What is SEO Friendly Content

How to Write Your Pages with SEO in Mind

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The best website in the world will find it hard to succeed if people cannot find that site, and while there are a number of ways that customers "find" a site, one of the most popular remains search engines. To help a site succeed online, it should be search engine friendly. This means that SEO (search engine optimization) best practices should be used on that site. While there are a number of SEO best practices that every site should include, one of the most common and useful is making sure that the content of that site has been created with SEO in mind.

Writing SEO friendly content is not hard. Additionally, contrary to what most people think, search engine-friendly content doesn't have to result in stilted, ugly prose. SEO minded content is just content that was written with some attention paid to how a search engine might see it. Let's take a deeper look at what that means.

SEO Friendly Writing Does Not Mean Writing for Search Engines

The primary rules to always keep in mind when working on content for your web pages is that you're writing for people not for search engines. If you have to choose between a technique that is good for your readers, but not so good for search engines or vice versa, choose that which is good for your readers. Search engines ultimately want to provide content that is interesting and informative for their customers too, and a page that is too optimized is no fun to read. People always should trump search engines, which is great since you will find that the practices that make content better for people actually, in the end, improve a site for search engines too!

In truth, most of the techniques that make good Web writing make for decent SEO as well. Here are some tips:

  • Write relevant content. Search engines have ways of recognizing when a page is not really about what it might seem to be about or if the content is just "fluff". If you're playing games with your content to try and fool search engines, it will eventually be found and you'll lose rank or even be banned. It's much better to write content that is relevant to your topic than to try to trick Google.
  • Put conclusions at the beginning. Another way to think of this is that you want your keywords to be denser towards the top of your article. If your page is about snow leopards, then the first mention of snow leopards should be in the title and first sentence. Don't start using synonyms for your keyword phrase until the second or third paragraph - and also be aware that search engines are great at understanding synonyms, even if you do not specifically include them in your content.
  • Use lists instead of paragraphs when appropriate. Lists are easier to get your SEO content into without your repetition seeming strange. Now, don't force a list where a paragraph is needed, but if a list is appropriate (like what we have here), then use it!
  • Make your links part of the copy. This is especially important if your links include your keyword phrases. If you've linked to the Snow Leopard Trust on your snow leopard page, make sure that you link the words "Snow Leopard Trust" and not something unrelated like "click here". In fact, you should try to avoid the phrase "Click Here" altogether!
  • Include internal sub-headings and they should include your keyword phrase. Use heading tags for your sub-heads, and repeat your keyword phrase. This improves document structure, makes the page easier to read, and helps SEO all at once.
  • Proofread your pages. It doesn't do any good to focus on the keywords "snow leopard" if you spell it "snow leopart" once or twice on the page. Plus, the spelling and grammar errors make your content look unprofessional, so people are less likely to link to your page - which is another factor that search engines use to establish ranking.

Other Considerations for SEO Friendly Content

You may have hear that repetition is very important for SEO friendly content. Yes, an important keyword may be used more than once on a page to show it's importance, but you can easily overdo this! Do not worry about silly, outdated ideas like "keyword density". Trying to cram a certain percentage of keywords on page is how sites go from being written for humans with natural sounding content to being bloated, unreadable documents.

Don't forget to use bold, heading tags, and other emphasis HTML tags to highlight your keyword phrases. Again, don't overdo it with these elements. If someone can tell exactly what your keyword phrase is without doing more than opening the Web page, you've probably included it too often or made it too emphasized. It bears repeating, you're ultimately writing for people, not a search engine.

Don't forget less obvious locations for including your keyword phrase - like image alt text and title text on images and links. These are not hidden from your readers - anyone can see them who wants to. They are just not obvious at first glance, so they are less annoying to your readers but search engines still see them.

SEO Friendly Should Not be Bad Writing

As I said above, you should never sacrifice good writing for SEO. Most of the best ranked articles on nearly any topic you can name (Wikipedia notwithstanding) are written for customers first and SEO is at best a second or third thought.

Original article by Jennifer Krynin. Edited by Jeremy Girard on 9/8/17

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Kyrnin, Jennifer. "What is SEO Friendly Content." ThoughtCo, Sep. 8, 2017, thoughtco.com/seo-friendly-content-3469356. Kyrnin, Jennifer. (2017, September 8). What is SEO Friendly Content. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/seo-friendly-content-3469356 Kyrnin, Jennifer. "What is SEO Friendly Content." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/seo-friendly-content-3469356 (accessed December 13, 2017).