SEO principles to produce optimized content

SEO principles for content creation are simple principles that by following these simple principles you can surpass many of your competitors. Never think that the basics of SEO are very difficult and you should definitely outsource the work of SEO, but you can read the site optimization training article and the WordPress SEO training article as well as the same article in front of you to get to know the basics of SEO.

Content is the main factor in Google’s ranking

Content is one of the strongest Google ranking indicators. However, many marketers struggle with creating the right content. You should know that the days when you could rank by writing and publishing a 300-word blog post are long gone. To rank in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) you need great content. With any content you publish, you should be able to answer one simple question: “Why are you publishing this content?”. It is very important that your content has a purpose.

You should never publish blog posts or other types of content just to populate your blog or site. You should usually publish content to accomplish goals such as:

  • rank in SERP;
  • get the link;
  • educate the audience;
  • guide social interactions;
  • generate potential customers (leads);

The selected content format should always be appropriate for the intended purpose. However, it’s important to fully understand why you want to produce and upload content. For any successful article, blog post, or guide, you need to have a goal. You should not fall into the trap of producing random content. For example, if your website is about SEO for family law, then the content must be complete and totally relevant.  

Here are some more facts about search engines.

Such materials are often produced for the following reasons:

  • Your employer wants you to upload a new blog post every day;
  • Someone told you the more content the better (regardless of quality);
  • A large number of fresh content helps the site rank better;

If you have such an approach to content creation, you need to reconsider. Read this article to the end to learn more about the secrets of creating optimal and high-quality content.

Assuming you understand why we should use the content as part of our SEO strategy, let’s see how you can ensure that your content is fully optimized.

15 essential elements of SEO principles to produce optimized content

SEO principles in producing a fully optimized page have a simple checklist that you can follow:

1. Targeted keywords

Keyword or keyword research should always be the starting point of writing. Content creation is very important along with keyword research.

Use a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer to determine the keywords that users are searching for around your chosen topic and use them as a basis. Do not produce content blindly; Formulate a plan based on a set of keywords; By doing this, you are setting yourself up for success from the start. This topic should form the basis of your content; The keywords you choose will affect other elements of the page.

So if you don’t target your content with specific keywords from the beginning, you will have to overdo it in the competition to get ranked.

Way back in 2008, Google’s anti-spam team manager Matt Cutt emphasized to Stephen Spencer (SEO expert) that 3-5 words in a URL are desirable. Those that are longer, according to Google’s algorithm, usually do not add much credibility to the content. It is important to understand that a search engine-friendly URL structure is as beneficial to users as it is to search engines.

Consider the following two URLs; Both are related to the guide to creating a retargeting campaign in Ektonet:

Which one would you click on? Due to the better URL and more relevance to the content, the incentives to click on the first one are more.

The first rule of URL construction is that you should always avoid complex and confusing structure; The shorter it is, the better, and of course it should be optimized for keywords.

According to a study, shorter URLs usually rank better. John Mueller (one of Google’s experts) stated on the Google Hangouts platform in 2016: “When we have two URLs with the same content and we are going to show one of them in the search results, we will choose the shorter one.”

The target keyword must appear in the URL. If based on the example above, you are aiming for guidance on how to start a retargeting campaign, your URL should look like this:

And not this:

2. Title Tag Optimization

The page title tag is one of the most important elements of SEO principles that can be easily optimized. When writing an optimized title tag, the best thing to use is your target keyword.

For example, take the same keyword phrase “retargeting campaign guide”. Put the main keyword or key phrase at the beginning of the title (the main title of the article). The title should be less than 60 characters. Google currently shows the title tag up to 600 pixels, which is approximately 60 characters in terms of the character limit. 

You can also use Mozilla’s title tag tool to check how the title is displayed. Let’s go back to the example; A perfectly optimal title would be like this:

“Retargeting campaign guide, how and at what price can we have retargeting?”

You can see that the title starts with the keyword (key phrase) and is followed by some basic questions. Asking these questions in the title will increase the click rate (CTR).

3. Meta description optimization

You might wonder why we consider meta descriptions to be one of the fundamental elements of on-page optimization. Anyway, for several years, Google no longer considers meta descriptions as a ranking factor. But you must pay attention to it and write it, because it will make what is in your article more specific, and as a result, the number of clicks will increase. Good for your SEO.

