BlogThe Complete Guide to Optimising Content for SEO

February 22, 2018

Content remains king and Google places it among the top three ranking factors. There is a need to stay updated on the latest Google algorithms to ensure that your content is working for you. Your website is like wheels, and without an engine, you will be pedalling without making any progress. While many businesses have embraced the use of content, not many are harnessing the benefits that Search Engine Optimisation offers.

Here is our comprehensive checklist on how to optimise content to generate leads and sales.

  1. Have an SEO Content Strategy

To reap the benefits of SEO, you need to treat it as a crucial component of your marketing efforts. Many businesses make the mistake of using SEO as a mere promotional tool. However, this needs to be an on-going endeavour if you are to harness all the benefits. Having an SEO content strategy ensures that you stay committed to your goals. The first course of action when developing the strategy is to define who your target audience is. Once you know your target, you can understand their language, and this will help you come up with relevant keywords.

  1. Create Quality Content

Good SEO practice is pegged on creating engaging content. When you engage your target audience, they will consume more of your content, which will, in turn, lead to sales. While content should be informative, there’s a lot more that goes into making great content. There are certain SEO best practices that should inform your content creation. Quality content is inspiring, coherent, clear, entertaining, relevant, practical, thorough, novel and educational. As you develop content, always remember that you are writing for people and not for search engines. This content, therefore, needs to be shareable. Another best practice is to ensure that the content can be easily scanned. You, therefore, need to use short paragraphs, bullet points, bold texts and callouts to make it digestible.

  1. Create Appropriate Content

When creating content remember that there are many other websites competing for leads and customers. Your website needs to stand out, and one way is to ensure that your content is not marred by typos and grammatical errors. Poorly written content reduces the credibility of your business. While your content should not be too complicated, it should exhibit professionalism. It is also important to create citations and hyperlink to authority sites. This helps to add to the credibility of your work. It also shows that you are serious about what you do. Correct content should also be fact-checked. Do not state facts or statistics that you cannot back.

  1. Optimise for Keywords

Keyword optimisation needs to be handled with care. For starters, establish the keywords to use and plan how you will spread them out in the articles or blog posts. It is good practice to have the keywords in the title so that they can be easily found by search engines. The rest of the keywords should be well spread out in the content you are creating. While content should be optimised for keywords, you should avoid keyword stuffing. This will reflect badly on the search engines. Another important aspect when optimising content is to use the keywords naturally. Most content developers make the mistake of forcing keywords to try and fit in a number of keywords in their text. If you are outsourcing content creation, ensure that you do not compromise on keyword usage. The keywords need to appear natural and organic.

SEO is a tried and tested way to increase traffic and generate sales. However, you need an ongoing strategy. It should not be a hit and run affair. It needs to be integrated into your marketing efforts.

At one time, what is now known as ‘keyword stuffing’ was used by people wanting to rank highly in search engines. This is simply using an important related word over and over again in website content, so that search engines think it should be ranked highly for relevance. As search engines have evolved, this simply won’t work anymore, and such content will instantly be discarded as being too ‘spammy.’ This doesn’t mean that keywords aren’t important, but that we have to expand them much more into related phrases within relevant and varied content, not simply throw them into the mix like too much salt!

Rich Pages:
We still need to build keyword ‘rich’ pages around the main topic and related concepts, but instead of repeating keywords to a formula as we used to, we now need to find keywords that make this page relevant for as many searches around a concept as possible. The richness of the content is as important as the richness of the key phrases. We still need keywords to build a concept with, but it is now more important to include terms with relationships to the main topic. When someone lands on your page about a topic, there needs to be enough scope and breadth of information. If users are satisfied when comparing it with competing pages, then Google should also be satisfied. Keyword research is still going to be important in search engine optimisation of high-quality pages or planning a content marketing strategy, but these are not just single words used repeatedly.

The future of SEO is in forming key phrases which are more targeted and more closely related to your specific business. If you are selling fresh fish in Melbourne, then you should be using key phrases such as ‘best fresh fish in Melbourne’, or ‘good fish deals in Melbourne’ far more than simply ‘fish’ or even ‘Melbourne.’ Just as people are realising that internet activity is simply an extension and development of offline business, so the search engines are requiring more meaningful and in-depth content from a website. The future of SEO couldn’t possible rely on single keywords, as there is simply too much competition and the searching consumer needs more closely targeted results.

Content Analysis…And why it is important!

Content analysis is a significant part of creating and maintaining effective web content. It is basically an analysing approach and a process for evaluating your web content with respect to features like:

  • Branding
  • Usefulness
  • Relevancy
  • Usability
  • Tone and voice
  • Format
  • Delivery channel
  • Search Engine OptimiOptimisation

So basically, content analysis is a methodical analysis for summarising any type of content by considering these above mentioned aspects. It enables objective evaluation of the content where other methods fail to provide. The analyses are in written word as in it is a quantitative method but the answers of the analyses are numbers and percentages.

