Content Development and SEO
By Eric Enge
Content is King. You may have heard this before. And in the world of SEO it's true. This article will outline the specifics of how content helps your SEO strategy, and some ideas for methods for developing it.
Why is content so important?
1. One of the most basic reasons is that good content is naturally keyword rich. Keyword rich content helps your pages rank well for high volume search terms, and for "long tail" search terms. "Long tail" refers to search terms that people actually enter. If your site is about "Blue Widgets", the most commonly used search term that users enter will usually be "Blue Widgets". However, most of the total search volume will be in other variants, such as:
- buy blue widgets
- what are blue widgets
- info about blue widgets
- blue widget info
- blue widget almanac
- all about blue widgets
- etc. ...
Keyword rich articles do a much better job of ranking for long tail terms. Also, since these terms are less competitive, you can often rank higher for these terms than you might be able to for the "big" term.
2. Keyword rich articles attract links. Let's face it. People will not link to your site so you can make money. Its just not their objective to make you money. They will link to your site if you offer something of unique value that they believe their visitors will benefit from.
By the way, I am not talking about getting links from cheesy sites. The links you want come from high quality sites such as government sites, .edu sites, magazine and news sites, and other genuine resource sites. These types of sites care about their visitors, and want to offer them links to other sources of quality related content. You can read more about strategies for getting links here:
Content Development Strategies
There are lots of good ways to develop content. The first thing to get in mind is what kind of content you want to develop. Of course, it needs to be directly related to your site. Of course, you need to map it to high volume keywords. You should learn the Art of Keyword Selection.
Developing quality content must use an editorial approach. What do I mean by that? Develop content for users, not for search engines. Don't give your writers dozens of restrictions on how to write the article. Just let them write it naturally. Of course, you can give them a topic to focus on - a topic related to one of your targeted keywords.
But let them focus on writing something of quality. The article should directly address the questions probably in the users mind when they come to your page after typing a related keyword in at the search engine. Think about having your page read by an editor at a newspaper, or a major magazine. What type of quality of article would impress them?
For finding writers, we believe its best to use writers who live in the same country as your market. While cheap Asian talent is attractive from a price perspective, they don't have the day to day experience with your market (unless your market is in Asia). Getting good content requires writers who have a feeling for how the information will be used.
We work hard to locate local area talent, people that we can meet with and review our requirements. If you look hard enough you can probably find similar talent near you. One great source is college students, who are inexpensive, and always looking for spare cash. With these types of writers, and a good content plan you should be well on your way.
Focus your writers on articles of decent length. At least 6 paragraphs is best. This will give you content of decent depth, so that you will pick up many long tail type terms. Also, it's a great idea to develop one or more series of related articles. The related articles can then link to each other and those links will provide each article with a relevance boost.
Organize your content in an easy to understand manner. You can do this by building an article directory and linking to it from other relevant pages on your site. Be sure to link to the article directory from your home page. You can link to key articles directly from your home page. If you don't want to build an article directory, consider using a blog. Better still, if you can manage it, do both.
Make content a significant part of your web site strategy. Relevant links maybe the currency of the SEO business. But you can't get them if your site is not worth linking to. Content does this for you. Well written content is an asset that others will place a value on. Make it a key part of your master plan.
About the Author
Eric Enge is the Founder and President of Stone Temple Consulting (STC). STC offers Internet marketing optimization services, including SEO, Social Media and PPC optimization, and its web site can be found at: http://www.stonetemple.com.