You may have heard the term SEO optimized, and unless you are using it in your website or content strategy, you may wonder what it is all about.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Land defines it as “the process of getting traffic from the ‘free’, ‘organic’, ‘editorial’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines.”
But the question is, how do we implement proper SEO?
If your website in on WordPress, you can easily install the plugin Yoast. Apart from serving as an introduction to SEO, it will also benefit you greatly. You will enter the exciting world of Permalinks, Title Tags, SEO Snippets, Meta Descriptions, Focus Keywords, and so on. People raise their eyebrows when I say that I love SEO, and you might laugh, too. But I love it because it is challenging and requires much research and thought.
You need to know that nothing is set in stone and almost everything is trial and error. SEO is competitive and can seems complicated but it is here to stay. So better learn now so it becomes an automatism. SEO optimized content is key because without it, your audience may never find you online.
You’ll also find that it is a great exercise to be clear and concise. I realized long back that it was easier for me to write long articles instead of shorter versions. It is not always easy to summarize a 1000-word article in a 160-character meta description.
Check my tips about basic SEO optimized content to get things started:
I first decide what I am going to write about. Then, I do some keyword research. You need to wear the hat of a researcher when it comes to SEO. Find the keywords before you start writing. The Google Keywords Planner via your AdWords account is a great start. You can try SEMrush as well.
Let’s say that I am writing about SEO Optimized Content. I determine “SEO Optimized Content” as my target keyword. Once I have the keyword, I make sure that my keyword is mentioned in my Permalink / URL. Avoid URLs that mean nothing; like website.com/123/category/articleb
You should ideally have this URL: website.com/seo-optimized-content
Write the Title Tag as well – SEO Optimized Content: How to write great content.
Choose your title wisely. Make it catchy, concise and intriguing so people want to click and read your article. Your keyword should be mentioned here as well.
Read our guide for SEO Optimized Content
Ideally add your title in <H1> tag
Add your keyword in a subheading like <H2> tag
How to write SEO optimized content?
Then, I make sure that I am not overusing my keyword in the article. It has to be natural, subtle and your content should flow. You are writing for your audience, not for SEO. Your reader should not realize that you are placing keywords everywhere. Ideally, add your keyword in the first 100 words of the body text. Then, later in the text, use LSI keywords – keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword.
Your last paragraph is key. Add your keyword while summarizing your article or asking a question to your readers. It is a great way to engage with them and to get feedback.
Now is the time to write a 160-character meta description that sums up your article. Again, ensure that you mention the keyword.
Do not forget internal links. Link to other articles within your website. Our guide for SEO optimized content is one of the tips you need to know when thinking of website design, for example.
Do not forget to optimize your images. Make sure that your image file names include your target keyword [seo-optimized-content.jpeg] and add an Alt Text to the image.
You may already know this, but use an editorial content calendar. Add everything: URL, Title Tag, Meta Description and keyword. It helps to see everything on an excel document. Proofread it. I plan my articles one month in advance so if anything happens – which always does – I always have some SEO-optimized articles ready ahead of time.
All this may seem pretty basic, but you would be surprised how we tend to forget these rules when writing in a rush or hurrying to get a piece of writing out. You can write the most amazing article about the most interesting topic, but what matters is that your audience finds you and reads what you have to say.
At Them You and Me, we don’t just write content, we specialize in SEO optimized content. If you’d like some help with any of these strategies, or to work with someone who truly understands what’s going on in the industry, then get in touch, and I’ll be happy to help out.