SEO

What Does Optimized Content Look Like

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1. Keyword Use

Yes, keywords still matter, because they are the only way for a user to tell the search engines what they are looking for. Research tools like Google Insights and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool can help you get an idea of what people are searching for and what they care about.

The days when a site would rank for a keyword just because the keyword was on the page are over, however. Your best bet is to include the keyword in the title, especially close to the beginning of the title, and make sure that the article answers the user’s question.

Beyond that, thinking too much about keywords is at best a waste of time and at worst a way to get yourself penalized. Too many keywords on the same page make the user experience terrible, and put up all kinds of red flags. If nothing else, it hurts your conversion rates. And since Google is analyzing user behavior, you want to make sure that your users are happy.

2. Unique

Needless to say, you can’t plagiarize an article and expect it to rank well. Google can easily compare to sets of text and determine whether they are identical or similar. They are also getting much better at detecting “spun” content, which is when an article is automatically rewritten by a computer.

This is only scratching the surface of what it means to create unique content, however. Truly unique content is fundamentally different from anything else on the web. It’s either completely new, or it’s never been written for this particular audience, or it’s never been all collected in one place or presented in such a clear and concise way.

A truly unique piece of content is almost impossible not to get ranked. They naturally attract links, which are still the strongest sign of authority to the search engines. They are also more likely to be shared socially and users are more likely to stay on the site, leave comments, subscribe, and send all kinds of positive signals.

3. Consumable

Paradoxically, the more time people spend online, the less time they are willing to give each piece of content that they come across. People think carefully before investing their time in anything online, even clicking on a title. For this reason, your content absolutely must not be intimidating.

Leave plenty of white space on the page. Keep your paragraphs short and your subtitles frequent. If it suits the post, use bullet points or lists to make things easier to scan.

Conclusion

The best way to get on top of the search results is with content that people love to read and love to share. While there are promotional aspects of SEO that we haven’t touched on in this article, the content itself is best optimized for the search results if it’s optimized for the reader.

Alex Duke is a passionate blogger and well-known Internet marketing consultant. He often writes about SEO and blogging,because he likes to share his knowledge with others. Also, Ben is a SEO consultant for Serije.

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