Category: Online Marketing


SEO Fundamentals to Follow

Have Great Content

Give your visitors high-quality content, a great user experience and a secure, technically sound website. That isn’t fast or easy, but it is the sure way to rank well and maintain your rankings. Search engines like fresh content, but they also like sites that earn clicks consistently.

Know your area of expertise and be generous in sharing insights. That markets your business to potential customers and helps search engines understand where your content fits with searcher interests.

Focus on original content over links to other experts in your area. While links to related sites are good for SEO, you need to generate a body of information that draws people to your website and your business.

Create the best quality content that you can, and consistently review and improve on it wherever possible. Demonstrate your expertise and stand out from the crowd.

Pay Attention to Speed

People don’t wait for sites to load. They move on. We all behave this way, yet we forget to check our own web presence for speed. Slow sites are not effective. Period.

Use Google’s free page speed analyzer often to make sure your site is fast to load.

There are several ways to speed up your website. Some may require more technical skill than you have, but it is worth the investment to bring someone on who can rev up your load time.

Images are one factor that you can control easily within your site admin area. Large, high definition images will take a long time to load. Always take the time to resize your images to the scale needed by your website.

Focus on Your Audience

You will only succeed online if you focus on what your audience wants and needs. Search engines aim to give users what they’re looking for. If your content doesn’t get clicked, you will never achieve good SEO.

Are you really offering searchers what they’re looking for when they type in their search? Are they looking for information or to take action? What do they need from you? Focus there.

Competition for attention is fierce. Users want to visit sites that solve their problem or provide the information or service they need. They don’t care about product-related jargon or why you want them to read your blog post. Always write for your audience.

Link Within Your Site

Link related content within your site. These are called internal links. These links make it easy for search engines to crawl your site to work out which articles are most important and to help your users find what they’re looking for.

Make sure that your most important articles also have the most internal links pointing to them. Use keywords in the link text to make the benefit of clicking the link clear.

Maintain Your Content

Keep your content fresh and relevant.

Do a site search for one of your most important keywords and see what comes up. Do articles overlap, and do you still need to keep everything? Delete or merge content as needed to ensure everything that is published is worthy of a click.

Avoid Getting Toppled by SEO Rule Changes

Focus on these SEO fundamentals and you will protect yourself from huge demotions as SEO algorithms change. All of these focus on providing great content that is meaningful to your audience. If you focus there, you can’t lose!

Getting Attention for Your Content

Everyone is in the content marketing game. We are all vying for attention. Getting attention for your content requires that you have an intentional content strategy.

There are 5 steps to developing content that gets attention: planning, audience targeting, creation, distribution, and optimizing.

Plan Your Content Strategy

You are busy, but you need to be strategic to get the most from the time you devote to content. The best way to guarantee that is to take time up front to plan. Focus on your content strategy, write down what you will do, and you will have a road map that will keep you on course.

Be sure to document:

  • Goals
  • Topics
  • Sources
  • Creators
  • How often
  • Where
  • Marketing plans
  • Meaningful measurements

Understand Your Target Audience

Take time to deeply understand your audience. Where are they online? What are they interested in? What do they react to both positively and negatively? How do they feel about your topic and brand?

The more you understand your audience, the better you can be at creating content that will grab attention.

Understanding your audience is a continual process. Be sure to keep track of how their interests evolve over time.

Develop Great Content

This is the step where many content marketers begin, but the first two steps should provide you with insight into the content that makes the most sense for your audience. Be sure all of your content is well-developed with great writing and clear imagery.

Be sure to provide a mix of many forms of content:

  • Blog posts
  • Visuals
  • Audio
  • Micro content (tweets)
  • Video
  • Guest content
  • Text
  • Infographics
  • Quotes
  • Facts
  • Etc.

Post, Share, and Share Again

Post your content and then share it on all relevant channels. Track what you have posted and post it again in various forms on various channels.

You want to increase the odds that your very busy target audience sees your content at least once. Several times is better.

Measure Impact and Make Adjustments

Some elements of your plan will hit the target, some will exceed expectations and some will fall flat. That’s fine, as long as you pay attention and use that intel to make your content even better.

Be sure to take periodic assessments. This should be easy if you have defined your measures in your plan. Stop doing the things that don’t get traction and adjust to the insights that have the potential to increase the engagement with your content.

 

 

Best Practices for Link Text

Links are important in online content. They help you connect people with the content they want. They are also an important component of search ranking. There is a strategy to creating the best link text in your content.

Research Identifies These 4 Qualities of Great Link Text

Recent research by Nielsen Norman Group indicates that to get the most clicks, write specific links that set sincere expectations, are substantial enough to stand alone, and are as succinct as possible.

As people scan your site, they look for links to get them to the information you want. Keep these four elements in mind to create links.

  • Specific: Make the link text specific, so the user knows exactly what they’ll get.
  • Sincere: Link text must set expectations that will be instantly met when the user clicks. When links set expectations that aren’t met, the user’s trust in the site and the organization it represents is reduced.
  • Substantial: Most users scan rather than read online. Links draw attention. The link text needs to give the user enough information to decide to click.
  • Succinct: Get to the point as quickly as possible, to increase the likelihood that users will quickly understand the link.

A link’s primary purpose is to communicate to users what they’ll find when they click. Vague or repetitive language fails that purpose. “Learn more” and “Click here” are not effective links.

SEO Considerations for Links

SEO is also a consideration when creating links. Search engines use links as a signal of content quality.

Be sure to create external links to high quality sites that supplement your content. This helps people get to the content they want, and also signals to search engines that your content is part of valuable content within a topic area.

Also create internal links within your website. Links from one page to another help connect your content. They also signal the most important pages at your site. Several links equate to high content value.

Both internal and external links should use keywords as link text. Keywords indicate what the linked content is about. This helps people and search crawlers understand your content focus and expertise.