5 questions to determine whether the quality of your online content is living up to its potential
Contrary to popular belief, search engine optimization is not only about ensuring that your content receives the maximum amount of exposure. In fact, relying on an approach based solely on keyword research will probably garner more favor with search engines than with actual prospective customers. The key is a balance between content that is creatively based versus “content” in the SEO sense. To figure out where a particular piece weighs in, ask yourself the following questions.
- Is the keyword usage coherent and SEO friendly?
- Keyword research is integral to the success of SEO, but if its application merely is “keyword density” the resulting piece will not read naturally and will not hold interest. The content you put out must be in line with your SEO strategy, and this should be reflected in how relevant keywords are incorporated. Remember, you need readers to get through the entire piece and buy into the message.
- Is the writing calculated and goal-focused?
- Writing optimized content should not be entirely scientific, but it isn’t a stream of consciousness poetry either. You need to begin with a game plan.
- Compose an initial outline based on the title and headings you will use. Make sure the flow of ideas will be impressive once they are fleshed out. What links should you include? Most importantly, does the content gel with the tone of your website at large and serve a meaningful purpose?
- Is the piece consistent with the brand?
- Keywords are not the only vocabulary that matter in an excellent piece of optimized copy. The nuances of the language you use must be consistent with the rest of the content on your site. A sudden change in tone or diction is jarring to the reader. Would a typical post on the site use the word “exciting” or “inspiring”?
- Is the piece sincere?
- Appealing to your readers in a genuine way can be the difference between hosting one-time visitors and experiencing increased conversions. Be straightforward and demonstrate your value. Make your audience feel heard.
- You have feedback in the form of comment sections and your ratings on business directories. Are you using the input to address your reader’s needs? How are you demonstrating this through the new content produced on your site?
- Is the content merely new or is it fresh?
- What new thoughts or ideas is your business putting out there into the ether? How are you contributing to the culture of the industry?
- Make sure to take a look at what your competitors are putting out. Don’t just replicate it. Take it to the next level and create something original.
Remember, you’re trying to strike a balance and complete a process. Good copy is written for readers but formatted for search engines. The strategies above will drive engagement with the content on your website and make the best use of the attention that your keyword placement provided.
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