Hello and welcome to day 3 of your SEO Challenge! Today, we are going to be talking about SEO content, which honestly is one of the most important things ever in the world of SEO.
About The SEO Challenge
The SEO Challenge was intended to give beginners a sort of crash-course into building their SEO strategy. We’re going kinda fast, so by all means, if there’s something you aren’t clear on, go back and watch the video one more time, or check out the written transcript on my website for notes.
Are you surprised? It’s totally true! If you remember back to day 1 of the SEO Challenge, you might recall me saying that only a fraction of SEO work is technical in nature, and the rest is less technical stuff, like creating valuable SEO content.
So that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today!
What Is SEO Content?
There’s no mystery here: SEO Content is just content that is created with the sole purpose of getting found in search engines.
Spend More Time On Creating SEO Content Because…Blogging Is Not Dead!
Over the years, as social media has grown in popularity, I’ve seen more and more small business owners stop publishing blog posts.
And trust me, I get it. Blogging takes up valuable time and resources…time and resources that are in very short supply for most of us!
However, regularly publishing blog posts keeps your website fresh and full of content. If you take away a website’s blog, most of the time, there isn’t much content left. Without a blog, most people are down to a few pages: an about page and contact page, and maybe a page about their services and what they offer.
That’s not a lot of content at all.
That can be a major problem because in order to do well on search engine results pages, the search engine has to view you/your website as a trusted authority.
The more content you have, the easier time you will have establishing your authority, and thus, the higher likelihood you’ll have of getting found through search engines.
And if you want a nice statistic related to all of this, consider this finding from HubSpot:
Websites with active blogs draw 6.9 more traffic than those with no blogs.
Also worth mentioning: since a lot of people have kinda let their blogs dry up, there’s major opportunity here for you to stand out from your competition.
Think Quality AND Quantity
This isn’t JUST a numbers game, though.
Quality, not just quantity, plays a big part of the game here.
I could probably publish 20, 30, 40 blog posts all next month, but they would be short and lacking in quality. My audience wouldn’t get much value out of thin content, and Google doesn’t care for it, either.
The bottom line: make sure your content is actually good if you want to reap in the rewards.
And Make Sure It’s On-Topic
Good content is: in-depth, written-with-care content, and on-topic. Every piece of content you publish should have a purpose. It should make sense with your overall business strategy. Every piece should compliment one another.
Optimize Your SEO Content For Keywords
Ahhh yes. It couldn’t be an SEO Challenge without mentioning keywords, right?
What is a keyword?
A keyword is the words or terms that people search with.
As a website owner, a keyword is something that describes the content on your page well + the term that you are trying to rank for in search results.
Keywords can be short-tailed, consisting of only a couple of words, or what you’ll want to focus on because they are less competitive: long-tailed keywords.
A good rule of thumb to picking a long-tailed keyword over a short-tailed one: make sure you’re properly describing exactly what it is you’re offering. You don’t want to just use “pizza” as a keyword…ever. Describe it more! Are you a “Los Angeles pizza joint” or is your content a “chicken flatbread pizza recipe”?
Also: generally, you’re going to want to pick one focus keyword for each page on your website.
Let’s do some basic keyword brainstorming
Grab a blank sheet of paper and start thinking about some words or terms someone would use to search for your business or the type of content that you’re putting out into the world.
Some of these keywords will be very similar to one another. Here’s an example:
- joshua tree wedding photographer
- joshua tree photographer
- joshua tree elopement photographer
- joshua tree wedding photography
- palm springs wedding photographer
- southern california wedding photography
- desert wedding photos
- national park photographer
- national park wedding photographer
You get the idea!
You can probably think of COUNTLESS possible keywords once you get started, but if you can’t, there are various online tools that can help you. Some are free and some are paid, but let’s discuss some free ones here.
Keyword Sheeter: gives you some basic keyword choices. If you are stuck, this can help you get unstuck!
Wordstream Free Keyword Tool: again, this can help you get unstuck if you can’t think of any keywords off the top of your head.
Ubersuggest: this is my favorite tool; not only does it give you keyword ideas, it also helps you understand how many people are searching for them, how competitive they are, etc.
