Several billion queries are made every day by internet users on Google. This search engine is, to this day, the most used in the world, and this is not for nothing!
It generally offers results that are very relevant to the various searches made.
To return the most appropriate pages according to the expectations of the user, it uses many algorithms. The content has a particularly important place in Google’s analysis and has a direct role in the ranking of results.
To improve your positioning on Google, your content must be optimized for SEO. Here’s an article that lists the key steps to successfully write content for your pages!
What is SEO content?
You probably hear it often: to be well optimized on search engines, it’s necessary to write quality content on your pages.
The quality of your texts is one of the first levers to convey a high-quality image of your site. However, it’s not everything!
SEO content must appeal to internet users but also to search engines. It’s a matter of combining your quality text with SEO optimizations, without the reader even realizing the efforts that have been made.
It’s this balance that allows you to rank better in the results.
In no case should the work on your content distort the essence of your site, your editorial policy, and your marketing strategy. It’s simply a matter of using the right lexical field and structuring your pages so that they’re consistent in the eyes of Google.
How do you write SEO content?
Search engine optimization is not an exact science. Search engines use many ranking criteria and evolve continuously. This makes it impossible to know exactly what the most impactful elements are to improve your visibility on the web.
However, one thing is certain: the following tips respect Google’s guidelines and will definitely allow you to put good SEO optimizations into practice.
By applying them, you’ll effectively work on the content of your site and obtain better rankings on the search engine result pages (SERPs). This is especially important when it comes to ecommerce SEO.
1. Research the page’s target keyword
Choosing the keyword is the first step in the process for SEO content creation.
Every page on your site should be different, as should the keywords that you’re targeting.
You need to ask yourself the right questions:
- What is the topic that I’m going to cover?
- How can it be summarized in one word or phrase?
- What are the keywords my audience is looking for to reach this type of content?
Writing an SEO article is first and foremost about accurately defining the main topic and the intention of the users.
Then, the content of the page will have to be articulated around this main keyword.
To choose an effective keyword, note that it shouldn’t be too general. The risk is that the competition for the keyword is too tough and that your content will never rank high enough in the results to attract traffic.
Need an example to help make it clearer?
If you sell jewelry online, target expressions such as “handcrafted silver ring” or “men’s bracelet made in France,” rather than the simple word “jewelry,” which is much more general and competitive.
2. Write a strong, optimized title
Just as a book title must be striking to attract readers, the title of your content must also be optimized.
The title is the tag that’s displayed directly in the search results.
It should contain your keyword, preferably at the beginning. The title shouldn’t be too long and should be attractive. It’s recommended to not exceed 60 characters in your title so that it can be correctly displayed in search engines.
Here’s a tag simulator to help you to size your title correctly and obtain a preview of how it’ll appear on SERPs.
When possible, try to include the notion of “guide,” “list,” etc. in the titles of your content to boost the click-through rate (CTR) of your pages.
If I take the example of the blog post on jewelry, it’s better to use a title like “The 3 best made-in-France bracelets for men in 2021” rather than “Bracelets for men in 2021.” The numbers offer more precision and encourage clicking.
3. Work on the meta description to encourage clicks
Below the title in the SERPs, the search engine also displays a meta description.
Just like the back cover of a book, this summary should spur people on to read the content. It’s a short presentation of your page and must make internet users want to learn more about the subject.
Although the meta description isn’t directly taken into account by search engines for SEO, it still contributes to your ranking indirectly. Let me explain...
If internet users want to read your article thanks to your meta description, they click on the Google link that leads to your page. This increases your click-through rate.
This click rate, if it’s good, sends positive signals to the search engine. So, why deprive yourself of it?
As for the length, avoid exceeding 155 characters with your meta description. I suggest that you refer to the simulator tool mentioned above to test your tag.
4. Use an SEO-friendly URL
When it comes to URLs, get to the point and avoid making them too long. To ensure that they're short and understandable, exclude words that are empty and useless (one, some, and...).
Likewise, to separate the keywords present in your URL, preferably use hyphens and avoid underscores, slashes, special characters, etc.
As for your title tag, insert your keyword in your URL.
Your web address should be descriptive and clear.
The terms used in it should help people to understand the content.
Using the previous example of the jewelry store, an optimized URL for an article title “The 3 best made-in-France bracelets for men in 2021” would be “/made-in-france-bracelets-men.”
5. Consider the length of the text
This is a question that comes up very frequently in SEO: how long should my content be to rank well?
I’ll answer that with the famous “it depends”...There are no rules set in stone at this level.
