Learn how to produce blogs form our SEO Cape Town blog guide
Learn blog writing in 11 min
SEO Cape Town Writing Guide for Travel Blogs:
SEO is easy in standard implementation but difficult when it comes to the strategy before implementation. This lesson will be about what is necessary for you to complete work tasks for your own blog. This guide form part of our SEO Cape Town Guide series. So I will touch on the most relevant points to you and we will advance the depth of the SEO as we progress. SEO is choosing keywords or keyword phrases that are relative to your website or posts and then seeding them in the text, image file names, video titles or files names.
So basically SEO is about seeding the correct keyword, in the most natural way but enough times and enough depth of structure to grab googles robots or program that scans for SERP (Search engine results page) ranking. This SEO Cape Town guide will get you up to scratch.
Google sees keywords such as “SEO – Cape Town” and “SEO Cape Town” as the same keywords, as it does not factor “-“ as a letter or change to the keyword. That is why when we save images for SEO we use hyphens to break up names of image files. An example: “ seo-company-italy.jpg” would be a file name when saving an image to upload on the website.
Tags tell Google Chrome or your chosen browser to display the text as a major heading (h1) or secondary heading (h2) or third tier heading (h3). These tags in pages show depth of content to Google for SEO purposes. All our content whether for blog post or page must have tags to show the depth of keywords. These are important for the Panda Algorithm, read about Google Updates and SEO here.
You will also notice that I do not keyword-stuff in our SEO Cape Town guide blogs. An example of keyword stuffing for the keyword “internships” would be:
‘Our internship Europe program is great for internships in Europe. The internship-Europe program will inspire all who wanted an internship-Europe program to see Europe. Internship-Europe programs are the best decision you can make!’
Above, we see the keyword is put in the text as many times as possible and more than necessary. Google scans for keyword stuffing, so that is why it is important to creatively find ways to include keywords in the text that are natural to read and serve a linguistic purpose. This is where the art of writing comes in SEO.
SEO Cape Town: Keyword Density:
Use wordcounter.net to check your keyword density. Keyword density is percentage or ratio of the amount of the keyword phrase broken down into individual keywords appearing against the amount of regular text. We work on the following percentages:
Main anchor page – 5%
Sub page – 4%
Blog – 3%
You will be notified of what type of page you will be creating from the above 3 options closer to the time of the task.
Note on SEO Cape Town writing style:
Who are we targeting? We create personas as imaginary people or characters that represent our targeted segments or consumers. For one of our university service clients, we can use the following as a simple example of a persona:
Bas: Bas is a third-year student who craves adventure. He also wants to conquer the World! He can’t wait for Sky Dive and Bungee jumps in South Africa, the land of adventure! He also is going places in his career, he chooses the largest multinationals and is natural born leader and with his leading private business school behind him, the world is his oyster! He is a natural winner!
Now from the above persona, we can decide what content would appeal to such a character that is relative to your brand essence and content pillars we touched on in lesson 1.
In traditional writing, you begin with an introduction, main body of writing and then a conclusion. On the web, we write things the other way around, as people scan the internet and only read the whole article once they’ve identified value in the article. There is just too much information on the internet so you must structure your article so that the conclusion or main value proposition is in the beginning and easily identifiable. People won’t waste their time reading your article if they don’t immediately know what it is about.
The best structure translates to meaning that our title and the first paragraph should accurately convey or explain the entire article in one quick glance, like an alluring summary. Imagine an up-side-down triangle, where the main points must be given in the first part of the article, the information that is related directly to those points and only then do we add the extra information that is less relevant but still related to the topic.
Go to cnn.com and click on their article, notice how the main value proposition or point of the article is always immediately in the title and the first few sentences, that way people can decide whether they want to spend a few minutes reading it.
People first skim the internet before they read, we don’t have time to read everything. Be aware of yourself doing this when looking for information on a webpage. We, therefore, have to write things with catchy headings.
We also break up the text from large paragraphs to short paragraphs of up to 4 sentences and even add colourful headings (h1, h2, h3 tags) and bullet points to help the reader skim read or get all the relevant information at a glance. Also, the tone of our text is ultimately to get the reader to do something which in our case is to click a”Apply now” for the free Skype.
