The Ultimate Guide to Content SEO

Since content is crucial to good SEO, it not only applies to WordPress sites, but to all online resources and platforms. With that in mind, this section is fairly general in discussion.  There is varying opinion as to what the ideal word count should be per page, so research for yourself, and be logical. Generally, each page should contain at least three-hundred words or more. If your pages are very long, then make liberal use of subheadings to improve Content SEO and ranking.

Content SEO

The Site Content

Within WordPress, there are five basic types of structuring elements that you will encounter:  

1.Home or Front Page;

2.Posts;

3.Pages;

4.Categories;

5.Tags.

Optimize Everything

People are not aware that you can actually optimize many components and elements that make up a website. Don’t forget the importance of SEO for images too. Ensure that you give them excellent ‘Alt Tags’ (Alternative Text) including the ‘Focus Keyword’ and other popular words.  You may even choose to rename the images to include keywords, or at very least the name of your site or business. You can generate a little extra traffic from search engines through image searches.

Keywords

The topic of keywords is too far-reaching to be heavily discussed within the confines of this post. You will need to research your chosen niche or topic to ascertain, which ones are best, and those that might impart a negative reaction.  While the content might be subjective, you can’t force people to make use of your own keywords.

Therefore, it makes sense that you should employ the very same keywords and phrases that people are searching for on their journey through the World Wide Web.  Largely, any keywords you choose, should be directly related to the topic of your blog or your post. They are a key element in Web positioning and ranking. Search engine visibility is affected by the number of keywords on a page. Too many and you appear to be a spammer.

Too little, and no one pays any attention to your words.  Achieving a great SEO position with your chosen keywords will bring more traffic volume, sales, and increase the visibility of your site. The importance of choosing good keywords to represent your page content or site cannot be stressed enough. Optimizing a website means better presence in search engines and the Internet in general.  The keywords must appear in multiple places within a post or web page for maximum efficacy. Place your keywords in:  

  • Titles
  • Descriptions;
  • Headings;
  • Sometimes in internal links;
  • Anchor text in links;
  • Images and other media through metatags and filenames.

Headings and Subheadings

Headings are closely related to the hierarchy and structure of your site, and its contents. Simply making the text larger, only makes it appear bigger. While it might resemble a heading, it’s not a ‘heading’ in web code terms. With SEO, sites need proper heading tags to satisfy the search engines.  In order to have proper Internet headings, the text must be wrapped in an opening <h1> tag, and a closing </h1> tag. The good news for most people is that WordPress will deal with the code side of things. All that is left for you to do — is use them.

There are six hierarchical levels decreasing in importance, from the <h1> to <h6>. Importance order must follow logically, for example, <h2> should follow <h1>, and not the other way around. Therefore, it makes sense that you should only employ one heading at <h1> level. The <h1> is the only one that should not be repeated because it is the most important within the page. The rest are used in connection to relevance and hierarchy, within the page structure.  Going back to our dogs’ example, a typical heading structure would resemble something like this:

Content SEO

:  <h1>Dogs & Details!</h1>  

<h2>Chihuahua</h2>  <h3>Details</h3>  <h4>Info One</h4> <h4>Info Two</h4>  <h3>Regions</h3> <h4>Country One</h4>  <h4>Country Two</h4> <h2>German Shepherd</h2>  

<h3>Details</h3>  <h4>Info One</h4> <h4>Info Two</h4>  <h3>Regions</h3> <h4>Country One</h4>  <h4>Country Two</h4>

Page Content

The page content follows conventional format in terms of flow, and should be logical to the reader. For effective SEO, content should have a proper title, and if needed, an introduction. The main heading, and the introductory paragraph are the best places to place valuable keywords. Place additional related links towards the end of the page to reduce the number of people leaving your page too soon.

Content Format and Style

When formatting a section of text in bold or italics, you should avoid making use of old tags. There are some varying opinions on this, so decide for yourself. It’s useful to highlight keywords in bold, but overdoing it causes more harm than good. The result must be organic and natural to read.

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Content SEO

Internal Links

While linking pages and posts to each other is a good practice, avoid excessive linking. You should also familiarize yourself with the structure of the <a href> tag. Generally, it is best to keep the code as clean as possible. Don’t accidentally style a link with the result that no one recognizes it as such. Readers will miss it and not visit the page.  The link tag has a ‘title’ attribute, where you can include a brief description of the page content and Focus Keyword. The anchor text (the visible text part) must be descriptive and emphatic.

