5 Tips to Create SEO Friendly Content for People & Algorithms
It often feels like business owners need to choose between spending their time completing normal business activities or to create SEO friendly content. Still, there are simple ways to create SEO friendly content that’s compelling for people and algorithms, that anyone can implement today.
SEO can be a difficult game to master, particularly for smaller businesses. Given that SEO typically involves lots of minor changes, edits and carefully creating the optimal highways for crawlers to find your pages with linking to authoritative websites, SEO if usually best left to an SEO specialist.
However, not all businesses are in a position to hire one in their company.
Still, some SEO work needs doing and there are ways to get there even if you’re on a budget.
There are the standard answers that often float by. Like start blogging, subscribe to SEO platforms and improve your metadata and alt-tags.
And sure, these are all excellent things to do if you want to better your SEO ranking on Google. But when it comes to optimising for humans, there are a few different rules.
So in this blog, I’ve gone over the six things that overlap which you can implement today when you create SEO friendly content for people and algorithms.
For more information on SEO and its fundamentals, check out this link to another of our blog posts!
Add Variety to Your Content
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. But did you know the other saying? Variety is the spice of content… ok if it’s not already a saying, then it is now.
In short, by your content having more variety, combined with strong writing will help increase your average time on page. And more time-on-page then indicates to Google that your content is engaging and answering a specific question. This great user experience means your content will be rewarded with a great rank on Google.
But what does variety in your content mean?
Well, variety in your content can mean any number of things.
Some people like reading a long and dense text, while others prefer 400 words. Sometimes content from the POV of the writer is best. While other times a more hands-off approach is better.
And lastly, sometimes video and audio are great to catch the attention of your reader. Whereas other people may dislike such gimmicks.
But because no two searches are alike, it’s your responsibility to decide which style writing you do and for which medium. Of course, understanding your audience is a large factor in this.
There typically are some hard-and-fast rules for this, though.
For example, there is an abundance of research that suggests imagery and video on webpages boost engagement for your audience. And this has been backed up by Google.
This means, if you’re including images and videos, Google sees this as indicators you’re engaging your audience. By including them on your pages, you’re more likely to boost your SEO ranking on Google and appear closer to number one.
Strong Writing Wins
It’s a given that the person writing your content, whether it is for web or not, has got to be a competent writer. Primarily because people tend to only read about 20% of the words on a website.
The issue with this is, as a marketer, we don’t know what words they’ll read and which they won’t. Of course, we can look at as many heat maps as we like, but there is no telling who reads what.
This means every sentence needs to be a winner.
Of course, good writing is paramount for writing for people, but it’s just as important for the SEO spiders crawling your work.
Since you’re looking to find out how to write SEO friendly content, there are a few things you can do. For example, it’s good to have some variety in sentence length, however, shorter and more concise sentences are typically preferred.
Another thing to look out for is your use of passive voice. Instead, you’re encouraged to use a more active voice where possible as it’s more engaging and more direct. Whereas, writers who use a more passive voice are often seen as lesser… even if it isn’t necessarily true.
But it isn’t only writers who think this. As Google crawlers favour more active writing, too!
A great tool for implementing these tips is the Hemingway Editor as it looks at your work and provides suggestions for where to shorten them. All the while, providing replacement words and simpler sentences structures.
Still, this isn’t always the best strategy. For example, if you’re looking to break into an industry, pushing boundaries can be a great alternative. By injecting humour, different tones, soundbites, gifs or styles of writing can be just the thing your audience needs. Even if it isn’t necessarily best for SEO.
Authority vs. Originality
When it comes time to create SEO friendly content, there is a bit of a paradox that often arises.
Firstly, you’re told to link to reputable and authoritative websites to show your content is correct and backed up.
Whereas, you’re also told that you need to be original and produce value-added content through original thought and claims.
And they’re both technically correct… despite being almost complete contradictions of each other.
So this is an understandable place where people get tripped up when it comes to their web content. What they’re saying is that you need to rely on the experts, whilst exceeding them always trying to add something new to the argument or point you’re making.
A way to go about this could be to get the expert research, adding personal anecdotes to support it. Putting your spin and touch on the idea and importantly, adding to it.
The world is more mobile than ever before
In 2019, SEO friendly content means a few things. One of the biggest being mobile optimisation.
For SEO friendly optimisation, the future doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon away from mobile being vitally important. And because mobile optimisation being big business and therefore essential to any high functioning website, your content needs to be visible on mobile to compete.
When it comes to people, we love to access content on a whim via our mobile devices. So much that in 2019, most people use their mobile devices as their primary computer. This is no surprise either, given that a Smartphone can connect to many of our applications to maintain our lives. So for this reason, it’s essential to be seen properly on mobile devices through correct optimisation.
Banking apps, Spotify, Notes, sporting apps, online shopping, Microsoft Word and Pages, Email, Facebook and Instagram, flights, hotels and hostels, and Google Drives are just the beginning to understand how we have everything we need on a Smartphone.
So if we’re looking for a local pizza place, breaking news or to answer a simple question, mobile will more than likely be the device of choice.
What this means for SEO is that Google will reward a website that allows people to use it comfortably. So if your website is mobile-friendly, then it will integrate nicely into people’s lives. Meaning that you’re more likely to get on the first page of Google if your content is optimised for mobile!
This can mean making your videos compatible with Smart devices, compressing your high-quality images (which we’ve already discussed), making your content scrollable, your buttons need to be simple to use and avoid long paragraphs where possible.
Your headlines and subheads matter
To get killer traffic, a killer headline is one of the first ports of call.
Likewise, headlines and subheads are essential for SEO friendly content as they matter a lot to Google’s algorithms. For Google, a strong headline containing a keyword and keyphrase is essential in announcing what your page or blog post is about.
Adding to this, your headings matter because they can be an excellent way to (again) incorporate keywords and keyphrases. All the while, the crawlers will recognise your headlines and use them to better understand your content.
What this leads to is a likelihood that your content can appear on the first page of Google for the question your answering.
Aside from the crawlers recognising your content and headlines, people also value accurate and to-the-point headlines and subheads.
A great heading and subhead allows your content to be skimmable and therefore easier for your readers to read; remembering that they only read about 20% of your content, you might as well make it simple for them.
Understanding how to write SEO friendly content is important for business owners to know.
Yet because there are so many things to understand to get on the first page of Google and use the algorithms in your favour, it can be incredibly difficult. Especially when you’re balancing other business activities to tick off.
Still, it can sometimes feel like a toss-up between optimising for Google and ensuring people can read your articles easily.
But it is more than possible to do. As tonnes of writers show every day.
Still, for the average business owner who has a lot on their plate, a few simple tips will never go astray.
Simply follow the basic steps which we’ve outlined above and you’ll be well on your way to reaching the top spot on Google.