SEO content includes blogs, but there are additional components that work together to improve your search engine rankings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a content-based marketing style that drives users to the most helpful content on the web. Based on an array of indicators—including uniqueness, authority, expertise, and trustworthiness—your ranking in a search engine can help determine whether or not a user will find your website to be an answer to the question they asked Google.

An excellent writer wields a great deal of power in this world. With a toolkit full of persuasive devices, a writer can reel in readers with relatable statements, shocking statistics, and thought-provoking questions. This talent has been utilized for centuries to convince people to choose one leader over another, one restaurant over another, one marketing agency over another.

Good writing can move metaphorical mountains, but can it conjure the type of SEO success that shifts readers from passive observers to active consumers? It’s a question that digital marketing agencies have asked themselves numerous times over the last decade. Boardrooms and virtual meeting spaces overflow with opinions about the viability of content-based marketing campaigns.

This blog will reveal exactly why SEO is about so much more than excellent writing.

What Is SEO?

SEO—short for Search Engine Optimization—encompasses the effort to improve a site’s ranking organically (without paid advertising). SEO is all about scoring targeted traffic to a website from a search engine’s rankings. The process optimizes a website’s technical configuration, link popularity, and content relevance with the intention of making it easier for users to find the site via a web search on Google or some other search engine (but, mostly Google).

SEO is achieved through a number of tactics, including the creation of high-quality content with specific keywords and the use of backlinks.

When a site page is optimized with SEO in mind, it becomes more relevant toward search queries and ranks higher in search engines as a result. SEO-optimized content fulfills user search needs through the strategic use of relevant keywords in optimized content such as title tags, meta descriptions, headlines, subheadings, and descriptive URLs that feature pertinent terms instead of a string of numbers.

Is SEO All About Content?

Yes! SEO success is driven by content. This can take the form of any useful, high-quality information that you present to the user/potential customer in a manner that’s emotionally engaging and contextually enlightening. Quality content entertains as it informs and generates interest through messaging that answers pertinent questions. This leads users through the buyer’s journey to the desired conclusion: Attract and retain a clearly defined audience and drive customer action.

Content marketing requires your organization to be all in. You will not realize SEO success without constantly creating content for user consumption. Think about how much time you spent on your smartphone or in front of a computer searching for answers. Users will seek out information from whomever is providing it, as long as that information is useful, engaging, and, simply put, there. If you don’t provide answers to search queries, chances are your competition will.

Now, you might hear the term “content” and automatically think “blogs.” This is extremely limiting. Blogs are certainly a pillar in SEO-minded content, but content can also be expressed using a variety of other formats. In this next section, we’ll examine the different types of SEO content and how they build toward SEO success.

What Are Types of SEO Content?

Blog Posts

Blogs have changed drastically over the years. They aren’t just public journals for people’s inane thoughts anymore. These days, blogs are opportunities for companies to establish themselves as an authority in a specific field. And these blogs can take many forms, including lists, guides, how-to articles, and information pieces.

A blog is your chance to answer a user’s question about a product or service before the competition does. Blogs that present high-quality answers that are relevant, smart, and helpful build loyalty, making you a trusted source for any future queries. And with the right SEO juice, your blog posts will rank higher in a Google search.

Product Pages

Product pages—an integral part of your overall site page map—are particularly valuable for e-commerce retail companies. A well-optimized product page does a lot of the heavy lifting, luring in highly targeted, specific individuals who are ready to convert from their position at the bottom of the funnel.

To successfully attract the right kind of traffic, a product page must possess a handful of time-honored characteristics in the backend, such as:

  • A robust keyword strategy
  • Optimized titles and meta descriptions
  • Unique product and meta descriptions
  • Structured data
  • A well-researched FAQ section
  • Customer testimonials and reviews
  • Landing pages
  • Good quality video and images
  • Reduced page load times
  • Audited for technical issues and accessibility

Videos

While there are billions of pages and posts on the internet, there are fewer videos. As such, it’s potentially easier to rank on the first page of a Google search for competitive keywords by creating a video.

Videos are a great way to attract an audience that might not click on an article. Depending on the type of business or website, you could create video tutorials on how to use a product. This is a highly valuable form of content. It provides a unique service to users and likely answers a specific question about a product or service. For SEO, it’s a good idea to include a written transcript for your video.

Infographics

Infographics are large-format images that contain useful data, typically in the form of graphs or charts. Covering a single subject, a well-thought-out and beautifully designed infographic will rack up a lot of page views and links. Since the content is embedded in an image, it won’t be readable as text by the Google search engine, so it’s imperative that you carefully optimize the rest of the page for SEO.

Glossaries

A glossary can improve internal linking, page visibility, and your domain authority. Creating a glossary page for your website compiles a list of terms and definitions that are inextricably linked to your area of expertise. This allows users to get an in-depth look at a specific topic and your glossary acts as a go-to landing page for users to return to again and again. What’s more, a glossary improves the components of Google’s EAT ranking factors: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. More on that later.

