Tag Archives: seo content

Winning the SEO Race By Creating Content With Your Competitors In Mind

One of the most common conversations that I have with my customers surrounds the idea that they need to create content with their competitors in mind. Common reactions include:

  • "I don’t want to help my competitors!"
  • "Why on earth would I do that!? My competitors will never link to me!"
  • "Why do I even want my competitors to link to me?"

You may feel this way as well. It does sound kind of strange. After working in this industry now for about 13 years, I have learned something extremely important. If you can get a small majority of the people that currently rank in the search engines for the same keywords that you want to rank for, Google often considers you the expert.

Search Engines Want Authorities Appearing In Their Search Result Pages.

Think about the logic to this. Google wants to show its users the most relevant search results. Therefore, the pages that currently come up in the top 100 or so of the search results, are the sites that Google feels are the most relevant. So, if 10 of those 100 sites link to your website, with specific anchor text that contains the keyword you want to rank for, Google is obviously going to consider your website an authority on that topic.

Creating Something Great For Your Industry.

As an example, in 2007, I opened an Internet marketing agency with my business partners. We knew, that because the website was so new (brand-new in fact), we were going to have to do something really impactful if we were going to rank well for keyword phrases related to "Internet marketing agency". Obviously, there would be a large number of websites that had a lot of great links already because of us being in the seo service industry. We looked for "holes" in the content currently available… needs that maybe we could fill and we created a list of well linked to resource pages in the industry. We determined, through all of this research, that there was a great need for a link building chart. So, we created a visual representation of the methods in which you can use to build links into your website. We allow the people to download a high-resolution version of this in PDF format. Then, we actually put a price tag on it and allow people to purchase the chart in printed form.

Spread The Word About Your Awesome Stuff.

Next, we put together a list of websites that commonly talked about link building. We found their e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information and simply reached out to them. We said things like, "I hope all is well with you. We just wanted to reach out quickly and let you know that we have created a really cool chart that breaks down all of the different ways in which your customers can build links into their websites. We think that they’ll probably find it pretty useful and it could be a really great resource for you to be able to share with them in a graphical manner how you build links. Feel free to use it as often as you like. All that we ask, is that you mention it on your website and give us some credit. Have an incredible day!"

Within a week, we had hundreds of links pointing into our website. Today even, if you Google "SEO link building," you’ll find the chart somewhere on the first page of Google. Not positive, but I’m pretty sure we have not built a link to that page since we created the chart.

Make It Unique Or Better Than What’s Already Out There.

Now, you don’t have to spend the money or time creating and infographic, a laboratory, or anything like that. But, as long as you create something that is better or more unique than anything else that’s out there, you can have a winner!

Think about this! If you’re in the insurance industry, and you’re really great at sales, why not make a guide that contains information and links to every single insurance sales related resource on the Internet? Then, go to forums and comment on blogs that a lot of insurance salespeople read and tell them about it.

Help And Be Helped.

But don’t forget this. If you sound overly promotional and not very helpful your not going to get the results you’re looking for. Zig Zigler said it best, "if you help enough people to get what they want, you’re sure to get what you want."


Researching the right keywords for your content

If a big chunk of your content marketing effort involves getting qualified traffic from search engines then it’s very important that you research the right keywords for your content. Generating content requires lots of effort and if you’re not careful about choice of keywords and key phrases you might end up generating tons of content, and consequently, tons of such engine traffic for all the wrong keywords.

How to decide what are the right keywords for your content

The best way of finding out what are the right keywords for your content is by talking to your prospective and present customers and clients. What sort of language do they use when they try to find something what you have to offer? For instance, I offer content writing services but people might not necessarily be searching for “content writing services”.  They might be searching for “business content writer” or “SEO writer” or maybe “website content writer” or thousands of other combinations. You have to create a comprehensive list of keywords and key phrases people might use in order to find your service or product.

You can ask people around through your Twitter or Facebook profiles or even through your blog. Normally people don’t respond unless you have established a significant presence for yourself so you might have to practice a little patience. There are many online forums where you can get some help regarding this.

If instead of people you want to use technology then there are many free and commercial tools available on the Internet that can help you create a massive list of keywords and key phrases associated with your niche. One of the most prominent tools is Google AdWords Keywords Tool. You can enter a particular keyword or key phrase and it presents to you a list of matching keywords that you can use within your content. You can also enter the URL of your website and it will go through your content and accordingly present to you a list of targeted keywords and key phrases.

