How We Create an Effective SEO Editing Process

Table of Contents

Helpful summary

Overview: We emphasize that SEO editing is essential for improving content's performance on search engines. This involves tailoring existing content to better suit Google's algorithms, thus boosting SERP rankings and traffic inflow.

Why you can trust us: We, at Embarque, demonstrated our SEO editing expertise through our work with MentorCruise. We helped MentorCruise increase their search traffic to over 2 million visits per year, achieve a 1,600% growth in annual revenue over three years, and boost monthly trials by 1,000% in 18 months​.

Why this is important: We recognize the importance of increasing topical relevance, breadth, and depth in content, key elements for Google's algorithm preferences. This approach expands and deepens the content's reach and insights on search engines.

Action points: We advise refining content to target precise keywords and queries, extending the scope of related topics, and enhancing the depth of topic exploration.

Further research: We suggest exploring advanced SEO techniques and tools to continuously evolve content in line with changing search engine algorithms.

Need help in SEO editing?

Content lies at the heart of any effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, so what do you do when the SEO content you write just isn't producing the results you need? That's where SEO editing comes in.

In this guide, we'll be covering everything you need to know about the principles, processes, and benefits of SEO editing so that you can begin to implement it in the pursuit of content that is better optimized to rank highly on search engine pages.

Why listen to us?

SEO editing is important for small businesses seeking visibility in the digital world. Without it, even the best content can remain unseen. We, at Embarque, have a proven track record of conducting an effective SEO editing process for small businesses. For instance, our work with MentorCruise, a tech mentorship platform, demonstrates our ability to unlock potential. Initially struggling with SEO, their partnership with us resulted in over 1600% annual revenue growth and a surge in traffic to more than 2 million visits annually​​​​​​.

Next, our strategy for Cleanvoice, an AI-powered SaaS, exemplifies our expertise in a competitive market. Facing intense competition and lacking a solid SEO strategy, our focused approach increased their monthly SEO traffic significantly, achieving a 7.9% click-through rate. This success was due to our emphasis on trending topics, content optimization, and continuous strategy updates.

Understanding Google's Algorithms 

The complete evolution of Google's 'retrieve and rank' algorithm iterations is far too long to describe in detail here, but one thing needs to be made crystal clear: Google is becoming increasingly semantic. That means Google is getting better and better at analysing content as a human would.

Rather than simply assigning a value based on keyword density and placement, since the development of the Knowledge Graph in 2012, Google is beginning to approximate subjective content valuations based on things like content relevance, context, breadth, and depth. Keyword stuffing isn't enough to get you on the first search engine results page. Your sentences have to make sense, and Google knows whether your content carries meaning or not.

With the 2019 BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) update, Google's algorithms were equipped with the ability to more effectively understand intent and conversational context, in the form of long-tail phrases and questions. Google can connect users with webpages that address their queries even when user input terms aren't found on the page.

What does this mean for SEO editing? For starters, it gives editors the freedom to respond to problems within their content in more informative, interesting, unique, and engaging ways. However, with this freedom comes uncertainty. As well discuss in detail below, the process of SEO editing is no longer as simple as sprinkling in a few strategic keywords.

What is SEO editing?

SEO editing refers to the process of editing written work to make it more appealing to Google's content crawling algorithms, thus increasing SERP ranking and traffic inflow.

The ultimate goal is to convince Google's crawling algorithms that a piece of content is worth ranking highly on SERPs. There are several factors that SEO editors need to consider when working to improve their content's value to both readers and Google's crawling algorithms:

Overall Value

Value might seem like a fairly subjective word to use here, but there isn't a better one. Think of it this way, a webpage is only worth suggesting to Google users if it addresses the query that summoned the page in the first place. A page's value (to readers and to Google) is how well it achieves this. Optimized content needs to be comprehensive, otherwise, it will be lacking in value.

Google is what's known as a semantic search engine. This means it is well-equipped to understand natural language and phrasing patterns. Simply throwing in a few strategic keywords isn't going to fool the system. SEO editing needs to add real, honest value.

Google favors content that demonstrates a high level of expertise, presents information authoritatively, and maintains the trust of its readers. As an SEO editor, it's your job to bolster the E-A-T—Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness of your content. 

This can be achieved by ensuring that your content is well-researched and cites reputable sources. Additionally, consider adding author bios that showcase the credentials of the content creators, and make sure your website's about page, contact information, and privacy policies are easily accessible. These elements contribute to a trustworthy environment that both users and search engines value. 

Let’s take a look at our work with MentorCruise, where we managed to achieve significant 16x year-on-year revenue growth through SEO optimization and quality SEO Editing.  

Initially, MentorCruise struggled with an ineffective SEO strategy, leading to suboptimal traffic and revenue. We implemented a new approach, focusing on low-competition, high-volume keywords, targeting key customer segments, and optimizing old content. This strategy led to a substantial increase in search traffic, monthly trials, and annual revenue for MentorCruise. This case underscores the importance of targeted SEO practices and the value of optimizing content for both search engines and user engagement.

