WHAT IS SEO?
What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
How does SEO work?
Search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Think of the index like a giant library where a librarian can pull up a book (or a web page) to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the time.
Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read every single book in the library and can tell you exactly which one will have the answers to your questions.
Our SEO success factors can be considered proxies for aspects of the user experience It’s how search bots estimate exactly how well a website or web page can give the searcher what they’re searching for.
Unlike paid searcch ads, you can’t pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings, which means SEO experts have to put in the work. That’s where we come in.
Our Periodic Table of SEO Factors organizes the factors into six main categories and weights each based on its overall importance to SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are key factors of content optimization, and crawlability and speed are important site architecture factors.
The newly updated SEO Periodic Table also includes a list of Toxins that detract from SEO best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that may have been sufficient to guarantee a high ranking back in the day when the engines’ methods were much less sophisticated. And, they might even work for a short time now — at least until you’re caught.
We’ve also got a brand new Niches section that deep-dives into the SEO success factors behind three key niches: Local SEO, News/Publishing, and Ecommerce SEO. While our overall SEO Periodic Table will help you with the best practices, knowing the nuances of SEO for each of these Niches can help you succeed in search results for your small business, recipe blog, and/or online store.
The search algorithms are designed to surface relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic.
Here are some free content writing tools for SEO to get you started:
One of the most important parts of SEO writing is to use keywords in your content that are related to the topic at hand. In order for your website content to appear at the top of search engines, it needs to have the search terms that people are looking for within the content.
Google Keyword Planner can help you with your keyword research. Simply put in a keyword or keyword phrase to see the popularity of that search term over time. Google Keyword Planner can also help you research and find keywords that will get your content in front of the right audience.
DemandJump has taken the guesswork out of creating content that ranks. Input your topic or what you want to write about, and DemandJump provides a prioritized list of content to create.
The best part? They take it one step further and provide one-click SEO content briefs for anything you want to write. DemandJump not only shows you the content to create, it tells you how to create it with recommended H1s, H2s, and keywords to include. Get started today!
Part of ranking high in search engine listings is the readability of your content. Well-written content is rewarded by search engines, and tools like Hemingway Editor can help you with improving your writing.
The way this tool works is by analyzing the text that you input and checking for writing faux pas like passive voice, weak words, and run-on sentences. The goal is to make your writing clear and concise—characteristics that help your content rank well!
Duplicate content is treated poorly by search engines, so it’s important to check and make sure that you didn’t accidentally (or purposefully) copy any content. It’s easy to accidentally copy content when you’re writing about a well-known topic, or some content writers may think that there’s no one checking for plagiarism on the internet.
In fact, search engines check for plagiarism. Before posting your content, running it through a tool like Plagiarism Checker can help you avoid any penalizations.
Another great writing tool is Grammarly. Polished content tends to rank higher, especially if you’ve got the right keywords, and Grammarly can help you improve the quality of your writing. From tools like a grammar checker to an advanced writing assistant that analyzes your writing, Grammarly is the perfect tool to refine your content before publishing it.
According to Readable, the average reader’s attention span is 7 seconds. This tool will analyze the readability of your content and give you a score. This helps you to know if your writing is appropriate for your target audience or if you have missed the mark.
For example, if you’re trying to write content that uses a lot of industry-specific jargon, that may not be readable for the new customers you’re trying to reach. Readable helps you determine if your content is engaging and also monitors for keyword density.
7. One Look
Writing isn’t easy, especially if you’re having to write a lot of content about the same topic or group of topics. You can fall into a pattern of using the same words over and over again…which can be seen as keyword stuffing by search engines.
To avoid this problem, you can use tools like One Look to find alternative verbiage to use. It also includes a reverse dictionary—where you can type in a description and receive what word fits that description—that can help you in those brain blip moments.
THE RELEVANCE OF SEO TO CONTENT WRITING
With quality, SEO-friendly formatting is very important because the Google algorithm looks for important words at particular places on your web page or blog post.
Now coming to the “content” part of writing search engine friendly content. Here are a few things you need to follow:
- Do keyword research: Before you start writing content make sure you have a comprehensive list of the right keywords and key phrases you are going to use. These must be the search terms your target customers and clients are most likely to use when trying to find you or your service or your business or your product.