Reality check: not all keywords are good keywords
…And this is why we do keyword research before we start creating our content and optimizing for that keyword. I like to use Ubersuggest for this.
This is where the science part of SEO comes in, because it’s not just about picking a keyword and praying for the best. I could optimize for a keyword allllllll day, but if no one is actually searching for that keyword in the first place, then my SEO content isn’t going to get great results.
Likewise, if I’m trying to optimize my content for a keyword that is way too competitive, if my website is new, I’m going to struggle outranking other websites in search.
I want to give you an example here. Let’s say my little brain thinks “national park wedding photographer” would be THE keyword I want to optimize a certain page on my website for. After all, it properly describes what I do, so why wouldn’t I?
Well…this is why. When I pop that keyword into Ubersuggest, it will give me some stats on that keyword, including the search volume (a.k.a. the number of people who are searching for that particular keyword each month), as well as how difficulty it is to rank for that keyword in Google’s results.
It turns out, this keyword that I thought was so awesome really isn’t awesome at all.
It’s got a low difficulty score, which is great, BUT the search volume is only 10.
Only 10 people per month, on average, search for that term….so why am I going to waste time on it? Even if I could get to the very top of Google for this keyword, at most, I’m only going to get 10 clicks per month. In other words, it’s really not worth my time!
Let’s take a look at one more example. This time, we’re going to use the keyword “apple pie”, because let’s say I think I have the absolute BEST apple pie recipe, hands-down. So, I want to use the keyword “apple pie” because naturally, my recipe is the best and I want people to find it right away when they search for apple pie in Google!
Let’s take a look at this keyword’s overview.
Apple pie has a high search volume. Good, right? But in this case, the SEO difficulty score is quite high. I could maybe try this keyword if I had a super established, popular website, but if my website is pretty new, this one is going to be a little too competitive for me.
Finding the right keyword will take trial and error
These are just two scenarios. Finding the right keyword for your content and your website is going to be dependent on various factors, and to some extent, I think finding the perfect keyword is kinda like trying to hunt down a unicorn.
Sometimes, you have to opt for a keyword that has a higher difficulty score than you’d like but is right for your content. Other times, the search volume may be a little lower than you’d prefer, but there’s not really a better option.
This isn’t something that is EASY, so please be cognizant of that and have realistic expectations. SEO-ing your content isn’t as easy as just picking a few keywords and being good to go. If it were, everyone would be doing it (and there wouldn’t be like, a million dollar industry built around it)!
Once you have your keyword, what do you do with it?
In general, once you’ve picked out your main keyword, you want to make sure it’s mentioned within your content a good amount of times, but not too many or else you’ll come across as a spammer.
Super straightforward, I know.
While there are some tricks to creating SEO content, and some specific places you’ll want to use the keyword you picked out, it’s not quite as simple as it used to be. Back in the day, it used to be common to hear advice like:
- Bold your keyword
- Italicize your keyword
- Underline your keyword
- Use your keyword in all your headings
- Add some instances of your keyword in white text so it’s hidden to most people
(I still hear some of these from time to time from people who claim to be well-versed in SEO and it’s pretty cringe. …Not to mention, the last one can actually get your website penalized by Google.)
Search engines are smarter these days, so there’s no magical checklist of super sleuthy SEO hacks.
Adding your keyword to your title and a couple headings is good, but you don’t need to go overboard with adding it to every last living thing on your page.
My word of advice: focus on creating STRONG content that mentions your keyword (and keyword variations) that is written for HUMANS first and search engines second.
We’ll actually be discussing a bit more on this topic in Day 4 of the Challenge.
Remember: You Can Repurpose Your SEO Content
Let’s wrap things up here. While your SEO content is tailor-made to draw people from search engines to your website, that doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose portions of your content and use it in different ways.
You can take chunks of your SEO content and repurpose it for other uses, like social media posts, email marketing purposes, videos on Youtube, etc. (And it makes knowing what to post on Instagram that much easier!)
Wrapping Things Up
I hope you found this video helpful! In tomorrow’s lesson, day 4, we’ll be going through some checklist items to make sure you’re really getting the most out of your content and overall website. I’ll see you there!
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