The meta description is the part of your content that appears on the search engine results page. Of course, you have to write the meta description yourself; Otherwise, Google itself will show a part of your content in the meta description. If you write the meta description well, you will make a big difference in the number of clicks. There is no doubt that the number of clicks, along with the length of time the user spends on your content, is an important factor in increasing the ranking. Write the meta description well and note that it must be under 160 characters; Otherwise, the rest of it will be seen as a dotted line.

Tips for writing meta descriptions:

You should enter your desired keyword in the meta description and include such important information in this short text that the user will be eager to read.

The meta description for retargeting campaign guide:

Transform your business with unique retargeting. With the help of unique retargeting campaigns, find your potential customers from your users and bring them back to your website.

4. Optimization of the main title (Heading 1)

The H1 title should be the main title of the page. This section is usually the “title” section in content management systems such as WordPress (CMS). If you use WordPress, you will usually find it at the top of the page with the words “Enter title here” or in English “Enter title here”:

However, always double-check; Because it is not always the case that all topics put the title in the H1 tag.

In most cases, use the main keyword along with other important descriptive phrases. For example, in the retargeting campaign guide example, see this title:

<h1>Retargeting campaign guide<h1/>

If you add something after this target keyword, there will be no problem in ranking. For example, you can optimize the title tag like this:

<h1>Retargeting campaign guide, how and at what price can we have retargeting?<h1/>

5. Update using a timestamp

When you search the term “Tehran metro map” in Google, the following results appear:

In search, we always want to make sure we’re finding the most up-to-date content available on a topic. Among the results where the date is mentioned, you will see that we have results in the time of February and May 2018. So we will try to click on that to see more updated results. Updating the content is important for many people. Some other results that are not dated, we cannot know if they are up to date or not. In fact, without a date stamp, we can’t tell when the content was published until we click on it. However, in such cases, of course, the user will not click on the results without a date until there is a completely new result on the page. In many cases, you don’t need to do anything to see the publication date on the search results page next to the content.

If you use WordPress, you can use the WP Last Updated Date plugin. Don’t forget it’s true that the date update badge may not be a ranking factor, But a lot of evidence shows that the number of clicks affects organic search. Also, don’t forget that user engagement on the page is very important; Because it reassures him that your content is up to date. Of course, no one wants to see the map of the California metro that belongs three years ago.

6. Target keyword in the first paragraph

Warning: Do not try to saturate the content with target keywords. Today, this method no longer seems interesting. However, it is very important to use the main keyword in the content; You just have to do it naturally. It is recommended to put the main keyword in the first paragraph of content on the page in the first 100 words. As for the retargeting campaign guide, you can easily do this:

“The retargeting campaign guide will help you plan for each stage of the customer buying process and attract their attention with attractive offers with the right retargeting strategy. For example, you can encourage people who have left your product in their cart to buy by giving them a discount code. The more personalized your ad content is, the higher the conversion rate will be.”

In this example, our keyword is in the first paragraph.

7. Optimization of the middle title tag (Heading 2)

So far you have optimized the page in terms of the H1 tag; Now you need to think about H2 (or even 3-6) heading tags. Title tags have some kind of hierarchy. The most important title is H1, and you should also use these tags until the end of the page, in order of importance, up to H6. If the importance of some of these headings is the same, use H2 tags and if there is a subsection within each of these sections, use H3. You cannot include keywords in all H2 headings, But you can use their modified form. In our example, you can place the following heading with an H2 tag after the H1 heading tag and the intro paragraph:

A guide for businesses to launch a retargeting campaign

Here, we actually make the main context and keyword focus clear (retargeting campaign guide); However, using a change and adding words indicates to the user that this guide is aimed at businesses. Keep H2 tags short and remember that you don’t need to use the keyword or its modified form all the time; Just do it in a way that conveys the main message. Such as this page, SEO services for Family Law.

8. Use of images and video

The use of images and video in the content has a positive effect on the time spent on the content; According to research from Hubspot, about 80% of marketers say that using video increases the time spent on content on the website. Using video and images (including infographics and charts) makes the content easy to read. It is a fact that we often learn better from visual content. There is no doubt that if the content is accompanied by images, it attracts us more than when the content is nothing but text.

