As a small business owner, you’ve cleared hurdle after hurdle to succeed. Now, you find yourself gauging the search engine optimization (SEO) hurdle and how to write good SEO content. The question staring you down is whether writing for SEO 2021 is a hurdle you can clear on your own or a hurdle that requires help clearing.
Some have the resources to outsource their SEO needs. If this is you, thoroughly vet the person, you hire or entrust with this task. Make sure anyone you hire knows how to write SEO well. A good strategy pays dividends, but a lousy plan wastes valuable time and resources. Even if someone else handles the question of how to write good SEO content for you, gain at least a cursory knowledge of SEO to assess your company’s strategy.
The internet provides a wealth of free SEO tips, tricks, and strategies. Much of the following information comes straight from Google. You can learn how to write SEO with free tools from Google’s Search Console and Google Ads. Analytic tools also assist site owners in their quest for more users. Once you’ve figured out how to write good SEO, the question becomes how to write great SEO content.
Users of Google for Small Business can either get or give help. This site has simple steps and free resources to help connect and stay connected with users. Local Opportunity Ginder has personalized tips on how to stand out on Google Search and Maps. Business owners can access training, tools, products, and customize a plan.
Before we break into the details of SEO, let’s sample moz.com’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. The rapid fluidity of SEO requires using more than one source to stay current.
Moz.com plays on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which centers on human needs, with Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs, which focuses on SEO needs. Each one has its chapter giving users in-depth insight into SEO. So, from bottom to top:
- Crawl accessibility to give search engines access to your website.
- Compelling content to engage users.
- Keyword optimization attracts searches and engines.
- Excellent user experience includes load speed and ease of use.
- Shareworthy content to earn links, citations, and amplification.
- Good titles, URLs, and descriptions draw high click-through rates (CTR).
- Snippet and schema markup to stand out in search engine results pages (SERPs).
(Image credit: findnetsolutions.com)
This SEO hierarchy of needs shares common threads with many other SEO recommendations. It helps answer the question of how to write great SEO content.
Another useful source, ahrefs, starts its SEO beginner section pointing out that most people who run websites have limited understanding of SEO. Ilia Markov of ahrefs argues an understanding of the simple basics of SEO leads to improved success.
Markov’s five keys are:
- How to figure out what your customers are searching for
- How to optimize your web pages for your target keywords
- How to make sure your website is accessible to both search engines and humans
- How to get other websites to link to your site
- How to start measuring your SEO success
1. SEO’s Purpose
Google defines SEO as “the process of making your site better for search engines.” Search engines need to understand and present website content. They do this by crawling and indexing to understand the content of each site.
Website creators’ primary goal should center around user experience and not search engine rankings. Google strongly suggests creating a “useful, information-rich site” with clear and concise content. Build your website to benefit the users and improve their experience. Do not use tricks to pump up traffic.
Center your SEO strategy around providing original, useful content to attract more users. Excellent quality of content equals repeat users, links, and shares, which factors highly in search engine rankings.
FACT: 61% of marketers believe that SEO is the key to online success.
2. SEO’s Process
The search engine is a user that helps other users discover websites.
Every site and many individual pages of each site exist in the search engine’s index. The index contains information on the content and location (URL) of every website it crawls.
Googlebot, Google’s crawler, fetches pages and indexes them. Search engines, such as Google, follow links by reading sitemaps and other means paying particular attention to new websites and changes to existing ones.
Google provides tools to customize how Googlebot crawls your site. To ensure your site accepts Googlebot, use the URL Inspection Tool on Google. Here is what that URL inspection tools would look like:
Keep in mind that all pages don’t need crawling. Google’s Search Console helps sites decide which pages need crawling and which pages need to block crawling. Websites can also request free recrawls when they make changes.
Follow Google’s sitemap suggestions to ensure best getting on Google. Sitemaps tell search engines about new or changed pages on websites. Keep the sitemap updated, so it does not lead to broken links or outdated information. Here is an example of a sitemap:
Google also finds your page through links from other pages. Follow guidelines for ease of finding, number of links, sitemap suggestions, and proper web server support.
3. Keywords, titles, and tags
Stable keywords range from words, and phrase novices of the website’s content would use to words experts in the content would use. Learn how to do SEO content writing, and the number of users will increase. Website owners need to get inside the minds of potential users with SEO writing examples to place words that relate to the appropriate content carefully. Keyword Planner in Google Ads provides a tool to build a keyword resource. Use other keyword resources to gain a broader keyword pool. Google Console’s Performance Report gives the top search queries a site appears for and the ones that led to the most traffic while providing useful SEO writing examples.
