In 2016, every business wants to use content to get more traffic to their website. From there, they want to better convert those users to boost client sign-ups or sales. But none of that comes without understanding some fundamental facts about SEO and how to create better content.
To give you a leg up on your competition, I’m going to give you three important SEO content tips that will provide you with more knowledge on what goes into a great piece of content.
You’ll be able to use this information to better research, write, and design content pages that bring in business to boost traffic and increase your conversion rate.
Understand Your Audience
Understanding your topic is the easiest part of SEO content writing. Anyone can write about anything with proper research and the right set of technical skills. Unfortunately, that’s only part of the puzzle.
The most important part of the content puzzle is understanding your audience. You can write the absolute best piece of content, but unless you tailor it to a specific audience with a specific intent, it won’t have the desired effect.
But how do you understand your audience?
You figure out what they’re searching for! Making assumptions is the absolute worst thing you can do for SEO, especially when there are treasure troves of data at your disposal.
For beginners, the best way to start understanding your audience is through the Adwords Keyword Planner. If you can get to know the search phrases your audience is using to find content, you can better craft content to meet their specific requests.
There’s no point in creating content if it doesn’t match the intent of the target audience. This is where most SEOs get it dead wrong. Instead of writing for the audience, they write for the search engine.
Wait, isn’t this SEO?
I was hoping you’d ask that question! Of course it’s SEO; however, times have changed. Google is getting better and better at differentiating quality content from pure SEO content. That doesn’t mean the days of SEO content are over and we should all hang up our hats. It means we have to provide content that Google wants to serve and people want to read.
How do I start?
It’s simple! What are you selling? Cars? Real Estate? SEO Services? They all function the same way. Let’s say you’re a realtor and you want to improve your online presence to get more clients. Using the Keyword Planner, you find out that most people in your area are searching “realtor in [city], [state]” to find relators.
From this, we know that the audience is obviously local and that they know they’re looking for a realtor. You don’t have to convince them why a realtor is right for them or a complete backstory on your profession. Instead, you have to tell them why they should choose you.
How many years have you been in the business? Have you won any awards? What are your clients saying about you? These are all things your potential clients will want to know before they send a lead online, call, or visit you in person.
Google also wants to see this sort of information from pages trying to rank for business-related keywords. They don’t want you to just throw up some content to out-SEO your competition. It wants to know why you should be the #1 result for realtor in your area.
Give them that, and you’re on your way to using SEO content to boost traffic and conversions!
Optimize After Writing
SEO should always take a backseat to quality writing and the information you provide to users. I’m not saying ignore SEO and you’ll succeed, but it’s best to put SEO aside while you’re writing in order to create the best possible content.
Only after you’re finished and satisfied with the information should you begin optimizing for SEO. Read through the content and try to find ways to fit your target keyword, as well as related keywords, into it. Here are a couple of quick examples:
I’ve been a realtor for over 20 years with over 1000 closings under my belt.
I’ve been a realtor in Rindge, NH for over 20 years with over 1000 closings under my belt.
Real estate has changed a lot in the past decade, and you need someone who’s been in the market for the ups and downs to help you find a great home and a great deal.
Rindge, NH real estate has changed a lot in the past decade, and you need someone who’s been in the market for the ups and downs to help you find a great home and a great deal.
The goal is to optimize for valuable keywords without sacrificing quality.
But don’t think that you need to go back and edit content to change every instance of realtor to “realtor in [city], [state].” That’s called Keyword Stuffing, and Google hates it.
Instead, simply look for a few keywords you can add in and leave it alone. As long as your titles, headings, and descriptions are also optimized, Google will have no trouble understanding how to rank your content.
Design for Conversions
The whole point of creating SEO content is to get more traffic and increase your conversion rate. So far, our first two tips should help you boost traffic to your site, and may increase conversions naturally as you better target your audience.
However, the best way to double or even triple your conversion rate is to design your pages with conversions in mind. This means having compelling CTAs (call to actions), prominent and easy-to-use forms, as well as other types of contact information.
I like to put myself in the shoes of the search user who’s landed on a page I’m trying to optimize for conversions. What would convince me to convert on this page? What information would I need to see?
Answering these questions is crucial to your success, and can often vary depending on the product or service you’re trying to sell.
One of the best ways to determine if you’re headed in the right direction is to setup A/B testing on your website for specific lead-generating content. This helps you better understand how users are interacting with your website and what tweaks need to be made to maximize the effectiveness of your content and design.
As I’ve said many times in this column, there’s no secret sauce to SEO. You get what you put into it. So if you want to succeed and build a larger client base or boost sales of a new product, you have to be willing to put in the hours to see the result. Right now, you work hard on your business to see success; SEO is no different.