4 Steps to Create SEO Friendly Content to Maximize Exposure
by Jenny Foster, on Nov 24, 2020
Are you unsure if the content you publish is setup well to rank in the search results? To achieve exposure on Google you must have a systematic approach to your content creation process, and understand how search engines work so you can make sure your content aligns with what search engines value when determining the results that will display.
This does not mean that you have to become an SEO specialist or a copywriting wizard even though both have their benefits. To improve your visibility in the search engines you can start by following the 4 steps outlined below.
But first, let’s quickly break down what is meant when you hear “SEO friendly content”.
What is SEO Friendly Content?
SEO friendly content is anything that’s strategically created, formatted and technically optimized with the intention to help search engines understand and recognize the value of your content. Side note, don’t put a limit on the term “content” and just think about the pages on your website or blog posts. SEO friendly content practices should be applied to:
- Blog articles
- Website pages
- Images / Photos
4 Steps to Create SEO Friendly Content
1. Outline Your Content Strategy & Timeline
The first step to creating content with a high probability of being valuable to your target audience and ranking in the search results is taking the time to plan, research and outline a thoughtful content strategy.
It’s a lot like the time tested quote says, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”.
Here are several questions you need to answer to create your content strategy and timeline.
- What is our objective and how will we measure our success?
- Who is the team involved in the planning, creation, editing, reviewing and publishing?
- Based on your team's available bandwidth, how frequently can you produce content. (Recommendation - Be conservative if you are just starting.)
- Who are your backups in case a member is pulled to a different project?
Many teams are small and lack the bandwidth to consistently produce a high volume of content. In these cases it is tempting to lean on an outsourced option. In certain cases this is a viable option but one fact to remember, you will likely see the best results when your blog and other written content is created by members within your organization. You can’t beat the experience and expertise your team brings to the table when discussing your product or service. Once work around for this issue is looking to outsource an editor versus a writer.
- Do you have any existing content you can repurpose? You can also go back and revamp existing content to better support your new strategies.
Once you have these questions answered, you can begin to outline your content strategy and apply a timeline for your production. Keep in mind, SEO friendly content does not mean that you can magically get low value content to rank well. The investment needed to create interesting and relevant content for your audience is still an absolute necessity. It should not be viewed as a shortcut that save times or effort. Utilizing SEO best practices with your content should be viewed as an amplifier to increase the exposure of the great work you are already creating.
Pro-tip: Use a planning tool like the one HubSpot provides for SEO to visualize your strategy.
2. Get Hyper Specific in Audience, Tone and Narrative
The most powerful content both informs and evokes emotion to action. You’ll need to get hyper specific with your target audience. You must keep the pain point you are solving for your target persona front of mind and continually highlight the transformation the persona will experience during their journey with your product or service.
To start, you’ll have to conduct ample keyword research and create a detailed persona. Focused research and targeting will help you cut through the noise and competition so you can ensure your efforts have the best chance to achieve the desired rankings on Google.
3. Utilize Technical SEO
The technical piece is crucial in producing truly SEO friendly content.
Technical SEO encompasses the structure and layout of your page from the images to the headers you use to break up your content. How you link to your own content and content not located on your website.
Search engines are looking at factors such as speed, readability, and usability as ranking factors. In order for your content to be truly SEO friendly it needs to be compatible across all devices. It’s often overlooked, especially when it comes to ADA compliance.
4. Double Your Efforts With Video
Producing thoughtful articles is a must in today's world but video is still a lagging effort by most teams. Video can be a major contributor to SEO efforts because it opens up your content to other search engines.
A blog article or website page with video keeps users on site longer which is also good for driving continued exposure over time. Don’t overthink your video content. A quick and easy place to start is creating short videos that either tell the users how they can best utilize a resource on your website or provide a summary of the blog article.
By incorporating video within your written content will help you stretch more life out of the content, bolster visibility and help increase your engagement rate on the given page.
These four steps will help you increase your organic exposure and propel your efforts to the next level. It will bring clarity and alleviate chaos in content. This is a solid approach that can be measured and ultimately operationalized so you can have peace of mind in your content creation efforts.
It can be daunting to take this all in, the best place to start is with a plan.