It’s easy for SEO pessimists to point out the many ways bad SEO practices injure content, sabotage creativity, and sacrifice quality for quantity. The Internet is rampant with bad SEO and it’s giving the good kind a bad name. But for the sake of positivity, here are a few ways that legitimate SEO—the kind that understands Google’s ultimate goal of facilitating high-quality content and works in tandem with that goal—will improve your content.
1. Writing Informed Content
Keyword research not only helps us to understand what our ideal audience is searching for online, and how they are phrasing those searches, but it provides valuable insight into their behaviors and specific profile.
All good writing considers its audience and speaks directly to that audience. Keyword stuffing your content will obviously produce stilted, clunky text, but using keyword research to inform your voice and style in order to cater to your desired audience will only help you to create better, more targeted, and more effective text.
2. Writing Useful Content
SEO has come a long way since the beginning, when Google’s algorithm was easily manipulated and exploited to win rankings for sites that were less than stellar. With every new year and update, the algorithm has become more sophisticated and difficult to exploit. It’s a matter of extreme debate amongst SEOs as Google’s power over the web is largely unprecedented. It’s intimidating to always have to be on your toes. But when you understand Google’s goal to create a search algorithm that favors useful content, you can stay a step ahead simply by having the same goal.
Is your content useful? You should want it to be anyway, because if it wasn’t, yet you managed to score a top spot in the rankings, all of your traffic will have no reason to stay on your site and your bounce rates will be off the charts.
3. Writing Organized Content
Good SEO favors organized content. Organized content follows a hierarchy and fluid progression much similar to the structure of a story. You’re selling a message on your website, after all, and there is a good and bad way to deliver that message. The most effective way is to plot your content, informational and sales pitches, blog posts and videos, across a structured path, ultimately leading to the CTA that will close the sale.
Good content follows this structure anyway, so organizing your content in a way that appeals to the search engines should already be a natural part of your writing process.
4. Sparking New Writing Ideas
Keyword research and other analytic data can not only inform how you write your content, but what you write about. Google and other search engines offer so many resources to help you generate new and relevant ideas for your blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, and ebooks. What are people searching? How are they looking for it? What does my target audience even care about?
All of these questions can be answered with a little bit of time looking over Google Analytics, social media, related searches, and more.
5. Writing Prolifically
Types of content needed on websites run the gambit: blogs, case studies, whitepapers, video, animation, Q&As, webinars, tutorials, ebooks, and more. Good, creative content creators have a vast array of options at their fingertips, and SEO has put them in high demand. These are the content pieces that website owners need, which means they need talented individuals to create them.
6. Writing Visible Content
Without effective SEO, even the best content isn’t going to be seen by anyone. Good content and SEO should work in tandem to create an Internet that caters to value, quality, and ease of search. Google is trying to do this, and so should any SEO and content writer who seeks to win Google’s favor.
What’s the biggest way SEO has helped (or hurt) your content quality?
Barone, Lisa. “How SEO Actually Improves Content Quality.” http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2386196/how-seo-actually-improves-content-quality?utm_term=&utm_content=How%20SEO%20Actually%20Improves%20Content%20Quality&utm_campaign=SEW.Daily.EU.A.U&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=SEW.DCM.Editors_Updates#. (December 11, 2014.)