Improvements aimed at increasing organic traffic and made in accordance with the parameters of search engines are called search engine optimization (SEO). The priority of SEO optimizations and search engines is to provide users with a good experience and good content. Search engines reward websites that offer good content by ranking them higher.
SEO friendly content is...
- optimized in accordance with search engine parameters,
- shaped around a main keyword,
- appealing to the right target audience,
- responding to user intent,
- benefits the user,
- easily readable,
- in line with the brand language,
- enriched with images and infographics,
- an inclusive, natural and original content.
While and after writing SEO friendly content, there are some steps to be considered before. The first two of these are to determine the subject of the content and then to outline it.
Determine the Subject of the Content
The topic you choose should be niche topics that your target audience can easily consume and attract their attention. It is important that your content is related to your website and the services you offer. While search engines offers content to users they also adds value to users. Therefore, the content should present up-to-date and new information.
Thanks to your competitors with a common target audience, it is possible to see what interests your target audience. In addition, by examining news sites and forums, you can reach the questions that your target audience is looking for but cannot find an answer to.
In short, while determining the subject of your content you can check...
- blog pages of competing brands,
- forums and news sites.
After determining the topic, you should identify the keywords that may be relevant to your topic. Keywords can be divided into main keywords and sub-keywords.
After your content is indexed by search engines, it is ranked in related queries. The query you want to rank primarily for will be your main keyword. You can think of this keyword as the main topic of a piece of content. The main keyword is the phrase that most accurately, informatively and naturally summarizes your content and is most relevant to your content.
Additionally, just like subheadings, there are subordinate keywords. These words should be relevant and supportive of the content and the main keyword. For example, if we set the word “search engine optimization” as the main keyword, “organic traffic” will be a side keyword.
There are three key points to consider when choosing keywords so that your content reaches the right people. These are user intent, search volume, and competition.
User Intent: User intent refers to why a user makes this search, its “intent” when searching. It can be examined under four basic headings as informational, navigational, commercial and transactional:
- Informational Intent: Here, the user searches for information about a subject. Usually these queries are in the form of questions or these queries are accompanied by question patterns such as: “what, how, why, when, where, who?” An user's search for "What is SEO" to learn about SEO is an example of this user intent. Blog content usually responds to this user intent.
- Navigational Intent: Here, the user aims to reach a resource. This resource can be a website or a brand. Searches like “AnalyticaHouse”, “Google Search Console” are examples of this user intent.
- Transactional Intent: It is the searches that users make before making a purchase. Searches like “Top 10 SEO Tools”, “Cheapest airfare” are examples of this user intent.
- Commercial Intent: Here, users have decided to buy and are searching to buy. “Buy iPhone 13” query is an example of this user intent.
The more appropriate the keywords you choose to the user intent of your content, the easier it will be for your content to reach the right people. Search engines are the best source to check whether keywords match user intent. You can measure whether your keyword is suitable for user intent by searching for the keyword you have chosen and determining how compatible the search results are with your content.
For example; if your content will be about “digital marketing trends”, it would be wrong to primarily target the keyword “digital marketing” in your content. As you can see, when the phrase “digital marketing” is searched on Google, “What is Digital Marketing?” titled content will come up. We can say that this query is too general for our content topic.
Search Volume: Search volume shows data on how much search traffic a query receives, on average. Queries with high search volume are more searched and demanded by people on search engines. However, this does not mean that you will get higher organic traffic by using high search volume words. On the contrary, these queries have more competition and will be harder to rank for.
Competition: Competition indicates the degree of difficulty required to move a website to the top of a query. There are three grades: high, medium and low. If your website is new and does not yet have a certain audience, it is recommended to choose keywords with low or medium difficulty.
There are some paid and free tools, called keyword planners, that provide you with data about keywords such as search volume and competition. The free ones are the Google Ads Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator and Answer the Public tools.
Search engines are the most reliable sources for keywords, as they aim to provide users with the most relevant and quality content. Google, which has a market share of 86.64% according to the Statista's September 2021 search engine market share report data, offers a tool that allows site owners to discover new keyword variations with Google Ads Keyword Planner and indicates the average search volume and competition rate for each keyword.
Keyword Planner has a field that asks you to enter the term you find most relevant to the services you provide or your product. The tool will make suggestions related to the terms you enter in this field. You can enter multiple terms in the field and filter the results by language and geographic region. In this way, Keyword Planner better understands the scope of your product or service and offers better recommendations for your target audience. In addition, by adding the URL of your website or your competitor, you can see which keywords your website or your competitor is ranking for and target these keywords.
It is possible to filter the words listed in the "Refine keywords" field as "branded" "non-branded" or by customizing them by product or service. In this way, you can select or remove brand-specific words from your selection, and you can find more suitable options for the service you provide.
You can see the search volumes of the keywords in the "Avg. monthly searches" field and the competition on the basis of words from the "competition" field. By selecting a certain date range in the "Avg. monthly searches" field, you can view the search volume data of the keywords, as well as estimate how these queries will perform in the future.
For example, by examining the results above, you can see that the word “seo” had an average monthly search volume of 27,100 and a moderate competition rate between November 2020 and October 2021.
