Content SEO: Everything You Need to Know (in 2024)

Content SEO

Imagine a world where you turn on your computer monitor and the only thing on it is a bunch of document files.

You unlock your phone screen, and all it offers you is the current time and date, and maybe a handful of numbers to call.

This is a world without online content, which some of us know as the Dark Ages… or the 1990s. Trust me, aside from Nirvana and Baywatch, it was bleak.

Content is the very essence of what we consume on the internet.

Without it, we’re just staring longingly into a blank screen.

Maybe we’ve all had long and chaotic days where a technology blackout sounds like a welcome relief, but most of us would be simply lost without online content for more than a few hours.

And this is why content SEO is so crucial.

What is Content SEO?

When discussing content in terms of the online world, we’re referring to any consumable information that can be found on the web. The news article you read on your mobile this morning?

That was content.

The product information for the shoes you bought online last week? That was content. The TikTok your best friend just sent you? Also content.

This article you’re browsing right now? You guessed it: content!

Content is effectively what we’re all online for.

Without it, we’d have nothing to read, watch, or listen to.

Content is also how search engines find websites and determine if they’re relevant to a user’s search request, so from this angle, we can see that content is not only critical to keep your audience engaged, it’s also essential for helping your website get picked up by search engines. It refers to how we can optimise content so that search engines find it more easily, and rank it highly in their SERPs.

Essentially, any content that is created with the intention of attracting traffic via search engines, is content SEO.

So that’s probably everything you’ve ever published on your website. This is why a content SEO strategy should be a priority for anyone doing business online.

Cornerstones of Content SEO

When you’re creating a strategy for content SEO there are four main things you want to consider that will not only make you findable in search engines, but also give your users a valuable experience that keeps them hanging around, and coming back for more.

These four cornerstones are keywords, site structure, copy, and backlinks.

Let’s break down each of these steps and determine what they are, and how you can use them in a practical sense to optimise your website.

Keywords

Ahhh, keywords. It’s a term you’ll hear thrown around constantly if you’re in the business of maintaining or building a website.

Keywords are how search engines like Google figure out what you’re about, and as a result, they can determine if you’re relevant to their user’s search query. When it comes to content SEO, keywords should form a vital part of your planning.

You should perform keyword research to gain an understanding of what topics are popular among your target audience, and the level of competition you’ll be up against for ranking for particular keywords.

Once you’ve devised a list of keywords, then you need to create content that includes them in a way that makes sense and feels natural. Never stuff your content with keywords, this can be spotted a mile off by Google and you’ll be doing your rankings more harm than help.

Site structure

The structure of your site and your content are important to help both Google and your users understand how to navigate it.

Organising your content in a way that is easy to navigate will help search engines determine what you’re about and what your most important areas are. A good structure also makes your website easier to index and can help your rankings on Google.

To structure your site, think about it as a ladder with your main features taking the top spots, and lower priority pages at the bottom.

If you’re selling products, your product pages should be the most important. If you’re a news outlet, the breaking news stories from today are most important. You can help to signal which pages are more important by creating lots of internal backlinks to them from other pages within your site.

Each page of content also needs to be structured in a way that is easy to consume.

This means using headings, and subheadings, and breaking information down into manageable chunks.

Copy

Copy is the written content that forms the basis of the information on your website.

You should always create copy with the intention of giving your users or customers what they want or need. Write with people in mind, not just search engines.

When you create a good experience for your users, this will be rewarded and recognised with better SERP rankings.

However, if you’re creating mindless copy stuffed with keywords that offer little to no value to your readers, you’ll experience high bounce rates, no return visitors, and search engines will strike you from the top of their results. Google says it best: “Designing your site around your visitors’ needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.”

Backlinks

Optimising your content with both external and internal backlinks helps to boost your authority and your online presence.

Create links in your content that point to other relevant pages on your site to help your users find the information they’re looking for, and to direct Google crawlers when they’re indexing your site.

Internal links can encourage readers to stick around on your site for longer, giving you a better chance of conversion. They also work as a means of navigation for your site.

You should try to get other websites to backlink to content on your site, as this can help establish legitimacy and trust which will in turn improve your search engine ranking.

All Things Considered

Content SEO should be in the back of your mind whenever you’re creating any type of online consumable content.

You want to put your users first, and focus on the type of content they want to see, but if the content isn’t SEO friendly then it’s not going to get picked up by search engines and therefore won’t feature in search engine results.

What’s the point in having content a user would adore if the user has no way of finding the content in the first place? Engaging content and SEO need to go hand in hand.

Speaking of hands, need a hand with your content SEO? Put your website into the capable hands of SEO pros by contacting us today.

Karli Edmondson-Matthews
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