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3.2 Content and SEO

Quality content will work wonders for your SEO. In this lesson, you’ll learn what search engines look for.

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3.2 Content and SEO

Hello and welcome back to this Tuts+ course on WordPress SEO without plugins. In this part of the course we're gonna move on to looking at content and how you can optimize your content for SEO. Now, content is something that people often overlook when they're thinking about SEO. And as search engines become more and more sophisticated, it's becoming more important as part of your SEO strategy. So if there's one thing you should focus on, it's your content. And there's two aspects to your content that you should think about. The first is what content you cover, so what subjects you cover in your website. And the second is how you cover them. And I'll explain those in a bit more detail. So let's start by having a look at the topics you're going to cover in your website. Now, it can be quite difficult to think about what topics you need to cover to get more search traffic. But think about your users, think about your ideal visitor, or your ideal customer. What is it they're interested in? It might not be the specifics of what you do, but it might be subject around that. So for example, I used to run a blog for my web development business, and that blog included tips on how to develop your website. How to make it mobile friendly, because that was all the thing at a time, and how to approach your online marketing strategy. I wasn't an online marketing strategist, although I did make sure that all the websites that I've developed for clients have been strategic and have addressed the main needs of those businesses, rather than just being knee-jerk reactions to what they'd like their site to look like. So I wrote lots of posts about website development, and online marketing, and SEO, and subjects like that. And I found that people would find my site via google and then look at what I'd written, think, yeah, this is great, but I don't quite have the skills to implement it. Even though sometimes the posts I wrote would give them everything they need to do it, people haven't always got time. So they would then contact me via a link at the bottom of the page and I'd get a customer. And it's important to note that by displaying your expertise on your website, you're not giving away the crown jewels, you're not giving away your skills for free. What you're doing is demonstrating that you know your stuff. Most people who aren't experts in your field, even if they can learn things from your website, they won't have the time or inclination to actually implement them. But you, by writing about them, can show that you know how to do them, so they'll trust you and they'll get in touch with you and become customers. So think about your ideal client and what they might be looking for, and that will give you the keywords that you're going to target. So for my website I might target WordPress development. And this Google Keyword Planner, you can use if you've got a Google Ads account without actually having to place an ad. So it doesn't cost you anything. You can just set up a Google AdWords account and use the keyword planner to identify keywords that you can then use in your website. So let's take a look at what we get with WordPress development. Google's gonna do its thinking. And its gonna come up with some answers of keywords that I might be aiming for. So you can see that there's a whole bunch here. So there's things like WordPress designer, WordPress expert, WordPress programmer, that probably is, WordPress plugin developer. So those tell you how many people are searching for these items and these keywords every month, and also how competitive they are. So if something has high competition, it means there's lots of other sites competing for it. So what you want is keywords that have got a high number of monthly searches but aren't too competitive. So let's take a look here. We've got WordPress plugin developer, I think that is. Let's try and make it move a bit. WordPress plugin development gets between 100 and 1,000 searches a month. Now that might not seem like a lot, but it's not very competitive, so you might find that that's something that's worth ranking for, for your business. Because you don't need 1,000 people a month to come and find you for WordPress plugin development. You might only need two new clients a month to be able to keep your business going. Because that's less competitive, you're more likely to rank. And as you work through this you'll get longer and longer key word phrases, which are called long tail keywords. And these are more useful because, as long as they're specific to what you do, you're more likely to rank for them because they're not as competitive. There aren't as many people who are trying to aim for those keywords and trying to target them with their SEO. So spend some time using a keyword tool like this to identify what your keywords might be. And obviously you don't just put one keyword in to start with, you could have a variety of them, which relate to the services and topics that your website will be covering. So once you've got your keywords, you need to then plan your content so that you've got at least one item of content on your blog, or at least one page on your site that addresses each of your keywords or your key phrases. I'm going to use the term keywords here to describe a phrase a long tail keyword that is more than just one word, just to be clear. So now you've done that. And you can think about and you can identify a whole range of keywords that people might be searching for, and which ones are the most profitable to look for. And then you can plan your content strategy accordingly. So for example, if you had four services, you would need to make sure there was a page for every one of those services. And that within those pages, you use the relevant keywords that you're targeting. Now, beware of keyword stuffing. Don't just fill your pages with lots and lots of keywords, because that won't help. Google will actually down rank you for that. Google likes content that is human being friendly, not just search engine friendly. So make sure that your content is quality content that's written in a way that will be understandable and appealing to human beings as well. Because obviously once you've got people to your site using SEO, you also want them to convert. You want them to read your content and to gain some trust for you based on that content, and then to buy from you. So that's how you identify some keywords, and you can then use those to plan your content. I would recommend that every business site has a blog. So my site here has a blog and I've always had a blog on every site that I've setup for my self, and I've recommended my clients to do the same. And you should also be posting to your blog regularly. I would recommend posting once a month if you can. You don't have to post a lot, but just a quick update every month with some subject matter expertise that shows people you know what you're doing. Or with an update about what's happening in your business, your new products or services, or new members of staff. It shows Google and other search engines that your site is fresh, and it's being constantly updated, and that will help your SEO as well. So regularly updated content that's high quality and uses keywords is really important. And research has been done that shows that blog posts that include a range of phrases around a topic, that is the keyword, are actually ranked more highly than blog posts that are full of that one key word. Because Google understands that somebody who writes about a topic and knows their stuff will use a range of phrases, not just that keyword. So if you write quality content, or you get somebody in your business to write a piece of content on an area of their expertise, you'll get much better rankings for it, and importantly, you'll get better conversion. Because high quality content converts much, much better. And there's no point in doing SEO if you don't get any conversions because of it. So that's how you optimize your content for SEO. In the next part of the course, I'm going to look at links and images and media within your content and how you optimize those for SEO. See you next time, and thanks for watching.

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