If you want to increase your organic search visibility, keyword rankings, and traffic, you need to focus on good content and SEO.
You cannot have one without the other.
Gone are the days when you could optimize a poorly written page and jump to the top spots on Google. Similarly, just writing high-quality content without paying attention to SEO with the hope that the page gets the natural rankings it deserves won’t cut it either.
So, to ensure you get the most value out of your content writing efforts, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide on why content matters for SEO.
Why Content is Important for SEO
Content is important for SEO because it facilitates search engine optimization. Without good SEO content, search engines won’t have enough information to properly index your pages and help them rank. Let’s now dig a little deeper to find out what exactly SEO content is and how content affects SEO and ways to improve it.
What is SEO content?
SEO content is content that has been well-optimized for search engines. Good SEO content is written in such a way as to improve the visibility of your pages in search engines so that you can get more traffic to your website. The ultimate goal of SEO content is to increase awareness, sales, and leads.
The term “SEO” refers to search engine optimization, which is the process of optimizing a webpage so that it can rank higher on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. SEO can be optimized through on-page or off-site efforts and is known as “On-Page SEO” and “Off-Page SEO”.
The term “content” refers to the actual words and media used on a web page that your visitors consume. The content may consist of text, images, videos, graphics, tables, and interactive media, with the sole purpose of satisfying the searcher’s intent.
If we put these two ideas together, the term “SEO content” refers to any type of content created to attract traffic from search engines and satisfy the needs of the visitor. The result of this combination is generating more awareness, leads, and sales for your business.
How does content affect SEO?
Content affects SEO, making it easier to optimize on-page and off-page. The quality of your content affects your SEO results, making it easier or harder to optimize for search engines and get external links to your page. Essentially, content affects SEO in all aspects of search engine optimization.
If you’ve ever struggled to get higher rankings and wondered, “Why does SEO take so long to work?”, it could be that your content isn’t at the quality level needed to rank on the first page of search engines.
As I explain in my guide on what SEO article writing is all about when you have good content that is correctly outlined and well-written, it is easier to improve the content with on-page optimization methods.
Good content gives you more opportunities to place your keywords in the right places to get higher search engine rankings.
Good content also better meets the needs of your visitors, which helps improve page quality and trust. A credible page with good content and SEO makes it easy to get external links from credible sites in your niche. And the more high-quality links you can get to a page, the higher that page will rank in search engines for your target keywords.
Now, this all sounds good in theory, but how do you improve your SEO content for more organic visibility, keyword rankings, and traffic?
I will cover this in detail for you below.
How to improve my SEO content?
1. Focus on the right SEO keywords
Each content page should focus on a specific set of keywords. The goal is to match SEO content with user intent.
So choose keywords that match that intent. For example, if you are writing commercial content about “top 10 microwaves”, focus on keywords like “best microwaves”, “best microwaves”, “best microwave brands”, etc. you also want to structure the content to include rating and review information as well as product images.
But if you are writing content that answers a question like “how to increase your SEO traffic in 30 days”, as I did, you should focus on keywords like “increase SEO traffic in 30 days”, “ improve SEO Traffic in 30 days”, “30 days SEO Plan”, etc.
I have another post on why keyword research is important for SEO if you want to learn more about that topic.
But a good rule of thumb here for how many keywords per page to focus on is two to three sentences. This gives you enough variety to rank for a lot more keywords than just the ones you’re using on the page.
2. Improve On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is the most controllable aspect of search engine optimization for content and can give you faster results for keyword rankings than off-page SEO.
- Rewrite the URL: Make the page URL the exact match phrase for your primary target keyword. And use hyphens (-) between words.
- Optimize the H1 Tag: Place your target keyword in the H1 tag. And similar to the title tag improvement tip,
3. Go deeper with your content
Creating content that goes into depth on a topic will help you rank for many more keywords. This will also make the on-page SEO process easier because you will have more opportunities to place your target keyword in the right places on the page.
When writing your content, it’s important to go beyond superficial ideas. Essentially, you want to write definitive guides for the topic at hand, similar to what I’m doing on this page.
