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Crafting SEO Friendly Content: A Practical Guide for Beginners

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Having website content that ranks high in search engines and engages visitors is essential for any business looking to drive traffic and leads online. But for beginners, it can be confusing trying to put all the recommendations around “SEO-friendly” content into practice.

This article provides a straight-forward guide to optimizing your website copy, pages, images, and multimedia for search engines and users. Follow these best practices when writing new content to ensure maximum findability and engagement:

Key Takeaways:

  • Properly place target keywords in headings, URLs, image filenames, alt text
  • Create useful, scannable content organized with subheads and bullet points
  • Include internal links to related pages and external links to authority sites
  • Optimize page speed through compressed images, caching, etc.
  • Regularly update pages and analyze traffic data to identify issues

Focusing on these critical elements when developing website content will improve organic search traffic, engagement metrics, and conversions over time.

Conduct Keyword Research

The foundation of effective on-page SEO is identifying and utilizing keywords that your target audience is actually searching for in search engines like Google. There are a few key steps to proper keyword research:

Brainstorm Relevant Keywords

Make a list of words and phrases related to your business, products, and content topics. These will provide a starting point for keyword ideas.

Use Keyword Research Tools

Input your initial keywords into free tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or you can used an advanced, paid keyword research tool like SEMrush, or Ahref’s Keyword Explorer. These will provide monthly search volume data to identify high potential keywords.

Refine Your List

Compare the keyword difficulty scores in the tools and ensure there is sufficient search volume for keywords you want to target. Eliminate overly broad or competitive phrases.

If you are writing content for a small site, aim for a targeted list of 10-20 primary keywords/phrases that receive at decent search volume and have relatively low competition. These will dictate your page titles, headers, content focus, etc. If you are writing for just one page or a blog post, 1-3 primary keywords or phrases is plenty to target.

Craft Compelling Titles and Headings

Woman writing SEO friendly content

The page titles and headings should align closely with your primary keywords and compellingly communicate the content’s core focus. Follow these tips:

Page Title Best Practices:

  • Keep under 60 characters (including spaces)
  • Incorporate your most important keyword phrase
  • Use compelling wording to create interest

Example title for a coffee shop page: “Locally Roasted Premium Coffee Beans”

H1 Header Tag Best Practices:

  • Highlight your primary keyword/phrase here as well
  • Allow browser to scale size appropriately, you want it legible on all devices
  • Utilize only one H1 header per page

H2/H3 Tags:

  • Break up content into logical sections using H2’s and H3’s
  • Incorporate secondary keywords and related phrases

Example H2: “Ethically Sourced Arabica Beans”

Having scannable headers interspersed through your content not only facilitates on-page SEO but also improves the user experience. Use them to call out important sections, concepts, and keywords.

The Importance of Meta Descriptions

The meta description is the short summary of the page content that appears under the title tag in search engine results. Though it doesn’t directly influence search rankings, it plays a major role in click-through rates when displayed on search engine results pages.

An Effective Meta Description Does the Following:

  • Accurately conveys the purpose or topics covered on the page
  • Includes primary and secondary keywords naturally
  • Is constructed to compel users to click from search listings
  • Is typically 150-160 characters including spaces

For example:

“We offer locally roasted premium coffee beans for retail and wholesale. Shop over 20 exclusive artisan blends online or visit our café in San Francisco.”

This meta description incorporates relevant keywords like “coffee beans”, “artisan blends”, and location identifiers while promising exclusive offerings to entice searchers.

Without an optimized description, Google may display irrelevant or unflattering snippets of page text instead. Ensure every page of your site has a customized meta description reflecting its specific content.

Optimize Images and Multimedia

Multimedia for seo friendly content

Visually engaging images, infographics, videos and other media are great for capturing user interest. However, you also need to optimize multimedia for the benefits of search engines. Here are key tips:


  • Give image files descriptive names using target keywords
  • Provide detailed alt text descriptions for accessibility
  • Compress files to improve page load speeds


  • Include video transcripts with metadata & keywords
  • Optimize YouTube uploads with strong titles, descriptions & tags


  • Upload transcripts to site along with media files for crawling
  • Tag audio content with target keywords

Additionally, when embedding any multimedia on web pages make sure to:

  • Use minimal required markup for faster rendering
  • Host media files on your own servers rather than third-party sites (unless utilizing YouTube)
  • Set appropriate height/width dimensions for proper formatting

Optimizing multimedia strengthens the overall SEO-friendliness of your site while also giving your visitors more options and ability to engage with your content.

Format Content for Scanning & Readability

Formatting image for seo friendly content

On top of keyword optimization, make sure your content is properly formatted to facilitate the visitor’s ability to extract information rapidly.