How to use less competitive keywords for your content

When you’re just starting out in a highly competitive market it makes no sense to aim for high competition keywords. In every niche there are high-competition and low-competition keywords and you can always start with low-competition keywords so that you can first gain traction among those keywords and then gradually move towards high-competition keywords. Take for instance, “content writing services”; this is certainly a high-competition key phrase and optimizing for this key phrase will take lots of content and time. So comparatively “website content writing services” or “business website content writing services” are low-competition keywords. You can find similar low-competition keywords in your niche.

The importance of finding the right keywords before you start creating your content’

As I mentioned above, you will end up saving lots of time if you research your keywords and key phrases before embarking upon your content writing expedition because then you will be generating all the content around your appropriately targeted keywords instead of using the guesswork. If I know that “content writer” and “content writing services” are important key phrases for me I won’t waste my time creating content for keywords that are not used by people.


Your content helps you attract the right people to your website

The greatest challenge people face while doing business online is getting the right people to their websites. But what do we mean by “right people”? They are the people who would like to do business with you. What sort of people would I like to get to my website? People who would like to hire me to avail my content writing services.

Once you get to it it isn’t as easy as it seems especially when billions of people are constantly going through millions of web pages processing millions of terabytes of information. For instance, how do I make sure that people who are looking for a content writer can easily find me when they need me? Since there might be thousands of content writers doing business on the Internet how do I make sure I get ample amount of exposure and consequently, attention.

And even if I get the sufficient amount of attention how do I make sure that the right people are getting attracted? I can do it by creating a noticeable presence on the Internet. My content helps me do that.

You can publish your content on your own website/blog, on other websites/blogs, online forums and social media and networking websites. It gives you the needed visibility. Of course your content has to be about the product or service you offer. It is no use writing about scooters if you’re selling cars. And even if you’re selling cars it is no use talking about Mercedes-Benz if you’re selling Ferraris.

What sort of content you want on your website/blog in order to attract your prospective customers and clients? It depends on what sort of traffic you are trying to attract. Search engines, for instance, are looking for lots of informative content and consequently they rank higher content that teaches rather than the one that sells, especially Google. But it doesn’t mean it indexes and ranks only content that teaches: it just prefers it.

In order to attract right people from search engines you have to focus on keywords and search terms that help people find you for the exact service or product they are looking for. I would like to be found for “content writing services”, “freelance writer”, “website content writer” and such terms. Since I am continuously writing content on how to write content better or how to improve your business through content marketing and content strategy it may seem like I’m trying to attract an audience that is more interested in “learning” and less interested in doing business with me. This happened when I was offering web design services back in 2002: instead of attracting clients looking for a web designer my website was majorly attracting people who wanted to learn web designing and web related programming. When I started my content writing business and again started generating content for this website I made sure that I didn’t repeat the mistake. Although even now a majority of my traffic constitutes of people trying to figure out things and exploring career options I get sufficient number of business queries due to the content I continuously publish here.

The basic idea behind generating content to attract the right people to your website is getting lots of people for the right keywords. I may be getting lots of traffic for “website content writer” and 60% of that traffic may be those people who are simply trying to explore the field (want to try out this “content writing thing”) or researching for their own articles, 40% still are looking for someone to write content for them. In my specific case I have concluded that it is difficult to change this ratio and the only thing for me to do is increase the numbers so that this 40% becomes a bigger number.

While generating content for your website/blog (on your own or by hiring content writer) try to cover as many keywords as possible. Generate your business pages using those keywords first of all. If you’re providing content writing services then generate sufficient number of pages explaining that you actually provide this service. Once you run out of such pages don’t keep repeating them. From then onwards you can start creating instructional content. You may attract people who are trying to “learn things” but the brighter side is you will be covering all your major keywords and their various short and long combinations. Keep your focus on the relevant keywords and keep publishing all sort of content around them. Just make sure that your primary/business pages are visible from every possible page on your website/blog.


Ways to Improve Your SEO With Content

Repeatedly, Internet gurus (at amrithallan.com we don’t generally believe in such terms) have always stressed the importance of content. Whether in a website or in a blog, content can make or break your search engine optimization (SEO). Readers would not want a blog or a website without contents. Content, no matter what other Internet marketers say is still king.

