Lesson 4: Content & Search Engine Success Factors

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 Here are the topics that we will discuss in this lesson: 

  • What Is SEO Content?
  • Checklist of SEO points to cover in a content campaign
  • Dataset Schema: the way search engines read and represent your page
  • Images: how to use them correctly & contribute to your website’s SEO 

Back to Course Outline 

 

What Is SEO Content?

 

To understand what marketers mean by SEO content, it’s helpful to break down the phrase into its component parts:

So, putting these two concepts together: SEO content is any content created with the goal of attracting search engine traffic.

 

Content is king. You’ll hear that phrase over and over again when it comes to SEO success


Types of SEO Content

SEO content can include any of the following: 

  • Product Pages – These are the bread and butter of any retail e-commerce site. A good product page can serve as both SEO content and a PPC landing page. 
  • Blog Posts – A blog is one of the easiest ways to create a regular stream of SEO content. In general, blog posts are more engaging and more likely to attract links than product pages, so they can be a great way to build some authority for your site.
  • Articles – Think news article, interview, or feature piece. This is the main kind of content you’ll find on most newspaper- or magazine-style websites. 
  • Lists – A list is really just a kind of article, but framing it as a list (such as “10 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill” or “101 Things I Hate About Google”) makes it easier to scan. These types of titles also seem to be more clickable when found in search results or in social media feeds.
  • Guides – A guide is a longer piece of content that explains in detail how to do something. (Guides are often broken up onto multiple web pages, though it’s a best practice to allow users to view long content as a single page if they wish.) You can post a full guide on your website, or you can post a summary or excerpt, requiring visitors to fill out a registration form to read the full guide. 
  • Videos – In general there are fewer videos on the web than pages of text; consequently, it can be easier to rank on the first page for a competitive keyword by creating a video instead of an article.
  • Infographics – Infographics, or large-format images that contain a lot of data (often in the form of graphs or charts) on a single subject, can rack up a lot of page views and links. However, because so much of the content is embedded in the image and therefore not readable as text by search engines, it’s important to carefully optimize the rest of the page. You can use one of these five free infographic templates to get started.
  • Slideshows – A slideshow is a way to display a series of related images. Sometimes pictures are more important than text.
  • Glossaries – If you work in a specialized industry, a well built-out glossary can be a good way to capture some search traffic. Think cooking terms, medical terms, fashion terms, architectural terms …
  • Directories – A directory is a useful taxonomy of links to sites or resources around a given topic. For example, a perfume blog might create a directory of places to buy perfume, from major department stores to independent shops around the country.

Content quality  

Are you offering quality content? Do you provide a reason for people to spend more than a few seconds reading your pages? Do you offer real value, something of substance to visitors that is unique, different and useful that they won’t find elsewhere?


Perhaps the most important SEO factor after creating good content is good keyword research.

Here is a checklist of  Important SEO points to cover in a content campaign: 

  • Page titles : There are two main things to think about here:

Remember the page title shows up in Google search results and could also be used on social channels if open graph tags aren’t present. You want to have a title that is catchy and entices someone to click through to your content piece.  (refer to article no2  For more info) 

  • Meta description 

While it won’t be as impactful as a page title when it comes to rankings, you should still take a minute to write a clear, accurate and enticing meta description which reflects your content piece. This can help improve click-through rate 

  • Images and text 

An infographic is a popular example of an image using text. A small amount of text is unavoidable when it comes to infographics, particularly with small snippets or small paragraphs of text, but if you’re using a lot of copy, you may want to rethink using an infographic in the first place. 

  • Internal links 

There are two types of internal links you need to think about when it comes to optimizing on-page content. 

  • Links to key pages 

You should take the opportunity to filter this link equity to key pages if possible. There are a few ways you can do this:

Include a navigation menu at the top of the page.

Include links within the copy. If you have large blocks of text within your content, look for opportunities to link to key pages on your site from within that content. The key here is to make it natural and not shoehorn links where they don’t make sense.

Include a footer which links to key pages 

Links from key pages on your site are a good way to help pages that do not typically support a lot of content or may not be part of the main navigation. 

  • Canonical tags 

Canonical URL lets you tell search engines that certain similar URLs are actually the same.Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or "duplicate" content appearing on multiple URLs. Practically speaking, the canonical tag tells search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in search results.

By using canonical URLs (HTML link tags with the attribute rel=canonical), you can have these on your site without harming your rankings.

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The problem with URLs

For example, search crawlers might be able to reach your homepage in all of the following ways:

 

  • http://www.example.com
  • https://www.example.com
  • http://example.com
  • http://example.com/index.php
  • http://example.com/index.php?r...

 

To a human eye, all of these URLs represent a single page. To a search crawler, though, every single one of these URLs is a unique "page."


The process of canonicalization

When you have several choices for a product’s URL, canonicalization is the process of picking one of them.

How to set canonical URLs

Correct example of using rel=canonical

  1. Pick one of your two pages as the canonical version. This should be the version you think is the most important. If you don’t care, pick the one with the most links or visitors, and if all else is equal, flip a coin. You just need to choose.
  2. Add a rel=canonical link from the non-canonical page to the canonical one. So if we picked the shortest URL as our canonical URL, the other URL would link to the shortest URL in the <head>section of the page – like this:
  3. <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/wordpres

Tips to remember:

Proactively canonicalize your home-page

Given that homepage duplicates are very common and that people may link to your homepage in many ways (which you can’t control), it’s usually a good idea to put a canonical tag on your homepage template to prevent unforeseen problems.

If you would like to learn more about Canonical tag:

 https://moz.com/learn/seo/canonicalization

https://yoast.com/rel-canonical/#seo-benefit

https://searchengineland.com/canonical-tags-gone-wild-282705



Dataset Schema

 Schema.org (often called Schema) is a semantic vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in SERPs.

Types of items described by Schema

Structured data can be used to mark up all kinds of items from products to events to recipes. It is most often used to provide additional information about the following:

  • Creative work
  • Event
  • Organization
  • Person
  • Place
  • Product

 A full list of items you can mark up with Schema is available here.

 

Images

 Images bring an article to life and can also contribute to your website’s SEO

  • Choose the right file name: use your keyword in the image file name.
  • Use an Optimal File Size Without Losing Quality:Images are often the main cause of slow loading times. If your site’s speed needs improvement, try reducing the file sizes of your images through resizing and compression.
  • Use responsive images
  • Captions: Adding captions to your images is an image optimization best practice.The caption is the text that appears usually in a gray box below the image,
  • Alt Text: Alt tags are a text alternative to images when a browser can’t properly render them. Similar to the title, the alt attribute is used to describe the contents of an image file. Alt text is required under the American Disabilities Act for individuals who are unable to view images themselves.
  • Create an Image Sitemap: Create and publish an image sitemap to house all of your images in one place. This gives Google and other search engines more ability to discover the images on your site, increasing the likelihood that your images will be displayed in Image Search results.
  • OpenGraph and Twitter Cards

If you add the following image tag to the <head> section in your page HTML like this:

<meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/link-to-image.jpg" />

 That will make sure the image is included in your share on Facebook (and OpenGraph is also used for Pinterest, for instance).

Twitter cards play the same role when the URL is shared on Twitter, driving engagement and generating clicks.

XML image sitemaps

To give inGoogle formation about images on your site, you’ll need to add image-specific tags to a sitemap. You can use a separate sitemap to list images, or you can add image information to an existing sitemap. Use the method that works for you!

Back to Course Outline 

 


Source: www.wordstream.com, www.yoast.com,

 

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