The SEO Process: Structure and Strategy
Last week we talked about the value of having SEO and Copywriters work together to craft SEO optimized copy, this week we’ll dive deeper into the SEO process.
SEO needs to be considered at every step of content production to maximize the organic reach to your audience. I like to group these considerations into three categories; research, structure and strategy.
In Part One, Erin talked about how SEO considerations start (most effectively) at the very beginning of the process. Otherwise, there may be significant modifications needed to both form and content afterwards; a big inefficiency for both SEO and copywriters! This week, I’m diving into the other two considerations; structure and strategy!
SEO Copy Structure
Structure is an often-overlooked component of optimizing copy for search engines. It is understood from an SEO perspective that Google favors content which is well organized, including a leading H1 header and divided further under several H2 headings as appropriate. For much of the content that Erin and I work on, I make recommendations on SEO optimized H1 and H2 headings, naturally including keywords to help both the readers and search engines understand each content area.
Content structure is also taken into consideration when we are targeting to rank for a Google “feature snippet” position. Feature snippets are sometimes referred to as “position zero,” as they appear above the #1 organic results on the search results page.
Feature snippets are information that Google pulls from a webpage that often quickly answer how, what, when, why and where type of questions. These feature snippets display information from your webpage before the user even clicks on your link, and have been shown to increase CTR to your website. During SEO competitive research, we discover which queries we want to target for our clients, and which of these queries are returning Google feature snippet results. While there are many factors that are believed to influence Google’s choice for feature snippet, structure of the website content plays a role.
For example, answering “how to” questions in a clear ordered list, or answering a “when” or “where” question in a clear paragraph with well-crafted H1 or H2 heading can help in optimizing content to compete for feature snippet positions. For this reason, it is important that SEO and Copywriters work together to define the best structure for the content, ensuring it is both easy for the reader and optimized for potential Google feature snippet placement.
BCM SEO analysts and copywriters have successfully targeted and achieved feature snippet positions for our clients in the past, as we will cover in our last segment of this three-part blog installment.
SEO Content Strategy
Formulating a clear SEO content strategy in partnership with our copywriting teams is critical in ensuring that every page of a client’s site has copy designed for a specific purpose. Predominantly, this purpose is to create content that users find useful and informative. Additionally, this SEO content strategy ensures that content isn’t competing with other content within the site, and that Google algorithms are clearly able to understand the topic of each page.
When we talk about content competing with other content, we mean ensuring that each page targets a specific keyword or topic, and that other pages on the site are not targeting that same topic. When multiple pages target the same keywords, Google then must decide which page to show for search results. The links that form over time back to your site content will likely be split between the multiple pages, diluting the SEO power of each page. Having one strong piece of content targeting a specific keyword and topic is far better than having several pages all relating to the same specific topic and optimized for the same keywords. Bottom line – SEO and copywriters should work together to ensure that each page has unique, specialized content targeted to a single specific topic, ensuring maximum ranking potential in Google.
SEO and Copywriting – Summing it Up
In today’s increasingly competitive digital environment, we know SEO and copywriting teams must work closely together to maximize the efficiency of content produced for client websites. Without this strong partnership, copy might not be written in a way that reflects how the users search, therefore not showing up in search results. Copy must also be optimized for structure, improving readability for the user while enhancing the potential to be listed as a Google feature snippet. And lastly, SEO and copy teams should work together to ensure the content created is unique within the website, and not competing for rank and links with other similar site content.
Erin and I practice this partnership every day, and we’ve been able to deliver real, measurable results for clients because of this partnership. On the last installment of our 3-part blog series, Erin and I will discuss some of these results, as well as provide some first steps to ensure your SEO and copywriting processes are set up for success!
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