According to Google, titles should be “descriptive, specific, and accurate.” Use brevity and clarity when creating titles. Uniquely title each page using natural and useful language to describe the content of each page. Generic titles don’t help the user and lead to confusion about what content each page contains.
Heading tags create a hierarchical structure for the website. Use heading tags only where it makes sense. Too many heading tags lessen the impact, and too few may leave the user overwhelmed. The proper amount of heading tags breaks up the content into easily digestible chunks for the user. Here is what the H-Tags look like:
Meta tags tell search engines about the site and its pages. Search engines use meta tags for search page descriptions unless they closely match content from the site to the search. Meta tags should inform and provide interest in one or two sentences. Use a different meta tag for each page to give search engines and users a clear guide to the page’s purpose.
Another method of learning how to do SEO content writing is to consider adding structured-data markups to describe content to search engines. Search engines use structured-data markups to display site content in useful ways on search results. Review stars, fancy decorated results, and other benefits come from structured data markups.
4. URLs and Navigation
Consider how users navigate from the home, or root, page to other pages on the site. Navigation to and from the home page should be seamless. Use breadcrumbs at the top or bottom of each page to give users an experience that allows them to focus on the content and not the usability of the site. Limit the number of clicks by streamlining the links between pages as much as possible. The inevitability of 404 pages demands the host make these useful by inserting a simple link back to the home page. Make sure the look of 404 pages stays consistent with other pages on the site.
While search engines place no limitations on the length of URLs, keeping URLs simple and concise helps users, including search engines. Each page should have its URL so search engines can index them. Here is an example of a longer vs. shorter URL:
When adding a URL to Google’s Search Console, use http://, https://, www, and non-www versions to give broader search qualifications.
Path, file name, and query string (all case sensitive) determine the access of content from the server. Hostname and protocol do not differentiate between upper or lower case letters.
A study by Ericsson Consumer Lab equated delayed loading times with the stress level of watching a horror film or solving a math problem. Users simply display a total lack of patience when they are on the internet.
According to web.dev’s article, “Why does speed matter?” Pinterest saw a 15% increase in engine traffic and sign-ups after decreasing perceived wait times by 40%. The BBC, web.dev states, reported losing 10% of users for every extra second the site took to load.
FACT: “The latest SEO data compiled in 2021 reveals that mobile sites that take more than 5-seconds to load have a 70% lower mobile session rate than those that load in under five seconds. According to Google, a delay of one-second can mean a 20% drop in conversion.” (Safari Digital)
Google, among others, have tools to assist in improving page-load speed. Test the site on Google, then work through the tips, tricks, and tools to lower the page-load rate.
Nothing helps a website’s success more than providing excellent content. Here are some ideas for optimizing content:
- Great content earns excellent reviews and more links, which equals more traffic.
- Provide easy-to-read and well-written text.
- Organize text well and use clear titles and headers.
- Ensure a clear concept hierarchy for the website.
- Place the most critical information on the default page view.
- Use fresh, original content. Gives users a reason to return.
- Be transparent about the site’s content. Properly attribute material and make it easy to find the site’s owner.
- Use secure paysites and maintain overall honesty with users.
- Make the site’s expertise and authoritativeness of the content clear.
- Provide sufficient content for the page.
- Anchor text for links must provide a basic idea of what it’s linking.
Optimize images as well using HTML’s “img” or “picture” elements. Use the “alt” attribute to provide a brief text description in the absence of an image. Also, use standard image formats for all images to keep loading as smooth as possible. Utilize Google’s structure and data best practices for images and videos. Here is an example of image tags:
Increasingly, users are relying on mobile devices. Design the site to work on desktops, tablets, and mobile-friendly platforms. Google also has a tool to check the appearance and loading of mobile websites. While there, make sure the site appears correctly on different browsers like Google Chrome and Safari.
For user peace of mind, secure the website with HTTPS, which provides three essential layers of protection, according to Google:
- Encryption: Users can securely browse without worrying about being tracked.
- Data integrity: HTTPS will detect any modification or corruption of data.
- Authentication: Proves website and user communication without “middle-man attacks.”
