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The Ultimate Checklist: How to Make Content SEO Friendly and User-Centric

By May 30, 2024 June 6th, 2024 Search Engine Optimization
The Ultimate Checklist How to Make Content SEO Friendly

In March 2024, Google released a significant core update designed to unindex unhelpful content and promote high-quality, user-centric content. This shift emphasizes the importance of creating content that genuinely helps users rather than just aiming to rank high on search engines. As we navigate this new landscape, here’s your ultimate checklist for making your content SEO friendly and user-centric, aligning with Google’s latest guidelines. 

1. Understand Your Keywords

The foundation of any SEO strategy is understanding your keywords, which is accomplished through thorough keyword research. This involves identifying the terms and phrases your target audience uses when searching for information related to your niche. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush can help you discover relevant keywords and assess their search volumes and competition levels.

Tips for Effective Keyword Research:

  • Identify Primary and Secondary Keywords: Focus on one primary keyword and several secondary keywords to avoid keyword stuffing and ensure content relevance.
  • Analyze Competitor Keywords: Look at what keywords your competitors are targeting to find gaps and opportunities.
  • Long-Tail Keywords: These are longer, more specific phrases that often have lower competition and higher conversion rates.

2. Take an Instructional Marketing Approach

Creating actionable content that helps users accomplish specific goals is key to engaging and retaining your audience. Instructional marketing involves providing clear, step-by-step guidance on relevant topics.

Examples:

  • For a Chef: Write about event preparation, including place settings, non-edible supplies, and menu planning. This could involve detailed instructions on setting up a buffet or creating a themed dinner party.
  • For an Animal Hospital: Offer tips on preventing pet injuries, such as choosing the best leashes, properly holding your pet, and dietary advice to avoid obesity. This could include a guide on first-aid for pets or a checklist for pet-proofing your home.

Why It Works:

  • Value-Driven Content: Readers find practical, real-world applications for the advice you provide, enhancing their trust and loyalty.
  • Higher Engagement: Actionable content tends to be more engaging, leading to longer on-page times and lower bounce rates.

3. Answer Real-Life Questions

One of the most effective ways to create valuable content is by addressing the questions people frequently ask you in real life. By mapping your keyword research to these questions, you ensure your content is both relevant and helpful.

Steps to Implement:

  • Identify Common Questions: Reflect on the most frequently asked questions by your customers. For instance, business owners often ask about improving their search rankings and traffic.
  • Deep Customer Understanding: Engage with your customers to understand their pain points and challenges. For example, business leaders might struggle with the fast pace of digital marketing changes.
  • Content Creation: Develop content that directly addresses these questions, incorporating your keyword research. Offer detailed, step-by-step solutions and insights.

Example:

If you frequently get asked about improving website traffic, create a comprehensive guide that starts with understanding your audience, conducting keyword research, and crafting SEO-friendly content. Emphasize the importance of a strategic, ongoing approach to marketing rather than a one-time effort.

Google’s Guidelines for Helpful Content

Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content is crucial under Google’s new update. Here are some key points to consider:

Self-Assess Your Content:

  • Originality: Does your content provide unique information, analysis, or insights?
  • Comprehensiveness: Is your content thorough and complete?
  • Value Addition: Does your content offer substantial additional value beyond what other sources provide?
  • Descriptive Headings: Do your headings accurately and helpfully summarize the content?
  • Avoid Content Decay: Assess your content to make sure that it is still relevant. Avoid using dates in your urls, and do a content audit. You can accomplish this quickly by doing Google Search Console Index audits to make sure that page sthat were getting traffic are still getting traffic. If those pages stop getting traffic, then you need to reassess whether that page needs to be deleted or not. Just like a plant needs to be pruned to grow, so does your website.

Expertise and Trustworthiness:

  • Clear Sourcing: Ensure your content includes clear references and demonstrates expertise.
  • Author Credentials: Highlight the author’s expertise and background to build trust.
  • Accuracy: Avoid factual errors and ensure information is easily verifiable.

Page Experience:

  • User Experience: Focus on providing a great user experience, including mobile-friendliness, fast load times, and easy navigation.
  • Avoid Over-Optimization: Don’t create content solely to attract search engine traffic. Ensure it’s genuinely useful to your audience.

Focus on People-First Content

Creating content primarily for people rather than search engines is the cornerstone of Google’s new guidelines. This involves understanding your audience’s needs, providing in-depth and practical information, and ensuring a satisfying reading experience.

Key Considerations:

  • Audience Relevance: Ensure your content is useful to your intended audience.
  • First-Hand Expertise: Share knowledge based on your own experiences and expertise.
  • Satisfying Experience: Aim for readers to leave your site feeling informed and satisfied.

By following this checklist and adhering to Google’s updated guidelines, you can create content that is not only SEO friendly but also truly beneficial to your audience. This approach will help you build trust, improve your search rankings, and ultimately drive more traffic to your site. Remember, the goal is to create valuable, people-first content that stands the test of time. You do not have to go at this digital marketing journey alone. Zhe Scott, The SEO Queen can help. Registration is open now for our SEO + AI Masterclass, all you have to do is click this sentence to join, class starts June 5, 2024. 

Zhe L. Scott

Author Zhe L. Scott

Zhe L. Scott, is the THE SEO QUEEN. She is passionate about motherhood, music and marketing. She is the author of SEO Training 2017: Search Engine Optimization and Marketing for Small Business. She loves to play the violin, write music. In her free time she loves to spend time with family and friends.

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