The goal in writing high quality SEO optimized content for the web is to first satisfy your readers with valuable content and then make sure your content also satisfies the search engine bots. This means that the content must flow and progress naturally down the page while including strategically placed keywords and keyword synonyms. In order to rank in the search engines, your content must be of uber high quality – hopefully better than anything you see on your competitors’ sites.
Since we know we’re looking for really high quality, valuable content, let’s take a look at what high quality content consists of:
- Know Who You’re Writing For – High quality content is based on an understanding of your audience, as well as keyword and user intent research. When writing, speak your audience’s language and provide the information they’re actually looking for.
- Write More – Long content (1,000+ words) tends to rank better in organic results, in part because it is thorough. That said, stay on task and don’t let the content lose focus.
- Write to the Audience – Good content is written to its audience, not your peers. Make sure the language is neither too simple nor too full of industry jargon.
- Make it Shareable – Read your content out loud to yourself. First notice if it flows well and then ask yourself if its good enough that you’d share the content if you came across it.
- Uses Font Attributes – Use short paragraphs, callouts, bold text, bullet points, numbered lists, quotes and so on to make the text easy on the eyes and easy to digest quickly.
- Use Strong Titles and Headings (H1s, H2s, H3s etc) – Create enticing, actionable titles that use keywords strategically and naturally.
- Deal with Objections – Feature ideal results and answers to common objections – try to anticipate the audience’s hopes, fears and concerns.
- Spy Out the Competition – Review the pages that are currently ranking well for target keywords and ask yourself if your content is better. Make sure it’s better.
- Spelling / Grammar Mistakes – Proofread. And then have someone else proofread.
- Link Out – Good content has outbound links to authoritative and reputable industry related resources (Wikipedia is always a good, neutral authority site to link out to).
- Get Your Facts Straight – Make sure that the content your writing is factual. Just because you found it online somewhere doesn’t make it automatically true.
- Keyword Stuffing – Don’t do it! There’s no real math for this. A good way to visualize is to use the “Find” feature in your document and search the keyword. If it looks oversaturated, start plugging in some synonyms.
- Use Keywords and Variants Naturally in Content – Don’t overthink it. Use synonyms, abbreviations, plurals and so on like a normal human being.
- Keyword Optimized Intro and Outro sentence – Don’t be awkward with it, but as much as possible, use your main keyword as close to the beginning of the first sentence as possible. And then the last sentence on the page as well.
Good UX (user experience) is good SEO (search engine optimization). When users are engaged, they consume more content, interact with it and share it.
There are plenty of philosophies about which characteristics make for great content. The following are all worthy considerations, and every piece of content should cover at least a few of these:
- Simple / Clear / Coherent
- Credible / Valid / Experienced
- Deep / Thorough
- Novel / Unique (in value, not just in content)
And one final point is worth mentioning once more. As you continue to design content, keep your audience in mind: you are writing for people, so search engines can also understand — not vice versa.