What is SEO friendly content?
A mistake many of us make when we first create content is to put something out into the world, expect the masses to come to us, and… crickets. The answer to getting more visible online is search engine optimisation (SEO), and writing SEO friendly content.
SEO is a phrase that strikes fear in the heart of many small business owners. Many shy away from it, pop it on the too-hard pile and leave it for a rainy day as too expensive, time-consuming, and technical.
I’ve been there myself – I was afraid of SEO for a long time. It made me uncomfortable because I didn’t understand it.
However, my curiosity got the better of me – as it usually does – and I taught myself SEO basics and developed a working knowledge of the subject.
In this article, I’ll take you on a whistle-stop tour, so you can live life without thinking “SEO no” every time you hear the phrase (sorry, not sorry).
What does SEO friendly mean?
SEO ensures that your content is easily discoverable by search engines and, by extension, your target audience. Sounds scary? Let’s break it down into something more familiar.
Chances are you’re familiar with Instagram. With over 1 billion global users, many of us are. When you post on Instagram, you add a mixture of hashtags that fit your content:
- high performing hashtags #instafamous
- localised hashtags #herefordshire
- sector-specific hashtags #contentcreatorsofinstagram
- niche hashtags #adminspiration
You choose a mixture to help people find your posts and increase your visibility within searches on the platform. At a very basic level, SEO works similarly. But instead of hashtags, think keywords. And instead of one platform, consider the internet as a whole.
The process of optimising your content involves learning about your audience, finding out what keywords they use to ask questions and look for solutions, and then using those keywords in your content to direct them to you.
Appropriate keywords used well are like neon flashing signs directing people to your website.
Believe it or not, writing engaging SEO friendly content isn’t rocket science and you can incorporate SEO basics into your copywriting fairly easily.
Great news because it means better performing blog posts, higher SERP (search engine results pages) rankings, and more eyes on your website as momentum builds.
Planning your SEO friendly content
Andy Maslen (my copywriting hero) recommends spending a minimum of 25% of your writing time planning. Why? Because as the saying goes, planning prevents p*ss poor performance.
Planning focuses your mind and your finished piece. Below, are some points to consider:
1. Know your audience
You’re more than likely familiar with the term ‘ideal client avatar’ or ‘buyer persona’. If you’re not, go and check out the Buyer Persona Institute (seriously, Adele Revella is a genius).
In a nutshell, get to know your ideal client in as much detail as humanly possible. Give them life. Learn about the problems they face, understand their biggest frustrations, and most importantly, how you can solve them. Learn how, when and why they buy.
Specifically, for SEO purposes:
- What problem do they have?
- How do they describe their problem?
- What search terms are they using?
- How do they want to solve the problem?
- Are they looking for hints and tips, training, outsourcing, or a purchased solution?
- How can you specifically help?
Equipping ourselves with this information enables us to identify our audience’s search intent and where they are on the customer journey (e.g. just browsing vs queueing outside on iPhone launch day).
For the best and the rudest explanation of search intent I’ve read, check out Sarah Wilson-Blackwell, AKA The Sarky Type (subscribe to her email list while you’re there because she never fails to make me chuckle).
2. The purpose of your writing
Once we know where our prospects are on their customer journey, we can begin building trust and (if they’re a good fit) start moving them along our sales funnel towards the end goal: action.
I bang on about purpose a lot. The main thing to remember: what is your point?
Always keep in mind what it is you want your reader to do and, more importantly, tell them by using a clear call to action. If it’s not immediately clear what you want them to do, you’ve already lost them in the noise of online everyday life.
3. Keyword research
The purpose of keyword research is to find popular search terms sufficiently specific to ensure your content ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs).
This blog post’s SEO focus key phrase is ‘writing SEO friendly content’, a manageable keyword to rank for, with around 40 searches every month, and a cost per click of £1.32.
If I were to use the key phrase ‘SEO’, I wouldn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of ranking highly without astronomical ad spending, with over 33,000 google searches every month and a £5.59 cost per click price.
There are lots of great resources online created by people far more knowledgeable than me to help you with your keyword research, so I won’t spend too long on this other than to highlight a few of my favourite tools:
- AnswerthePublic shows you what people ask search engines
- AlsoAsked uses data from Google’s people also asked function
- Keywords Everywhere and Ubersuggest help you find and measure a keyword’s search volume
- Google Analytics and Search Console give you heaps of data about your website’s current performance and what it ranks for (or not as the case may be).
Want me to write for your business?
I’m here to help. Perfectly purposeful copywriting for problem solvers, solution finders, and changemakers is what I do best.