SEO text is an integral part of any successful content marketing strategy, because it helps your brand achieve maximum visibility online, generate organic traffic and boost authority and trustworthiness.
Implementing a successful SEO strategy means applying the latest best practices for on-page, off-page and technical SEO optimisation.
Above all, creating high-quality, people-first content is fundamental to high SERP rankings, because Google prioritises content that is helpful and user-friendly. Be sure to develop all content with SEO in mind and cater your SEO approach to individual stages of your customer journey.
Master SEO texts: Boost your site with optimised content
In 2023, 68% of all traffic to an average website comes from a search engine results page (SERP). Since SERPs determine so much of what people see when they look for an answer or solution online, it’s vital to your business to produce content that ranks as high as possible. That’s what search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about.
Creating the perfect SEO text is a combination of two skills: the art of creating good content and the science of SEO. It’s also important to keep your skills up to date, as your audiences’ preferences and needs are constantly changing, and so are the best practices for ranking high on Google’s SERP.
In this article, we’ll brush you up on the ins and outs of and then do a deep dive into the latest SEO best practices for creating optimised content that fits into a winning SEO content strategy.
What are SEO texts?
To start with, let’s make one thing clear: when we talk about “search engine” optimisation, we are basically talking about optimising your texts for ranking high on Google’s SERP. That’s because Google currently accounts for nearly 85% of all online searches. But most SEO best practices are applicable for any search engine, as Google generally sets the standard for online search technologies.
SEO texts are the core of any successful content marketing strategy. An SEO text is strategically written and designed to ensure that it ranks as high as possible on SERPs, especially Google.
This involves applying a number of best practices and proven SEO tactics, including:
- On-page SEO: Optimising the content of your website itself to ensure visibility and generate traffic.
- Off-page SEO: Posting optimal content on third-party websites and platforms (including social media) that direct traffic towards your own domain.
- Technical SEO: Tweaking your web pages’ performance through behind-the-scenes technical measures.
We’ll dive into all these SEO topics in greater detail below.
Types of SEO texts
Any text that you publish openly on your website or publicly available third-party websites can and should be optimised for search engine findability. Some of the most important types of SEO texts include:
- SEO articles and posts on your company’s blog
- Social media posts
- Guest posts on third-party blogs or websites
- Landing pages and product pages
- Your company’s “About us” page
- Your “Contact” page
- Your company’s Google for Business profile
No matter what type of text you are writing, there are always ways to optimise it to improve its SERP performance. The only time SEO is less important is if you are publishing gated (signup-only) content that will not be directly searchable via Google. However, even in those cases, you’ll want to ensure your gated content’s landing page is SEO-friendly.
SEO content on your blog can be created in many different formats. Some of the most popular SEO-friendly formats for blog posts include:
- Listicles: “Top 10…”-style articles
- How-to guides: Useful tutorials that feature your product or solution
- Thought leadership pieces: Editorial style articles that provide an inspiring vision and share your brand’s unique perspective
- News articles: Articles focused on a recent development.
- Trend watching: Similar to news articles, these posts dive into a recent trend and show that your brand is up to speed on the latest developments in your industry
Benefits of SEO texts
So, now that we’ve covered what SEO texts are, let’s talk about why they are important. SEO content helps your brand achieve many important goals that contribute to growing your business. Here are the most important reasons why you should be optimising your content for search engine finability:
1. Enhanced visibility
By optimising your content, you help it to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This increases your chances of appearing in front of users who are actively seeking information related to your industry or niche.
Ranking high on SERPs is also crucial to ensuring visibility, and only the best-optimised pages succeed. In fact, over 90% of websites generate zero organic traffic through Google searches. That’s why SEO is essential if you want to crack the top 10% of websites that are enjoying greater visibility on Google.
2. Increased Organic Traffic
Higher visibility translates into more organic traffic. Studies show that less than 1% of Google searchers click on links on page 2 of the search results. In other words, page 1 ranking is basically your only chance of attracting organic traffic through Google. SEO text is also found to generate 10 times more traffic than non-SEO content.
3. Lead generation and conversion
One of the most important things to remember about SEO is that it ensures your content matches your audiences’ interests and needs. That’s why it helps boost conversion, because it makes your offering findable to the people who are most likely to be interested in it. Leads who are attracted to your website by clicking on a link to your SEO content have been found to convert to paying customers nearly 15% of the time.
4. Authority and credibility
Ranking high on Google brings prestige and a professional allure to your brand. That’s because Google is very selective about which pages make its first-page SERP ranking. In recent years, Google has placed greater focus on ensuring that only high-quality content ranks high. Many digital marketers are familiar with Google’s “E-E-A-T” criteria for ranking content:
By following SEO best practices that ensure content quality and domain authority, you ensure your content meets these criteria. In return, your content will be displayed prominently on Google’s SERP, which makes it more likely to earn clicks and be viewed as a trustworthy, crowd-approved source of valuable information.
