SEO content templates can offer a quick, effective way to generate content that ranks. However SEO software is not always affordable for all businesses. Because of this, we’ve put together a guide on what you need to include to help get your content ranking in terms of SEO without the need for SEO software. 

Choose your target keywords

Decide what keywords you want your business to rank highly for. For example, if you own an IT business and you want to rank highly for website design, then the keywords would be ‘website design’ and semantically related descriptions, such as ‘website copy’, ‘build a website’, ‘best website builder’. You might also choose to opt for local keywords such as ‘website design yorkshire’. If you require assistance with choosing keywords, check out our article on ‘how to choose the right keywords’. 

Analyse the competition 

Now that you’ve had a think about what keywords best describe what you do, it’s time to see what your competitors are doing. There are two ways you can go about this, so we’ll cover it for if you’re using SEO software and if you’re not. 

For SEO software

There is usually an option labelled ‘competitor overview’, ‘competitor analysis’, ‘competitor review’ to select. From here you’ll be prompted to insert your rivals’ websites. We would recommend that you Google the keywords you’re looking to rank for and pick the websites out of the top 3-5 search results. You can then input your competitor’s homepage URL into the software. We won’t go into everything, but the results should show you at the most basic level, what keywords these websites rank for as well as whether this is paid or organic traffic. 

Without SEO software

The process is very similar. You’ll still need to conduct some Google searches to see who your competitors are. However, here you’ll be conducting your own research. Look at how your competitor strategically places keywords in headers, text and URLs. You can have a look to see where keywords are located by pressing Ctrl + F on an Android Desktop or CMD + F on a Mac. If a business is SEO savvy, there are many other ways they can implement this in the backend, but this will show you a basic approach to positioning your keywords. Here’s some things to look out for. 

Page titles and Headings

Quite an easy start. If you are familiar with blogging or website copy, read on. If not, creating a H heading is as simple as creating a block on a new post, then choosing your H title. Your keyword needs to be the first word of this website page title. To illustrate, this website page is called ‘SEO content template’. An optimal length for headings is approximately 55 characters. Don’t worry about not being able to include all the keywords you’re hoping to rank for in your page title, you can break this down into subsections with H2 titles to break up your text. Alternatively, you could use the keywords you’re trying to rank for to each be a blog or website page in themselves!

The Text

Your keyword needs to be the very first word that opens up your page. Go back to our introduction to see how it’s done. However there’s more to SEO and content writing than simply packing the keyword in as many times as you can. In fact, Google’s webmaster guidelines actively prohibits websites from ranking based on how many times they ‘keyword stuff’. What you do need to do is ensure that your content is relevant, answers the question, is likely to be popular and has been optimised for SEO. 

Further this is your chance to grasp your readers attention, to engage, cultivate interest in whatever profession, business, idea or passion project you are presenting. Think about your target audience, are you appealing to a novice who has no knowledge of the subject, someone with some understanding, or a highly intellectually based knowledge of the subject matter?

Meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are the first lines of text that a person will see before clicking onto your website. This is why it’s imperative to make sure your first words are your keywords, and that they match the website page name or post title exactly. If you struggle with content writing, you may wish to consider the use of AI to assist you, or you could download a plugin such as Yoast to create meta descriptions that are different to the first line of your text. 

Images

Any image that you upload to your article, page or website needs to contain a keyword, otherwise referred to as ‘Alt text’. The reason why is due to how search engines ‘crawl’ your website. Before a decision is made if your page should be indexed (placed in the top 100 or top 10 pages of search results) the website has to be crawled. When Google’s spiders do this, they cannot see what your image actually is, they only see what the file name you uploaded is called. This being said you can’t just label every image ‘SEO content template’ for instance. You’ll need to break this up with ‘[your keyword] followed by image 1 or cover image’ for example. If you’re not sure what we mean, hit right click on your mouse then choose ‘inspect page source’.

This is just a basic list of the key areas you will need to cover when it comes to creating SEO friendly content. If you’d like to develop your skills and knowledge, why not subscribe or alternatively if you’d like us to write content that ranks for you, start a conversation with us below. 

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