Posted on Jul 15, 2015

Is SEO Content Different from Regular Content?

Is SEO content different from regular content? Here is the short answer – yes, but no. Hopefully that is not too frustrating an answer – as the poet Marianne Moore once said: “It is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing.”

Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with the middle. With SEO in particular, you don’t want to think of content as being dramatically different from regular content. Here’s why:

SEO Is Content, Content Is SEO

Let’s tease that out: If you want your content to generate relevant website traffic from Google it needs SEO. At the same time, your SEO strategy needs content. Does that mean you should treat a product page on your website, or the contact page, the same as you treat a blog post? Of course not, as the pages of content on your website perform different functions.

But there are principles that you should apply to all the content on your website, although how you apply those principles is a question of priority.

The answer “yes, but no” is hopefully now a little less frustrating.

Getting The Priorities Right

Every page and piece of content that you produce will broadly fit into one of these two categories:

  1. Action Content – designed to prompt an action – make a phone call, make a purchase, or sign up for a newsletter
  2. Shareable Content – designed to be shared

There’s a lot of crossover between the two so it’s not surprising that the same fundamental principles apply when creating each type:

  • Well written
  • Good metadata
  • Keyword orientated

A page that you regard as “SEO content” might have highly optimized metadata for a specific keyword, but it should be written well and be relevant to the user. Similarly, you might spend considerable time crafting a blog post that provides valuable information on a topic that’s better than anything else written on the topic, but you should still think about keywords and you should carefully write your metadata.

Well Written

Everything starts from creating well written, relevant content. Old SEO practices (like keyword stuffing or producing shallow content) no longer work. Whether you are writing your About Us page, or you’re creating a blog post, make sure to focus on quality.

Quality content encourages your visitors to take the desired action and it encourages them to share your content (especially if it has unique insights or a different perspective).

Good MetaData

Metadata helps search engines understand what your page is about. Your metadata is also displayed to Google’s users in the search results pages, so it plays a crucial role in encouraging clicks to your website.

If you want people to find your content in search, metadata is important whether you are creating action content or shareable content.

Keyword Orientated

Keywords are important in all your pages because they help Google match your page with people conducting search queries.

But there is a crucial difference in the keywords of action content and shareable content. The difference is keyword intent. Here’s an example of two keywords to illustrate two different intents:

  • yoga tips for beginners
  • yoga classes in Chicago

Both keywords could conceivably have a place on a website about yoga, but the intention of the searcher in each example is quite different. The intention of the first term is to find out information, while the second term is more likely for someone who is ready to join a class.

Conduct keyword research when you’re writing content, but also think about the intention of the searcher in order to craft your content correctly.

When you’re writing content for the web, head down the center lane of the SEO highway. You might lean slightly to the left or the right depending on the type of content you are producing, but the fundamental principles remain the same.