Content marketing and search engine engagement are so closely intertwined that business owners sometimes think they are the same thing. That’s understandable, but it can lead to dangerous misconceptions.
That’s because, as important as new content is to your search visibility efforts, you shouldn’t necessarily start creating content with the point of view that it’s going to get picked up on Google. In fact, things should go the other way around: you should focus on generating content you know buyers will love, and then make it as easy as possible to find.
In order to help you along in this process, we encourage you to sit down and write a great blog post that’s perfectly tailored to your target audience while conveying a number of salient points. Once you’re satisfied you’ve said exactly what you meant to, follow seven simple tips to make your new piece stand out in the search engine listings…
#1 Start With a Search Strategy
You should already know which search terms you want to see emphasized in your campaigns. If you don’t, invest a bit of time and effort into keyword and competition research before you begin finishing your articles. It’s fine to start writing based on a concept rather than a surge of visibility goal, but you should know what kinds of readers you want to attract before you post anything online.
Without a search strategy in place, optimizing your content is always going to be an uphill battle. You won’t know who you’re trying to target or what they’re looking for, and that’s not going to lead you in the right direction.
#2 Pay Attention to Titles Above All Else
The title of your blog post, video, or other piece of content has to pull double duty. On the one hand, it needs to draw in the readers or viewers who make up your group of likeliest buyers. The standard piece of advice in this area is to imitate newspaper publishers and try to write headlines that are irresistible from a psychological point of view.
On the other hand, it absolutely must contain an exact keyword match as the search phrase you’re targeting if at all possible. If you can’t fit an exact match in there, see if you can come close or use a popular search phrase. Even if it takes you a dozen tries to find a title that works for both criteria, the time writing it will have been well spent.
#3 Measure Keyword Density the Easy Way
There are lots of tools out there you can use to figure out the exact keyword density percentages associated with your content. The problem with using them, though, is that Google’s preferences change from time to time. What was too little a year ago might be too much today.
With that in mind, our best advice is to ignore the numbers and simply read or view your content like a customer what. If it seems like you’re trying too hard to be repetitive, then you probably are. Nobody likes coming across pages that read as if they were written for Google instead of a real person.
#4 Format and Organize Your Content
As we have noted in the past, marketers sometimes make too much of the technical aspects of search engine optimization. Good content that is relevant, unique, and gets lots of attention is much more valuable your business than an over-optimized article.
With that being said, however, you should try to set up your posts in a way that makes them easy to search or browse using internal links, tags, and subheadings are ancillary topics. Just a little bit of careful labeling can be all that’s needed to get a reader to move from one of your posts are subjects to another rather than taking their attention elsewhere.
#5 Make Your Pages Easy to Find and Read
Even if you are successful in optimizing your content for search, you still need readers or viewers to click through if it’s going to have any marketing value. We’ve already mentioned the importance of titling your content using exact match key phrases, but don’t forget to title the actual webpage associated with the content, as well.
Additionally, you should set up your site to use file names that emphasize search terms, and write meta descriptions that invite users to learn something new. Each of these will make the content you produce easier to find in search listings, and increase readership regardless of whichever search position you might occupy.
#6 Encourage Reader Engagement
One of the major changes to Google’s search algorithm in recent months has been a preference for pieces of content with lots of user engagement. In other words, when readers leave comments on your posts, or share them online, that’s assigned to search spiders that what you put online is valuable and interesting.
You can to build this kind of activity in a couple of ways. The first is obviously to write interesting posts that grab the attention of your readers. However, you shouldn’t forget to explicitly ask for comments and feedback from readers. If you show you’re interested in their opinions, they’ll be more likely to share them.
#7 Prioritize Quality Over Optimization
Never forget that search engine visibility should be a secondary goal when creating content. To be sure, getting traffic from Google is important to your Internet marketing efforts. But, if the ideas you put online are strong enough, your posts and videos will generate their own demand.
It’s much better to have something well-written and edited than it is to kill your credibility through the overuse of keywords or SEO tricks.
Search engine optimization can seem complex, and the job of generating and promoting new content can feel overwhelming at times. If you can remember that your writing for distinct group of readers, however, and then keep these seven tips in mind, you’ll have the basis for a winning content marketing strategy and a top search engine ranking. That’s when great things start to happen!
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