SEO 101 – Creating SEO Friendly Content

I previously mentioned that you need to maintain consistency between the title and description of the web page, well the same holds true for the content of that page. They should all tell the search engines the same thing, or in other words they should all include the same key phrases in a natural way.

When I say content I mean readable text on a page. Words that are inside of images don’t count as content.

The first thing the content of a page should have is a main headline. This is called an H1 tag in html. This should be the first thing a person sees above any introduction paragraph. This is like the main headline on a newspaper, it tells the reader (and search engine) what the page is about.

Your H1 tag should include your main key phrase.

A sample headline for our dry cleaners example would be something like this:

<h1>Start A Dry Cleaning Business</h1>

We will talk more about headlines in the internet marketing section of this guide, but for SEO purposes this would be a very good headline to use. Notice that it is exactly the same phrase that is at the beginning of the page title. Again, we are trying to maintain consistency. Search engines, especially Google love this. Note: The h1 tag does not need to repeat the title exactly but you do need your main term in the h1 tag.

There are other types of headlines ie h2 and h3 tags that you can use as sub headlines in a page. You should include other secondary key phrases that you are targeting on that page in these headlines.

An example of a sub headline or h2 tag for our dry cleaning example would be something like this:

<h2>Why Dry Cleaning Franchises</h2>

This headline targets the term “dry cleaning franchises”. Keep in mind that a headline should be followed by a good block of content. You will see a snapshot example of this in a minute.

If your page has a lot of copy you can also mix in some regular bolded text headlines instead of making them all h tags.

Now let’s talk about the actual content on your pages.

As a rule you should try to have at least 250 words of content on your home page. Sub pages should have a minimum of 150 words. From a search engines perspective, the more unique original content that your website has the better. All else being equal if you have more unique original content than your competitors you will have higher rankings then they will.

As a second rule you should always be adding original unique content to your website. When I say “original” and “unique” content I mean that it is content you created solely for your website. You can’t go take content from another website and add it to your site. Search engines will not give you credit for that content at all.

There are several ways you can successfully accomplish this.

Start A Blog
You can go to WordPress.org and download their free blog software. They have easy to follow installation instructions and you can have a blog running on your site in a matter of minutes. Be sure to create a folder called blog in your website directory so your blog will be located at www.yoursite.com/blog You can then go in and write about your business or industry and be adding unique content to your website all the time.

Write Articles
Another great way to always be adding content to your website is to create an articles section in your website and then write at least one article a week and add it to the website. Each article should be at least 400 words. If you don’t have the time to be writing articles every week then I highly suggest you hire out a copywriter.

This is how we add content to all of our sites. You can find great copywriters that will produce a 500 word article for $10-$35. We found the many copywriters that we have used through elance.com and guru.com. There are also a wealth of stay-at-home Mom’s who have excellent writing skills and would like to earn a little extra money.

As far as optimizing the content for SEO goes, here are the things you need to remember.

You need to try to mix in the key phrases you want to rank for naturally into the content you write. Your main term on any given page should be included in the first or second sentence of the first paragraph of the page.

Here is an example of an opening paragraph for our dry cleaning web site.

Are you looking for a guide to starting a dry cleaning business? You’ve come to the right place. We will teach you why dry cleaning franchises are becoming one of the most popular and most profitable business ventures to start. There is a reason that the phrase “being taken to the cleaners” was adopted into American society, because there is money to be made in the dry cleaners business.

In this example paragraph you can see that I used the term “starting a dry cleaning business” right in the first sentence. I also included “dry cleaning franchises, and dry cleaners business in the paragraph. Keep in mind that this is just the intro paragraph on the page and you should have much more content than this.

Each term you are trying to rank for should be included a couple of times throughout the page content. Many SEO professionals try to give a percentage for keyword density (how often a key phrase is used compared to the total content of the page) and I try to make it about 3% key word density. I don’t really follow a strict percentage but if you have 200-300 words of content and use a term a couple of times it seems to work out to about 3% density.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you create content that makes sense to a real person reading it. It is possible to create valuable content that readers will appreciate and that search engines will love as well.