SEO Content Creation: A Best Practices Checklist

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an art form.

While it’s driven by numbers and analytics, when you boil it down, a true SEO professional doesn’t simply master their craft by sorting through keywords or data analytics.

Sure, those are essential elements of the SEO game, but a true master must learn to weave these various elements, methods, and practices together in order to produce uniquely powerful effects.

The thing is, SEO is constantly in a state of flux. As search engines regularly refine their search parameters and ranking specifications, the SEO world constantly shifts to accommodate their changes (especially for Google’s SEO rules).

With that said, here are a few SEO best practices to keep in mind when it comes to the subject of content creation. They’re aimed at setting up overarching rules and guidelines, all of which require continual adaptation and tweaking over time.

However, if you can manage to implement these basic yet critical items into your SEO efforts, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success.

SEO Content Creation: A Best Practices Checklist

Here are a handful of the most critical SEO elements you’re going to want to address when crafting content for your blog or e-commerce site.

seo expert

Go in With a Strategy, Not Just a Plan

Plans are great, but they don’t hold water if they’re not backed up by a larger strategic focus. In other words, if you simply start making plans to create SEO-focused content based on what seems good at the moment, you’re going to get nowhere fast.

Take the time to flesh out a content marketing strategy first.

A strategy gives you the opportunity to create targeted tactics with specific goals. 🎯🏆♟Click To Tweet

Set goals, focus on the big picture, and consider how you want to represent your brand in your content. Once you have your strategy in place, you can plan out how to turn it into actionable steps.

Invest in Your Keyword and Linking Strategies

lsi keywords

This isn’t news to anyone that has spent time in the SEO space, but best practices still dictate that you consider your keyword and linking strategies within your content.

Conduct thorough keyword research within your niche, find out what topics receive heavy traffic, and then focus your initial efforts there.

In addition, always take the extra time to invest in finding ways to link to internally relevant locations within your site and look for quality external links (think highly respected sites or those with .edu and .gov URLs) as well.

Optimise Your Content For Search

seo content creation

Along with keywords and links, you’re going to want to spend time optimising your content.

Always make sure to optimise your title tags, use keyword-rich headers within your article, and aim to strike the right balance in length for each post.

Typically this should be 500 words at the least, with the general rule of thumb being the longer the better.

BTW: You can discover more about SEO and boosting organic traffic in our guide: How to Find Old Content That Guarantees Traffic From Search Engines.

For Goodness Sake, Please Write Well

Good SEO content creation prioritises the reader and puts the search engine second. With that in mind, please, please make sure that your content is written well.

If your content comes across as something that was cobbled together in a slipshod manner or it looks like a confusing hack-job that was simply written to please the search engines, you’re going to have a higher bounce rate and less time spent on page — both of which can influence how your site ranks.

Create content with your target audience's needs and your business aims in mind, ahead of anything else. 👨‍💻🔎🧲Click To Tweet

When you make your initial content strategy, make sure to take the time to set up content guidelines that include tone, style, structure, and formatting.

Craft User-Centric Content

Along with making sure your text is written for a human to read, you should also make an effort to ensure it addresses the needs of your specific customer base.

Again, this will lead to a slew of benefits, such as higher engagement and, longer time spent on-page, that subtly increase your SEO.

user-centric content

Make sure to:

  • Take the time to create clear, user-centric stories.
  • Answer common questions in your industry or niche.
  • Be relatable and touch on pain points.
  • Strive to be down to earth in your style.
  • Include calls to action to encourage engagement and feedback.
  • Always be ready to create content when the need arises — 60% of marketers create a piece of content every day.

Build a Base of Content and Then React

It’s wise to establish your site with a foundation of content that covers basic topics within your niche. If you’re a plumber, for instance, write basic articles about how to stop a leak, install a toilet, or turn the main house water line off.

Resist the need to answer every question under the sun. Just aim to create a solid foundation for your site.

content curation marketing

Once you have this foundation, you can shift your focus to include more of a reactionary stance.

In other words, once you’ve discussed the basics you can begin to be reactive in your posts in order to capitalise on current events, issues, or questions. In the plumber example, they could write a post about the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

In the reactive post, they could link internally to their existing pillar articles that focus on simple questions, thus building up the stability of their site while taking advantage of attention from a trending subject.

Track Everything

Finally, if you’re going to invest time, effort, and resources into quality SEO content, make sure to set yourself up to track the data that the content produces.

How much traffic does each piece of content get? How must time is spent on-page? Does it have a high bounce rate?

Having this data can beef up your business intelligence and equip you with the information you need in order to navigate future content creation decisions.

SEO Content Creation: Conclusion

The best practices outlined here are aimed at producing a solid SEO content strategy that can enable a company to produce quality content for humans and search engines alike.

The important thing is to maintain the mindset that has hopefully been made abundantly clear at this point: SEO is an art just as much as it is a science.

It is always changing, and its standards are always shifting. If you’re willing to study, adapt, and grow with your SEO content creation, you’ll be able to consistently create killer content for the foreseeable future.

Want more? Check out one of our most popular articles: 

Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering workplace issues, social justice, sustainability, and more. In her off time you can find her deep in the mountains with her two dogs. You can follow her work on Contently, or reach her at [email protected] or on twitter @indianalee3

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One thought on “SEO Content Creation: A Best Practices Checklist

  1. Hello Indiana, there is one thing I’m always worried about. I am not a native English speaker. So, when I write my articles, they are always written in some layman’s terms. It’s very easy to read and understand them, but I don’t use too many “professional” words. In one way, it’s great because everyone can understand it, but in the other hand, can it be bad for my SEO or bounce rate because of the layman’s terms?

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