SEO Content Rules To Live By

Life has a lot of lessons to offer. And so does your content. If you want to improve your content and have a more productive SEO strategy, here are five rules to live by:

  1. ABO: always be optimizing
  2. Know what your readers want or be irrelevant
  3. Know what your competitors are up to so you can maintain your edge
  4. Always make each and every webpage quality
  5. Aim for a good balance of quality and quantity 

FAQ: How can I create an effective SEO content strategy that improves search engine rankings and drives organic traffic?

1. ABO: Always Be Optimizing

Content without optimization is like peanut butter without jelly. Sure, you can eat a peanut butter sandwich without jelly, but why would you?

Just like jelly gives peanut butter that finishing touch, optimizing your webpages puts the final touches on your content.

You can have the most incredible content in the world, but if your page is too slow to load or you have duplicate meta data, your content performance can fall short.

To make sure the content will perform for you, there is a lot to consider outside the words you’ve written or the video you’ve created.

That’s why optimized content and webpages are a cornerstone of SEO.


2. Know What Your Readers Want or Be Irrelevant

Many people have asked, “Who am I?” at some point in their lives. When it comes to SEO content, however, you want to ask: Who are they?

In other words, do you know who reads your content? Do you know the unique challenges they face, their deepest desires, and what matters most to them? If not, then your content may fail to strike a chord.

Make a better connection with your audience by defining who they are. This is where creating audience personas can be key. Then, map your content topics to each persona.

Keyword research can be a great complement to this exercise. It will show you the types of queries your target audience uses when they look for what you have to offer.

Take those keywords and marry them with your personas. You’ll then have the foundation for content that can reach them at the moment they need it with what they need.


3. Know What Your Competitors Are Up to So You Can Maintain Your Edge

All those research studies that come out telling you that content performs better if it is X, Y and Z is much too generic to follow.

In SEO, beating your competition is the name of the game. And you can’t beat your competition without first studying them.

And that means knowing who shows up on Page 1 of the search results for your target keywords and analyzing their webpages.

How are they presenting the topic and how can you stand out? What is the average length of the articles for the top-ranked webpages? What about the sweet spot for the meta data?

If you rely on general benchmarks, you will never truly embrace the uniqueness of your own SEO content strategy.


4. Always Make Each and Every Webpage Quality

Any job worth doing in life is worth doing well. And when it comes to your SEO content, don’t skimp.

Quality content contributes to so many key aspects of SEO. Remember that experience, expertise, authority and trust are all factors in how Google assesses content and website quality.

This is important because you want to be able to compete in the search results. And demonstrating E-E-A-T can make your webpages more relevant to Google for a given search.

And don’t forget: If you have quality content, people will want to read and share it, which can help you earn links correctly.


5. Aim for a Good Balance of Quality and Quantity

Over the years, the SEO perspective on content has changed.

At one point, it was that cranking out as much content as possible was the thing. Then Google stepped in and put its foot down; there were just too many subpar webpages out there.

So quality became a primary focus of the search engine. SEOs took a step back, played it cautiously, and adopted a quality-over-quantity approach.

But just like you need balance in life, you need balance in your SEO content.

It is true that you always want each piece to be quality, but does that mean you only publish once every couple of weeks? It depends on how fast you want to see results.

The fact is, if you want to see your website and blog drive more traffic, publishing more frequently can do just that.

To give you a real world example, we increased blog publishing frequency on our own Bruce Clay Blog beginning in early June 2023. You’ll notice in the image below that direct traffic to our blog sharply increased during that time. Our frequency increased even more in mid-July, and so did our traffic.

Screenshot of HubSpot direct traffic analytics for the Bruce Clay Blog.
HubSpot direct traffic analytics for the Bruce Clay Blog

The Journey Begins with One Step

Every SEO content strategy is unique, but we can all learn from the wisdom of years of content creation and good SEO performance. Follow these five rules on your content journey and find out for yourself how they can improve your SEO content.

Our SEO experts can help you improve your SEO content strategy. Schedule a free 1:1 consultation here.

FAQ: How can I create an effective SEO content strategy that improves search engine rankings and drives organic traffic?

To start, thoroughly research your target audience and their needs. Understanding their preferences and pain points enables you to create content that resonates deeply.

Begin by conducting thorough keyword research. Identify relevant keywords and phrases that align with your industry and audience. A mix of short-tail and long-tail keywords will provide a balanced approach. Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and other tools can provide invaluable insight into search volume and competition.

Quality content is non-negotiable. Crafting informative, engaging and original content is essential for retaining visitors and attracting organic backlinks. Leverage your expertise to provide value and establish credibility within your niche. Regularly update your content to reflect industry trends and address emerging topics.

Strategic content organization plays a vital role. Structure your articles with clear headings, subheadings, and concise paragraphs. This not only enhances readability but also improves search engine crawlers’ understanding of your content’s hierarchy and relevance.

Harness the power of on-page SEO elements. Optimize meta titles, descriptions and headers with your target keywords. Ensure your website is responsive and loads quickly across devices. Mobile-friendliness is a key ranking factor that directly impacts user experience.

Promote your content across various channels. Utilize social media, email newsletters, and online communities to amplify your reach. Encourage social sharing and engagement to broaden your content’s visibility and foster a loyal readership.

Step-by-Step Procedure: Creating an Effective SEO Content Strategy

  1. Research your target audience’s preferences, pain points and search behavior.
  2. Identify a mix of short-tail and long-tail keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush.
  3. Create an editorial calendar outlining topics, keywords and publication dates.
  4. Develop high-quality, original content that addresses your audience’s needs.
  5. Incorporate target keywords naturally within your content while maintaining readability.
  6. Organize your content with clear headings, subheadings and concise paragraphs.
  7. Optimize meta titles, descriptions and headers with relevant keywords.
  8. Ensure your website is mobile-responsive and optimized for fast loading speeds.
  9. Implement a solid internal linking structure to guide users through related content.
  10. Leverage high-quality images, infographics and videos to enhance user engagement.
  11. Regularly update and refresh existing content to reflect current trends and information.
  12. Promote your content across social media platforms and relevant online communities.
  13. Encourage social sharing and engagement to expand your content’s reach.
  14. Build relationships with influencers and collaborate for mutual content promotion.
  15. Monitor your content’s performance using analytics tools to track traffic, engagement and conversions.
  16. Continuously refine your content strategy based on data insights and user feedback.
  17. Adapt to evolving SEO trends and algorithm changes to maintain your competitive edge.
  18. Focus on providing value and relevance to your audience through every piece of content.
  19. Stay patient and persistent; SEO results take time to manifest fully.
  20. Review and adjust your strategy periodically to align with shifting market dynamics.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (3)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent SEO Content posts is better than the last!

3 Replies to “SEO Content Rules To Live By”

Your analogy of content being a conversation resonated deeply – it’s not just about talking at your audience but engaging in a meaningful dialogue.

You have a talent for storytelling. I was hooked from the first paragraph.

This article serves as a valuable reminder that optimizing content goes beyond keywords and requires a holistic approach that caters to both search algorithms and human readers.


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