The need to create quality content has been written about extensively; almost every article or post I read (or write) about search engine optimization or social media contains a reference to the importance of ‘quality content,’ but there seems to be something missing. The missing element is how to create content search engines can find. If you write great stuff, but it doesn’t get found by the search engines it’s a bit like talking to the wall.
We decided “how to create content search engines can find” would be a great topic for the second of three in the SEO workshop series for the Open Social Media Initiative #opensm Friday afternoon Hangouts.
In the first workshop, How Search Engines Find Your Content, I reviewed the basics about how search engines work as well as some advanced concepts like semantic search and natural language processing.
This week I moved my broadcast from the top of my stairs to the dining room, my dad had advised me that I needed a little more colorful background and I took his advice. I think it worked out well, and I had a great time sharing tips on how to create searchable content. As promised, here are the highlights from the workshop as well as the video recording.
SEO Workshop Highlights:
What is content and writing tips:
- Content is any type of information put on the web, it includes text, media, images, podcasts, and more…
- Search engines can only read text, they don’t “see images,” listen to podcasts,” or “watch videos
- The primary goal is to provide visitors with valuable information – search engines don’t buy things, people do
- Keyword(s) are the words or terms a person enters into the search box when the are looking for something
- Write easy to use text – keep it simple and stay away from industry speak
- Work with bulleted or numbered lists – easy to read and it tells the search engines that it’s an important chunk of content
- Use short paragraphs – content online needs to be easy to scan
- Use keywords in context – don’t try and force keywords onto a page where they don’t fit, e.g. ‘how to content’ on a ‘buy me’ page
- Include keywords in the main elements of a page – the page title is the most important (watch the video or check out the slide show for a complete list of elements)
- Think about the phases of a purchase cycle – write content around problem identification, information research, comparing alternatives, purchase, and post purchase to provide great information for your visitors at all stages of the process
How to Create Content Search Engines Can Find
- Know your audience
- Find the right keywords
- Be relevant
- Be persuasive
- Be customer focused
- Incorporate your keywords strategically
- Promote and distribute your content