The purpose of every site on the internet is to attract visitors, and the most common way for a site to be found is through the use of a search engine.

Generally speaking, the higher up in the search results that your website appears, the more likely someone is to click on it. The process required to gain better results placement is known as SEO – Search Engine Optimization.

SEO content is information that is presented on your website in such a way as to be deemed useful by the search engines.

What is SEO content like over time?

A brief history of SEO content will show that it is intertwined with keywords. SEO keywords are words or phrases that are specifically chosen to represent your website, with the hope that visitors come to your site by searching for these phrases.

If you run a website that sells clothes, you might choose “shirts” as a keyword to target. In the good old days of the internet, the easiest way to rank for a particular phrase would be to repeat it as many times as possible within a single page – those days are long gone, but sites still exist where a certain phrase or keyword may be repeated 20 times or more in a few hundred words.

In a few exceptional cases, this is perfectly natural – but in the majority of cases, this is known as “keyword stuffing” and is no longer an appropriate technique to use.

As the software behind search engines has developed, the modern website with SEO content will still contain keywords, but not to the detriment of the information being provide. AI systems now try to understand the meaning and intent behind a page, and providing clear information with naturally occurring keywords that add value to the page is more important than repeating the same words over and over.

The site that provides the most useful and clear information will now outrank the site that just repeats itself.

SEO onpage and offpage factors

A more recent development in ranking algorithms is the use of different onpage and offpage factors. An onpage factor is entirely within the control of the owner of the website, and would originally be purely based on the content. Modern onpage factors include page loading speed and the availability of content on mobile devices.

Offpage factors include anything that is not on the site itself – the most commonly cited factor being backlinks. These are links from other websites to your own site, and it was once seen that the more backlinks you had, the more important and relevant your site was. This was because it was assumed that people who found your content useful and interesting would link back to your site – however, it soon became clear that this could be manipulated and sites with hundreds of links from spam sites became common.

The quality of a backlink is now an important factor for ranking. One link from a high quality page, such as an educational or government site, will be worth far more than 100 links from low quality pages.

Building the Best Website You Can

Using SEO content in your website still means that you will need to perform keyword research, if only to find out what phrases are relevant to your church right now. While you may have a great knowledge of your church, you may not know what people search for.

You need outsider knowledge rather than insider knowledge, and that is where keyword research can help. If you tailor your content to provide benefit to your site visitors, you’ll rank much higher than a site that assumes everyone knows everything already.

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