Whether you like it or not, understanding the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the key to ranking success when content writing, or creating any other web content. Tackling SEO marketing can seem scary at first, especially when you find out that Google considers around 200 factors to rank a site! But don’t worry – not all these factors are as important as one another.
To make things easier, we’ve narrowed down all the information for you, gathering the five most important SEO factors to consider when creating web content. Plus, these SEO strategies are fairly simple, so you don’t need to be an SEO expert to implement them!
If you get these right, your content will already have a great head-start in the world of search engine marketing.
SEO factor categories
Before we go through the most important SEO aspects, we first need to introduce you to these categories: on-page, off-page, and site-wide. You’ll need to consider factors from all three categories, because if one gets left behind it could undo all your hard work in other areas. For example, even if you’ve carefully crafted perfect on-page content SEO-wise, if your overall site is having problems, it may have a detrimental impact on the Google ranking of your content.
On-page SEO factors to consider
1. Content freshness, content quality, and content layout.
You’ve probably already heard that ‘content is king’, but what methods can help make your content better? We suggest focusing on the three most important characteristics of SEO content marketing:
- Freshness is fairly self-explanatory: make sure you’re always putting out new, updated content and avoiding duplicate content. In other words, don’t put out content about very similar topics, or that includes identical copy.
- Quality, on the other hand, is more complicated to determine. What is good quality content, exactly? Well, according to Google, high-quality content always matches the purpose of the page to the user’s intent. So, whether your content is based on text, images, games, or anything else, its priority should always be to meet the user’s needs. This means that even though you want to make content that’s search engine optimised, you still need to make pages primarily tailored to human users, not search engines. Always keep this question in mind: “is this valuable to users? Will it help them?” Don’t forget, high quality content should also be well-written and coherent.
- Layout shouldn’t be overlooked when creating content. Even if everything you’ve created is fresh, valuable, and well-written, if it is presented in a way that is unclear or unfriendly for the user, it could undo all your hard work! Your page doesn’t have to look ‘aesthetically pleasing’, but it should be laid out in a way that’s clear & easy to navigate. A top SEO tip when considering your website layout is to avoid positioning main content too far down the page – users shouldn’t have to scroll past lots of ads to reach the main content of the page!
2. Keyword research, keyword distribution, and keyword relevance.
Keywords are one of the most important influences on your Google pagerank potential and website ranking overall. Our recommended SEO techniques for keyword optimisation focus on these areas: competitor keyword research & keyword analysis (Research), keyword quantity & usage (Distribution), and relevant keyword variations (Relevance).
- Research: First things first, before even starting to write, you should do a lot of research surrounding keyword competition and search rates. If you try to optimise your content using keywords that are too broad, it will get lost in an ocean of similar content, undetected by Google. On the other hand, if your keywords are too niche, no one will ever search for them! Ideally, you need to find a middle ground – your keywords should focus on a topic that is widely searched for, but from your own, more unique and specific angle.
- Distribution: Once you’ve selected the perfect keywords to concentrate on, there’s a checklist of places where you need to include them. The meta title has the strongest relevance, so the closer to the beginning of the title your keywords are, the better. But you also need to focus on including keywords in: the meta description, headings (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 title tags), URL slug, image alt text and captions, and of course, the main copy of the content. Stuffing the page full of keywords, however, isn’t a good idea! Increasing the number of keywords won’t result in ranking success if the keywords aren’t placed carefully – so only add them where they are applicable and helpful.
- Relevance: Similarly, just repeating the same few key terms won’t work. As well as your main key words, you should include as many variations, synonyms, and other relevant terms and phrases as possible. If search engines can see that your content includes keywords surrounded by other words relevant to the key topic, it will be more likely to rank it higher.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a fantastic keyword tool that can help you by suggesting related terms, along with useful information like keyword rankings and search volumes.
Off-page SEO factors to consider:
The number of backlinks to your site can drastically affect how your content is ranked. But again, number isn’t everything. You can’t rely on a large number of external backlinks if they are low-quality, because the link relevancy and the trustworthiness of the referring domain is also important. When promoting your content, only consider reaching out and building links with high quality backlink partners (never buy backlinks, because they are usually of a spammy nature!) Also, monitoring your links carefully and remove any that are of low quality.
As well as being an off page SEO factor, this counts as an on page SEO factor too, as the outbound and internal links on each page have a big impact on your search engine ranking. Each of your pages should have at least one relevant link to other content from your website – internal linking is a great way to keep traffic on your site. When linking out, only direct readers to very relevant pages, but avoid linking to pages that may have a far higher SEO ranking for your keywords than you do!
If you’re looking for a backlink tool to use for analysing the quantity and quality of referral links to and from your website, you should check out MOZ free backlink checker.
Site-wide SEO factors to consider
4. Mobile optimisation
An extremely important issue to consider when creating web content is whether it is mobile-friendly. If not, you’re missing out. It’s becoming impossible for content to rank highly on Google if the site isn’t optimised for mobile device users, as they now make up such a large portion of browsers. In order to optimise any content, you need to make it available within a mobile friendly website design.
To check up on how well your mobile website is working, try this free mobile friendly test tool.
5. Integration with Google Search Console
Lastly, consider verifying your site with Google Webmaster Tools. As well as helping with how your site gets indexed and ranked, integrating with Google Search Console and getting to grips with Google Analytics can really help you with some of the points we’ve already mentioned. Take for example, links: utilizing Google Webmaster Tools is a great way to monitor and manage the inbound, outbound, and internal links on your site. You can also use Google Tools to verify a mobile version of your website!
Focusing on these five aspects will give you a great head-start to content optimization and improving SEO. And if you’ve worked hard but don’t see results right away, remember that benefits from improving Search Engine Optimization strategies can often take a long time to show. Have patience, we can assure you it will be worth it!
SEM Consultant’s have a team of Search Engine Optimisation specialists on hand to assist with any SEO queries or services you may need, this includes the writing and editing of content and meta content. If you require any of our SEO, PPC, or Social Media Marketing services, please call us today on 0121 552 6500, or complete the contact form below and we will be in touch!