The secrets of creating great SEO content by using metadata
Metadata is an important part of writing articles. It helps search engines to determine what your post is about, and therefore show it to the right audience. In other words: improve your SEO (search engine optimization). It will increase your visitor count, and with that your revenue.
What kind of metadata is there?
Keywords, perhaps better thought of as Focus Words or Theme Words, are the most important words you use in your text. Keywords describe what your content is about. Keywords are the words people use in search engines. They are important because they will guide people to your website who are searching for those keywords. However, the concept of adding keyword meta tags in HTML is essentially useless, as most search engines ignore them.
You can use categories to divide your content. It will help visitors find the content they are interested in, and it will help google to guide your visitors to the right page of your website. By creating clear categories you’ll also prevent different pages competing. For example: if you got a site about flowers and you put the word ‘flower’ in each one of your posts, your posts will compete when someone searches for flowers. Instead, you use the type of flower or the different kinds of bouquets and hang them all under the category ‘flower’.
In many ways, meta tags are like categories: they both help visitors and search engines to find the content they are looking for. But where categories divide your articles into different groups, meta tags have no hierarchy. They describe your content on a micro level, where categories describe it on a macro level. To continue with the example of the website about flowers: A categories could be ‘bouquets’, a tag could be ‘Wedding arrangements’ and ‘Funeral arrangements’ for example.
How to find the right Focus Words
These are the steps to find the right keywords for your content:
Step #1 brainstorm
What is your website about? What are the words you would use when you were looking for a site like the one you’ve got? Are there any synonyms? Scientific classifications?
Put them in an excel sheet or google sheets, you’re going to need them later.
Step #2 Similar websites
Know your competition. Use the keywords you came up with in the first step and see what websites pop up first. Open them, browse and pay attention to words used in the title and the first and last sentences of each paragraph. Are there any words you missed? Add them to your keyword list.
Step #3 Google keyword planner
There are more websites that can help you find the right keywords, but Google keyword planner is one of the most used websites to find the right keywords. To use google keyword planner go to Google Adwords, click on ‘Tools’ and choose ‘Keyword Planner’.
In this example, I used the keyword ‘flowers’. You can see that that search word was used 1M-10M times per month on average. Not bad.
Below this, you can see what search words are also used in combination with the word ‘flower’. ‘Flower service’, ‘Flower USA’ and ‘Flowers for you’ are searched for less than just the word ‘flower’ and a higher competition classification. Add the relevant ones to your list of keywords. And add the average number of searches after each of your keywords. Also, write down how high your competition is according to google. Use 1 for High, 2 for Medium and 3 for Low. This way it will be easier to sort them.
#4 Determine what keywords to use
Now you’ve got a list with keywords and the number of times each keyword is searched for.
You want to use keywords many people are looking for, so you’ll bring as many visitors to your site as possible.
You also want the least amount of competition, this increases your chances of your website showing up on the first page of Google.
Now create your list like this: keyword, average monthly keyword searches, competition
|Keyword||Avg. monthly searches||Competition|
|Flowers||1,000,000||2 – Medium|
|Flower service||100||1 – High|
|Flowers USA||100||1 – High|
|Roses||100,000||3 – Low|
|Tulips||100,000||3 – Low|
Now sort your list. First to Average monthly searches, than to Competition. You want the keywords with the most searches, but the lowest competition as your primary keywords.
Off course you want to use as many keywords as possible. Just make sure your primary keywords have a place in the title, subtitles and the first and last sentences of your paragraphs. As these are the primary places for search engines to look for important keywords.
How to use Categories
Like I wrote before: categories are meant to group your articles so search engines and visitors can easily find the relevant articles. But how can you effectively categorize your content?
Step #1 List your articles
This way you’ve got a nice overview of what articles you’ve created. Also, include topics for future articles if you have them. This will make it easier to place them in a category once you’ve finished them
Step #2 Use your list of keywords
These are the words people will be searching for when trying to find the right articles. So keep them close to draw inspiration from.
Step #3 Make a mind map
Mind mapping is a very effective way to visualize information. Write down words on your mindmap you think will make great categories. Take the list of important keywords into account here. And place the titles of the different articles with the categories you think they belong. If you’ve got a lot of articles that can be placed in the same two or three categories, consider merging those categories into one. If you’ve got categories that have none or only one article, consider scratching that one and/or broaden another category so that lonely article can fit with a bunch of others.
Just play around with it a bit until you are happy with the results.
How to use meta tags
As categories focus on grouping your articles, meta tags focus on the details.
Step #1 Use your keywords
The list of keywords/Focus Words you made is also very important when you create meta tags as visitors and search engines such as Google use these to find the content they are looking for. You’ll use these keywords as meta tags for your articles.
Step #2 Assign meta tags to your articles
Grab your articles and go through them one by one with your list of keywords/Focus Words at hand. Determine what keywords describe your article best, and choose the keywords with the highest number of average searches and the lowest competition. Don’t use too many meta tags in your articles. This won’t increase the number of visitors, and can even decrease this. Aim for around 5 tags. This is enough to describe your content, and not too much so you’ll confuse visitors and search engines.
Also, don’t use the singular and plural form of a word, pick one. So not ‘flower’, ‘flowers’, ‘rose’, ‘roses’, but ‘flower’, ‘rose’.
Have fun creating your own amazing SEO content!