In the traditional vs. brand journalism debate, the issue of SEO content has featured highly. Traditionalists accused online journalists of shoehorning swathes of traffic-driving keywords into a piece of writing; thereby cheapening the content and making it flow less easily as a result.
Now, however, more newspapers and magazines than ever have opened up about beginning to use these SEO techniques themselves and bringing a search-friendly element to their own publication.
So what is involved in creating SEO content and why was it so contentious?
Firstly, to right a wrong – the idea that turned many against search-friendly content is an untrue one. When search engines began to put importance on quality content, they eradicated all the ‘spammy’ content that people often think is SEO-friendly almost overnight.
Instead, SEO content takes the shape of readable and informative material. This is the primary aim of SEO content as without being unique, readable and of a good quality, it will not be ranked by the search engines; thereby undoing all the hard SEO work in one fell swoop.
Next, it’s worth giving attention to the audience and the kind of content they may wish to read. Visitors that head to a website and stay there for some time give websites a much greater quality score in the eyes of the search engine.
In this case, the black-hat SEO techniques thought to be implemented are not, as this relies on creating the kind of rich content that keeps people involved. This is the kind of content, amusingly enough, that the traditionalists complained that only they were creating.
Once quality content has been created it’s then worth giving a thought to the audience and how they may come about it.
Once you’ve created quality material such as this, of course, you’ll want as many people to read it as possible. This is where the SEO part comes in, as you’ll want to ensure that the visitor can find your material easily without having to sift through a barrage of other content beforehand.
To do this, give thought to what search terms people are using to reach similar content and use these to direct traffic to the piece. These terms can be put into either the title or the main body of text.
So whilst creating SEO quality content may have been derided by the traditional journalists, the fact that they are now using it themselves and realising the main aim is to create good material shows just how opinions have altered.
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