Writing and creating SEO-friendly content – A Short SEO Course, Lesson 6

Now that you’re well versed in user-friendliness, let’s get into talking about writing and creating SEO-friendly content. After all, your website must deliver compelling, targeted, well-developed content to your users to stay popular, convert people to your email list, and ultimately get visitors to become customers. The first and best way you can do all of this is to provide amazing content.

To conduct a content audit, you want to determine if the content you’re currently publishing is doing what you want it to do, or if you need to rethink the type of content you’re developing. The first place to turn to is of course Google Analytics.

Use Google Analytics to determine:

* Your most popular content
* Which content converts best
* The content not getting attention

Once you know this, you’ll want to look at the content that is performing well and create more content on this subject or related to this subject. For poorly performing content, try to determine why it’s not doing anything. It could be something simple such as poorly formatted content, off-topic content, or even that it’s not promoted enough. It doesn’t have to mean that the content which isn’t performing is bad. Conversely, well-performing content that is not converting may not actually be good content.

When evaluating your content, ask yourself the following questions:

* Is it unique? – The content on your site should be original and unique to you. It should carry the mission and voice of your brand no matter where it’s published, but most especially on your website. Even if you use private label rights (PLR) articles (pre-written content that you can use as your own that many others buy), you need to edit it to make it as unique and original as possible.

* Is it useful? – Every piece of content you put on your website, whether it’s on your about page or it’s a blog post, needs to be useful to the target audience that you’ve chosen. If the content doesn’t have a reason for existing, don’t publish it.

* Is it informative? – Sometimes content should simply be informative. Some people call this poking pain points. But, the point is to fully explain the problems so that you can offer the right solutions.

* Is it better than your competition’s? – You want to avoid copying your competition, but you can follow them so that you fill in the gaps that they’re not noticing. If your content is not better than your competition’s, it’ll be hard to get a good share of the audience.

* Is it engaging? – Every piece of content and page on your site is a good place for a call to action. Whether the call is to comment, share, click, buy or something else entirely, you want the audience to be compelled to take some sort of action.

* Is it truthful? – It’s tempting to pull facts out of thin air or to make things up. But, don’t do it. No one may notice your facts are off at first, since your audience is smaller. However, as you gain audience share, you’ll also gain more critics. Check your facts. Realize that things change fast. Something that was true yesterday may not be true today. Plus, checking facts builds your authority quotient.

* Do you have both long-form and short-form content? – There are good reasons to have both long and short content on your website. Creating pillar content that is long, over 1500 words, is very helpful for building authority on a topic. Plus, people tend to read it and share it more if it’s well done.

* Do you have a variety of formats of content? – Don’t feel as if you can only include text on your website. You can and should use a variety of formats of content, from images, to videos, and whatever else you can develop. The variety will help everyone learn better from you, as well as attract different segments of your audience.

* Is it well-written? – When you do take the time to publish written content, is it well-written? How’s your grammar, spelling, and formatting? Using software like Grammarly.com can help you push your written content to the next level.

* Do the links work? – When you put links in your content, be sure to check them. You can install a broken link checker for your WordPress site to help with this job. It will alert you if a link stops working so that you can fix it.

* Do you have a balance of ads versus white space? – Looking at content online requires that you put more white space than you would if you were writing for print. A crowded website full of ads that make it hard to consume the content is counterproductive.

* Do you engage with blog comments? – Some people don’t realize it, but a blog is a type of social media when you open up the comments section. You can have full-on discussions about a topic right on your blog. If someone comments, make it a priority to answer them and acknowledge their comment. Make the most of the user-generated content.

* Are you including the right kind of images? – Make sure you get your stock images from reputable websites and always include a description in the “alt” text description area. You can do this easily when you upload an image to media in WordPress.

Sometimes, to do this effectively you may need to employ outside eyes to analyze your content. You can hire someone, or you can ask your audience to help you improve your content with website surveys, social media questions, and by asking your email subscribers. Remember, your job is to provide your audience with useful and accurate content that solves their problems. When you do that, you can’t lose.

Next time, we’re going to look in more detail at link building for SEO.

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