  • Use sufficient font sizes for body text (16px minimum)
  • Maintain reasonable line lengths (50-70 characters per line)
  • Provide ample spacing between lines and paragraphs
  • Ensure sufficient contrast between text and background


  • Break up walls of texts with numbered lists and bullet points
  • Use descriptive headers and bolded subheads to call out sections
  • Include tables for complex data sets when possible
  • In a blog post, can be helpful to

Length & Quality:

  • Aim for comprehensive, in-depth pages. Look at content length of your competition for specific targets, but most relevant pages tend to be 1000-2000+ words in length
  • Ensure all claims are well-researched and credibly cited/sourced
  • Strike a personal tone and voice while maintaining professionalism

Readers are more likely to deeply engage with content when it is consumable at a glance while rewarding deeper reading. Structure your content effectively, and you can enjoy better search engine rankings because of it.

Incorporate Keywords Naturally

Once you’ve conducted keyword research and selected a target keyword, you need to work it into the actual text on the page. However, avoid keyword stuffing, which can appear unnatural to the reader and negatively impact your engagement. Instead:

Organically Integrate Primary Terms:

  • Use primary and related keywords in opening and closing paragraphs
  • Include variations and long tail keywords deeper in the body content
  • Mention keywords in relation to other aspects you’re discussing

Set Internal and External Links

Including internal links between related pages on your site or linking to external authoritative sites provides SEO value. By interconnecting quality sites, you signal the relevancy and depth of your content to search engines.

Additionally, strategic links provide an improved user experience. Visitors can better navigate to other pertinent pages of interest (internal) or credible reference sources (external) rather than getting stuck in a silo of standalone content.

Offering users intuitive pathways deeper into your site ecosystem or educational materials amplifies the overall value of your content substantially.

Link Out to Relevant Sites:

  • Identify other reputable, high-authority sites related to the topics covered
  • Link out to 1-3 external sites to show trust and depth of knowledge

Link Internally Between Associated Pages:

  • Interlink content when references are highly relevant
  • For example, from a “Services” page connect visitors to detailed offering pages
  • Include anchor text with secondary target keywords

This natural on-page integration and linking provides positive signals to search engines while improving relevancy for visitors. Prioritize quality user experience while working in SEO tactics.

Page Load Speed is Critical

In addition to all the on-page optimization tactics covered, website owners absolutely cannot overlook page load speed. The faster your pages load, the better the experience for visitors and search engines. Some key ways to maximize speed:

  • Enable GZIP compression – condenses file sizes
  • Implement browser caching for reusable code resources
  • Minify HTML/CSS/JavaScript files by removing unnecessary characters
  • Lazy load non-critical resources like images and videos
  • Migrate to faster web hosting infrastructure if needed

Test different parts of your site with Google PageSpeed Insights and aim for scores above 90 (on mobile and desktop).

Ultimately, no amount of content or technical optimization matters if real users abandon your site due to slow load times before finding value. Page speed has become a significant ranking factor as Google wants to surface sites that balance relevance with performance.

Monitor and Analyze Performance

Graph for monitoring SEO

The optimization process does not end once you publish new content. To continually improve both search rankings and visitor engagement over time, you need to actively monitor and analyze performance by:

  • Setting up Google Analytics and Search Console accounts
  • Establishing key metrics like organic traffic, dwell time, pages per session
  • Leveraging built-in analytics reports to identify issues
  • Digging into visitor behavior flow data
  • Performing monthly content audits
  • Checking keyword rankings using tools like SEMrush
  • Identifying opportunities for additional keyword targeting

Consistently analyzing this quantitative and qualitative data will reveal content gaps, user experience issues, technical problems, or other needs for improvement.

You can then use these insights to guide future content development and iteration. Optimization is an ongoing process – make sure to listen to the data!

Summary & Next Steps

Writing SEO friendly content that is properly optimized may seem intimidating initially. But by focusing on a few core areas, you can substantially improve online visibility and user engagement

  • Conduct keyword research to drive page focus
  • Craft compelling titles and headers incorporating keywords
  • Optimize images, media, and site speed for performance
  • Format content for maximum scannability and readability
  • Seamlessly integrate relevant internal links and external references
  • Actively monitor analytics and iterate based on learnings

Adhering to these best practices will get you well on your way to developing content aligned with both search engine and user needs. Treat optimization as an ongoing journey instead of a one-time task.

For your next steps, audit your existing site content against this advice and identify areas needing improvement. Address higher priority fixes first focusing on popular pages. Not all content will be perfect from the start – simply get in rhythm executing upon these guidelines as you expand your site over time.

With the right strategic foundation powering your website content development, the benefits of greater visibility, traffic growth, and engagement will follow. Best of luck on your SEO journey!

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