Great content that never gets seen online is wasted effort. Getting found means building search engine optimization (SEO) into your content. Here are some tips to help you create content that search engines will rank well.
Know Your Keywords
Ironically, your content that gets fewer views may actually rank well. The issue is that it ranks for keywords that aren’t being searched!
Good SEO requires that you know the words and phrases people are searching – today. It will help you understand what your target audience is looking for online. You will learn the words and questions they search when they want to find the content you offer.
You need to do keyword research. That research will not only reveal the words and phrases related to your area of expertise and brand, it will tell you how often those keywords are searched.
Search behavior changes over time. Keyword research is not a one and done activity. You need to periodically re-do your research to make sure your content is keeping up with current search behavior.
Optimize Behind the Scenes
Help search crawlers by paying attention to behind the scenes content like meta titles and descriptions as well as schema settings. These fields are not visible on the page, but they are crawled by search engines and help determine the relevance of your content.
A good meta title and description use keywords to describe the content and motivate searchers to pick your content over the other options offered.
Several other off-page technical factors impact your search rank.
- Site Speed/Google Page Rank Factors
- Broken Links
- Image Size
- Site map configuration
Use a Meaningful Headline/Page Title
Don’t get so clever with your page content that visitors can’t determine right away what your content is all about. Most people read just a few words before they decide if content is what they are looking for. You need to tell them the value of reading it in the first few words.
Use the page or post title to describe what the content is about. Great verbs really help to encourage people to read on.
Structure Your Content for Scanning
Understand that people scan online content. Most people to not read online content as they would a printed piece. Here’s how they scan in order:
- Headline/page title
- Bulleted text
- Image content
- Callouts/calls to action
Notice how may items get scanned before paragraph content. You have to earn engagement long before a full sentence gets read!
Links signal value to search engines. Linking within your content indicates that a piece of content is important. Links from other websites to your content also signals importance.
Take time to interlink your content. Know which pages are most important and make sure plenty of links within your site point to those pages.
Actively seek links to your content as well. You can create these links from your various marketing channels. Also ask partners and related sites to link to your content. If you have taken time to create valuable content, these links are a win-win for both sites.
These tips will help you create valuable content that search engines will recognize and rank. Keep in mind that it all starts with offering content that your target audience will find valuable.