We’ve been talking a lot these last few weeks about Content—how important it is, how to develop it, and how to segment it for different audiences. So now you have a number of different pieces that carry the same message in a variety of ways to your various audiences. Now it’s time to tweak it once more to make it SEO ready.
We have talked about SEO in an earlier blog and offered some tips for strengthening it, but this week we want to go further and talk about the nuances of adding SEO to your content.
SEO helps certain items rise to the top of search results by matching keywords in stories and presenting the best matches at the top of the list. By developing a good set of keywords you can put your content ahead of competitors’ and directly in front of the right audience. It’s best to develop your website content without specifically thinking of SEO. You want your content to be solidly written and if you go about it by trying to get every keyword in at the start, you’ll wind up with a bland or confusing end product.
SEO-friendly doesn’t mean you have to write just for search engines. Just like with all good content, your primary goal is to reach your audience; if you also happen to be making search engine hits at the same time, that is a good thing.
A good place to start is by taking the content already developed for your website and going through it with a highlighter to pick out strong keywords or phrases. Then, make a list and review it to make sure that key concepts and phrases are represented in the text.
Looking at your content this way, you might realize you’ve left out an important point that your audience may be searching for, or maybe just a word that your readers would be likely to use in a Web search. Remember that prospects and customers may not be aware of insider jargon, so keep the keywords simple—things that your customers might type into a search engine. Make them specific enough to bring your content up in the rankings, but not so specific as to limit your reach. Two- or three-word phrases tend to work most effectively and there’s no need to worry about variations of keywords, misspellings, or plurals—the Internet handles those.
Rework your content to make sure all keywords, phrases, and concepts are included. This might take a bit more effort, especially if you have already spent a lot of time developing the text, but making sure the right SEO keywords are in your website content should be both the last and most important step before launching it on your site.
Your audience can use search engines to find anything in a split second just by typing in a word or phrase or question. If your Web content matches the query best, you’ll be at the top of the results, and if your content is interesting, informative, and consistent, people will return for more. That’s why SEO is so crucial.