The SEO Guru Speaks: 4 Ways to Optimize Your Content
You’ve got great ideas for content that your ideal clients will love. But with hundreds of thousands of pages being built on the internet every day, how is anyone supposed to find your perfect post?
Through search engines, naturally. But Google rankings are brutally competitive, and barely 8 out of 100 internet users ever go past the first page of their Google results.
The only way to get read is to get found. On page 1.
That’s where keywords come into play.
Consider us your personal SEO Guru for the next 5 minutes. Here are the basics to strategically build and optimize your content for search engine optimization.
1) Use a Keyword Analysis Tool
A keyword analysis tool can tell you how many people search a certain keyword monthly, and how difficult it would be for you to rank highly for that keyword. Once you have found a good platform for keyword analysis, curl up with a good laptop and get to work. Here are several resources:
SEM Rush allows you to enter your website or a competitors website into their tool and track your organic traffic, see keywords you rank for, search new ones and see their difficulty, and do a site audit to see any problems. You can also see how you rank on individual keywords and how your competitors are doing. The free version of the tool allows you to search just a few keywords, but the paid version ($69 a month) provides many more.
Plans start at $29 per month, and give extensive research tools to search individual and long tail terms.
Google Keyword Planner
Free if you have a Google Adwords account. You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together.
Get Started and think creatively
Plug in every search term you think your ideal client would use to find the information her or she is after. Get creative – really put yourself in their shoes in order to find the best keywords. Try variations on search terms (adding plurals, rephrasing questions, using synonyms, etc.) Search the keyword on Google, look at the bottom of the page and get even more suggestions. See what other content is being written on the subject, and what you can add to the conversation.
2) Use Keywords Strategically
Now that you’ve got the perfect keyword, you need to know how to use it in your content.
- In the page title
- In the page URL
- In at least one subheading
- Throughout the body copy
- Into the meta description
- