Creating SEO-Friendly ContentBottom Line Publications | January 21, 2013
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is practice ofensuring that a website can be found by searchengines when customers search for words andphrases that are relevant to that website. SEO is not a 1-time project—it is a way of doingbusiness. SEO touches entire organizations, from contentcreators, to producers and marketers.
What do Search Engines look for? “Relevance” &“Importance” Relevance means more than simply finding a pagewith the right words—100s of factors influencerelevance and those factors are always changing. Currently, the major engines typically interpretImportance as popularity—the more popular a site,page or document, the more valuable the informationcontained therein must be.
Influencing Relevance Relevance can be most directly influenced throughOn Page SEO. “Give the people what they want.” Be direct andclear. Writing SEO content means following rules. Youneed to train yourself in a new writing style.
What does “Relevant” content look like?Title - the most important of on-page keywordelements, the page title should employ thekeyword term/phrase as the first word(s).Number of Keyword Repetitions - 2-3x onshort pages, 4-6x on longer ones and nevermore than makes sense in the context of thecopy.Keyword Usage Variations - At least one ortwo variations of a term. Split up keywordphrases and use them in body copy.Bold/Italics – Use the targeted term/phrase atleast once in bold and/or italics.
“How do I choose optimized content?” Google Trends – Compare a few variations on yourtopic and choose the one with the highest searchvolume in recent months. Think Like Your Readers – If you weren’t alreadyan expert, how would you find out about subjectsthat you’re interested in. Write at the level of youraudience. Google interprets 27% our content asbeing written at an advanced level.Compare that to WebMD.com, whichhas 49% and Rodale.com, which hasonly 7%.Who is your audience!?
Google TrendsCompare the popularity of keywords using Google Trends.Write stories that have a clearly defined audience baked in.
Some good examples of On-Page SEOTitle - The customer can clearly tell what thewhole story is about. First word in title iskeyword.Number of Keyword Repetitions – 2x in 1stparagraph, 5x+ in 2nd.Keyword Usage Variations – “AtariCorporation,” “Atari Inc.” and “Atari, SA” are allused.Bold/Italics – Use the targeted term/phrase atleast once in bold and/or italics.Source: Joystiq.com
Some good examples of On-Page SEOTitle - Title leaves nothing to interpretation.Number of Keyword Repetitions – Keyword isused at least once per paragraph.Keyword Usage Variations – Note thatvariation moves from general to specific (e.g.,“flu A (H3N2)” does not lead the story.Bold/Italics – Related keyword “pneumonia” isalso bold. These are great opportunities to placecontextual links to other stories on our websites.Source: WebMD.com
Influencing Importance Create content that readers love to share—notnecessarily what you like to write about. Increase activity on Social Media and considerusing Google+. Encourage Bottom Line Experts to link to articleson our website from external sites and SocialMedia accounts.
The New SEO Formula Relevance + Substance + Sharing = Visibility Refocus efforts on Social Media and increase activity. Study Google Analytics and Facebook Insights todetermine what kinds of stories readers are enjoying—and what kinds they are ignoring. Think about the future. What will personalized searchmean for us? How do we prepare for it today?
The Golden Rules Content - Compelling, high quality material that not only attracts interest, butcompels visitors to share the information is a must have. Virality of contentis possibly the most important/valuable factor in the ranking equationbecause it will produce the highest link conversion rate (the ratio of thosewho visit to those who link after viewing). On-Page SEO - Getting the keyword targeting right in the most importantelements (titles, copy) provides a big boost in the potential ability of a pageto perform well. Marketing – “Great content is no substitute for great marketing.” A terrificmarketing machine or powerful campaign has the power to attract far morelinks than content may “deserve.” Social media, partnerships with writers,and syndicating content are all ways to build SEO.