SEO is all about attracting potential customers to your website. You want them to learn about your products and buy something – and your content is a huge part of their buying decision.
Writing for SEO is all about crafting content that’s optimized for search engines like Google. If you write for SEO, your content will rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) which will generate more organic traffic.
What are the Different Types of SEO?
- Technical SEO – The ‘under-the-hood’ aspect of your site that can affect crawling, indexation, UX, and ultimately rankings.
- On Page SEO – Creating site content and optimizing it for target keywords and related terms to increase relevance and rankings.
- Off page SEO – Acquiring and managing backlinks from authoritative relevant sources to boost site authority and topical relevance.
What Makes a Good Piece of Content?
- Good content attracts ‘right fit’ traffic – The consumers your content targets should align with your product/service to guarantee conversions.
- Good content promotes messaging – Craft your messaging so that it resonates with customers. Then, implement that message across all of your content.
- Good content converts visitors – Asking them to download something, talk to sales, etc.
How to Develop SEO Content
When crafting content for SEO, focus on the details for each of the following:
- Targeting keywords with the right intent and low competition, and making sure people actually search for them
- Offering unique value to your target users within your selected topic as opposed to just re-writing information that already exists online
- What kinds of backlinks competitor content is getting
- How you can optimize your content to make it more engaging
How Does Google’s AI Rank Content?
Google is using AI to classify and rank content by learning from interactions with people who use the search engine. Google takes into consideration the content topic (based on keywords), quality (based on authority), structure (subheadings, content chunking, visuals), context (internal links, content type) and what other websites are saying about it (backlinks).
AI is better than a rules-based search engine (where Google originally started) because rather than being limited by human-defined rules, it can alter the algorithm based on what it learns.
AI can operate at scale in vast different niches. Google wants to rank medical information differently than it might rank toys, an e-commerce site, a travel site, or a local service where Google wants to show a map.
AI allows Google to optimize in all of these different niches at scale – not just billions of pages on the web, but millions of different types of content!
Google’s AI algorithm is also faster to update because it updates on its own. Additionally, it allows for semantic search which means Google understands what you’re looking for. If you’re searching for Microsoft, for example, the AI knows that Microsoft is a company with employees, but it also tries to determine your search intent to actually understand the query rather than just searching for words on a page. With search intent analysis, Google can determine whether a user is looking for information and navigation, or whether they’re looking to make a purchase.
What are some Outdated SEO practices?
The following optimizations are obsolete in today’s SEO landscape:
- Keyword stuffing
- Keyword domains
- Writing for bots
- Buying backlinks
- Thin and useless content
- Pages for every keyword variation
- Anchor text manipulation
- Thin local pages
How to Develop Rankable SEO Content
Content that ranks is content that answers searchers questions. It is explanatory, detailed, and trustworthy. Google notices this and rewards it. To write content that ranks, you first need to understand the real intention behind the keywords that your customers are searching.
Google’s AI knows the searcher’s intent better than we can because it’s analyzing what the searcher does on the search results pages. It’s difficult for us to figure out the intent by reading the results or even looking at analytics. The best way for us to determine the searcher’s intent is by talking to real customers.
Start by determining what questions customers ask when they’re making a buying decision for any of the products or services that you sell. Then, create content that answers these questions on your service or category pages.
Ask your customers:
- How did you make the decision to buy this product/service?
- Why did you choose us?
- What questions do you have about your purchase?
- Why did you choose a competitor? If Applicable
Need help crafting content aligned with your customers’ searches?
- Google’s AI knows the intent for almost all queries.
- You cannot satisfy search intent with technical fixes or on-page optimizations.
- You cannot satisfy search intent if you do not know what information your customers seek when making buying decisions.
- You cannot satisfy search intent by analyzing the SERPs because searches with a variety of results have a variety of intents. However, you can use this strategy to better understand the type of content Google is ranking for a specific query.
- You CAN satisfy search intent by providing a valuable answer to the right question.