When we spend time and money creating great content, whether in the form of a blog, ebook, infographic, video, image or quiz, we want that content to accomplish a goal and ultimately, continue to produce results even after a promotion budget has been depleted. One way to get the most out of your efforts is to optimize your content for search engines.
What Is SEO?
SEO is the use of tactics and strategies with the primary goal of moving a page or website up in the search engine rankings, appearing more often for specific keywords. Having your content rank higher in the search engine results pages will lead to more click throughs, visibility of a wider audience, more leads, increase in sales and higher revenue.
How to Increase Your Search Engine Rankings
Take some time to understand Google’s Algorithm updates and ranking factors. The top ranking factors I want to highlight include RankBrain, internal and external links, and quality content.
- RankBrain: a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that helps Google process some of its search results, especially rare or one-of-a-kind queries. Did you know 15% or 500 billion of Google searches per day are unique? Meaning the search term or phrase had NEVER been searched before. RankBrain helps Google apply contextual comprehension to produce broader search results and better meet searcher intent.
- Internal & External Linking: Having inbound and outbound links to and from your site has several benefits including increased perception of authority, improved user experience, incentivized inbound links, and increased ranking potential.
- Quality Content: Your content should be unique, appeal to other sites to attract inbound links, be accessible, user-friendly, have correct spelling and grammar, and be valuable to the reader.
How to Optimize Your Content
There are several strategies for optimizing content. This article will concentrate on these four: keyword research & audience targeting, optimizing metadata, updating site architecture, and improving page load speed, all used to create high-quality content that appeals to search engines and your customers.
Identifying and Using Keywords Around Audience Intent
The first step is to conduct keyword research. Understand what people are looking for, what words are more commonly used as it relates to your topic, determine how high the search volume is, and what kind of audience you are targeting. Your topic will inform your selection of keywords and you must write to your audience’s intent.
- Who is your target audience?
- What do they need?
- Why are they seeking your product or service?
- What are their common objections?
- How can you help them?
Once you know that information, it will be easier to formulate the questions they might ask. These are how you build your keywords and keyword phrases. Then, you create content around those unanswered questions.
Your content should be actionable, valuable, and ultimately, have consumers’ best interest in mind. If your product or service can help consumers with an issue or make their life easier, you need to find a way to tell that story. Keywords will come naturally and the better the content is, the more it will be shared and linked to. High quality content will automatically rank higher in the search engines.
- Optimizing Metadata:
Metadata is descriptive text in the search result listing that describes what someone can expect from the article before they click through. It’s your opportunity to summarize your article and let the user know exactly what your article is about. Plus, it allows you to give Google a quick summary for easy crawling.
- Updating Site Architecture:
Updating your site structure and navigation can improve the user experience. If the path taken to find relevant information on your site is intuitive, this will help increase click through rates and encourage the user to take the actions you want. Having a solid site structure can also make it easier for Google to crawl and index your site resulting in Google rewarding your site with site link listings in the search engine results pages.
- Improving Page Load Speed:
Although your site’s page load speed doesn’t affect your Google ranking, it will affect your conversion rates and can contribute to a decrease in consumer confidence in your site. Every second you make a user wait for your site to load, the more likely they will look elsewhere for information.
Start Strong with SEO
If you start out by adding on-page optimization to all your content from the beginning, it makes it easier and more efficient to continue these best practices in the future.
When you’re creating content that is readable, clickable, and shareable, you must make it engaging for the reader. But if you want it found online, you have to make sure you’ve given it some search engine love.
Want to ensure your content is driving results? Download our Ultimate Guide to Results-Driven Content Marketing.