The most important thing is the semantic optimization of your text. A long text can very well be positioned behind a very short text if the right keywords aren’t present.
If you’d like some advice, start by looking at the different results positioned in the Top 10. This information can guide you toward an average number of words to reach.
The important thing to know is that there’s no point in trying to reach that word count with a topic that’s of little interest. Take the time to study your topic from different angles by researching the lexical field to write a complete, relevant, interesting, and optimized piece of content for the user.
For more information, I suggest that you read the article on text length in SEO available on the Semrush website.
6. Enrich the semantics
To have perfectly optimized content, the use of a single keyword isn’t enough. You instead need to
work on a whole lexical field that revolves around your main keyword.
To do this, you must use synonyms, adjectives, or verbs related to your subject. The idea is to enrich the vocabulary of your texts as much as possible.
To further expand your semantic field, also consider co-occurrence. This is a list of expressions or words directly related to your main theme.
Let’s take our example on jewelry with the article on “The 3 best made-in-France bracelets for men in 2021.”
In this article, I’ll be able to add co-occurrences related to the material of the bracelets, such as “leather,” “silver,” “rope,” or related to the made-in-France manufacturing with “craft” or “workshop.” I can also talk about “gifts,” “personalization,” etc.
Remember to integrate your lexical field in a logical, fluid, and natural way. Your text must be optimized without discouraging the reader’s interest.
To enrich your semantics and position yourself well, you can also use tools. What’s more, just by browsing the web and more specifically on Google, you’ll already be able to identify many keywords and co-occurrences.
If you want to go even further in semantic optimization, there are tools like YourTextGuru.
7. Structure your content with Hn markup
To be readable and understandable, your text must be properly structured. To do this, divide it into different parts and separate the different points with subheadings.
On the internet, headings and subheadings are tagged according to a very precise markup.
The H1 tag is reserved for the main title. There can only be one title per piece of content. The subheadings, meanwhile, are H2, which can themselves integrate H3 or H4. H5 and H6 tags also exist. However, they are much more rare.
Heading tags are strategic titles for your content. Remember to include important keywords. However, know how to stay balanced and use your keywords sparingly, without excess.
Another important concept: you must avoid going from an H1 to an H3 in your texts. This is a tag jump. The tags must respect a hierarchy and a logical order.
In addition, never use a single H2 or a single H3. One subsection always calls for another.
Finally, both for ease of reading and for your SEO, think of highlighting certain expressions, in particular by using the “bold” option for your font or bulleted lists.
8. Insert internal and external links
Another good practice for SEO content is to insert internal and external links in your pages.
Internal links are used to link your different articles together. They allow you to do what is called “internal networking” within the structure of your site.
This linkage will transmit “link juice” between your different pages. For optimal transmission, the links must be made to pages that deal with a related subject.
As you may have noticed while reading this article, I added internal links to different content related to the title tag, the meta description, and the URL. These articles are complementary to my main topic.
Internal linking also tends to make readers want to continue reading on other pages of your site. This way, your visitors browse through your pages rather than leaving your site directly. This also sends back good signals!
External links, in contrast, send traffic to another website.
They allow you to add more information to your content. They’re the basis of the web.
It’s a matter of offering more precision to the internet user on the subject in question and bringing added value to the content.
9. Insert images and optimize them
When it comes to SEO content, most people tend to stop at text optimization. However, images also have a role to play in SEO.
First and foremost, it’s important to pay attention to the size and weight of your images. If they’re too big and too heavy, you risk impacting the loading time of your pages. You must therefore optimize them.
Another good practice is to work on the alt attribute. Intended for the visually impaired, this tag allows the person visiting the site to have an oral transcription of the visual.
Similarly, if the image isn’t displayed correctly, it’s the content of the Alt tag that appears on the user’s screen.
However, this also plays a role in SEO! The content you insert in your tag improves the lexical field of your page and allows you to better position your visuals in the image results.
So, make sure that you include quality content that accurately describes the content of the image.
10. Try to get backlinks
Finally, try as much as possible to write top-quality, engaging content to get backlinks to your pages. Backlinks represent the links coming from other websites and arriving on your pages.
This technique is also called “link baiting.”
These links allow you to considerably reinforce the power of your page but also of your site. Backlinks contribute greatly to the popularity of a website.
They occupy an important place in search engine algorithms.
Writing SEO content is simply a habit to get into! At the beginning, it’ll certainly require you to make some alterations and improvements, but with time, the different practices will come naturally.
Save this article and bring it out again the next time that you write content for your site. It’ll serve as a checklist to follow to create SEO-optimized content.