time for building a compelling case? Writers would either be stringing keywords together or — in a worst case scenario — creating mechanical content using content spinning tools. Search engines are smarter than that.
Today, things like time on page and bounce rates affect your rankings. So if you produce large volume of junk content, even if it rank and drove visitors, it would result in an increase in bounce and a drop in time on site. This can only hurt your SEO. What you need today is high quality content that engages with your audience, makes them want to consume more, share and return to the site. This is high quality SEO content and this is the kind of content that works best.
SEO Content Tips
We share below some learning from creating content for clients that truly works.
SEO Content Tip 1: Know your audience
A writer needs to know who the target audience is and what their needs are before even starting on the content creation. If your content needs to engage with the audience, it needs to be written for that audience to start with.
SEO Content Tip 2: Identify Search Intent
Just because a keyword has more searches, it is not always the most relevant. Targeting transactional keywords at articles seldom works. You need to identify terms that suggest that the audience is “seeking information with an intention to transact”. These are the keywords that could potentially draw your target audience to the site.
SEO Content Tip 3: Write Content for the Reader
Once you know who the audience is and the core keywords for the content piece, a writer needs to forget the search engines and focus on the reader. It is important to imagine a human reading the content, anticipate and provide value. When an article or a web page does that, it will engage with the audience and make them consume it instead of bouncing off.
SEO Content Tip 4: Be Unique
There is enough “me too” content on the web already. Why should a reader prefer your content? Also, why should a search engine choose to rank your content as compared any number of other similar pages? Most SEO content writers will promise you content that passes Copyscape. But is uniqueness limited to original language and word usage? An SEO writer needs to provide a value proposition. Every piece of content you produce needs to be unique in terms of the message it carries, the tone and attitude, the stand it takes, and more. Your content needs to set you apart from the rest for it to be truly unique.
SEO Content Tip 5: Incentivize the Content
If you have done a good job of producing the right kind of content, think of ways you can incentivize it. Consider subscription (free or paid), offers, incentives for sharing or any other means of making your audience come back for more and/or share the content with others. Not only will it send the right engagement signals to search engines, it will also create the right kind of social signals, build links and add to the SEO value of the page.
Value of SEO Content
Needless to say, producing high quality content that is unique, engages with the audience, compels them to share it and provides distinct value takes time, effort and expertise. Not just the quality and style of writing, the marketing mind behind the content becomes extremely important.
SEO content today is no longer about producing content that talks to search engines trying to convince them to rank it higher. SEO content today is content for the reader. Winning over your audience through your content is the new definition of high quality SEO content.
While on the one hand you have enough writers quoting lesser than the next person, you also have specialized SEO content providers like Flying Cow Design, who deliver content — and not just language — that is unique. The value of a seemingly expensive article that works far outweighs the merits of spending on 10 or more cheap articles for the same price.
For a marketer, it’s always a tough call to opt for the more expensive option. Yet, you would do better to save the money than to spend it on cheap content that can hurt you in the long run. When you need content that grows your brand image online; talk to us. We don’t just build websites — we can help you build your online presence.