SEO Content: How to create content that ranks

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving organic traffic to your website. But simply optimizing your pages technically isn’t enough. The content itself needs to be optimized for SEO as well.

SEO content refers to any content created specifically to rank for target keywords in search engines. The goal is to attract searchers and convince both algorithms and users that your content deserves to rank highly.

This article will cover everything you need to know about creating SEO content, including:

  • What is SEO content?
  • Types of SEO content
  • How to write SEO content
  • SEO content best practices

Key takeaways

  • SEO content refers to any content optimized to rank high in search engines for specific keywords.
  • Types of SEO content include blog posts, product pages, category pages, landing pages, local pages, and FAQ pages.
  • Conduct keyword research to identify target search phrases, and optimize content for keyword placement in headings, titles, URLs, etc.
  • Create useful, detailed long-form content.
  • Optimize content structure with headings, lists, and bold text. Link to internal pages.
  • Meet searcher intent with the right tone and depth. Make content scannable.
  • Follow best practices like fast load speed, quality links, multimedia, and regular updates.
  • Check analytics to identify and optimize top-performing content. Monitor keyword rankings.

What is SEO content?

SEO content refers to any content that is optimized to rank for specific keywords in search engines.

The goal of SEO content is to:

  • Target relevant searcher intent and keywords
  • Provide comprehensive, useful information to searchers
  • Convince search algorithms that the content should rank highly in results

Properly optimized content will help you rank higher organically, drive qualified traffic to your site, and ultimately convert searchers into customers.

SEO content may target various types of searches and intents:

  • Informational queries to learn or research a topic
  • Navigational queries to find a specific business, product, or service
  • Commercial and transactional queries from people considering or ready to make a purchase

Optimizing your content for SEO helps you connect with searchers during every stage of their journey.

Types of SEO content

There are many different types of content that can be optimized for SEO. Common examples include:

Blog posts

Blog content is essential for SEO success. Regular blog posts allow you to target a wide variety of keywords and keep your site fresh with new content.

Aim for long-form, in-depth posts that provide value. Answer questions and educate your audience.

Product pages

Product pages need to be optimized to rank for product names, functions, and benefits. Include detailed descriptions and specifications.

Focus on keywords shoppers will use to research and find your products during the consideration phase.

Category and subcategory pages

Provide detailed content around your product or service categories to make it easy for searchers to browse and explore.

Target category keyword phrases along with related long-tail key phrases.

Landing pages

Create dedicated landing pages that target specific high-value keywords and offers. Send traffic directly from search to conversion.

Optimize landing page content around a single keyword phrase to boost relevance.

Local pages

If you have a local business, ensure you have a location-optimized page for each area you serve.

Target keywords with geographic intent like “clothing stores in los angeles”.

FAQ pages

FAQ pages allow you to answer multiple common customer questions and target associated keywords.

Include questions searchers ask so the page content directly matches searches.

How to write SEO content

Follow these key tips to create high-quality content optimized for SEO:

Conduct keyword research

Proper keyword research is crucial for finding high-value keyword targets. Prioritize keywords with high search volume and low competition. Tools like SEMrush can help.

Optimize for keyword placement

Place primary and secondary keywords strategically throughout your content:

  • Page title
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Image file names and ALT text
  • URL slug
  • Opening and closing paragraphs

But avoid over-optimization. Content should be readable and natural.

Create useful, detailed content

Provide comprehensive information readers will find valuable. Answer their questions thoroughly.

Long-form content tends to perform best for competitive topics. But ensure content stays focused and concise.

Optimize content structure

Use formatting like headlines, subheadings, lists, and bold text to simplify skim reading. Break up long blocks of text.

Include tables or charts when helpful. Optimize images with ALT text.

Link to internal pages

Link to related content on your own site. Use anchor text with your target keywords where they fit naturally. This spreads relevance throughout your site.

Match searcher intent

Understand what searchers want and make sure your content delivers. Tailor the tone and depth to their intent.

Promote engagement

Encourage engagement with CTAs, questions, and share buttons. Engaged visitors are more likely to convert and return.

Make content scannable

Write short paragraphs and sentences. Avoid walls of text. Make it easy for readers to scan and digest your content.

SEO content best practices

Follow these best practices when publishing SEO content:

  • Mobile friendly: Content must be easy to read on all devices. Use responsive design and a minimum 16px font.
  • Fast page load speed: Optimize images and JavaScript and CSS file size. Slow load times negatively impact rankings.
  • Quality links: Link out to authority resources. Don’t use low-quality link networks.
  • Multimedia: Include images, illustrations, videos and infographics when helpful. Optimize with ALT text.
  • Update regularly: Search engines favor frequently updated content. Stale, outdated content will underperform.
  • Promote content: Build links and social shares to boost rankings. Promote your best-performing content.
  • Avoid thin content: Shallow, low-quality content often ranks poorly. Create in-depth, useful content.
  • Check analytics: Use your site analytics to identify and optimize top-performing content. Double down on what works.
  • Monitor rankings: Check where you rank for target keywords and tweak content to improve positions.

Creating high-quality, keyword-optimized content tailored to your audience takes work. But it pays off with better visibility in search engines, more qualified visitors, and ultimately more conversions.

Keep these SEO content tips and best practices in mind with every new piece you produce. Optimize your existing library as well to maximize the impact of your content across every channel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal word count for SEO content?

Focus on providing comprehensive information rather than reaching an arbitrary length. Short-form content can also rank well for less competitive keywords or where it matches the intent.

How many keywords should I target per piece of content?

To avoid over-optimization, focus on optimizing each page for just 1-2 primary keywords. You can also include a handful of secondary keywords. But don’t pack in too many keywords or the content will sound unnatural.

What’s better – content for users or search engines?

The best content appeals to both users and search engines. Provide genuine value to human readers while also incorporating SEO optimization signals like keywords. Avoid “keyword stuffing”.

Should I copy competitor content?

Never copy content from another site. While researching competitors can provide useful insights, your content should always be original and add value for your specific audience.

How often should I publish new content?

Search engines favor websites that regularly publish fresh content. For most sites, publishing 1-2 new blog articles per week is ideal. Even better is to have a consistent content publishing schedule.

What’s the best way to promote new content?

Link building and social media sharing are great ways to promote new content. Email subscribers, retargeting ads, and influencer marketing also help amplify content. Measure results to see what works best for your audience.

About the author

Daniel Lee

With over a decade's worth of experience, I am an accomplished digital marketer who thrives on creating bespoke SEO and content marketing strategies for a diverse range of clients, from innovative start-ups to established billion-dollar enterprises. Drawing from my Master's degree in International Marketing from the University of Law, and business coaching training from the renowned Møller Institute at Cambridge University, I'm committed to delivering results that drive substantial growth and competitive success for my clients. I look forward to being part of your success story.

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