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9 Tips for Writing Good SEO Content
Jackie Eldridge
Friday, September 20, 2013
Let's face it, Google DOES rule the world. Or at least our online world of e-commerce where we constantly fight an uphill battle for search engine rankings. If you don't keep up with Google's algorithm changes, you may be headed backwards, instead of climbing that hill.

Google recently announced its latest algorithm update, Google Caffeine, which is a completely new way of indexing. It's important you understand that the freshness of your content is going to be more important than ever before. This means that you need to post as often as you can and constantly update on trending topics related to your business, if you want to climb that hill to higher search engine rankings.

Two other updates prior to Caffeine (Panda and Penguin) focus on the uniqueness of content, fresh content and social media. Penguin will penalize you, even blacklist you, if you copy (plagiarize) content and also wants to see at least 60% unique content site-wide. Let this be your guide for creating content that will organically improve your search engine rankings, which will ultimately improve your sales and revenue.

So, what is search engine content, exactly? The most effective search engine content appeals both to readers and search engines. It can be tricky (like talking out of both sides of your mouth, sometimes!), as you are basically writing articles and reviews for readers, but at the same time it's search engines that monitor your content and feed it to readers through searches. It's not enough just to create a website anymore. A website's content development and visibility to search engines is much more important. I'll be outlining nine recommendations, that will help make your e-commerce store or sales on third party marketplaces more successful. That said, it's a given that you need to create your "own voice" and write in a manner that, depending on your business, is memorable, maybe funny but for certain, credible.

1. Choosing the Right Keywords Search engines identify your website content with the help of keywords. These are usually very closely related to the search terms that are entered by the users in search engines. Before writing any topic for your website or blog, you will need to conduct a thorough research on the keywords that are closely associated with the topic. You could make use of keyword research tools like Google AdWords' Keyword Planner to find the most popular keywords. Just Google AdWords Keyword Planner to learn more.

2. Readability Please remember that you are writing for your readers and not search engines. You might find it difficult to use some of the popular keywords grammatically, but you cannot really afford to skip it all together. Although search engines look for the keywords in particular, they would want the readers to read quality content. Therefore, you will need to make sure that the content is interesting and adds value to the readers, instead of just stuffing it with overused keywords. Keywords should not stop the content flow.

3. Along with readability comes Content Relevancy Make sure that you make use of keywords while maintaining the relevancy to your content. Search engines employ a number of algorithms to detect content that has been created with the sole purpose to obtain good ranking. This type of content will increase your chances of your website getting blacklisted by search engines, which is the equivalent to a slow death. Plus, readers can identify content that has been created for keywords and it will turn them off and you will lose credibility with them?and search engines.

4. Keyword Placement Now that you know NOT to overuse keywords, the best way to use them is in the beginning of paragraphs and subheads. In the other parts of your content you can use synonymous phrases instead of the keywords.

5. Keep it short Users hate reading big blocks of copy. Big blocks of copy turns readers off ---they want short, succinct information blocks that can help them learn something, solve a problem or make a buying decision. Four to five lines in a paragraph is plenty.

6. A little bit of magic: Use Bullets and Numbering This is a complement to short paragraphs. In today's world, people do not have time to read everything they see on the web. That said, it's up to you to make it as simple as possible for them to grasp your message by using bullets and numbering, so they can get the gist of your content in a quick scan to decide if it is of real interest to them. If it is, they'll read it in its entirety.

7. Subheads are a proven tool to boost readership If you have to hyperlink any of your content to another page, make sure the links are relevant to the content. If the page you are linking to is not relevant to your content, you will lose credibility and the search engines will hate you for "link spamming." Readers hate being redirected to spam links too. Once you lose a reader or your search engine ranking, it's hard to get them back.

8. Be sure your links are relevant to your content If you have to hyperlink any of your content to another page, make sure the links are relevant to the content. If the page you are linking to is not relevant to your content, you will lose credibility and the search engines will hate you for "link spamming." Readers hate being redirected to spam links too. Once you lose a reader or your search engine ranking, it's hard to get them back.

9. Proofreading! If you're like me, you are bound to make mistakes while writing. Make sure you proofread your articles or posts carefully before publishing them. Use spellcheck! If you have someone else who can read it for typos, clarity and grammar, that would be ideal.