There’s a lot to learn when it comes to SEO, from algorithms to techniques. In this blog, our Leeds agency will be sharing everything you need to know about SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO content is content that is put on a website solely to improve its ranking position. This also applies to social media, where you can use keywords to improve the visibility of your content – but in this blog, we will mainly cover website SEO.
Google is the big boss when it comes to search engines, processing over 8.5 billion searches per day. Therefore, Google is the main place to be seen – which is why we primarily interrogate their algorithm when planning an SEO strategy.
What is the difference between SEO and copywriting?
Both SEO content writing and copywriting are incredibly important. However, the main difference between them is that they have opposing end goals. SEO content writing has a purpose to inform, and copywriting has a purpose to persuade.
When it comes to writing content that optimised for search engines, Google’s core update for April 2023 advised they you provide expert advice and demonstrate your expertise with videos, audio, and links to other useful resources the user may appreciate. The most recent October 2023 update still highly emphasises the power of informative and authoritative content, suggesting that this can help websites maintain or improve their ranking.
Copywriting has the overarching aim of selling a brand or product, whereas SEO content writing informs, educates, instructs and entertains. We measure the success of copywriting through direct sales, whereas content writing is more about building brand awareness to keep people on your site.
How does it work?
SEO content writing is a science, so it needs a good content marketing strategy behind it. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, so flexible approaches are often needed, as well as frequent strategy reviews.
Google’s October 2023 core updates pushed how important it was to constantly stay updated. This doesn’t just mean posting the most recent news and updating your site’s information but also keeping an eye on changes within your industry at large and changes to SEO and marketing strategies. Stay updated on Google’s guidelines and adapt your strategy to match.
That said, Google consistently rewards content that is authoritative, trustworthy and shows expertise. The acronym for this formula is commonly referred to as ‘E-A-T’. In recent months, this has been expanded by some experts to ‘E-E-A-T’ – standing for Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness. First hand experience and being able to demonstrate it through your content is now a key part of ensuring that your site is properly search engine optimised. Here are some ways to implement these important elements into your content:
Boost your credibility
Google rewards content that is written by someone with authority. For example, an article written by a commended historian is more valuable than a blog written by someone that likes history.
If you’re not an expert yourself, don’t worry! You can share quotes from people that are, within your content. Make sure to include their credentials and as much information as you can. For example, their full title, any awards they’ve won, involvement in conferences etc.
Include backlinks with authority
Mentioning relevant, high-authority domains is one of the best tactics to improve your technical SEO ranking. This means you should mention government associations and market leaders when you can. For example, it would be better to mention a University study, than one done by a random person.
Write and update
The more you publish, the better! Google rewards sites that publish frequent and timely content. Content should also always be accurate. For example, a blog about the best trends of 2020 wouldn’t be relevant in 2023.
Which strategy techniques should be avoided?
Google has cracked down on content that has been created purely to rank, rather than to help people. They favour content that has been made for people by people, rather than content that has been created for a search engine. Improved search quality should help to stop those who are trying to manipulate rankings.
Once extremely popular, the main technique that should be avoided is keyword stuffing. This is where you pile as many keywords into a blog as possible, in order to rank. In fact, only 1-2% of your content should consist of keywords! For a common blog of about 1,500-2,000 words (best length for SEO), you’ll want to include 15-20 keywords. So write content with the E-A-T formula in mind, and you’ll succeed.
Will technical SEO be replaced by AI?
In short, no. Although it’s not a secret that AI can be used to write content, it can never replace human originality and thought. However, AI can be used as a tool to aid your SEO strategy, by helping you plan. It could give you 100 ideas for an article, or plan out each of your blog sections for you. For more examples of ways that AI can help with marketing, visit our blog: The Reason Why AI is Going to Steal Your Marketing Job
Why is it important for business?
It goes without saying that your business should have an SEO strategy. Here are five reasons why:
Return on investment
You don’t have to spend a fortune to drive people to your website. In fact, you don’t need to allocate any paid spend to technical SEO, as it’s all about organic Google ranking. Instead, invest in an SEO agency to help you with a tailored content marketing strategy.
If you have an SEO strategy and your competitors don’t, you’re one step ahead of them from the off. Your brand will appear much further up the search results than they will! For example, if someone is looking for pet shops, (and you are one) you could be the first page people look at. By following the E-A-T formula, you should also show that you’re an expert in your field.
The more people that see your name, the better. So, having your brand high up on the search results is key! Providing great high-quality content is the second step here, as it helps to build up a good reputation for your brand.
High quality traffic
Let the right audience find you! When you rank for keywords related to your brand, your target audience will find you. Often, people search for a service, so if you rank for the right keyword and provide the right service, they’ll come to you. For example, if people search for hotels in York and your hotel comes up, they’re looking for a service that you provide.
Data is everything! Google Analytics allows you to see everything you should care about, including page views, time on page, bounce rate and the source of any traffic. Filter your results by organic Google traffic to gauge how well your SEO strategy is working.