Content SEO

You can even include a keyword or two. Stay away from using short words such as ‘view’, ‘info’, or ‘see’ for several reasons.  First, it can be easily overlooked by the reader, and difficult to click on when viewed on a mobile device. Second, the anchor text is prized by search engines, so make use of keywords and use a larger selection of words for your links.

Grant McArthur SEO Glasgow shared a case study how he increased his website traffic by 30% just by interlinking all of his posts that were relevant to each other. He also changed his website structure (SILO), even though at the beginning he saw a drop in his traffic, after 2 weeks site’s overall ranking increased. Google is paying attention more than ever to site structure and other On Page SEO Factors

 

Another excellent place to make good use of anchor text and keywords is in the menu structure of your WordPress site. Here is an example of a great link:  <a href=“http://dogs.com/chihuahua” title=“Dogs: More information on the Chihuahua”>Click here to view more information on the Chihuahua.</a>

Images and Media

Search engines love content, but as the online world changes, text is not always the only objective. Inserting one or two images in the content will increase the ranking substantially, especially if you optimize the descriptions and tags. Use images that relate to the content, and avoid any clutter. Present them neatly, and place them logically on the page.  SEO is improved when images are enhanced with keywords. The principle is the same as per the ‘title’ attribute of the link. You really should include an ‘alt’ attribute with each image. The ‘alt’ attribute is the ‘alternative’ text that is displayed when an image fails to load, or the resulting pop-up when the cursor hovers over it.

WordPress hides the pop-up by default, but you can trigger it by using a ‘title’ instead, so it’s good practice to include the ‘title’ in images.  All images blended into the content should be properly described, with their corresponding ‘alt’ and ‘title’ attributes. For double the impact, images that are treated as links to other pages or sites can mirror the tag description and keywords.

Content SEO

Keyword Usage

Aim for no more than 2-3% Exact Keyword Match density in the page content to avoid being penalised by search engines. You can calculate it by dividing the number of times it appears by the total word count of the page. Density is also measured through ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’, which includes synonyms and subtle variations. Stay well below 3–4% range.

Content SEO

Quality Versus Quantity

Simply writing a few hundred words of rubbish isn’t going to get anyone far in the long run. Quality always pays off if endurance is your goal.  Try not to mix keywords and concepts within the same paragraph. It is best to have 100% original material, but it is not always possible. Avoid repeating material from your own site and from the Internet, or at least keep it well below 20%.

Content and Media

Do you have an agreeable mix of media? Multimedia has a greater ranking when utilised effectively. The greater the range the higher search engines will rank the content. Enriched content gets priority on the modern web.  If you are so inclined, begin creating videos related to your topic.

You can store them locally on your server, or make use of sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed each one into your pages. Visitors who watch videos embedded on your site spend more time on your pages, which benefits the overall SEO of your website.

Title Context

Have you included the Focus Keyword or phrase in your title? Is the length between 60 to 70 characters? Are you following the AIDA principle? (Attention/Awareness, Inform the customer, Direct Benefit, Action/Lead)

The Page URL

Check if you have included your Focus Keyword or phrase. The length of the URL is not a critical factor, but shorter is preferable. This is partly the reason that link-shortening sites sprang into existence.

Links and Anchor Text

With inbound marketing, a link building strategy needs to be organic and appear random. If all the links have the identical anchor text, ‘title’, and the images used have the same ‘alt’ attribute, it sets off red flags in search engine algorithms, which may backfire. Humans are visiting links sent to them by bots, so consider them both.

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About the Author

Darleen Prangue is a Freelance Digital Marketing Strategy Consultant with a focus on SEO. I love writing tech related stuff while I drink my first coffee at 5 am. You can follow me at my blog makingmoney2blog.com and many other blogs where I share my thoughts.

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Author: John Mulindi

John is very passionate about Digital marketing. He blogs on topics ranging from Social Media marketing, Search Engine optimization, Internet Marketing, Email Marketing, to Personal Development. In free time he likes watching Football, Reading, Listening to music and taking Nature walks.

24 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Content SEO”

  1. I am interested in starting my own blog soon so I have been reading everything I can find. Most of the time I read the same thing over and over or the information has to be bought. So its pretty awesome to come across something like this. This has been one of the most informative posts I have read and thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Matt, sometimes it maybe appear complicated especially when you are a beginner, but if you keep reading articles like this, you learn key insights on what SEO is all about and with time, it becomes simpler. Thanks for visiting and commenting on this post.

  2. This is such a great post on SEO! I’m definitely going to be saving this and coming back to it whenever I have questions.

  3. This is one comprehensive list. The technical part of blogging always make me queasy but you made it sound so easy. Thank you for the list.

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