Writing effective SEO content can seem daunting because the rules of SEO change all the time. In case you don't know, Google itself has said that it makes over 500 changes per year - yes, per year! - to its search algorithm.
To this end, following are four things to pay attention to when writing SEO content that have changed in the last few years. While it may seem like a lot to do to write "effective" SEO content, it's not when you make it a habit -- and start seeing results from those habits.
1. Keyword Stuffing: When I started writing SEO content back in 2007, it wasn't uncommon for clients to ask for content with a 5, 10 or even 15 percent keyword density. Nowadays, Google (and other search engines) look at this as keyword stuffing.
You know those types of articles you see that have the keyword phrase repeated over and over again - to the point where it detracts from what's being said? Don't do this.
To write effective SEO content in 2013, you should strive for a 1-2 percent keyword density. To get this, only repeat your keyword phrase every 100 to 150 words. If you follow this rule, you'll never have to worry about your content being keyword stuffed.
2. Use the "Alt" Tag: Search engines like to return mixed media results, eg, videos, infographics, photos, etc. So when they scan your article, they catalogue the pictures and video and infographics that are there to.
In the case of photos, the "Alt" tag describes what the picture is about. Hence, it's important to include it so that your images can be returned properly in search results. Following is an example of an "Alt" tag:
If you sold women's jewelry and had a shot of a gold heart necklace on your site, your alt tag might look like this: [img src="womens-heart-necklace.jpg" alt="Photo of Women's 14K Gold Heart Necklace"].
3. Write Themed Content: You should use more than one keyword phrase in your copy, ie, use secondary and tertiary keyword phrases to round out the content. This is what's known as writing themed SEO content - and search engines just love it.
For example, let's say you're writing an article about baking apple pie. When search engines run across the word "apple," they have no idea if you're taking about apple computers or apple pie.
But if your article contained keyword phrases like "bake apple pie;" "apple pie recipe;" and "ingredients for apple pie;" then search engines can pretty easily discern that you're talking about baking and recipes, not computers and electronics, for example.
See why secondary and tertiary keyword phrases are important? They give search engines more info, which helps them to properly categorize your content and return it in relevant search results.
Learn more about how to write themed SEO content.
4. The Importance of Shared Content: Search engines reward content that is shared a lot -- because they (rightly) assume that it must be good because many people are linking to it, posting it on their social media accounts and blogging about it.
So make it easy for your content to be shared by using plugins like Shareaholic and ping.
Writing Effective SEO Content: Conclusion
As you can probably see, writing effective SEO content is only part of the search battle; the other part is doing all those behind-the-scenes things that get search engines to notice your content so that it can be returned in relevant web searches. But the rules are relatively straightforward and if you follow them consistently, you'll be rewarded with more organic traffic from search engines like Google.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words (NewMediaWords.biz), an SEO writing company she founded in 2008. She's been writing search-engined optimized content since 2007, and has penned several ebooks on the subject, eg, "How to Write SEO Copy That Sells," an SEO copywriting training guide.
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
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