Website content is critical to search engine optimization. Good content will get you ranking for the search terms that matter to your business while bad content will get you buried somewhere on page seven of Google results.
There are clear guidelines when it comes to creating content for a new website, but what about existing sites? If your page isn’t ranking like it should, maybe it’s time to look into content rewriting for SEO. Today we’ll look at reworking your existing content into a lean, mean, high-ranking machine – from auditing your existing content through the polished final product.
Why (Written) Content Matters
As advanced as Google’s algorithms are, they still need clues to figure out what your website is all about. And that’s where written content still reigns as king. We all love beautiful images and eye-catching video, but text is the medium that bots understand. So, make sure your text content is properly optimized!
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should blast keyword stuffed text all over your website – this isn’t 2004. The search bots are smart enough to filter out the spammy, poorly-written, and badly executed content. If that’s your strategy, then you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
Modern websites need content that serves a dual purpose: enticing visitors and educating bots. If your content isn’t effectively meeting both those goals, then it is time for a content rewrite for SEO.
If written website content is so important, how can you know if yours is up to par with industry standards? A simple content audit will go a long way toward understanding your existing content’s strengths and weaknesses.
At the most basic level, a content audit should take a page-by-page look at your site and determine the health of each page. This will generally follow a five-step pattern:
- Keyword Focus: Determine the goal of each page and assign a targeted keyword to every page on your site.
- Low Hanging Fruit: List the meta-data (title tags, meta description, etc.) and header text for each page. This will be the easiest part of your content rewrite.
- Content Problems: Identify pages that suffer from common content problems – thin (under 300 words), duplicate, keyword stuffed, poorly written. These will be high-priority fixes.
- Keyword Usage: For pages that don’t fall into the ‘content problems’ step, check that your content is focused on the keywords identified in step one. Optimizing this content will be the most difficult step.
- Final Analysis: Take a look at everything you have to do and make a step-by-step plan to rework your content with SEO in mind. This step should prioritize your most important pages and the easiest fixes and move into the less important and more difficult pages.
It was pretty easy to type up those five steps but implementing them will take some serious effort. A lot of businesses will see the time a content audit takes and give up. But doing a content rewrite is one of the best ways to improve your SEO, and improve your SEO has a direct connection to your bottom line.
Once you have your content audit, you are ready to start the process of rewriting your content. It’s an intensive process – so go into it knowing that you’ll either invest several days or pay a professional if you want to see results.
The outline I’ll provide here is just how I like to work through a content rewrite, there’s nothing special about this specific order so find what works for you.
First, take on all the low-hanging fruit. This means rewriting your meta-descriptions and title tags based on your targeted keywords. Keep it simple here, your goal should just be to get the creative juices flowing before you move onto some tougher work.
Second, address any pages that have problem content. Beef up any pages that are thin – the minimum is 300 words, but you should be shooting for 1200+ if you really want to see SEO results. Rewrite any pages that have duplicate content – use the keyword targets we identified earlier to provide a springboard for writing unique content on each page of your website. And then correct any technically poor writing – if you’re not sure how to clean up your writing, start with online tools like Grammarly and Hemingway.
Third, go through each page and ensure that the targeted keyword is the focus of the content. This process is a balancing act between keyword utilization and readability. Err too far toward keyword utilization and your content will be unreadable and your SEO will suffer. Or totally ignore your keywords and risk getting lost in the wasteland of page 5 results.
Writing for SEO
Creating a how-to guide for writing is difficult because it’s a skill that takes a lot of practice. And writing for SEO combines the challenges of writing with the need for some technical search engine knowledge. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try your hand at content rewriting for SEO.
But if you get buried around the intersection of writing and search engine optimization, the experts at Fusion Group USA can help you improve your rankings through written content. Our team is highly skilled at both writing and SEO so that you get a final product that moves your rankings in the right direction.