Ahrefs, one of the most popular SEO tools, offers a free SEO tool called Free Keyword Generator, where search volumes and keyword difficulty are listed.
Just like in Keyword Planner, it is possible to filter by geographic regions in this tool. For example, by selecting the region Turkey, you can access the data of the keywords in Turkey.
In addition to Google Ads Keyword Planner, Ahrefs also allows you to access the data of search engines such as Bing, Amazon and YouTube besides Google.
Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator has two fields, phrase match and questions. Phrase match presents the phrases that contain the query you entered.
The “Questions” field shows which questions were asked about the keyword you provided. The KD (keyword difficulty) & Volume fields, which you can see in both the Questions and Phrase Match sections, show competition and search volume, respectively. The field NE has a logarithmic range. 0-10 indicates little competition, 10-31 medium, 31-70 difficult, and 70-100 very difficult. The “Updated” field provides information on when the keyword was last updated given.
Answer the Public is a free tool that groups Google searches and shows which keywords are combined in alphabetical order.
Unlike Ahrefs & Google Ads Keyword Planner, it is not possible to see search volumes and competition for words in Answer the Public. Another disadvantage of Answer the Public is that it does not offer Turkish language support. However, it offers data for calls made through Turkey. After selecting your region, you can search by entering your keyword.
To create the skeleton of your content, you must first need to decide on its...
Your SEO-friendly article should be filled with up-to-date and reliable information and should cover your chosen topic comprehensively. If you want to rank well with your article, you need to create more comprehensive content than your competitors.
Subheadings are the things that will form the outline and scope of your article. Therefore, when choosing subheadings, you can review your competitors' blog articles on the topic you have chosen. You should definitely include the topics your competitors include in your content, and in addition to these topics, you should add up-to-date information that will feed the user.
At this point, you can take advantage of the questions in the “Questions” section of Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator and Answer the Public tools, and in the “Users also asked” section of Google. In this way, you can include topics that users are curious about in your article.
You need to establish a hierarchy among the sub-headings both structurally, formally and semantically. At this point, it is very important to use heading tags correctly in SEO compatible articles. You can set up the hierarchy between headings by going from general to specific. For example, you can use the H1 tag for the main heading, the H2 tag for the secondary heading, and the h3 tag for the tertiary heading. A hierarchical order should be established between the heading sizes. For example, the heading with the H1 tag should have the largest size and the size should decrease as the heading level decreases.
It is important to have SEO keywords in subheadings, therefore heading tags. In this way, you can both direct your users within the content correctly and give more information to search engines about what your content is related to.
According to Backlinko's research on 912 million blog entries, an SEO-friendly article should be between 1000 and 2000 words long. Also, longer articles get more backlinks than shorter articles. However, you should not forget that how much information a content conveys and how useful this information is for users is more important than its length.
A quality SEO content is readable, natural and original content. Your content should be readable by any reader. In other words, it is important that your SEO compatible article is not written in a robotic language, interacts with the user and is fluent. That's why:
Paragraphs should not be too long or too short. Approximately 100 to 150 words are ideal for comfortable reading of a paragraph. The important thing in the paragraph is to present the main idea and support it with side ideas. In order not to bore the reader, it is important not to repeat the paragraph or the content.
You can support your content with relevant images, videos or infographics to increase the understandability and readability of your content. Using explanatory infographics or graphics will not only make the subject easier to understand, but also enrich the SEO-friendly article.
Take care to pass the keyword in the file name of the images you will use. For example, "ay-image.jpg" would be a better filename instead of "2017IS232738.jpg".
SEO compatible article also means quality and reliable article. The quality of your content helps you stand out from your competitors. Offering reliable content helps increase your authority in the eyes of your users.
SEO compatible content allows you to be visible on multiple keywords. In this way, your organic visibility will increase and it will be easier for you to discover potential customers.
In short, thanks to SEO compatible content, your brand's
- conversion rate
- organic traffic
- brand awareness
- brand loyalty increases.
Here is a 13-item checklist with the features of SEO compatible content
- The content should be more comprehensive than competitors.
- The content should have accurate and reliable information.
- The content should be written by someone who has a good command of the subject.
- The content should include images and infographics.
- The content should be structured around a descriptive, high search volume with a moderately competitive keyword.
- Synonyms to the main keyword or words that are very close to the main keyword should be used in a way that is still relevant to the context.
- A title should have at least one main idea and several supporting ideas to follow.
- The same ideas should not be repeated within the same content by different phrasings.
- Main keywords should be used in titles and subtitles.
- A hierarchy should be formed within titles both constructionally and stylistically.
- The proper heading markings should be done and these headings should be in order in terms of fonts, punto etc.)
- The manner of expression should be consistent.
- For instance, the shift between the 1st person and the 2nd person should be avoided within the narrative.
- Keeping the narrative consistent is highly important. Not switching to one tense to another in a text should be paid attention to.
- Texts should be fluent and easy to follow.
- Making grammatical errors and publishing careless content should be avoided as much as possible.
- Plagiarism should be avoided while forming content.
- Content should not be used on more than one platform.