Kathy Archbold

Quality by: Kathy Archbold

There is a lot of information on how to lead a SEO campaign for your online success. You can read, view, subscribe, buy into, etc., but one thing is always clear. Learning how to maximize your SEO in content is the underlying thread. SEO is for the search engines. Web content is for your visitors. There’s no magic pill or Holy Grail. It takes time, a firm understanding of search engine queries and knowing user behavior.

Clearly, you want the web content you write to show high on search engines. You don’t have to deceive or use black hat tricks. First, however, you have to learn how to write quality web content that will provide your readers with value.

Let’s consider that sentence for a minute.

Write quality web content that will provide your readers with value.

So how do you figure out what web content will give value and what won’t? Before we put pen to paper, we ask a lot of questions:

  1. What are the keywords?
  2. Is this going on our site, an article directory or a guest blog?
  3. Who is going to read this?
  4. What need is this article going to address?
  5. How important is this article to the reader?
  6. How are readers going to find the article?
  7. What do I want them to do after they read?

The Internet is based on web content, whether that content is video, image or writing. When anyone does a search, the first results will be what the search engines consider to be most relevant to the search term. This is where the answers to your questions come in handy.

The answers:

  1. Knowing the keywords gives you a topical outline. For instance, if your main site keyword is “copywriting”, you know your main topic should also be about copywriting.
  2. Your target audience may change, depending on where you’re posting the content. For instance, information on golf courses may bring more traffic from a relevant guest blog than from an article directory.
  3. Answering this question is easy once you know where you’re posting. This is your target audience.
  4. Knowing this answer gives you a better focus for your article. Generally, people search for a term because a) they want to buy, b) they want to learn or c) they want to compare. So which need are you going to address?
  5. Is the information in the article up-to-date industry news? Is it a product recall? Is it ten tips they can’t do without? Use the importance level to set the tone of the title.
  6. Pretend you’re the visitor. How did you get there? Through a search engine? Another blog? An article directory? Some link you placed on XYZ site three years ago? Where they come from has some relevance to whether they stay.
  7. If you know what you want them to do afterwards, it’s much easier to tell them in the content without being too direct. Guide them; don’t force them.

Use your keywords for the search engines.

You have your SEO plan, you have your keywords; what do you do with them? You use them to tell the search engines what your web content is about. You put them on the title tag, much like a chapter heading in a book. You use them in the description, summarizing the page. You use them in your web content, because, darnit, that’s what the page is about.

Use your keywords for your visitors.

You have your SEO plan, you have your keywords; what do you do with them? You use them to tell your visitors what your web content is about. You put them in the title tag, much like a chapter heading….

If you have to force your keywords, you’re either writing about something that isn’t relevant or you’re using the wrong keywords. Let’s put it bluntly. If your keyword does not naturally show in your content, you’re doing something wrong. If you’re writing something that isn’t relevant, just something off the top of your head, that’s fine – but don’t bother with keywords. If you’re writing something that’s relevant, but the keywords won’t fit, you’re either a) using the wrong keyword or b) using the wrong keyword.

The key to writing quality web content, whether it has SEO components or not, is engaging readers. Use your primary, secondary and tertiary keywords throughout the article to enhance it – to re-enforce the information you’re sharing. Most importantly, remember that the reason you’re writing this content is to keep visitors coming back; not just get them there one time. Keep this in mind and don’t overload them with keyword repetition.

In conclusion, always start your content with your readers and potential customers/ clients in mind. Find out what they want to know. Give them a scenario they can relate to. Getting traffic is only the first step; converting them into loyal readers, users, buyers or cheering squad is the ultimate goal of any well-written SEO web content

Readers are the ultimate targets, not the search engines. Focusing your web content on them, rather than the engines, will help you achieve both goals: loyal, repeat traffic and high, relevant search engine ranking.