In website renewals, the focus is often solely on visual appearance and technical implementation, while content production tends to be overlooked. Project schedules rarely allow enough time for content optimization and many think SEO can simply be “switched on” at the end of the project. However, by investing in search engine optimized content you can achieve better visibility, larger customer flows, more conversions and more sales. What does search engine optimized content actually mean, and how should it be planned and implemented?
What is SEO content?
SEO content refers to all content that is designed to appear high on the search engine results pages and is meant to attract visitors. To most people, content means text, but images, lists, infographics, and forms are all content as well. SEO content is created around relevant search terms and keywords, and keyword research is often used as its basis.
It is good to remember that although the technical optimization of the site is essential, content is one of the most important elements on a website. If a visitor cannot find an answer to their question or a solution to their problem on your website, they will leave and go to a competitor instead – no matter how visually attractive or high-tech your site is.
Content strategy and content plan
A content strategy is a long-term plan and process. Its starting point should always be the company’s business goals. When working on strategy, we look at what the starting point is, where we are going, what our goals are, and what measures can help us achieve those goals.
Content plans are concrete tools that are used to define schedules, publication times, channels, target groups, and content types. A content plan is not absolute, but it can and should be modified and optimized along the way.
Website content should not be planned and created in a hurry just out of necessity or for fun. When you create content based on a proper strategy and plan, you can be sure that your content has a goal (preferably a measurable one!).
Getting started with content production
Don’t think about what you want to say about your company, your services or your products. Instead, think about what your current and potential customers want to know, which problems you can offer a solution to, and what kind of benefits they can get from your content. Before you start creating content yourself, you should carefully think about who you are creating it for, what type of content you are creating, and in which channels you intend to share it. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your target groups and buyer personas? What is their purchase path?
- What types of content appeal to these groups?
- What are your goals for different content types and how do you measure that these goals are achieved?
- Where do your target groups spend time, i.e. in which channels should you share your content?
Keywords and search terms
Keywords and search terms play an important role in creating search engine optimized content. You should choose the most useful keywords for each page or article. It’s not a good idea to use too many keywords – instead, think about what the main keyword could be and add a few secondary keywords. When you have chosen your keywords, you should place them in the text in the right way. Keep in mind that content is ultimately created for people, not search engines. Interesting, high-quality and unique content is essential, so investing in clear language, spelling, headings and content structuring is worth your effort. Note that search engines can also penalize you for duplicate content or keyword stuffing.
The keywords you choose should be placed at least in the following places:
- To the main heading (H1)
- At the beginning of the first paragraph
- To the body text
- Preferably in H2 and H3 headings
- For the alt texts of images
- To metadata (title and description)
Metadata should always be added because it appears on search engine results pages. You can think of metadata as a marketing text that tempts visitors to click on your site to read more. Alt texts are alternative texts for images. Their purpose is to give information to search engines and to people who cannot see the image for one reason or another.
The structure and distribution of content affect user experience
Texts that are too long attract neither visitors nor search engines. For SEO, it is therefore important to think about the page structure, navigation, content types, and links.
Many visitors simply glance at the content and pick out the most important things from it. This is why lists are a good way to spark the visitor’s interest and get them to read more.
- Spacing and subheadings:
You should create enough space between the text paragraphs and use subheadings.
- Pictures and videos:
Using images and videos is a great way to add value to content.
- Internal and external links:
Search engines follow links, so make sure you add internal and/or external links.
Search engine optimization for images
Search engines do not know how to see images, so they interpret images based on file names and alt texts. Even people who cannot see images (like the visually impaired) read the image content through the alt text, often with the help of a screen reader. You should therefore name all the images in a clear way and use keywords in the file names. Image optimization is also important because more and more people are doing image searches on search engines.
Monitoring, analytics and further development
Search engine optimization is not a one-off project, but a long-term and continuous effort to improve your site. By looking the site’s analytics, you can draw conclusions on what works well for your users and what doesn’t. This way, you can further develop and improve the content of your site, boost conversions and increase traffic.
Content SEO in a nutshell
- Think about who you are creating content for and in what format
- Invest in keyword research and analytics
- Think about the user path and make sure that navigating the site is as smooth as possible
- Write clearly and avoid unnecessary jargon
- Remember to place keywords in titles and body text
- Remember image optimization
- Measure, analyze, develop and improve!
You don’t always need to take on a major site renewal project in order to improve your site’s search engine visibility. Often just optimizing the content and the technical features of your site can greatly increase your site’s traffic and conversions. Whether you’re looking for a complete renewal or just content optimization, we are here to help!