Some good ways to make SEO content like this are to write long articles that are 1500 words or more, explore the subject from different facets and angles, and add various visuals or videos to the content.
4. Format Your SEO Content Well
A properly formatted page is easier to rank in search engines and improves reader retention.
One mistake I often see people make with SEO content is not structuring the HTML elements correctly. What I mean by that is they don’t use the H2s, H3s, and list elements correctly.
To format your SEO content well, you need to use H2s for the main topic headings on the page and H3s for the subtopics under each H2 heading. Ordered and unordered lists must be in H3 tags.
5. Improve the readability of your content
If you look at the top 10 search results for highly competitive keywords, you’ll probably see that they all have one thing in common: good readability.
Search engines like Google reward content with good readability because it satisfies the user better.
When a person visits your webpage and the individual elements make that person want to talk more about the page and share it with others, it sends a good signal.
To be more readable, your content needs to be well organized and clear to understand. By following tip #4 above, you can organize your content in the best way for your readers and SEO. As for clarity of content, be sure to delve into each topic as explained in tip #3 and user-friendly language rather than technical jargon that the average reader is unfamiliar with.
6. Target featured snippets
Tips on this page include a step-by-step video from Income School on how to organize your content to target featured snippets, as well as a secret method from Steve Toth that shows you how to use the power of Google to help you write content on a page. to capture the location of the featured snippet using predictive text.
Here are those two resources below; however, I suggest you read the entire SEO secrets guide for all the top tips and tricks for higher Google rankings.
7. Do Original Research
Writing SEO-optimized content based on original research makes you a good magnet for links to other sites in your industry for reference and better serves your visitors’ needs.
According to Mantis Research, “One of the top reasons to publish original research for marketing: backlinks. YOU become the authoritative source on a topic, and people will connect to you.”
Also, people don’t like to read the same content over and over again on different websites. Therefore, original research can help your content stand out from the competition.
If you can include new statistics and studies in your content, it will be easier for other sites to link to your web page citing your findings. This strategy can lead to higher authority backlinks and more sources of free website traffic.
8. Be more reliable
An easy way to improve the credibility of SEO content is to add facts to the page and support them with cited links.
These days, anyone can write a blog post or article and put whatever they want on the page, regardless of whether it’s true or not.
But if you provide supporting facts, sources, and data in your SEO-optimized content, you can easily differentiate it for the better.
As you’ve seen throughout this page, I’ve cited several sources to support the claims I’m making. Therefore, this content is considered more credible in the eyes of my readers than a page they find without facts or data with links to the original sources.
So use this tip to your advantage.
9. Add more visuals
According to Jeff Bullas, “articles with images get 94% more total views” and Invisa reports that “video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.”
If these stats don’t convince you to use more visuals on the page, also consider the following:
Adding more images to a page gives you more chances to optimize for additional keywords. You can improve on-page optimization for SEO content by placing target keywords in the ALT tags and image filenames of images used on the page.
10. Improve your page speed
In a blog post by Pantheon about improving page speed, the company cites a case study done by Backlinko. Pantheon reported that “Page speed plays an important role in ranking websites. In the study, all of the highest-ranking pages for a specific search had fast page speeds. It was evident that the site creators put extra effort into optimizing the loading time.”
Google even released a confirmed statement about speed being a factor in Google Search and Ad performance.
The more you can improve the page speed of your SEO content, the easier it will be to rank for competitive keywords.
Is more content better for SEO?
More content is better for SEO. Having more pages indexed in search engines equals more opportunities to get SEO traffic. Additionally, content length correlates with higher search engine rankings.
Summary of Why Content Matters for SEO
As you’ve discovered, there’s an important – and beneficial – relationship between content and SEO. If you really want to get more organic search visibility, keyword rankings, and traffic for your business, then you can’t focus on these two marketing strategies in isolation.
When you understand the true importance of content to SEO and vice versa, and put the right content strategy into practice, you can more easily achieve the first-page rankings you desire.