We’re long past the days when SEO content was full of keyword-stuffing and link-spam. Savvy digital marketers have adopted far better strategies centered around creating high quality, informative content, most often in the form of blog articles.
Your problem as a content writer is: how can I satisfy Google and my audience? The solution is a delicate dance between writing entertaining content while incorporating well-researched keywords to ensure your articles rank well.
We’re going to hone in on two key factors that both search engines and readers are looking for: relevance and authority. We’ll show you how to demonstrate both, while maintaining an effective writing style to capture your reader’s interest. Here we go.
Making Relevant Content For Search Engines And Readers
Before you write, you have to determine your target audience and then familiarize yourself with their needs. Things that don’t impact our lives tend to be a bit boring. You’ll never convince an entrenched cat lover to care about dog hygiene, no matter how hard you try.
Do your research and discover what kinds of questions these people ask. What problems do they have? What kinds of news are they looking for? Once you’re confident that you know the answers to those questions, you now have relevant prompts. Just make sure you:
- Hone in on specific questions: vague topics will prevent readers from even clicking
- Research your competitors: make sure you stand out from the crowd
- Create personalized, fresh content to establish a respected voice
- Keep up to date on trending industry news/updates, each event is new content
If you provide informative and helpful content for your target audience, it’ll never bore them. You’ll also signal to search engines that you’re writing on relevant topics in your industry without having to spam keywords to grab their attention.
Diversifying Your SEO Content Portfolio- Make It New
Search engines measure your site’s authority based on several key factors:
- How many sites link to your content
- How reputable those sites are
- How long readers spend on your page after clicking
There are many other variables the algorithm takes into consideration, but these three are the basic pillars of authoritative content. If you’re making relevant content, then factors one and two are being satisfied.
However, if you’re getting tons of clicks but readers leave your site in a matter of seconds, you’re actually hurting your ranking. You need to draw readers in and entice them to stay. Here’s some strategies we’ve learned:
- Interview prominent personalities and innovative leaders in your industry. Not only will your readers love the chance to hear their thoughts, but they carry their own audiences as well. Plus, an interview provides the opportunity for you to connect.
- Borrow a tactic from magazines, newspapers and TV channels: create a column/series. Individual blog posts may only grab a reader’s attention once. If a reader becomes invested in your column or series, they’ll keep coming back for more.
- Find the controversial topics in your industry and write about them. You don’t have to take a hard stance. Focus on opening up a space for discussion. This invites impassioned readers to notice your content stream between the angry keystrokes.
Maintaining An Entertaining And Legible Style While Writing SEO Content
Avoid bogging readers down in unintelligible jargon.Unless you’re writing an in-depth analysis, focus mostly on using well-understood keywords. If you’ve done your research and your content reaches your target audience, they’ll have no problem keeping up.
Don’t be afraid to loosen up either. Every single sentence doesn’t have to be jam-packed with information. Feel free to drop some jokes and inject a little comedy. Your audience doesn’t want to read robotic or “salesy” text. Make them laugh or chuckle and you’ll earn their trust in another way.
Even when dealing with complicated issues, use a conversational tone. People want to feel like they’re being talked to, not lectured at. Also, make sure your spelling and grammar is impeccable. Any slip-up can cause a reader to lose faith in your authority on any subject.
The longer you demand a reader’s attention, the more likely they are to give up on your content. Paragraphs should be concise, stick to around three to four lines in length. Sentences can vary in length, but keep them as short and sweet as possible. No Charles Dickens lines allowed!
Frequently use sub headers to divide your content into easily digestible bits. The average user spends about 15 seconds actively viewing a page, so you have to draw your reader in quickly, and make sure you don’t lose them with intimidating blocks of text. Infographics and pictures can also help break up text into easily digestible sections.
Boring content is wasted content, even if it’s effectively SEO’d. Readers won’t stick around long, and search engines are smart enough to track that these days. You deserve to reap the benefits from all the hours poured into the company blog.
If you want some help diversifying your content or establishing your brand voice, get in touch. It’s our job to walk the delicate line between SEO best practice, and writing entertaining & engaging content.