Social media marketing and content marketing have been buzzwords in the online marketing world. Some marketers even tell you to forget about SEO and focus on writing good articles on their marketing blog.
I disagree with that. Search engines are still critical (why do you think Google makes so much money from search ads services?).
In this article, I am going to explain why SEO matters and how to make SEO content.
Why SEO still matters
There are two reasons to believe traffic from search engines is still significant: volume and conversion rate.
Look at your Google analytics stats and see how many people visit your website. Unless it is less than 5%, it is still a big portion of your traffic. I do not think you should ignore them.
People who come from the search engine results page, at least theoretically, convert well because they are looking for something specific, whereas people from social media are usually just surfing on the internet without any purpose. It is safe to assume that individuals who come to your website for “free task management software” or “the top 10 travel destinations in Japan” are more likely to read your content or purchase your products than people who just browse their Facebook timelines.
In addition to that, you can make your web contents both search engine optimized and appealing to your audience. It is not a trade-off. So, if you are going to write web content, you might as well optimize it for search engines.
How to optimize your web content to search engines in 6 steps
1. Brainstorm and write down keywords.
Write down keywords that are relevant to your business. Remember that customers do not always search using the right keywords. For example, they might type “how to make a business card?” or “leaflet printer” to search for a printing company.
2. Use Google Suggest to list keywords.
First, insert keywords in the first row of an Excel sheet. Then, get the Google Suggestion list using the Keyword suggestion tool. The Keyword suggestion tool is a free online service with which you can save all keyword suggestions alphabetically in text format. (In fact, I use a different tool, GoodKeyword, because it can choose search engines from Google, Bing, Rakuten, and GooglePlay.)
After the result is displayed, select all keywords and press “get button,” and you can copy all keywords into an Excel file.
After pasting them, insert other keywords and paste the results in different columns or sheets.
3. Use Google Adwords to get search volume.
By using Google AdWords, you can find search volume. Search volume is the market size of a search engine. The bigger the search volume is, the more perspective you have.
First, go to Google AdWords and click “Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups.” After clicking, enter all keywords and selective targeting. Then, press the “Get search volume” button and wait until the screen below appears.
Click download to get traffic data, and then paste “Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)” to the keyword sheet.
You might want to optimize your content with keywords that have the biggest search volume. Well… don’t; bigger keywords have more competitors, and it’s difficult to rank higher in the search engine result page. Try to optimize your content with more relevant keywords than irrelevant, big keywords.
4. Analyze Search Intention
To understand what your prospects want, you need to analyze their search intention. Prospects do not always know what they should search. For example, you cannot tell what prospects want online from “printing service online.” In such a case, you can use the Keyword Suggestion tool to get more information.
When there are duplicated or similar keywords, such as “cheap” and “reasonable,” you can merge them.
5. Make editorial calendar and keyword mapping
If you create more than one page with the same focus keywords, then those pages will compete with each other to rank higher, and as a result, none of them will rank higher. This is called keyword cannibalization.
“One focus keyword, one web page.” That’s the golden rule of SEO writing.
It’s hard to track which web page focuses on which keyword. Use Excel or Google spreadsheet to track it. You can also put the date on the spreadsheet to create an editorial calendar.
6. Write contents
The last step is to write contents with focus keywords in the title, the meta description, and, if possible, the header.
Try to make it sound natural instead of cramming focus keywords in your article.
There is so much more to tell you about SEO writing. There are so many books about writing, copywriting, SEO, marketing, etc. SEO writing is not rocket science, but it’s certainly not something any native speakers can do.
When you hire an SEO writer, make sure to find a good writer with previous experience in SEO writing.