SEO and Writing Quality Web Content

by on June 8, 2010

 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.



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Shalin August 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Great share of well written guide like this. The key to a good ranking content is being mutually beneficial and informative. keyword stuffing is not recommended at all.

Reply

Adam February 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Great post Gabriella Sannino. I like it.

I just wanna share something about my experience. If you search Google you can find a lot of SEO Service Providers. We have 6 websites and we have tried at least 10 SEO Service providers. Only few could do their job well. Finally we thought to search for a small team of SEO guys. We found http://www.SEOandWriting.com from Sri Lanka. They are a small team of young guys. But they are well experienced and dedicated. Wow, we could achieve our targets within few months.

What I wanted to say is, there are small teams, and we should try them as well and it will be a help for them too.

Great post again,

Adam

Reply

Elsie Richardson May 5, 2012 at 12:32 am

If you are running a business or website it is advisable for you to consider SEO campaign and its important to promote your website to increase your popularity and site ranking.

Reply

Designer June 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm

SEO requires only quality content to be placed on the website. The keywords should also be placed relevantly and densely around this content in order to be picked up by search bots and reach more potential viewers. Incorporation of SEO into web design would ensure that this is considered in the design process.

Reply

steve June 18, 2010 at 8:32 am

Hi Hywel, the way I get around it, is to read something through a couple of times, then rewrite it from memory, you will undoubtedly get the wording different and add your own take on things. Personally I feel this is a good way to steal some content, as you are really only looking for ideas, not actually duplicating someone elses hard work. If you do just copy and paste you are unlikely to get into googles index with that page or post anyway.

Reply

Hywel Morgan June 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

Thanks Gabriella for your speedy reply. I was leaning towards those thoughts myself so might have to have a trip to the drawing board. The blog is all original copy and creative but content of the site probably needs some refreshing.

Certainly does help!

Regards,

Hywel

Reply

Hywel Morgan June 15, 2010 at 7:58 am

Thanks for the useful bits of advice.

In terms of webpage content, what are you views on duplicate content? I was thinking about using some information from Wikipedia but I’m worried I will be penalised by the search engines if I simply copy and paste. Do you think this is the case for Google SEO?

Be interested to know your thoughts.

Hywel

Reply

Gabriella June 15, 2010 at 8:07 am

If you only want to use a sentence or two, that would be fine, and not considered duplicate content – but have a reference link to the page you’re getting the information from. If you want to paste an entire article, however, that’s a big no-no and defeats the value of your post/blog. It’s true sometimes we don’t have all the answers or information…I get it, and I can appreciate how one can use outside content. But the whole point of your content is to be fresh, informative and engaging, right? Hope that helps…;)

Reply

Kristi June 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

I saw your comment on the Blue Glass LA post and saw your were from MS… I grew up there and moved to AZ over 10 years ago. Nice to see someone from the south in the same industry. And awesome post – you’re absolutely right. Readers are the target – you can write copy for SEO purposes all day, but if someone finds it and hates the writing, then it does you little good.

Reply

Gabriella January 7, 2012 at 7:27 am

Hey Kristi, a bit late for this response… lolol But I noticed it today. Been cleaning out our blog for 2012. Maybe now I can see comments a bit quicker ;)

I’m finally moving out of MS. That’s if we can rent the last house. It’s been an interesting 7 years to say the least. Friendly, people but a “bit” on the conservative side. So much so that I stick out in a crowd. Great food and I’m sure living only 40 miles outside New Orleans has a lot to do with it. Do you still visit down here? See you on Twitter :)

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