Below are ways you can improve your SEO with content.

  1. Article Marketing. Article Marketing is the process where you write articles and submit the same to article directories like Ezine Articles, Go Articles or Sooper Articles, to name a few. These articles, aside from being of quality, should have a compelling resource box, where you put your name, who you are or your expertise, and a call to action through a link pointing them to your website or blog. Most article directories allow a maximum of two links, depending on the number of words your article has. Most article directories require a minimum of 300 words. This is also where you could make use of keywords. Most Internet marketers advise on using long tail keywords or Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), to make your keyword not redundant in your articles.
  2. Pillar Content. Despite your Article Marketing process, your blog should have at least five (5) pillar articles. Pillar articles are words coined by famous blogger, Yaro Starak. Later, several bloggers coined words such as flagship content (Chris Garrett) and cornerstone content from Brian Clarke. In his article on pillar content, Yaro defines it as: “A pillar article is usually a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice.” This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good “how-to” lesson (OK, we’re blowing our own horn here, but well, whatthaheck). This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.
    Pillar content is also one way of creating backlinks (other sites linking to your site) because they find your article compelling and helpful. Thus, search engines will start crawling at your website or blog through those links and, in the long run will gain a good page rank. Search engines also rank websites or blogs with the number of quality links that points to it. This is how they measure the blog or website’s authority. Additionally, always remember to use keywords in your articles as this is also instrumental for search engines finding your contents and of course your sites.
  3. Guest Blog Posting. Writing for other websites or blogs, especially those that have gained authority and/or popularity is one way of gaining good search engine optimization. Your content placed on an authority blog or website will likewise create quality backlinks and links to your site. Not all are given the opportunity to guest post in other popular blogs. Usually, blog owners who already have gained popularity or very good page rank would always qualify their guest contributors.
  4. Fresh Content. Readers of your blog or website will usually like fresh content. Thus, it is necessary for blog or site owners to post a least three (3) quality articles in a week to ensure your readers that they can expect new things from you on a weekly basis. Fresh quality content means more visitors. And more readers mean more traffic. More traffic will definitely be of great help as far as search engine optimization is concerned.
  5. Reader-Centered Content. In general, all contents must be reader-centered. You must always know who the target of your articles is. When writing contents for your site, you must always focus on what would your readers like to read. Always ask yourself whether the article you are writing will help your readers, and if you think they will, are your articles simple enough to be understood by all? Make your articles simple so that they can be understood by readers from myriad backgrounds (or at least from your niche).

    There you go – the five basic ways by which your contents can greatly affect your SEO. Without these five basic things, you will have a hard time creating the popularity, the authority and eventually the page rank you would want to achieve. Besides, all bloggers and website owners would want their sites to be search friendly. Would you not want your site to gain the same thing?


Keep your SEO goals in mind while creating your content writing strategy

It doesn’t help if you already have lots of content and then you realize that you are not targeting the right keywords. Although no situation is hopeless you can save yourself lots of time, and money, if you define your SEO goals properly. Make a list of keywords and keyword phrases you’d like to incorporate and then start generating your content around them.

There is also a business benefit of clearly defining your SEO goals — it keeps you focused. You know what sort of content you require for your website and blog and what you should avoid; yes, misplaced content is bad for SEO.

How do you keep your content SEO-focused?

  • Create titles with your keywords. Your page titles are very important. They appear in the search engine result pages as hyperlinks when people search for the relevant terms. People click more on the links that carry the search terms they’ve just used. Even when people promote your content on social networking websites or link your your pages and blog posts they normally copy/paste your title — this associates these keywords with your brand.
  • Use your keywords and key phrases when communicating your ideas. This tells the search engines that you have lots of content associated with the search term being currently used. If you provide content writing services then you should be talking about this subject a lot on your blog or website. But do it naturally; there is no need to use your relevant keywords excessively — this gets you penalized by almost all search engines.
  • Link to your other pages not just the home page. Your different pages contain different bits of information and whenever you feel a particular phrase can be linked to a page giving more information about that phrase, create a link. It makes it easier for the search engine crawlers to reach other pages and it also creases the relevancy of your less prominent pages.

The basic idea of creating SEO-focused content strategy is keeping you focused and help you focus on the right search terms.