I do not want those “blah blah blah” but relevant information that coerces of influences the reader to convert or click “Apply Now”. Blah blah blah just increases the bounce rate(when people leave a website after just a few seconds) which in turn brings down our SEO in Google’s eyes as our content is obviously not relevant if someone just leaves alms instantly after a few seconds after landing on a page.
Remember the BMAT model, We are trying to change the user’s behaviour to change to what we want them to do, in our case click “Apply Now” on the webpage. Your article should be written in a way that matches this objective.
What is a value proposition? It is basically what you offer the user in order to affect their behaviour.
You should ask yourself each time you begin writing a page, subpage or blog:
“What is the value to the targeted online user in what I am writing and how does it align with the website’s objective?”
This is used to motivate the user ultimately to fulfill the objective of the page or overall website objective. An example would be creating a blog about rental cars while on an internship in South Africa. An intern who is planning to go to South Africa will find this information valuable. Therefore, I will mention in the first few sentences and title that this is what the article is about. The value proposition will motivate the user to read more of that article as they find it valuable and now know what they are reading about.
As more and more companies learn SEO, Google will look towards quality and authenticity of writing as the next signal for ranking. Therefore we need to write content that is firstly Relevant (has value), Authentic and Emotive (motivates the user to fulfill our objective).
Imagine you writing content for an insurance company website, if you joked around and wrote the text in a comical format people would obviously not convert to the insurance websites objective as insurance is a serious part of our lives and we spend lots of money on it. It also only pays out when something goes wrong, therefore a serious tone is needed. People wouldn’t trust the insurance company if the content was written in a joker or “funny guy” tone.
Always write your content in the tone that is relevant to the target group of users or personas mentioned earlier, in Go Placements’ case, we are focusing on young interns, who want to travel the world and further their studies and career through internships. Refer to lesson 1 to make sure your tone is aligned with our brand essence, content pillars and our target users of our content marketing strategy.
The tone should also gently motivate the user to convert or fulfill the website objective.
Please refer to the B=M(a=t)AT section in the introduction you received.
Ultimately we want the user to click on “Apply Now” after reading your main webpage, sub-page or blog, that is the behaviour we are trying to manipulate, this called a conversion – the user fulfills our websites objective. To contact us for a FREE Skype, his is our ultimate objective and results in them becoming clients. The entire design, even pictures selected your contribute to motivating the user to fulfill our objective. The tone, we mentioned earlier, of your writing must contribute to this.
The most important trigger on any page is the call-to-action (CTA):
Remember the B=M(a=t)AT model. The trigger or call-to-action must trigger the user after reading your valuable written article to change their behaviour to what we want them to do: Click on “Apply Now!”
SEO Cape Town Guide to Images:
As mentioned, Google can’t “see” images yet. The crawler or robot scans images names and alt text labels to work out what the image is about. Therefore it is extremely important to add the keyword phrase in each and every image. An example: “ internship-europe-italy-sea.jpg” would be a file name when saving an image to upload on the website.
SEO Cape Town guide to Video:
Videos linked to your website are the fastest way to reach number 1 on the SERP. Once again like with images, Google can’t “see” the video or watch it like a human so it is crucial that the keyword phrase be inserted in the first few words or the title and that there is a lengthy description of what the video is written on the YouTube description area on YouTube itself. The description should be at least 500 words.
The danger of duplicate content:
When you copy and paste text from other websites or only minimally edit it, Google’s crawler programs that analyse or crawl websites can detect this plagiarism. Google will drop a website in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) if duplicate content is detected. This is why the content creator must always work hard to write and explain concepts int heir own words, even replacing a few words in a sentence can be detected. Go Placements scans all our websites for duplicate content regularly, therefore we can also detect if you have merely copied content, this is a serious offense.
An SEO Cape Town checklist:
1.Is my keyword or keyword phrase in the first few words of my title and first paragraph?
2.Does it match the prescribed density? 3,4 or 5 % – wordcounter.net
3. Is my language level at the correct standard checked on wordcounter.net?
4.Is my main value proposition in the first few sentences and title?
5. Does the tone of my writing match the persona I’m writing for?
6. Does my text contain information and are my images relative to the content pillars we identified in Lesson 1 about content marketing?
7. Is my writing and content valuable to our targeted persona?