To ensure your website is performing optimally, you’ll need to perform routine performance analysis. A myriad of tools exists for analysis purposes. Start with Google’s Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to determine your site’s impressions, clicks, and position. You can also analyze which queries bring users to your site. Search Console provides training videos as well to help you optimize the website. Google Analytics also offers free tools to analyze data in one place.
SEO moves with the shifts in user preferences. Since search engines continuously analyze the data of users and websites, the best practices of SEO tend to change. Shifting trends require SEO practitioners to analyze data and alter their path as needed consistently. Find a few trusted sources to get your SEO information and stay current. For example, Diib® integrates with Google Analytics to provide you with metrics that can be customized specifically to your business needs. Here is an example of the Diib dashboard:
7. SEO pitfalls
Google clearly states unwanted practices that result in consequences from search engines.
Steer clear of syndicated content for the majority of your content. Copied or scraped material provides little value to the user as the user can simply get that information from its source.
Affiliate content has its place as sites work in conjunction with each other, but only if the affiliate content supplements the original content of the website.
Doorway sites that exist only to lead to another website have no value and serve no purpose but to take up space in the index. The only reason to create a website is to provide content or services for users that they can get nowhere else.
Automatically-generated content has its place. That place is not when it programmatically generated content to manipulate search engine rankings. If automatically-generated content serves to assist the user in some way, then it has a useful purpose.
The following list contains behaviors Google condemns:
- Link schemes
- Little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text/links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Affiliate program without adding sufficient value
- Irrelevant keywords
- Malicious behavior such as scams
- Abusing structured data
- Sending automated queries to Google
FACT: 60% Consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. If the content isn’t accurate or spammy, they’ll turn to your competitor.
Users need to feel safe as they utilize your site. Start by securing your website with HTTPS. Also, monitor your site for hacking and remove any hacked content as soon as it appears. User-generated spam prevention and removal also boost the user experience and assists in how to write an SEO.
Writing for SEO 2021 tools are out there for you to implement useful SEO strategies for your business successfully. Once you know the basics of how search engines work, you can keep up with changes in the field with a fair amount of ease.
Also, maintain consistency throughout all social media platforms. While you don’t have to post something every hour, or even every day, maintain consistency with social media. Posting routinely ranges from posting every hour to posting once a month. The frequency does not matter as much as the consistency. In fact, many companies use a social media calendar, like the following, to help stay consistent with their content.
Solid SEO practices lead to an excellent user experience, which leads to natural link building. Once users talk about and share your site, natural links begin to connect without any direct influence from you. Find those trusted sites, learn the basics of how to write an SEO, implement robust strategies, but above all, provide excellent content and services that users can get nowhere else.
Diib® Develop the Best SEO Content Campaign
Good, solid, informative content will do more to convert your customers than any other tool. Providing such content can seem overwhelming, however, developing that strategy is vital. With the above tools, you should feel confident enough to put together a good content marketing campaign that will eventually convert your customers. Diib’s professional growth experts, along with our analytical dashboard will provide you with tools that can refine your process. Here are some of the features that you’ll love:
- Use the keyword and backlink competitor research tools to find what keywords your competitors are ranking for and create content around those keywords.
- Use Diib® to understand key metrics, like bounce rate and returning visitors, for your specific content.
- See how your Facebook page followers like content you share.
- Enjoy a monthly call with a Diib growth expert.
Click here for a free 60 second site analysis or call 800-303-3510 to chat with a Growth Expert today!
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has been an invaluable tool for more than 10 years to successful and highly trafficked websites. Optimizing content helps Google understand your aim and purpose better, which will improve your ranking.
Ranking high on Google most often means to write content that is SEO optimized, high quality content. Targeting keywords and phrases is one of the most efficient ways to do this. However, if Google sniffs any keyword stuffing or other nefarious practices, you could be penalized.
The short answer is yes, you can do SEO on your own. Mastering techniques like keyword research, backlinking, internal and external links and domain authority, you can steadily improve your ranking through SEO.
SEO, also called search engine optimization, is the process of using content that is focused on specific keywords and phrases. This allows Google bots to efficiently crawl your site and correctly index it. This is SEO based writing.
In short, no, search listings are free and no one can pay for improved rankings. Google wants to provide the most helpful, trustworthy information and content possible. Algorithms are getting more complex by the day, always searching for the most useful content.