A core of our marketing work with clients is developing their content library to drive more qualified leads and help them convert faster. Organic search is the primary channel for this traffic because search provides more intent to purchase than virtually every other acquisition channel.
Simply put… if I believe I’m going to make a purchase but wish to research that purchase… the first step is to do some research via search engines. If your business wants to be found, search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to your business’ growth and success.
Write For Users, Not Search Engines
I wish we could go back in time and replace the word engine in search engine optimization with user, though. In the early days of SEO, frequent, recent, and low-quality content could manipulate the search engines and rank quite well.
Fast forward to 2023 (and beyond), you should be optimizing your content for your target audience… not the search engine. Search engines are simply an optimized user experience (UX) for search engine users to research problems, discover companies, and find solutions to their problems. Search engines do their best when they match the intent of the search user with high-quality links that have all the information that the user needs to answer their question.
10 Tips To Improve Your Content for Organic Search
The great folks at Semrush, have distributed this infographic that walks through the top tips for improving your content for organic search.
Those tips for writing SEO content are:
- Target keywords – we have a client that has branded all of the colors of their clothing with really cool names. Unfortunately, if you’re searching for one of those products, though, you’re not going to use the term midnight to find clothing that is black. Understanding the terms users use in their search query is essential for generating content that ranks for the search engine user.
- Find questions that people ask – notice the title of this article? This article was originally written almost a decade ago and I’ve been keeping it up to date ever since… optimizing and republishing it as search engines have evolved.
- Identify and map search intent – when you do keyword research, you’ll want your content to meet the goals of the search engine user’s intent. Semrush classifieds these as informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional.
The Four Common Types of Content for Search Intent
- Informational keywords — searchers looking for an answer to a specific question or general information.
- Navigational keywords — searchers intending to find a specific site or page.
- Commercial keywords — searchers looking to investigate brands or services.
- Transactional keywords — searchers intending to complete an action or purchase.
- Review competitors’ articles – understanding the competition is critical to winning in search results. An article that is more thorough, more up-to-date, better organized, better researched, and drives the search engine user to take action will beat the competition.
- Gather original data – using original data and case studies makes content more engaging, trustworthy, and shareable.
- Optimize headings and meta descriptions – you should be spending as much time optimizing headings and meta descriptions as you are writing a thorough article. Headings are the connector that captures the user’s attention and intent. Meta descriptions that pique curiosity are the first opportunity to drive users to click your link in the SERP before your competitors.
- Create organized, easy-to-read content – visitors to your page will scan it before reading it. Before they scroll, you want to capture their attention with great visuals, headings, subheadings, bullet points, and the effective use of bold and italic words. Adding a table of contents with jumps to topics that are anchored is a great tactic.
- Include visuals – I honestly don’t like publishing articles that don’t have accompanying graphics or videos. Images don’t just capture the eye, they also engage far deeper than text on a page. Additionally, we saw a significant increase in engagement when we started writing our headlines on our featured image. Visuals are critical… and don’t forget to include alternative text with the visual so that search engines index the images as well.
- Include Calls-To-Action (CTAs) – Calls-to-action provide the visitor with the logical next step you want them to take. I’m stunned when we take over a client’s SEO strategy, identify pages that they rank great on, and there’s no call-to-action. This is a missed opportunity for driving leads.
- Keep Linking Structure In Mind – Internal links are critical to both search engines and users, providing them with relevant links to continue their search or buying journey. They also let search engines better understand your site’s structure and the relationship between pieces of content.
SEO Copywriting Tool
Researching a topic or analyzing your own content for optimization can be quite subjective based on your experience. Even as a veteran consultant I put aside my bias and utilize tools to ensure that my content is competitive, thorough, and that I do everything I can to roll out the red carpet to search engines and their users.
We’re both users and fans of the Semrush content tools they provide an incredible array of checks to assist us in monitoring our rankings and optimizing our content to acquire search engine users.
One of their tools, Semrush’s SEO writing assistant, has all the features you need to assist you in writing great copy that will rank in search results and engage with your search engine users:
- Integration – install their add-on to Google Docs or WordPress and you can use the tool in real-time as you’re creating content, writing copy, or optimizing your product page, landing page, or writing content for your blog post.
- Readability – analyze your copy’s complexity and see a target readability score based on your top 10 search rivals. You also get recommendations on word count and optimizing your title.
- Tone of voice – identify the tone of voice for your content to ensure it’s consistently casual, neutral, or formal.
- Plagiarism – detect the total percentage of copied words in your text and identify original content sources from across the web. This is a must if you’re buying content or hiring a copywriter!
Ranking in Google is core to virtually every business’ growth. Creating and optimizing your content for search engine users is essential to this… need some help?
Disclosure: Martech Zone is an affiliate of Semrush and we are using our affiliate links throughout this article.