Why SEO Is More Than Great Writing

Content marketing that makes a lot of SEO noise will always rely on strong writing in order to get the message across in a clear, informative way that’s also engaging and entertaining. But beyond a talent for the written word, content marketers must also understand what makes SEO tick. Content marketers need to know:

Who your audience is and where they are in the funnel

The marketing funnel describes a customer’s journey, mapping out the route from awareness to conversion and beyond.

Keyword research

This vital information reveals the path to grow your business online. Consistent keyword research tells you what terms people are actively searching for and how competitive those keywords are. This guides your content plan toward increasing organic search visibility, traffic, and rankings.

Paid and free keyword research tools:

  • Semrush (Utilized by 4B Marketing)
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • KWFinder
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • GrowthBar
  • Long Tail Pro
  • Majestic
  • Keyword Tool
  • SpyFu

EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust)

This concept comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines and is used by the search engine to determine whether the content is valuable to readers and where it should rank in search results. Using the EAT guidelines, Google’s evaluators measure:

  • Expertise of the content creator
    • How knowledgeable is the site owner on the subject matter?
  • Authoritativeness of the creator, the content, and the website
    • How credible is the website publishing the content?
  • Trustworthiness of the creator, the content, and the website
    • How trustworthy is the website publishing the content?

Google Ranking Factors

There are more than 1.8 billion websites floating around the internet today. Does that mean there are 1.8 billion experts out there, all doling out valuable information? Probably not. Think about it: Anyone with even a passing knowledge of web design can push a site live and make all sorts of unsubstantiated claims. While everyone has the right to do so, spreading false or misleading information isn’t exactly good for anyone.

The fine folks at Google have a way of separating the wheat from the online chaff by elevating websites that present good quality content from a position of authority and sidestepping sources that don’t check the necessary boxes.

Google’s most popular ranking factors include:

  • High-Quality Content: Content is king. And content that provides valuable information will always defeat content that doesn’t. Creating content that’s fresh, unique, and helpful for users leads to higher rankings on Google’s search engine page results (SERPs). Google’s algorithm and page evaluators are incredibly advanced. No matter how optimized your site is with keywords, if the content isn’t valuable, you will not crack into the higher rankings. 
  • Mobile First: When crawling sites, Google uses mobile-first indexing. This means that when evaluating a page, the search engine will use the mobile version of a site. A flawless desktop site is all well and good, but it is ultimately fruitless if your mobile site isn’t up to snuff. 
  • Page Experience: This relates to a set of metrics that aim to understand how a user perceives the experience of a specific web page. Google’s page experience criteria are far reaching, but specific considerations include if the page runs on HTTPS, if it has intrusive ads, if the content jumps as the page loads, and more. 
  • Page Speed: Measured by the amount of time it takes for a page to load after a user clicks on its link, page speed evaluates loading, interactivity, and visual stability. If your page is taking too long to load, or doesn’t perform well when it finally loads, your ranking will suffer. 
  • Backlinks: There’s no doubt that you see yourself as an authority, but when another site references yours as a source of authoritative information, that’s Google ranking gold. Simply put, the more links you have from multiple high-authority domains, the better you will rank for top keywords. 

Good UX/UI

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design are crucial to the way your website presents to an audience. UX is the journey/experience a user goes through when browsing your website, app, platform, etc.; while UI constitutes the visual portion of what a user sees, whether that is the front end of a website, backend of dashboards, or an app on a phone.

Images (alt text and title text)

A well-placed image can compliment your web copy, adding a pop of color or even a visual representation that leads to a greater understanding of your topic. Reinforcing your message with an image can result in a good ranking in image search results, but you also need to present good alt attributes. Alt text not only improves your page’s message, it also improves the overall accessibility of your website.

Schema (Structured Data)

Schema (Schema.org) is a semantic vocabulary of tags that’s added to an HTML to improve how search engines read and represent your page SERPs. This special markup language explains the outline of your website page to search engines.

Is the Page Indexable?

If Google can’t index your website, the URLs will not make any sort of appearance in the SERPs. In simple terms: When a user types in a query related to your area of expertise, your website will not appear. You need to open your site to be crawled by Googlebot. This means making your site indexable. But what does that entail? Basically, you need to create a sitemap and list the pages you want Google to crawl for and then submit it to the search engines.

How 4B Marketing Can Help With Your SEO Strategy

SEO content writers aren’t just skilled at stringing sentences together, using compelling language, and structuring narratives. The people entrusted to create content for your website have talents beyond the written word. In the content marketing industry, each day is a deep drive into the world of SEO, and new lessons reveal themselves at every turn.

At 4B Marketing, we connect you with our team of SEO-driven content creators who are all exceptional writers. Our content creators use their storytelling abilities to elevate your brand beyond buzzwords and data points while incorporating the major tenets of SEO—ensuring you don’t just exist online, but thrive there as well.