Oftentimes, people get so engrossed with keyword-based SEO that they tend to forget what all of it really is about: increasing audience engagement for better conversion rates.
Sure, your content may have the best keywords and on-page SEO. But you shouldn’t forget that beyond appealing to search engines, who you’re really trying to attract and draw in are potential customers.
The new ‘high-quality’
As we’ve reiterated countless times here at Search Insights, the world of SEO is a highly-dynamic landscape. What were previously considered as “best practices” may not apply anymore—thanks to Google’s ever-changing search algorithm.
High-quality content used to mean combining robust keywords, good writing, and other on-page SEO elements. But these days, this formula may not be able to take you to the top anymore. In fact, following formulas such as this one can do more harm than good since they often result in dry content that doesn’t really interest or move your target audience.
So, what’s the key to producing high-quality content these days?
It all comes down to striking a balance between the SEO we used to know and the kind of creative writing that actually touches the reader. More than being a science, excellent SEO writing is an art, after all.
In this article, we’ve outlined the best tips that you can use to produce high-quality SEO content—and only one of them is related to keywords!
Organisation is essential
Nothing beats the joy of busting out words because you’re overflowing with inspiration. But you have to ensure that you’re not merely producing unorganised, stream-of-consciousness content, as they don’t usually convert that well.
Writing with a conversational tone doesn’t mean that you should just type down whatever comes to your brain. Organisation is an essential factor in producing great content.
Start by creating an outline and defining the title and headings of the post, if possible. Incorporate organised sections and order them in a way that makes sense. Cohesive and organised writing keeps the reader interested. It also shows that you know exactly what you’re talking about and are expert enough to lay all the information out in a way that makes sense.
Perform keyword research the right way
We know we’ve downplayed the role of keywords in the creation of great content, but don’t confuse it with writing off keyword research altogether. Keywords—when done right—are still a component of any sound SEO strategy.
More than knowing what the best keywords are for your content, you should also step back and look at the bigger picture. Understand what’s behind the popularity of these keywords. Go beyond focusing on keyword density and research more on the specific types of content that people really want.
Which usages of a specific target keyword do people actually interact with? This is the part where knowing your audience also becomes crucial. You have to dig deeper and recognise how you can maximise keyword use so that it resonates well with your audience, instead of just trying to cram them wherever they’re able to fit.
There’s branding even in SEO
It’s easy to get lost in the sea of SEO principles. What often happens is either of the following:
- Branding strategy gets forsaken in favour of SEO strategy, or
- The writer tries to cram both SEO and branding strategies into the content, without assessing if the two elements complement each other
Whichever it is, what you usually end up is incohesive or ineffective content. Not very ideal, is it?
As such, it’s crucial to preserve your brand’s personality even when you’re trying to optimise content for SEO. Utilising language that’s already familiar to your audience—such as sticking to the words and tone that your customers are accustomed to—is a great place to start.
With that said, make sure to train new writers to pick up the vocabulary, tone, and message of the brand prior to delving into content writing. You don’t want to confuse your readers by publishing a friendly article one day and giving them a cold lesson the next.
Bank on fresh and unique content
Rolling out fresh content regularly is one of those classic SEO principles that everyone already knows (if you didn’t—well—now you do). But when we talk about “fresh” content, it’s not only about publishing a new post frequently. More than that, you also have to exert extra effort to come up with unique content.
Rewriting content that’s already published elsewhere is a common SOP. After all, everybody wants to make sure that they also have whatever content the competition has, right?
While it may be a good idea to simply look at what your competition is doing and doing it better, it’s best to step out of the box and do something different. Offer content that your clients won’t find elsewhere. That’s one of the most effective ways to influence them to keep coming back to your site.
Being authentic and acting with integrity can spell the difference between casual website visitors and paying clients.
More and more customers are gaining awareness about shady marketing tactics. Exuding honesty and authenticity in your web content is crucial to win over the confidence and trust of people. Resorting to old methods of manipulation is the fastest way to lose prospects—and it shouldn’t even be considered as a viable pathway in the first place.
Micro-engagement is in
Overwhelming your readers with paragraph upon paragraph of plain, boring text is a one-way ticket to Lame-o-land. At the same time, we all know that search engines place value in long-form content.
So how do you win this game?
The best way to handle this dilemma is to adopt micro-engagement strategies on your SEO content. As we’ve pointed out beforehand, knowing your customers and having a grasp of their actual needs and nature should give you an idea of how to best address this problem.
You can use any of the following suggestions to cultivate healthy micro-engagement:
- Funny and/or engaging photos, videos, or GIFS
- Block quotes
- Calls to action
- Stimulating questions
If you can’t pinpoint the best technique for your content right away, incorporate a few of them at a time and see what works best. Once you’ve figured it out, you’ll know what types of content keeps them interested, engaged, and eager to perform desired actions on your site.
Let data guide you
There’s nothing more powerful than data-driven and actionable insights. Data has climbed to utter significance over the years for a reason: they enable you to connect the dots and quantify which particular strategies produce the best results.
Keeping track of your analytics lets you learn from your mistakes and build on the actions and decisions that work best. You’re gaining valuable insight either way—insight that will help you stay on the right track to success.
Neglecting data usually equates to wasted time, money, and opportunity. To be blunt, there’s simply no way you can ace SEO without relying on it.
An infallible formula for writing high-quality SEO content simply doesn’t exist, but there are fundamentals that you can keep in mind while you’re at it. Put search engines into consideration when writing your content, but prioritise writing for engagement and influence above all else.