Basic SEO Guides Body Content

Basic SEO Body Content

Writing, or creating basic body content for SEO is a relatively straight-forward process – providing you are aware of a framework to use. These days content creation is much less about such horrors as keyword density and much more about creating useful content for the user.

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Overriding Basic SEO Body Content Principles

Purpose:

  • Content is communication to someone who is interested in your topic.
  • You need to capture the user’s attention and answer their query.
  • You need to aim to convert the user in some way, either an onward click, or a sign-up, or a share, but that should not be the sole focus of the page.

Guidelines:

  1. Write content for the user, and write to engage them.
  2. Create well-researched and informative content which add value to the user.
  3. Use terms the user would use to search for the topic and write in the language and the style the user would understand.
  4. Do not obsess about keywords, be aware of them and use them naturally.
  5. Be aware of what competitor analysis has revealed about successful content for this topic.
  6. Use images, videos or other rich content as needed, in a layout that is appealing.
  7. Be specific about the topic, stick to a single topic per page.
  8. Writing should be grammatically correct and use correct spelling for the locale.
  9. At the end of a piece of content the user should have a better understanding of the topic than when they arrived.
  10. Divide the content up into Start / Middle  / End – much like you information architecture, it should have structure.
  11. Body content should always match the title / description / headings.

Return to Top | Body Content Principles | Opening Paragraphs | Main Body Content | Closing Paragraphs | Images & Rich Media


Basic Body Content – Opening Paragraphs

Purpose:

  • Initial paragraphs set the scene for a page and often can provide a quick summary of the page contents – don’t leave the meat of the content for a “ta-dah!” reveal at the end.
  • A good opening paragraph should confirm to the user that clicking to the page was worth their time and carrying on reading it will also be worth their time.
  • A really good opening paragraph encourages the user to carry on and read the page in depth.

Guidelines:

  1. Opening paragraphs can be brief. Two or three sentences equating to 50-200 words is often enough.
  2. Summarise the content of the page.
  3. Use relevant keywords once, early on or twice depending on length, but not repeatedly.
  4. Bullets are good, but they are sometimes best left for body content.
  5. They should be very closely related to the title and meta description of the page – they should deliver on the promise of those items.

Return to Top | Body Content Principles | Opening Paragraphs | Main Body Content | Closing Paragraphs | Images & Rich Media


Basic Body Content – Main Body Paragraphs

Purpose:

  • These are the meat and potatoes of body content.
  • Main body paragraph ought to answer the user’s query effectively,
  • These paragraphs should whatever information they need to take the next step in their user journey.
  • These paragraphs should also give the user a reason to tak the next step in their journey, be it an onward click, sign-up or share.

Guidelines:

  1. Use interesting opening phrases, comments or bullets.
  2. Use keywords judiciously and naturally.
  3. There should be plenty of opportunity to the closely related terms, synonyms and alternative terms within the block of text, or bullets.
  4. Length should be appropriate. For a very simple topic 800 words is over done. For a complicated topic it is under done. Use an 800 word main paragraph block as a guideline. They could be 200 – 2000 words in reality.
  5. If an article is becoming too lengthy, it is probably diverging away from the core topic and should be split into separate pages.
  6. Use HTML headings – break up text to stop word-blindness and to enable users to scan for information.
  7. Include optimised internal links to other similarly useful and relevant content on the site.
  8. Break points up into bullets and lists to enable users to quickly trawl through and digest information.
  9. Write interesting closing phrases, comments or bullets.

Return to Top | Body Content Principles | Opening Paragraphs | Main Body Content | Closing Paragraphs | Images & Rich Media


Basic Body Content – Closing Paragraphs 

Purpose:

  • The purpose of closing paragraphs of body content is to summarise and confirm the information imparted to the user.
  • They should also be a strong part of moving the user to the next stage of their journey.
  • They should reassure the user that they made good decisions in clicking to the page and reading the content.

Guidelines:

  1. Sum up the page – effectively repeating the introduction.
  2. Be brief, but don’t end with “that’s it!” or similar.
  3. Recap any key points that need to be reinforced.
  4. Keyword usage should be natural, and if written well, should occur naturally.
  5. Aim for 50-200 words, but do not slavishly follow this.
  6. Move the user to the next part of their journey – the user should be convinced enough not to hit the back button, or swipe back.

Return to Top | Body Content Principles | Opening Paragraphs | Main Body Content | Closing Paragraphs | Images & Rich Media


Basic Body Content – Images & Rich Media 

Purpose:

  • Images and other media can often reinforce the textual content, or summarise, or even give a handy way to better digest the information.
  • They can also break up long pages, giving some eye relief.
  • They can also give added relevancy to the content of the page.

Guidelines:

  1. Use images wisely. Even the longest articles should only need two or three. If you need more, your article is probably too long.
  2. They should reinforce the content you’ve created.
  3. If needed, they should summarise information on the page – like an infographic.
  4. Avoid stock / generic images, even for headers. They add little to the user experience beyond looking pretty.
  5. Name and ALT tag the files in line with the topic.
  6. Optimise file sizes and use a good CDN, or allow lengthy caching, if speed is a particular issue in your vertical.
  7. Follow the same theory for video. Note that videos should also exist on their own pages.
  8. Don’t bother optimising template images, it doesn’t add much at all.

Return to Top | Body Content Principles | Opening Paragraphs | Main Body Content | Closing Paragraphs | Images & Rich Media


Last modified: October 21, 2018