Although such analyses seem simple and raw, they serve two purposes:

  1. It removes the quality of the summary being based upon or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions as in eradicating subjectivity.
  2. To make the process of observing trends easy.

Well, how would you know if your content is good and effective if you don’t assess it regularly? So a content analysis helps in:

Clear ROT (Redundant, Outdated or Trivial content)
Content analysis helps you be updated with the latest trends of the market and remove all that has been outdated and not yet useful or up to the latest situation going around.

Cover Gaps
It allows you to identify any gap or opportunities you might have missed in capturing or gaining the attention of your audience and put any content that might work towards focusing on nurturing your audience more.

Brand Messages
Content analyses make you prioritise important brand messages and puts key elements more upfront. Brand messages update with time and so should your content.

You can easily stand equal to your competition or even a step ahead if you analyse your content up to the current market trends.

It helps sustain quality that helps your customers and clients to make positive decisions towards your brand.

Content analysis uncovers causes of things that are expressed in the content through any medium but what an analyzer really needs to do is focus on what exactly is the cause to be found through the analyses because there is a lot of content going present and even if you are specified with a particular field of work and to analyze its content then even there is no limitations to the amount of content you can get. So it is most important to stay focused upon what you want to find out and what you want to update and what should not change and remain the same.

So in conclusion, content analysing is a process with significant importance in all fields and all parts of the world. Whether you reside in Melbourne, Australia or any part of the world, whether your field is marketing, accounting, media or science, every field generates some kind of content and that content needs constant upgradations according to the latest trends that are going on that field’s particular market and the latest information availability. Whenever you feel that maybe your website is not performing well or you are going to launch a new one that is the best time to perform a content analysis.

In Summary – Why it is important! 

Modern algorithms are designed to analyse and favour quality content. There are a few ways that you can use this to your advantage. First, always provide unique and relevant text, which should be a given. Second, make sure that keywords are used in title and header tags within the content. Use a keyword density tool to ensure that you are at the perfect keyword density, which is less than 4%.

Long string keywords are important to include in high-quality content. Many people search for these keywords, such as “how to brush fluffy siamese cat after bath” and similar. Because most highly ranked sites are not optimising as much to these long string keywords, even the smallest and lowest ranked website has a chance to get on the first page of results with these.

Do Not Copy Content From Other Websites 

One of the most surprising, and common things, to find across Google and websites is duplicate content. When we talk about duplicate content, we are talking content that is exactly the same: in every possible way; word for word. This for those you don’t know is a bit of problem – especially when it comes to maintaining and delivering a successful SEO campaign. That is why is it imperative that you focus on ensuring that your content on your website is unique in every way – or you are going to pay for it.

But surely there is going to be some crossover? 

There is no question that thanks to the millions of websites out there, there is always going to be some crossover when it comes to certain topics and industries. If you were to talk about rubbish removal, there would be a million blog posts on the topic, coupled with a million more clients in the industry competing for the same words. So over time, there is going to be some crossword with certain words and phrases. Yet, to truly stand out from the rest of the crowd, you have to focus on ensuring that your content is unique and fresh in every way – this difference will have a profound and positive impact on your SEO campaign. And we are not merely talking about the content on your websites. We are also referring to content in your title tags.

Why what happens when you have duplicate content? 

Firstly, Google and other search engines don’t like it. So they do what they love to do best (apart from rewarding good white hat SEO tactics) – they punish your website – and they punish it badly. By having the same content over and over again, it dilutes your search engine ranking for important pages and, when excessive, may signal to search engines that you are spamming for phrases and keywords.

So they hit your website hard with a drop in rankings. You’ll be pushed off the top spot and you’ll keep dropping. In the worse case scenario, you will be indexed completely off Google, which could be the end of your campaign.

But they copied it off me…

That happens! It always does. Duplicate content doesn’t necessary mean that you have copied content across – it could mean a rival or competitor has copied it from you. There is always one way to stay ahead of this in case it happens:

  • Highlight content from your website
  • Paste and search it on Google
  • See what the results are

If it is just your site, you are in the clear. If not, you can see who has copied your content. It is very easy process to see. Now, don’t worry, as we mentioned there is going to be some crossover with words here and there. As long as its not “word for word” – then you’re fine.

How do we avoid such harsh penalties? 

By staying one step ahead of the game.

Title tags are easy to deal with. Sign in to your Google Webmaster tools and go to HTML improvements. There is a ‘Duplicate Title Tags” section that will tell you about duplicate content.

Finding identical or very similar phrasing can be more difficult. If there is a phrase that you fear is used too often throughout the website, simply search the site for it in quotation marks. This will give you results for that exact phrase. Slightly changing the wording should solve the problem. Remember that unique content will make all the difference for your SEO campaign.

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