Content and SEO: the two elements to beat your competitors

For Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, three factors were at the root of his retail chain’s success: location, location and location.

In the digital age, location still matters. However, it is more virtual than physical, since it takes the form of SEO. Search engine optimization, or natural referencing, consists of a number of elements. At the heart of them is content. But why is it so important for SEO?

What is SEO and why is it critical to your content?

SEO refers to a set of techniques that aim to maximize the visibility of a web page in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, including everything related directly or indirectly to the writing and structure of web content. SEO is important because search engines use it to determine whether or not your site will be ranked in their results and at which position. Needless to say, you need appear in these results, otherwise you will fall far from the top spots and no one will visit your site. In order to achieve this, content is your friend.

The importance of finding the right keywords before writing your content

Keywords are essential when matching content with a winning SEO strategy. Keywords are search terms that your target customers are likely to use to find you online. Before you start writing web content, it is important to list, analyze and compare keywords to determine which ones are best. Contrary to what this term implies, a keyword is not always composed of only one word. It can be a sentence or an expression and is the foundation of your SEO content strategy.

A good keyword search helps you identify the search terms used by your target audience. The more precise a keyword is, the easier it is to rank for that term. For example, “starting a transportation business” is much more specific than “starting a business”. This is called a long-tail keyword, which focuses on a more niche market.

Use strategy to choose the location of keywords

Once you’ve identified your keywords, you need to create your content around them. The goal isn’t to foolishly repeat a keyword throughout your site. A simple forced repetition of keywords will discourage a user who visits your site. In addition, it will encourage search engines to penalize or not consider optimizations, since they will determine that this repetition is over-optimization. It’s a matter of balancing the use of keywords in your content and using a rich and varied vocabulary to satisfy both search engines and the human hidden behind your target. You have to make sure you place them strategically. But where?

The title tag: match the content to the Internet user’s search intent

The title tag is the first element of your site that a user will encounter after an online search. For example, in the screenshot above, “Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal” is the title tag. A good title tag’s content is concise and must be in line with the user’s search intent. Think about what he wants and write it accordingly.

Meta description: an essential part of any high-performance SEO content

The meta description is another element of content. Although it isn’t really part of the content strategy, it is important to optimize it as part of the SEO strategy. The meta description is used to summarize a web page’s content. It is located under the title tag, following a search result. In the example below, “This is the home page […] about tourism.” is the meta description.

A powerful meta description must effectively describe the content of your page to visitors. You need to design it to capture their attention. A meta description with rich and precise content encourages the user to visit your site. It can make the difference between a click or no click.

The URL: an integral part of a well-optimized SEO strategy

A URL is a hypertext link that allows you to access a web page. It needs to be an integral part of your SEO content writing strategy. The content of a good URL is just as important as the title tag and meta description and should highlight what the visitor is looking for and how your website can help them. It can be worthwhile to write it based on the best keywords you found beforehand. It also needs to be short. Moreover, avoid changing it along the way as much as possible, since this will cause you to lose all the SEO you have acquired to date. Of course, in case you have to change it, there are techniques to reduce this loss but remember that Google considers that the “address” of a page is its URL. Google’s job is to direct Internet users to your website based on their search. If your page changes URL and therefore address, you should notify Google in the same way that you notify the postal services when you move. If you don’t, Google will bring users to an error page. To continue the comparison with a store, it’s like bringing your customers into a closed store. In the same way that moving your location is a challenging operation, changing the URL must be avoided or well organized.

Why write SEO content that doesn’t lie?

SEO content partly allows you to be indexed by search engines and to capture the public’s attention through the correct use of keywords. If the content of your title, meta description and URL is relevant, it is a good start. However, you still have to develop all the content for your website.

Give the user what he wants

Your content has to meet a need. When writing your site, you must identify the real objective being pursued, commonly referred to as the search intent.

What is this? Your content must offer your potential target audience exactly what they want when they use a search engine. Without relevant content, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to be well indexed in search engines. Indeed, remember that Google’s objective is to present the most relevant content possible in relation to a user’s search. This has enabled Google to position itself as a leader in its field. The company is therefore looking to protect its competitive advantage and give Internet users the best possible results so that they can continue to use Google.

So what distinguishes quality content from bad content? Once again, your content exists to serve the users of your site. The text on your site must be informative, well written and optimized with the right keywords. No matter how hard you try to stand out, if your content isn’t relevant, the user will quickly leave your site and search engines may even downgrade you.

SEO content: an ongoing process

Optimizing a website is an ongoing process. By creating new content frequently, you ensure that you are in the search engines’ spotlight. Blogs are a good way to do this. They allow you to produce content on a regular basis and encourage your visitors to return to your site because you provide them with relevant information that meets their needs. In addition, blogs allow you to increase your site’s traffic and, potentially, turn these visitors into loyal customers.

Publishing authentic content online pays off

When it comes to content creation, the authenticity and integrity of what you publish is very important. No matter what you do, if you copy content from another site, search engines will penalize you. They value unique content, information that they have not previously indexed. Therefore, writing unique content will satisfy both Internet users and search engines.

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External and internal links online to create relationships and increase visibility

The importance of SEO content isn’t limited only to the content of your site itself. Don’t think of your website as a closed-off element that you need to separate from other websites online. Your site’s SEO content needs to include external and internal links.

What is an external link?

External links, or backlinks, are links that lead to an external web page with a simple click. In a way, external links are a form of online social recognition. Your SEO content should contain external links that redirect to quality sites, either sites that are authoritative or articles with high added value in relation to the referring content. The challenge is to encourage other sites to create links that redirect their users to your site. By publishing rich SEO content, you increase the chances that an external site will link to yours.

What is an internal link?

Internal links, on the other hand, are a type of hypertext link that is located on a web page and refers to another page or resource, which may be an image or document. Unlike external links, internal links connect the different sections of your own website together in a relevant and logical way. The words you choose to create your links should be explanatory and enticing.

My Little Big Web: an expert in SEO content writing

Content written using the right principles underlying SEO increases your online visibility. Without well optimized content, you significantly reduce the likelihood that a potential customer will find you, even if the competitive advantages of your product or service make you stand out from the crowd.

The success of your business depends on a well thought-out SEO content strategy. My Little Big Web has extensive expertise in SEO content writing. If you want to ensure you have the most effective online presence, contact us.

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