In 2018, a typical corporation spent 7.9 percent of its earnings on ad content. Sure, spending on ads does lead to your site being at the top of a Google Search. But, with a good search engine optimization (SEO) content strategy, your website and blog will be at the top of search results anyway.
And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to implement and maintain.
In this article, we will look at what makes up SEO content and how to produce it on a tight budget.
What Is SEO Content?
It’s content made more digestible for a search engine. Optimizing content on your web pages, blog sites, videos and social media posts helps search engines understand what the content is about and what kind of searches it benefits. If it’s done well, search engines will rank your pages high, in the top search results.
This leads to more search engine traffic to your website.
Elements of Search Engine Optimized Content
How do you make your content more understandable for a search engine? For starters, by incorporating keywords into the page or blog content. Keywords help search engines make sense of what a page is about. However, there’s more to SEO content than that.
While Google and other search engines filter content for users, your website should also be digestible to people reading your content.
Here’s what you need to consider:
Page Load Speed
There’s an unspoken three-second rule for browsing – users take three seconds to figure out if they’re going to stay on a page. If your page load speed is slower than that, they won’t stay long enough to view your content.
A slow loading speed can be due to several reasons, including database issues, page weight and plugin clutter.
There’s no point in spending hours crafting a good keyword-rich article if no one reads it. But that might happen if your headlines are mediocre.
The point of every sentence in your copy should be to encourage people to read further. This starts with a catchy headline people will see during a Google search. With a strong enough headline, a user will click it, even if it’s just a top-four search result.
Let’s be real – people scroll through all top 10 searches only if they didn’t find an answer in the first few. So, your goal is still to rank the highest on a keyword.
A few things to note:
- Headlines with the main and an alternative keyword rank higher.
- Headlines with numbers are more clickable.
- The length should be under 72 characters or Google won’t display the entire headline.
If you use WordPress, the Yoast plug-in will help you stay on top of this.
The Content Itself
There are two sides to take into account when it comes to everything after the headline – the text, structure, images, videos and other materials on a page.
- Search engine side – an article should contain a certain number of the main and alternative keywords; you can gauge the numbers by researching top results and using tools like Ahrefs or Surfer SEO
- Reader side – the content should be useful, readable and related to the topic
A couple of things to avoid here are adding too many keywords, to the point that the article sounds unnatural, and over-optimizing your content.
There are a few metadata tags that help optimize your content, starting with a meta title and description. Both show up in search results.
Overall, there are four metadata tags you should pay attention to:
- Title – your under-72-characters headline that contains keywords and catches the readers’ attention from the get-go
- Description – an under-150-characters synopsis of the page that contains keywords and a call-to-action (CTA) for readers
- Alt text – an alternative description of the images you add to support the content that contains keywords and simplify image search
- Anchor text – the linked text in your articles which could be a keyword or a better descriptor of what content you are linking to
All these tags help you describe pages to the search engine – what a page is about and how it can be useful to readers.
The content of an article depends on its main keyword intent – the reason or purpose behind it. The intent refers to what people want to find when they type in a certain keyword. This informs how you should structure an article and what you should offer in it to satisfy this intent.
How To Produce Content on a Tight Budget
Producing SEO-friendly content takes a lot of work, but it gives you positive long-term results when done right. Best of all, it can be done at a lower cost, unlike ads.
Here are a few steps to help you set up a sustainable content workflow, regardless of your budget.
Decide on Your Content Goals
Wanting diverse content offerings with which to promote your brand is great. But, without an established content marketing strategy, that want won’t ever be fulfilled.
Given your resource constraints, it’s best to decide early on on the type of content you want to focus on. There are many types of content you could produce. Some popular types are blog posts, webinars, case studies and podcasts. The trick is discovering which type your audience would prefer and where this content will live.
Something to consider is who your competition will be with this content. For example, say you plan on releasing YouTube tutorial videos. You do your research and you find that X companies already have several tutorial videos. What’s worse, they also have the budget for big editing studios.
You’d now have two options:
1. Create a different type of content
2. Find an angle or niche that your competitors have missed
Regardless of the type of content you decide to produce, make sure you do your research. Subscribe to as many relevant newsletters and blogs as possible. See what sort of content other companies in your niche are producing. Find out what works and what doesn’t first-hand as a reader.
If all the extra emails start to feel overwhelming, then consider investing in an email client. The right one can help you organize your inbox for a better email experience.
Source Writing From Your Company and Other Platforms
You and everyone on your team have skills and experience to share. It’s a valuable resource you can tap into only at the cost of your time.
Ensure that the topics align with your SEO strategy, and the blog will help you share insights and bring new leads to your site. The only question left is, who can contribute?
- Do the writing yourself. Depending on your schedule, this may or may not be a good idea. Writing a blog post doesn’t have to take a lot of time if you are someone who enjoys writing. However, this solution becomes less viable the more frequent your posting schedule becomes.
- Assign writing to team members. Some of your employees may have unique insight that’s useful to your clients. Ask them to add to topics that they are comfortable with and can write about. It would be best to come up with a content calendar for them, complete with deadlines to keep them focused and motivated to get the work done.
- Source writing from other platforms. Paying a professional copywriter can be less expensive than spending your own or the team’s time. There are three external sources of content to choose from, and you can even exchange posts for ad links. These can be guest bloggers, copywriting freelancers and content marketing agencies.
Always ensure that you go through the content before publishing it on your preferred platform.
Reallocate Marketing Funds
If you don’t have sufficient funds for content, you can audit your marketing expenses. An audit is necessary to identify what advertising assets your business has, how they perform and what you can do to reduce some of these expenses.
An audit gives you perspective and allows you to put your effort into what can yield the best outcomes and development for your business.
Use SEO Tools
Tools are there to make your work easier, improve the quality of your work and save you time. Here are a few that you can use:
- Ahrefs Webmaster Tools – best for auditing your website and identifying organic link building opportunities
- Google Analytics – a free tool that helps track website traffic
- Yoast SEO – a plug-in that gives suggestions on how to improve your articles/posts based on SEO data that you input
- SERP Robot – shows how your website or pages rank for up to five keywords
As a business owner, you should know that time is your greatest asset. If you can save it, you can do a lot more to help your business grow. Through the use of various tools and careful planning, you can create engaging content for your target audience without breaking the bank.
Here are a few tips that can keep you in check going forward:
- Keep practicing and keep creating content. Practice makes perfect.
- Tools are there for a reason; learn how to use them and integrate them into your workflow.
- Delegate and/or collaborate with those around you.
- Understand your content needs and goals.
- Never stop learning.
New tools will always be there. New content formats and new platforms are being invented every day. By being diligent and understanding your audience, you’ll be able to craft content that both helps your customers and your website traffic.