Creating quality content for SEO has historically been tricky, with many business owners questioning whether it’s better to ‘optimise for Google’ or ‘optimise for the user’. Luckily, in recent years the two of these have become one and the same. Here are 5 of the things you should consider when creating your next SEO content plan.
Know your audience
When planning your content, it’s important to bear in mind who your audience is. If you’re an insurance provider for the over 55s, there’s very little point in creating content suitable only for Snapchat or Instagram, or using words and references that are more suited to millennials or Gen Z.
By knowing your audience, you can create a plan that incorporates the font, style, vernacular and even distribution channels that work best for your audience. This not only makes it more likely that your target audience will see your content initially, but also makes it more likely that they will engage with it and find it interesting once they see it!
Keywords, keywords and more keywords
One thing about SEO will never change is the emphasis on keywords. Before creating the content (yes, that’s right – we don’t encourage post-publishing keyword stuffing!), it’s important to do your keyword research.
Keyword research can include looking at competitor content, but also double-checking the keywords and phrases that your audience actually use. A good example of this is a car garage. There’s no point in a car garage creating content optimised for the word “car mechanic” when more people might use the phrase “car repairs” more regularly to find a local garage. To figure out the keywords that people are really using, you can look at Google Trends, use the Google Ads keyword planner or even look at your direct competitors, to see what they’re optimising their content for, and do the same!
Be sure to create value with your content. We’ve all read the articles that drone on and on without actually saying anything, and with lower attention spans and increased mobile device internet access, grabbing and keeping someone’s attention is trickier than ever.
To double-check if you’re giving real value, make sure that you’ve addressed the question, comment or topic within your headline and/or metadata. Whether your audience finds your content via social media or search engines, the headline and description snippets will have encouraged them to click through – so make sure the experience of your content matches up with your audience’s expectations of the piece!
Don’t forget the visuals
Remember that visuals are key to content. Our eyes naturally skim read, look for headings and are drawn towards pictures when we’re consuming content, so be sure to maximise the use of imagery. A great way to optimise your images for SEO is to use image alt tags to explain to search engines what the image is of.
You also need to ensure that your image file size is optimised, especially for smaller screens and smaller devices. Large images not only take ages to load (and will slow down the page speed), but will also use additional data to download on mobile devices – which won’t keep anyone happy!
Remember the fundamentals
Last of all, remember the fundamentals of SEO. Once your content is ready, it’s important to double-check the following before going live:
- Use friendly URLs (not blog/34282jmcbdjdk)
- Utilise metadata to show what your content is about, and to help search engines to understand it
- Double-check the structure, and make sure you’ve broken the text up with regular headings
- Utilise internal linking to link to other blogs, content and pages on your website
- Load speeds. Does your page have large video or picture files? Try to compress and cache these to make load speeds faster for users on all devices
Need a hand? We understand that this sounds overwhelming. Luckily, you’ve got us on hand as your friendly SE experts. We can work with you to create an SEO campaign, or even support your content plan journey. Give us a call today to get started.