Content is king. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that expression in my career as an SEO analyst. I can’t say that I’m a fan of using this relatively grating term, but I can definitely defend its power. Having fresh and unique content is an increasingly important factor for ranking in the SERPs. Because it’s top dog, I have put together this guide to steer you in the right direction when it comes to creating content for your site or blog.
1. Before you get started, ask yourself a few questions: Would someone want to read your content, and if so, would they understand it? Would they want to share it with others? And lastly, is it findable?
2. Once you have picked a topic that fits into the above criteria it may be a good idea to use a keyword tool like Google Keyword Research Tool to gather highly searched terms. This will allow you to get a sense of what people are searching for the most online as it pertains to your topic.
3. In addition to coherent sentences, proper spelling and incorporated keywords, your content should be engaging and easy to read. Here are a few tactics when starting to write your content:
- Bullet points: I put this first because I like to practice what I preach. Which would you rather read? A 350 word document of dense paragraphs or an article with the main talking points clearly identified? People tend to skim web content. For this reason it’s best to easily display your content to enable the greatest number of views.
- Evergreen content: This is the practice of writing content that has staying power. Thus, it’s best to avoid focusing on a particular incident, and try to eliminate date references that can reduce relevancy over time. Think about posting product reviews, how-to tutorials, and other information resources. Topics that can be used as a reference never get old. Therefore, evergreen content not only drives more traffic to your site for a longer period of time, it also continues to be useful to readers as time passes.
- Length: In addition to using bullet points and making the post easy to read, you should also consider the length of your post. A good number to shoot for is between 200-300 words. However, because I’m not following my own rule now, I will say that some posts are just too important for brevity.
4. Finally, after you have your content written, take a step back and consider the SEO strategies that you should incorporate. At the very least, you should include:
- Title tags
- H1 tags
- Internal linking opportunities (with keyword rich anchor text)
- Bolding keywords
- Adding calls to action
Using these tactics are ultimately considered a best practice but trust me, the phrase ‘content is king’ is used for a reason. Nowadays, it’s extremely important to have quality content, so why not make it work to your advantage? The content on your site is your online voice and message, therefore it’s worthwhile to spend some time on it to make sure you are crafting content that people will find, share, and ultimately appreciate for a long time.
Lindsay Atkinson is a former SEO Analyst at Digital Third Coast, a search engine marketing agency in Chicago. Connect with Digital Third Coast on Google+.