5. Cost-effective marketing
One more major benefit of SEO is that it is much more cost effective than the alternative: paid advertising. While it does cost time and money to create SEO content, it offers a much better ROI than paid advertising, because your SEO content has a much longer life cycle than traditional ads. It can also be continually updated and optimised to make sure it continues to perform and deliver leads for months and even years to come.
SEO best practices: How to write good SEO texts
If you want to enjoy the many benefits of SEO, it’s important to apply best practices that ensure your content meets Google’s high standards of quality. Above all, it’s important to ensure your content is written with your audiences’ interests and needs in mind. Google has repeatedly said that, in addition to its “E-E-A-T” guideline, its automated search ranking technology prioritises content that is “helpful, reliable and people-first”.
With that in mind, let’s look at some best practices that can help your content meet Google’s standards.
1. Research your topic
All content creation should start with extensive research. You’ll want to not just research the topic itself, but start by researching your target audience:
- Who are your audience members? Which personas are you targeting?
- Which topics are important to your audience?
- What are the exact questions and concerns on your audience’s mind?
- Which challenges or pain points do your audiences need to overcome?
It’s always beneficial to conduct customer surveys or talk to members of your company’s customer support and sales team, who have direct insight into what makes your customers tick. This helps you gain a richer picture of what your audiences are looking for when they search Google for topics related to your brand and products.
2. Determine search intent and keywords
Understanding which topics are important to your audience enables you to put yourself in their shoes and clearly determine what they intend to find when they perform an online search. Search intent includes important topics like:
- Which specific questions are your audiences typing (or speaking) in their Google searches?
- Are there terms that might have double meanings which make it hard to determine search intent? (For example, a term like “white paper” could refer to a long-read piece of content, or to paper that is white. Therefore, it is hard to determine the search intent for a keyword like that).
- Beyond the main keywords that obviously relate to your products or brand, are there any more specific searches (so-called “long-tail keywords”) that reveal what’s on your audience’s mind?
To discover insights into your potential customers’ search intent and identify powerful, competitive keywords, you can use a number of keyword research tools, as we will discuss further below.
3. Choose the right format
The format you choose for your SEO content should also cater to your audiences’ media preferences. This varies from one audience, industry, market and region to the next. A good place to look for inspiration is Google: which types of content are ranking high for the topics and keywords that you want to focus on?
You can also take some clues from your competitors’ websites. Using a tool like Similarweb, you can analyse competitors’ content and see which pages are performing best.
Your choice of format will also depend on which type of audience you’re targeting. B2B buyers often prefer more detailed, technical content, such as customer success stories, research reports, podcasts or webinars. B2C buyers may prefer quicker formats, like short blog posts, videos or infographics.
4. Add a catchy title
Your SEO content should also be appealing and eye-catching. Be sure to think of a catchy title that hits on your audiences’ interests. However, avoid overpromising or presenting misleading information. The title should provide an accurate idea of what the content is about, so readers have a realistic view of what they’re getting when they click on your link on the SERP.
The last thing you want is to disappoint your audiences by using a clickbait-like title that fails to deliver on its promise. This will only have the opposite of the desired effect, because you will alienate your audience and give them a bad impression of your brand.
5. Optimize content structure and readability
Another important part of SEO is to create content in a user-friendly layout that is engaging, user-friendly and easy to read. You’ll want to use plenty of clear, straightforward subheadings in your content to help audiences quickly find exactly the information they’re looking for.
Avoid using subheadings that are overly lengthy or do not get straight to the point of what your content is about. If possible, phrase your subheadings in the form of a short question that your audience might realistically ask.
Also ensure your content is skimmable. Use short sentences and paragraphs, and break content into easily digestible bullet points or lists whenever possible.
6. Add visual content
Google is known to prioritise web pages that contain images over pages without. In fact, one study found that 97% of top page ranking websites on Google contain images.
Just be sure to compress your images so they don’t take a long time to load. Slow load speeds damage your SEO performance, because they are the opposite of user-friendly.
7. Use breadcrumb navigation on your website
Using breadcrumb navigation on your website is a solid SEO best practice, because it improves the overall user experience (making it “people-first”) and it makes your website’s contents more easily crawlable for Google.
Breadcrumb navigation helps users keep track of where they are on your website. A breadcrumb navigation trail usually appears near the top of a web page and breaks down how the currently displayed page fits into your website’s overall outline.
For example: Home > Products > Product category 1 > Product subcategory 3 > Specific product
8. Use mobile-first design
For the past few years, Google has been explicitly advocating mobile-first design, publicly announcing that it has switched to “mobile-first indexing”. This means pages that are optimised for performance and usability on a mobile device will be prioritised over those that are not.