Keyword Density

That said, mentioning relevant keywords still helps Google understand your content better. A page's SEO power is partially dependant on whether or not keywords and phrases have been repeated often enough to be indexed by Google's content crawlers. According to most estimates, the ideal keyword density for an article or blog post is between 1% and 2% - meaning once or twice per 100 words of content. A big part of SEO editing is updating content to optimize its keyword density for target queries.

Internal Linking

Editing old articles to rank better on search engines also involves creating an interlinking structure that is easy to crawl, provides a good user experience and makes sense. This means:

Internally linking together pages that contain content that is relevant to each other. For example, these Amazon guides from MentorCruise hugely benefit from being linked to each other, as readers can go from one to the other. They pass important SEO juice to each other, which helps bring their search rankings up: 

Topical Relevance

Through SEO editing, you need to convince Google that a piece of content is highly relevant to its target keyword or query and what search users want. Generally, this means optimizing the piece for one primary target query or keyword and 3-5 related long-tail queries or key phrases. These long-tail target queries should be located in headings which, together, form a rough outline of the piece. To illustrate, here's an outline from the top ranking article for the keyword 'content strategy':

It's not just about incorporating the right keywords–it's about ensuring that the content meets the needs and expectations of the searcher. Beyond keyword research and optimization, it's crucial to address the “why” behind a user's search. 

User intent dictates whether they're looking for information, attempting to make a purchase, or seeking a specific website. As you refine content, consider how well it aligns with the searcher's intent and edit accordingly. This may mean rephrasing titles and headings to capture the essence of the search, reordering content to answer critical questions upfront, or adding call-to-action elements that aid in navigation for transactional queries. By tailoring your content to the user's intent, you improve its topical relevance and enhance its potential to rank higher in search results.

Topical Breadth

A major facet of SEO editing is improving the informational breadth of a piece of content. This boils down to covering a wide range of related topics that address questions users don't even realize they have yet. Google loves broad content because it vastly simplifies the process of recommending content to users in response to queries. 

Breadth can often be established by introducing keywords in a variety of different contexts that users are likely to search for. For instance, the outline provided above delves into content strategy in a variety of ways.

Topical Depth

topical breadth goes hand in hand with topical depth, which refers to how deeply you go into a topic. Using examples, offering explanations, providing statistics and citations - all of these go a long way towards convincing Google's algorithm that a piece of content fully covers the stated topic or query.

Multimedia and Visual Content Optimization

As various SaaS SEO agencies have learned, text alone won't suffice to capture user attention or maximize SEO potential. SEO editing must therefore extend to multimedia elements such as images, videos, and interactive content. 

To ensure that these elements contribute to your SEO goals, follow best practices for image optimization, such as compressing files to shorten load times and using descriptive, keyword-focused alt text to improve accessibility and search engine indexing. 

For videos, consider adding transcripts and optimizing video titles and descriptions. Remember that responsive design is crucial–all multimedia content should be displayed correctly on devices of varying sizes. This attention to detail not only enhances user engagement but also signals to search engines the richness and relevance of your content, which can bolster your rankings.

How to edit your content for SEO

1. Have the right tools.

At its core, SEO is all about acquiring, interpreting, and adapting to data. SEO editing is no different, and having a deep bench of tools will make the more technical aspects of the process more intuitive. Luckily, there are a ton of tools available that help with various aspects of the SEO editing process. Here are a few examples:

 2. Structure your edit around data.

‍The SEO editing process begins by seeking out data to use when structuring your edits. This means checking on GSC to see what keywords your page is currently ranking for and then selecting 2 to 5 keywords or phrases that you want to rank higher for. These will form the foundation of your optimization.

Once you have these selected, analyze the piece for things like keyword density and placement. With regards to keyword placement specifically, take note of the variations and contexts that keywords appear in. Are they relevant to the topic? Do they add depth and breadth? Questions like these will help structure the editing process and facilitate improvement.

3. Research top-ranking SERP competitors.

With your foundational research complete, it's time to move on to competitor research. The goal here isn't to copy your competitors - it's to expand on their good ideas while filling the gaps in knowledge they've left open.

Frase is a fantastic tool for competitor research because it automatically compiles a list of competing pages based on the content you'd like to rank for. From there, it analyzes what question these pages answer and provides insights into what information users might still be looking for. Here's how it looks like for this article being written:

4. Reoptimize your content.

Once all the research is out of the way, you should have a clear idea of what is holding your content back in SERPs. If your That means the actual editing should be relatively easy!

Here, it's important to note that SEO editing is almost always more than just editing. Improving a piece of content will almost always involve adding additional points, inserting quality backlinks, or explanations that lead to greater breadth or depth. 