- Start writing high-quality content: I can never understate the importance of high-quality content. If your content quality is inferior, no matter how much time you spend optimizing your content, all the SEO benefits will be lost. Remember that the only reason your content exists is to serve your prospective customers and clients. So, whatever you write, keep in mind that you have to provide some sort of solution.
- Incorporate your keywords: Once you have written content that you feel is going to convert well, incorporate your keywords. Insert your keywords at strategic locations. Don’t overuse them. Whenever you feel that you cannot help using them, use alternatives – as mentioned above, use LSI keywords.
- Promote your content: Marketing your content, making sure that your target audience is able to find your content through various social media and social networking channels, is an important aspect of SEO. Google wants social validation. Try to get social validation from as many resources as possible. Promoting content will also get you precious back links.
Reasons Why Content Writing Is Important for SEO
Now that we know what is SEO content and how to write it, let’s come to the main topic of the blog post: reasons why content writing is important for SEO.
This Kissmetrics blog post rightly says that SEO is all about content marketing. And since content writing is indispensable to any genuine content marketing effort, we can safely say that SEO is actually all about content writing. How come? I’m describing that below.
1. SEO needs strategic usage of keywords and search terms
Although big advances have been made in terms of ranking web pages and blog posts according to their true value, keywords still matter. You can judge the importance of keywords by the fact that your ranking depends on whether you have used your keywords or one of its alternatives in the title of your web page or blog post, or not.
It is only through strategic content writing that you can use the right keywords to satiate Google. If there is no content, it is very difficult for you to rank for the right keywords.
2. Social validation can only be obtained due to quality content
I have personally seen that many web pages and blog posts rank well due to the social validation they have been able to attract despite having inferior quality content. But this can only be achieved by brute force and lots of money. For a small or medium-sized business, the only way you can get social validation is by quality content writing.
When your content is great, when it delivers value, when people find what they are looking for through your content, they tend to engage with your content through social media and social networking websites. When they share your links on their timelines, Google sees these actions as social validation and then uses this validation to rank your links.
3. Quality back links can only be obtained due to quality content
Back links are also a form of social validation but you don’t necessarily have to focus on social media and social networking websites to garner back links.
Why would people link to your website or blog? Apart from the fact that sometimes you can pay websites and blogs to link back to you, in most of the cases, people link to you because they appreciate what you are publishing.
This, Google sees as validation and its algorithms use this validation to rank your webpages and blog posts.
4. In order to rank your website and individual links, Google needs content
This is a straightforward logic. If you don’t have content, what is Google going to rank? In Google Images Google ranks images, in Google Video, Google ranks videos and in the same manner, in the normal Google section, Google ranks text, your written content.
This is why content writing is important for your SEO: it is giving Google something to rank. It also tells Google for what keywords and search terms your content should be ranked.
5. Content writing contributes to the “Search Task Accomplishment” factor
This is a new trend emerging: does your content solve any purpose? Search task accomplishment is becoming a new buzzword on the Internet, especially in the content marketing and SEO circles.
Soon, Google is going to rank your content according to the true purpose it solves. A user should be able to find exactly what he or she is looking for when he or she uses the Google search engine. Google is working on an algorithm that will be able to find if people are able to find exactly the information they need on your link. If yes, your rankings will start improving and if no, your rankings will start deteriorating.
Additional SEO benefits of content writing
- People voluntarily link to your content.
- People have more reasons to link to your content because you give them a wide choice of topics and interest areas.
- There are greater opportunities for your content being shared on social media.
- With high quality content people spend more time on your website indicating to Google that you have quality and relevant content.
- Content writing boosts your content marketing efforts and this in turn improves your search engine rankings.
- Organic rankings achieved through quality content writing last longer and attract more traffic because people prefer to visit links that appear organically rather than promoted by advertising.
There was a time when SEO existed in isolation. No longer is the case. SEO these days is the sum total of your entire content marketing dispensation. Without great content, you can never hope to enjoy good search engine rankings. With every preceding month, content writing is becoming more and more important for SEO
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