From the point of view of SEO principles, content that attracts the user more has a positive effect on the user’s downtime; A concept first introduced by Forrester at Bing, who said that actual time on page is “the actual amount of time a visitor spends reading content before returning to the search results page.” Therefore, any time passing on the page is not considered by Google, but it includes the time when a user goes from Google to a page until he returns to Google again.

From the search engine’s point of view, this means that the more time a user spends on a site’s content, the more useful this content is compared to other content. You can easily see how and why videos and images can increase the user’s dwell time and engagement on the site. You just need to make sure that the images are fully optimized and that you have taken the videos from YouTube, Vimeo or Apparat or other video hosts and streaming platforms.

What content can you produce that is different than what everyone else is producing? Maybe infographics can help you a lot. Overall, there are many opportunities for content creation.

9. Using the semantic connection of keywords

The key to success for content ranking is to show relevance, and for this purpose, it is important to use the semantic relevance of keywords in the content. Before Panda and Hummingbird algorithms, search engines were obsessed with keyword density. Fortunately, today there is no such problem. In many cases when you write, you naturally use words or phrases that are related to each other.

10. mobile version; Google’s first ranking index

In March, Google chose the mobile version as the first ranking indicator. Google says:

“This means we use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking. This will help our users find what they are looking for more easily.”

If your site is already responsive (displays and works well in the mobile version) that’s great. However, be careful to check how your content will display on mobile devices. Get help from Fetch as a Google bot for practice. With this, you can check for possible problems.

11. External links

Until recently, marketers and SEO experts were reluctant to link to external content. Due to the concern of transferring the page rank to an external link. They wanted to rank as high as they could. Currently, this issue has faded a bit. So, don’t be afraid to link to external content. If you are quoting from a source, give a link to it. This allows users to access a subject related to your content on the one hand, and on the other hand, search engines can more easily understand the connection between your content and the article you have linked to, and this is very effective in your SEO. Just make sure the sources you cite are credible. Do not use non-original sources to link to the content.

12. Internal links

Internal linking is a necessity for transitioning between the main pages of your website. Creating internal links is a basic way to guide the user and the search engine through your content and helps to spread the link to other important and relevant pages. In simpler terms, if there is a word or phrase in your article that you have an article about on your website, link to it. do. For example, in all the content that you see in Rozefs’s blog, all the content is linked to other relevant content of the blog.

There is no specific rule; But don’t link to anything (and it’s certainly not just keywords that can be linked to, and you shouldn’t link to them either). Give a link to a place that really has a semantic connection with the content and adds more value to the target page.

13. page speed

Page speed is currently the leading search ranking factor on mobile. There are many more factors involved in page speed than content. However, you should consider the ways in which this factor can affect overall speed. First, from the point of view of content, there are images that play a role in page speed; So take the time to optimize them. Use tools like Google PageSpeed ​​and GTmetrix to see your page speed and opportunities for improvement.

14. Media sharing buttons

While media sharing isn’t a direct ranking factor, it’s important for readers to be able to repost your content. Even if you’re only producing content for the sake of increasing organic search, you’re still likely hoping to turn it into a business in the future. Place the social media subscription button in the content; This makes it easier for readers to share your content on social networks. This is a simple but effective way to make your content more visible.

The good news is that in many content management systems such as WordPress, there are social sharing buttons in the main form; So that they appear as soon as the content is published. In short, you need to make sure your content looks great when shared across platforms. Use the right tags to avoid the common problem of having the wrong image or caption appear on social shares. On the other hand, sharing more of your content will increase the probability of attracting external links.

15. Unique long educational content

The last point depends on the length of the content. It is normal for a marketer to ask how long content should be. The answer to this question is a little difficult. The best answer is “as much as it takes.” As a general rule, you should make sure your content is deep enough to cover the topic. But this varies from business to business.

It is very important that your unique and educational content is long enough to provide more value to your audience (although there are always exceptions like news announcements and the like that should never be written too long.

Don’t be tempted to publish content just for the sake of filling your blog or website. Always try to publish great content that addresses the user’s needs and helps solve their problems and answer their questions. Never sacrifice quality for quantity.

According to SEOFundamentals: Your Guide to SEO Success in 2018, you don’t need to produce the best content in the world; It is enough to have content that is better than your competitors.

ask yourself; If you typed a phrase into a search engine and saw your results at the top of all the results, would you consider it worthy of this ranking? Can your content answer your question or query well and in detail?

If yes, that’s great! If not, reading this is a good opportunity to improve your content

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