There’s no doubt that the search engine optimization (SEO) landscape continues to evolve. What was once black and white has now become more nuanced and dynamic.
SEO teams now need to be much more analytical, discover new insights through data analysis, and continually test different content and site configurations to stay ahead of the search engine algorithm updates.
To help you stay ahead of the ever-changing SEO landscape we’ve compiled the ultimate guidebook to SEO content optimisation and we’ve broken down our unique process that we use with our clients into eight simple, convenient steps:
- Define your SEO goals
- Know Your Stuff: The Importance of Keyword Research
- Create a Practical Structure
- Medium-Tail versus Long-Tail Keywords
- Interlinking & Backlinking
- Including Call to Actions
- Image Alt-Tags
- Continually Update Your Content
What is SEO content optimisation, and how can it help your website?
SEO Content Optimisation focuses on planning, writing, and publishing content in a way to reach and retain a wide audience. There are several layers to SEO content optimisation, such as using ranking keywords, applying image alt-tags, and including backlinking and interlinking tactics.
So, why is it important? It is an extremely useful tool to increase traffic to your website, so if you were to produce a beautifully written piece of content, and SEO tactics were not considered; your site might disappear within the search engine. One of the primary sources of traffic to a website is organic search. SEO Content Optimisation helps your website rank higher than others. In essence, SEO content optimisation will give your website the visibility to attract new or potential customers.
1. Define your SEO goals
Before you begin to write or optimise your content, it’s important to define realistic SEO goals for your site. One of the main goals you should have for your website is to enhance your digital presence on search engines. Not only does this increase your chances of reaching new audiences, but it also lets Google, and other search engines, know that your content is viable. Luckily, there are several ways to achieve this.
2. Know your stuff: the importance of keyword research
One of the first steps to the SEO content optimisation process is keyword research. Within this step, you will explore the top-ranking keywords that Google will pick up and apply it within our content. There are several platforms that we use for our clients for this research, such as AHREFS, SEMrush Keyword Explorer, Search Console, etc.
These tools will guide you in selecting the best keywords for your content based on factors such as keyword difficulty. This determines how difficult it would be to rank within the top 10 organic search results.
For example, if we wanted to write a piece of content about “how to take care of plants,” we would use these tools to find keywords such as “plant care guide,” “growing plants at home,” or “how to grow a plant.”
3. Create a Practical Structure
Once the SEO goals have been set and the keywords have been chosen, creating a clear structure for the content will help to break up the topics. Separating the topics and subtopics into headers (i.e., H1, H2, H3) will not only create a practical flow for your users’ visibility, but it will also help Google read and understand the text.
To aid our clients in this process, we will balance researching our competitor's content and using platforms such as WriteSonic to generate a rough structure. On top of this, we would use tools to research what our users have been searching for relating to a certain topic.
4. Medium-Tail versus Long-Tail keywords
After you have produced a logical structure with key headers, it is important to establish medium-tail keywords. These types of keywords consist of two to three keywords and are useful for writing content. Medium-tail keywords, such as “Plant Care Guides” or “Plant Stores London,” are recommended because they have a higher search volume than long-tail words and are less competitive than short-tail words. For our SEO content optimisation process, we discover the best medium-tail keywords through tools like AHREFS and SEMrush.
5. Interlinking and backlinking
Interlinking, or internal linking, will help direct users to other pages on the website, therefore, increasing user engagement. For example, if your blog or article has a related topic, you can link to that page, allowing users to explore more content. Backlinking, however, links one website to another. In this instance, you would contact third party sites to publish an article that you have written for them, to promote your own site. This will inform Google that your site is an authority and boost your ranking.
However, we recently posted on our Linkedin page that according to Google Search Advocate, John Mueller, the significance of backlinks as an SEO ranking factor may become less significant for SEO professionals in the future. The backlink profile of a website reveals important information like its domain authority and how trusted it is by others. However, Google's algorithm will not have to rely as much on inbound links as it becomes better at recognising how content relates to the rest of the web.
As a result, content marketing is one of the most important ranking factors for your brand, so long as it’s relevant and unique.
6. Including call to actions
Another tip to optimise your content is through call-to-actions (CTAs). Whether it’s through a button or an image, it is important to direct the users to take action. For instance, phrases such as “Buy Now” or “Sign up online today” are useful and should be placed throughout the content. Whether the user is trying to sign up to a newsletter or purchase a product, this tactic will ultimately help to boost sales in the long run.
7. Image alt-tags
It is recommended that a page should have around seven to ten images. Not only will this add a great visual component for your users, but it acts as an alternative to text for Google. Although you may have quality content, it is worth optimising your images as well as your text that both your users and the search engines will be able to understand.
8. Continually update your content
Last, but certainly not least, updating your content on a regular basis is crucial for optimising your content. If you are covering a topic that is constantly changing, it’s important to continually leverage your existing content. This may act as one of SEO’s ultimate gains, as you will eventually increase traffic to your website and boost your ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and remember consistency is the key.
If you want your website to rank higher in search results and reach new audiences, you must create high-quality content that caters to your target audience. We’ve walked you through the ins and outs of optimising your content. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of our own content optimisation process. If you would like to learn more about optimising your content to see a positive impact on your search engine ranking, get in touch with us.