Content marketing is an effective tool to craft helpful information that will be valuable to your audience. But it’s only truly helpful if your users are actually seeing it. SEO and content go hand in hand. By leveraging SEO best practices, you’ll be able to organically achieve maximum visibility while delivering relevant information.

In this blog, we will explore some of the key elements of SEO to help you create content that will drive organic traffic. We will focus on the importance of keyword research and its impact on content optimization, both positively and negatively. We’ll also recognize the role of website structure in user experience and SEO.

Elements of SEO

The goal of SEO is to optimize a website to rank higher in search engine results pages. There are a few different elements we focus on to increase the visibility of a site and attract more relevant traffic:

  • Technical: Enhancing the structural and technical elements of the website to facilitate easy navigation and user experience. This includes aspects like site speed, mobile responsiveness, site architecture, content management system platform, SSL, and TLD.
  • Design: The user experience is more important than ever, thanks to engagement metrics. Do users engage with your pages or click the back button right away? This is directly influenced by the design of your text and images, the usability of your site, and the performance, interactivity, and stability of the site and how the design directly impacts this.
  • Content: On-page SEO focuses on elements like content quality, content length, keyword research, meta descriptions, and subheadings. Is your content compelling enough to attract and maintain users?
  • Off-Site/Marketing: Improve your site’s authority with link outreach, local citations, social media, offsite content publishing, and brand mentions.

All these components work in conjunction to organically improve your site’s traffic. Today, we will be focusing on technical and content SEO to show you how you can enhance your content.

Content Starts with Keywords

Incorporating relevant keywords in your content signals to search engines what your pages are about. It’s not always about finding an exact match; rather, they are topic- and intent-driven.

Keywords as a Connection Tool

From simple words to detailed phrases, SEO keywords are key in shaping website content to attract more relevant visitors. They link your target audience to your site, ensuring the content meets their unique needs and searches. This boosts your website’s relevance and visibility in search results.

Keywords and Search Intent Understanding

Google’s advanced AI and Natural Language Patterns technologies, like RankBrain and BERT, have made search intent analysis more complex. Keywords are vital in helping Google grasp the real meaning and intent of searches. This makes them more crucial than ever for relevant search results.

Keywords in the Context of SEO Strategy

Keywords reveal customer behaviour and preferences. This guides marketers to tailor content effectively and focus SEO strategies for better alignment with audience searches. Keywords are one of the most accurate indicators of customer demand!

Strategically Using Keywords

Over time, content optimization has evolved and is no longer just about “stuffing” keywords on a page as many times as possible. Now, thanks to Google Hummingbird, the top priority is understanding and satisfying audience intent.

Google Hummingbird changed the game when it comes to content. This significant update to Google’s search algorithm changed the focus to understanding the meaning of words in search queries, making results more relevant and accurate. 

As a marketer, knowing the intent behind a specific search allows you to create content that aligns with what searchers are looking for.

The Perfect Keyword

An ideal keyword finds the balance between keyword difficulty, relevance, and search volume (while considering organic click share). Once those aspects are determined, you can find semantically related and long-tail modifying terms to help support your primary keywords.

It’s important to note the benefits of staying informed about industry trends, user behaviour, and search engine algorithms. Keyword intent and relevance are dynamic, changing over time. The relevance of a search query one year might be different the next, and this can greatly impact your results. Take a look at this example comparing mask search queries at the height of the pandemic versus post-pandemic.

Keyword Cannibalization

Is there such a thing as too much keyword-optimized content? Yes. When several pages on a website aim for the same keyword and have the same goal, this ends up hurting their search engine rankings.

Causes of Keyword Cannibalization

This can happen for various reasons, including:

  • Publishing similar content over time.
  • Not redirecting old versions of a page.
  • Creating different paths to the same product category.
  • Optimizing similar pages for the same keyword.
  • Not optimizing subcategory pages properly.

Differentiating by Search Intent

It’s important to note that targeting the same keyword on multiple pages is not always problematic if the search intent is different. For example, a hotel website may have different pages for “hotels in Paris, France”. They could be targeting different user intents, like information gathering or booking.

Branded Keywords

With branded keywords (those containing your brand name), securing multiple high rankings for the same keyword is common. This doesn’t usually lead to keyword cannibalization, as long as each page serves a distinct user need.

From Keywords to Site Architecture

Site architecture, or structure, is the plan of what pages exist on a website and how they are organized. Site architecture involves strategically organizing and interlinking web pages to enhance both SEO and user experience. It focuses on internal linking, content grouping, and navigational ease.

Importance of Website Structure

Website structure, or architecture, is crucial for both user experience and SEO. A well-structured website helps search engines find and index all site pages, spreads authority through internal links, and assists visitors in finding the content they need.

Impact on SEO and User Experience

Good site architecture improves Google rankings by aiding in the indexing of pages and clarifying the website’s purpose. It also enhances user experience by making navigation to products, services, and information easier. This can increase the likelihood of converting visitors into clients or customers.

Characteristics of Good Website Architecture

Effective website architecture should group related content together, organize groups logically, and highlight important pages. It’s recommended to use a flat architecture (fewer clicks to reach content) rather than a deep one. Ensuring that each important page is part of the architecture and avoiding orphan pages (pages without internal links) is also crucial.

Good site architecture is about targeting specific keywords with each of your pages. Let your keywords drive your site architecture!

Combine your content and SEO efforts to create a website that resonates with users AND search engines. To discover what your readers consider valuable, you have to understand their challenges. Our talented team of SEO experts is ready to help. Learn more about Bluetrain’s services, or contact us for more information on how we can help you achieve your goals!

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