9. Add and maintain internal links
Internal links help users navigate your website and establish a hierarchy of content. Ensure that your content includes relevant internal links to other pages on your site.
You’ll also want to monitor your internal links and keep them up to date. If a URL is changed or removed, it will result in a dead link, which negatively affects your SEO performance. Monitoring internal links is a difficult process, especially if your website is frequently updated. Fortunately, there are multiple tools that you can use to automate this process, as we will briefly discuss below.
10. Use metadata
Metadata, including meta titles and descriptions, play a crucial role in SEO. Craft compelling meta descriptions that encourage users to click through to your content. Keep meta titles concise and keyword-rich.
Also add meta tags to all your images to ensure the content of the images is easily machine-readable.
Tools for writing SEO texts
Digital marketers today have access to a mind-blowing range of high-tech tools that make our lives easier, and our work more effective. Those tools are also constantly evolving to incorporate new features that make them even more useful.
In addition to the major SEO tool suites like Ahrefs and SEMrush which serve a wide range of functions, there are loads of highly specialised tools out there. For every stage of your content creation process, you’ll find a range of automated and AI-driven tools to choose from.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the best tools out there:
- Need help developing content ideas? Try BuzzSumo, StoryLab.ai and NeuralText.
- Look for a powerful keyword research assistant? Try an AI-driven tool like CopyAI, Twinword, ContextMinds or RYTR.
- Want to write a more effective content briefing? Try WriterZen.
- Want to generate a quick first draft for your content? A generative AI tool like ChatGPT, Jasper.ai or RYTR can help. Just remember to always post-edit generative AI content to bring it to the right level of quality and accuracy that a high SERP ranking requires.
- How about an AI-generated proofreading tool to make sure your text doesn’t contain any embarrassing typos? Some of our favourites include Grammarly, Wordvice and Hemingway..
- Want to automatically monitor and fix your internal links? Try LinkStorm or Link Whisper.
SEO content strategy
It’s also important to see your SEO activities as an integral part of your broader content marketing strategy. An important part of this is crafting content in a way that guides and nurtures potential customers through your sales funnel.
Be sure to cater your SEO keyword research and keyword focus to potential customers at different stages of the customer journey. Searchers who are at the awareness stage of the buyer journey, for example, will use different search terms than those at the consideration stage.
Whichever content marketing strategy or framework you’re using to structure your content marketing activities, be sure to incorporate SEO best practices into your content creation process at every stage. Developing your content with SEO in mind from the very beginning makes your workload much more efficient than creating content first and then optimising it later.
Importance of content localisation for SEO texts
If your target audience spans across different regions or languages, then content localisation will be essential to your SEO success. This means adapting your content to suit the preferences and nuances of specific markets.
In addition to translating your content, when localising for SEO, you’ll need to:
- Perform separate keyword research for each market you want to target
- Create a consistent glossary or termbase to speed up your localisation process and ensure accuracy and consistency
- Apply the same technical SEO best practices as you would with your native-language content: compress images, optimise for mobile and add descriptive metadata.
Common mistakes to avoid in SEO writing
To ensure the best results from your SEO content, there are also some common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid:
- Don’t rely on guesswork: Take a data-driven approach to keyword research.
- Avoid keyword stuffing: Focus on creating helpful, people-first content above all.
- Don’t use generic anchor text for internal links: Instead of using anchor text like “click here”, use descriptive language that accurately describes what you’re linking to.
Ready to level up your SEO content strategy?
By applying the best practices and using the tools we’ve covered above, you’ll be well on your way to achieving better results with your SEO activities. With a strong SEO strategy in place, your brand can start reaping the full benefits of your content marketing. It’s never an easy job to put a solid SEO strategy in place, but the benefits are well worth the effort.
If you’re curious about learning more about how you can improve your specific SEO approach, contact the content advisors at Contentoo and book a free demo today to discover more about mastering the art and science of SEO text.
Frequently asked questions about SEO texts
What is the ideal length for an SEO text?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The length of an SEO text should depend on the complexity of the topic and the depth of information required to address it effectively. As a guideline, remember that the average top-ranking blog post on a Google SERP is 1,500 words long.
How often should I update my SEO texts?
Regular updates to your SEO texts are essential to keep them current and relevant. SEO experts recommend setting regular schedules for auditing and updating your content. Whenever your company’s products or website are updated, always monitor your audit within at least a week of each update to ensure all links and information are still up to date.
How can I monitor the performance of my SEO content?
There are numerous valuable metrics for tracking how well your SEO content is performing. The metrics you choose to focus on depend on what your content marketing goals are. In general, however, an ideal metric for tracking the ROI of your SEO activities is to look at your traffic value.
This means calculating how much your organic traffic would cost if all of it was generated by paid search ads. This shows you how much your company is saving by using SEO content instead of relying solely on paid search to generate organic traffic.