Frase helps you with making your content more relevant to what searchers want by assigning an SEO score to your content based on the top-ranking pages for that query. The higher your SEO score is, the more relevant your content is, and hopefully the higher your chances are of ranking for that target query. This system almost feels like a game where you feel compelled to reach a higher score.

5. Add internal links

Last but not least, remember to add internal links to the updated content AND to direct other relevant pieces of content to this newly edited webpage. After all, links are the way that websites interact online and having an effective internal linking structure can maximise the chances of your content ranking higher for relevant queries.

When should you edit an existing article or create a new one?

Let’s get our definitions straight:

Obviously, all three practices overlap extensively in their goals. So, if you're trying to rank higher on SERPs, are you better off editing existing content or creating new content from scratch?

SEO editing is better when...

The content ranks poorly BUT is engaging. A low bounce rate and a high average time on page are evidence that people are getting value from your content, even if it's ranking poorly in SERPs. In this case, SEO editing will allow you to improve your page rank without risking the value that the page is already providing.

The page wasn't made for SEO reasons, but is getting search traffic.

SEO rewriting is better when

The old content almost acts like a placeholder text. Sometimes when businesses are in the early stages of development they produce some content that is far from optimal. If the page is starting to rank, consider rewriting the whole article but keeping the same domain URL.

The content ranks poorly AND isn't engaging. This is the opposite case to the one mentioned above. If your content is ranking poorly and visit analysis hints that people aren't engaged when they do find your page, it's probably time for a rewrite.

SEO writing is better when...

The content is ranking for the wrong keywords. When content is ranking for the wrong keywords, it's symptomatic of a much larger error in the keyword or topic research stage. Usually, the best way forward is to create a new page that is more relevant to the query.

The content isn't capitalizing on lucrative keywords. If you stumble upon some potentially lucrative keywords through GSC, it may be time to create more relevant content to target them.

Best practices of the SEO editing process you should always keep in mind

After determining the appropriate course of action—whether to edit, rewrite, or write fresh content—the next step is to refine the SEO editing process itself. Below are some of the best practices to ensure your efforts yield optimal results:

1. Prioritize User Experience (UX)

SEO isn't just about keywords and backlinks–it's also about how users interact with your content. Ensure your pages load quickly, are easy to navigate, and provide a seamless experience on all devices. Use clear headings, short paragraphs, and bullet points to improve readability.

2. Monitor Search Performance Regularly

SEO is an ongoing process. Regularly check your content's performance using tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Pay attention to metrics such as organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversions. This data can reveal insights into when it's time to refresh your content.

3. Incorporate Feedback Loops

Gather feedback from user comments, social media interactions, and customer inquiries. Use this information to understand what your audience values and to identify areas for improvement. Editing your content based on user feedback can significantly enhance its relevance and appeal.

4. Stay Informed on Algorithm Changes

Search engines frequently update their algorithms, which can directly impact your content's visibility and performance. It's crucial to stay informed about these changes to adapt your SEO strategies effectively. 

For businesses or individuals who find this challenging, seeking assistance from SEO experts or content writing agencies can be a wise investment. These professionals dedicate their time to understanding the nuances of algorithm updates and can provide strategic guidance or manage the SEO editing process for you. Partnering with an SEO agency ensures that your content continues to perform well, even as search engine landscapes evolve. 

If you're looking to navigate the complexities of SEO with ease, contact Embarque today. Our team is here to support you in refining your content strategy to meet the latest SEO standards. Let's work together to keep your content ahead of the curve.

5. Emphasize Content Originality

In the pursuit of SEO, never compromise on the originality of your content. Duplicate content can lead to penalties from search engines. Always strive for unique insights, original research, and a fresh perspective in your writing to stand out from the competition.

6. Consistently Produce Quality Content

While editing existing content is crucial, consistently producing new, high-quality content is equally important. Fresh content keeps your website dynamic and provides more opportunities to rank for various keywords. It also encourages repeat visits and enhances the overall authority of your site. Strive to maintain a balance between optimizing existing pages and adding new, relevant content that aligns with your audience's interests and search behaviors.

Our work with CleanVoice, an AI-powered podcasting tool, highlights the importance of targeting emerging topics and keywords in creating fresh content. Our strategy focused on identifying and creating content around AI-related trending topics, like ChatGPT, which were not yet heavily contested. 

This approach, combined with continuous market analysis and content updates, led to a 300% increase in monthly SEO traffic, click-through rates, and overall online visibility for CleanVoice. This case exemplifies how fresh, trend-focused content can effectively enhance a website's SEO performance in a competitive niche.

At Embarque, we’re an SEO content writing agency for online startups, including SaaS, freelancers, agencies, job boards, and marketplaces. We can help you rewrite your content! SEO editing is a powerful tool when it comes to getting the most value out of your content. The principles and practices involved are relatively easy to understand and implement, and the rewards for doing so are frequently on par with writing SEO content from scratch. It's important to understand the process of SEO editing so that you can recognize opportunities to capitalize on its benefits in the pursuit of better content.

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