The Relationship Between Content & SEO
The Dynamic Duo: Content & SEO
Imagine this: you’ve been focusing on your content lately, improving the quality of your blog posts, following trends, and keeping your audience interested. You’re getting lots of good feedback, which is awesome, but you’re noticing that the traffic on your website is still lackluster.
If you’re getting quality content out there, the logic should follow that your website is getting lots of eyes, too.
But if your website is gathering dust and cobwebs instead, it probably means your SEO needs some work.
SEO, or search engine optimization, enhances your website by making it more attractive to search engine algorithms. Using popular keywords, improving user experience, and publishing high-quality, helpful content, good SEO can get your site more traffic and display it on the first page of results.
It’s often said that content is king, and it’s true. The internet lives on content–the more compelling your content is, the more likely you’ll get noticed. The thing is, you can’t get noticed where it matters most without SEO. So content might be king, but SEO is the queen.
They’re like two sides of the same coin. Mirror images of the other. Two halves of a whole. Peas in a pod.
You get the point: high-quality content sustains good SEO, and good SEO means your high-quality content will be seen. They nourish each other.
So–if your content’s not bringing clicks to your website, the likely diagnosis is poor SEO.
How do you improve your SEO game with content? Read on.
Format For SEO
Google–and other search engines–care about your site's overall functionality.
Your site should be easy to use, both on a computer and mobile device, and easy to read. Ensure your pages, blogs, and other written content are formatted with noticeable, descriptive headings. Include attractive images that relate to the content, too.
It’s important to note that reading on the web differs from reading a book or magazine. Users tend to scan content instead of reading and use an F-shape scanning pattern.
They start at the top left of the page, scanning along the lines of content. If they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for, they continue to move down the left side of the page, scanning the first few words of each sentence until they find something of interest.
In eye-tracking studies, this pattern looks like the letter “F” appearing on the page.
So, what does this mean for content development? Follow these general rules:
Use short paragraphs and simple sentences. Since readers are not analyzing the content in-depth, complex sentences can be confusing and are often skipped.
Lead with important information. Don’t make your readers wait for information. Start with the answers they’re looking for.
Use bullet points and lists when possible. Brevity helps get your point across.
Add URLs to other pages on your site. Search engines like seeing users moving through your site and interacting with external sites.
Utilize bold or italic text. Did you notice that your eyes went straight to this list? Highlight what matters most with bold or italic text.
Consider what questions your customers might have and address them in your content.
If you’re unsure what that is, look at the search results page of a competitor. You may see a list of questions–automatically generated by Google–with the searcher’s most common questions.
You can also do a keyword search (with the tools listed below 😉) to understand what people are searching for and how to address those needs.
Follow these general rules:
Address the questions completely. You don’t want people leaving your site because you didn’t answer their questions. Try to address everything, even if it seems lengthy. Long-form content is in, so try not to worry about it.
Be direct. Write the questions into your content: “How do I optimize my content for SEO?” Give Google a leg up!
Keep it simple; use action words. Titles and headings should be as clear and concise as possible. Lead with the action: “Learn to optimize your content for SEO.”
Recognize different kinds of search intent. Some searchers are looking to buy; some are looking to learn; some are looking for services. Cater to different searchers with different language.
If you wanted to find coffee mugs with flowers on them on the internet, you’d probably type “floral coffee mugs” into Google.
If you’re the one selling floral coffee mugs, you’d better make sure that your website is full of the terms “floral coffee mugs,” “coffee mugs,” “floral mugs,” and so on.
Using high-ranking keywords throughout your site and your content gives your SEO a huge boost.
Aim for some variation instead of using identical keywords repeatedly to open your site to more creative searchers–and keep your content from getting boring.
Hot tip: update the pages of your site by utilizing the keywords you’ve researched.
Fresh, updated content is a search engine’s love language. That’s good news–you can take your old content and give it a new look, saving time and money while improving your SEO.
For example, take this old Jennasis blog post: “Ten Free Content Marketing Tools and Resources to Utilize During COVID-19 and Beyond.”
This blog post is moot by now–some of these resources were offered for free in light of the pandemic. Not to mention that everyone would prefer to forget about the pandemic if they can help it. Hence: no one reads this blog post anymore.
However, this content can be recycled for 2023. These resources are still excellent tools, and a new blog post could re-recommend them. New tools and sites are always popping up, and a refurbished blog post could add to the list.
Current events are a great way to grab the reader's attention, but you can also try to find topics for blogs that don’t age as quickly. This might take a little more research, but you don’t have to worry too much about aging or irrelevant content.
It certainly takes energy to keep these posts updated, but the upside is that they become resources from which other people can draw. If others can utilize your content by placing your URLs in their content–a process known as backlinking–you win more traffic to your site. Boom! ✨Magic. ✨
Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and content must keep up with the times.
In 2021, the rise of voice search–in the form of Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa– meant that the keywords used in content had to be cultivated to include phrases a searcher might use while speaking.
“Floral coffee mugs” became “cute mugs.”
“Floral mugs” became “flower mugs.”
Keeping track of trends can be confusing and overwhelming, but don’t worry about that–we’ll do the work for you.
Here are some content marketing trends for 2023:
Short form video. The rise of TikTok continues, as does the short-form video. Try to incorporate some entertaining, engaging videos in your content strategy. Behind-the-scenes footage, jokes, information, dancing, and shameless self-promotion are all welcome.
Real-time connection. Every social media platform–yes, every single one–now offers a live streaming option. From Facebook to Pinterest, use the opportunity to answer questions, host a webinar, or just chat with your audience.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Want to see a piece of furniture in your home before you buy it? VR and AR can do that, and it’s slowly creeping into other content-driven uses, so keep your eye on it.
Need more help? You’re in the right place! Jennasis can help you strategize, write, edit, and optimize content. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!