There are many articles about search engine optimization (SEO), and there are articles about how to write content. However, there are relatively few articles that emphasize content’s effect on SEO. This is unfortunate since content can make or break your placement on search engine results pages. In today’s article, we will discuss the content that will enhance and feed your SEO.

If you walk away with anything, it is important for you to know consumer demand drives search engine innovation. Users want to go to Google, type in their interest, and receive back reliable, trusted information. To that end, search engines are designing their algorithms to weed our weak and uninspired content. Moz reports, “The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position.” As a result, quality content is defined as being uniquely valuable, supplying a demand, and being linkable/shareable.

How do search engines determine if your content meets this standard? They look for proof, of course. Search engines want to see people engaging with your content. Are users commenting on your blog entry? Is the content being shared on social media? How many quality websites are linking to the page? In the final analysis, there is little difference between good creative work and bad if neither inspires engagement. Ultimately, good content motivates actions, either comments, “likes”, shares,  links, subscribers, or a rate quote request.

Regardless, the Content Marketing Institute reports, “As much as 60 to 70% of content goes unused.” The prime benefit of both SEO and content is the organic and earned traffic generated. Anyone can buy web traffic, but engagement requires the vision and skill to supply users with the content they crave. You must feed your visitors’ hunger for quality information or entertainment. Below are the strategies that will have you creating the best content for search engine optimization.

1. Know Your Customers – How any times have you heard this in your career? Nonetheless, this is essential for crafting content personalized for visitors at every stage of the consumer lifecycle, from new prospect to long-time customer. One way to do this is to craft buyer personas. These are fictional characters based on groups of your most vital customers. However, it is not just mere demographics, but digging deep into topics like lifestyles, interests, shopping habits, daily activities, and pain points. When you know your customers, you can craft more targeted and personalized content.

2. Forget Keywords – Ok, maybe don’t forget keywords altogether. However, keywords don’t have the impact they once had. There was a time when if you needed to correctly place a specific percentage of keywords in order to rank. This sometimes compromised the writing. Search engine algorithms are much more sophisticated today and use context to understand what is written. Place your focus keyword in your title, URL, and the first paragraph. However, for the most part, keywords should be included naturally within the copy.

3. Write Long-Form – Not too long ago, short-form content was a best practice. Many experts believed people did not want to read long, educational blog posts, and that demand was for short and simple. Those experts were wrong. Search Engine Land found the data shows long-form content is consistently ranked higher by search engines, earn more shares on social media, are awarded more backlinks, and have higher conversion rates. What is long-form content? Articles of 1,500 words or more.

4. Craft Uniquely Valuable Content – This last strategy relies heavily on respecting the creative work of content creation. Compelling and impactful articles will create value. The writing must be informative and capture the reader’s attention. Moreover, it must be relevant to your company and informative, useful, or entertaining to your audience. This will get people interested in and excited about your content.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk more about the best content for search engine optimization, or need additional information, please contact us.

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