web design, SEO, content
5 rules of creating great SEO content for your website
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is not some marketing buzzword. It’s a vital part of any online strategy, and one that every brand should be paying attention to.
SEO is the art of attaining the best rank in search engine results pages (SERPs) when potential customers search for certain keywords. For example, if someone types ‘marketing agency in Wellington’ into Google, any capital-based marketing company would naturally want to not just pop up in the search results, but land in the highest page position possible as this is prime real estate in terms of getting customers to click onto your page.
Here are five rules for creating great SEO content that will help your website improve its organic rankings.
1. Research keywords people are actually searching
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type (or say) into search engines when looking for products, services, and information. If you want your brand to show up on the results page when that happens, you’ll need to optimise your website for the terms customers are actually searching for.
This can be what is known as short-tail keywords, which are short and simple such as ‘restaurant in Auckland’. Or, it can be long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific, such as ‘what is the best vegetarian restaurant in Ponsonby?’.
The best keywords to focus on are usually not just the most-searched for terms in your industry, but terms that are often searched for AND that best match your products and services.
If you focus on keywords that don’t reflect your products or services, it can result in website visitors leaving immediately after being disappointed by the discrepancy between the search terms and your actual offering.
2. Know your meta data
In SEO, meta data are the words and phrases that appear on search engine results pages. The two types of meta data you need to know about are description tags and title tags, and although neither are visible on your actual website, both are important for good SEO.
Title tags are short – just 60 characters maximum – and should be a very basic description of the webpage followed by your brand name. For example, ours is ‘Branding and Website Design Agency | CREATIVA’ (45 characters).
Description tags are the phrases that appear below a website name on a search engine results page. Naturally, you want this sentence to tell the reader what your page is about in a way that encourages them to click the link. Due to space restrictions , these sentences should be less than 160 characters (spaces included), as Google will simply cut off anything over that.
In both instances, it is best to include a keyword to further boost your SEO rankings. Note that if you (or your website developer) do not manually create and enter this information, Google will automatically pull data from your page to create them – sometimes this results in meta data that works perfectly well, other times it can be a disservice to your brand.
Below you can see our Google listing as an example, showing what the Title and Descriptions Tags are.
It’s About Learning How to Play by the Rules.”― Jordan Teicher
3. Be aware of ideal content lengths
Blogs and articles are a great way to weave more keywords into your website, but you do need to be aware of ideal content lengths.
Posting a blog that’s just 100 words long might save time, but it won’t be nearly as beneficial for your SEO (or your readers) as an informative article that’s several times as long.
On the other hand, a 2,000-word essay is generally too long for digital content. If you have that much to say, you might consider breaking it up into several parts.
At a minimum, you want to aim for 300 words. Roughly 500-600 is a great number to aim for, and you don’t want to go too far over 800 words at the higher end (and be sure to break it up with subheadings and images when you do!).
4. Where to place keywords
Once you have your keywords, you’ll need to naturally weave them into the content throughout your website.
Wherever possible, it’s good to use keywords in particular spots, which helps to let Google know what each page is about.
- The first sentence or paragraph of any copy
- Headlines and subheads
- Meta data
- Image captions and alt tags
5. Know the importance of timing
Finally, there is a timing factor to consider when adding new blogs and articles to your website.
Posting regularly is a good way to show Google that you’re making a real effort to improve the quality of your website and continuously offer helpful information to your readers. This is yet another way to wiggle your way up the rankings.
Also keep in mind that it’s best to spread out your posts. If you have four blogs you’d like to share per month, be sure to post one per week, rather than all at once.