Top 5 Best Practices For Writing SEO-friendly Content
5 ways to use SEO to get more visitors to your site
Major search engines aim to deliver the best possible user experience by offering relevant information. So creating quality content has become a key factor in SEO success.
Quality, original and relevant content
Since 2011, Google has rolled out a series of 'Panda Updates' specifically targeting websites with 'thin content'. With these updates, any websites who have plagiarised, copied, keyword-stuffed or duplicated content dropped down Google’s rankings. So how do you avoid getting penalised by Panda?
More than anything, it’s important to produce meaningful content that is useful to users. Content must be unique, engaging and valuable to visitors. Gearing your content towards a good user experience is vital to ranking well on a search engine.
Your content offers value to customers and gives them a reason not only to visit your site, but stay on your site. This helps to sway decision makers to use your services rather than a competitor’s.
*Tip: A sign of low-quality content is a low click-through rate and/or a high bounce rate, in which case you may want to consider rewriting the content on that page.
Think about keywords
Getting lots of visitors to your site is good, but it’s more important to attract the right kind of visitors. To make sure the people who visit your site are the ones who are looking for what you offer, you need to make sure you’re using the right keywords.
For example, if you are a hotel in Seattle and you are targeting the keyword 'seattle art museum', you’re more likely to rank less well as most people searching 'seattle art museum' are not looking for a hotel to stay at. Instead, if you modify your keyword term to 'hotels near seattle art museum,' you’ll get much better results.
*Tip: Typically, a hotel’s website should be optimised for their brand and location keywords. If your website does not include any brand or location terms, you probably won’t rank well for them. Also consider using nearby attractions in your keyword strategy.
When writing your content, we recommend selecting a keyword and building content around it. Google places a lot of emphasis on having natural content, so don’t force a keyword to fit in. Instead, create content that sounds natural and logical. A list of recommended places to use keywords would be:
Meta title and meta description
H1 and H2 headers
Image alts (keywords on the picture cannot be read by search engines and must be placed in image alts)
Search engines also have a synonym feature which allows you to create natural variant keywords and target the same audience. Having a few different natural variants in your content is becoming a more common SEO practice and definitely should be considered when attempting to rank in search engines.
After researching your keywords, think about where you’re going to place them on your page. A page can be broken up into different parts such as a header, body text, sidebars, footers and more. Google’s algorithm places more SEO importance on keywords that are placed in the body text and header over other areas in the page like the footer. That means that it’s better to put your keywords in the header and the first 80-100 words of your body text.
While there is no exact perfect length, a good word count per page would be 500 to 800 words. That said, it is still possible to have a page that performs will for SEO with more or fewer words than that. This is because search engines also take into account content relevance and usefulness over length.
The reason we recommend 500 to 800 words is because you still need to describe your property to people who haven’t been there before – and convince them to book.
In fact, Google tends to favour longer content over shorter content, so you may find that filling out the basic who, what, where and why won’t rank you as high as you might like.
If you’d like more information on SEO, check out our articles on the blog.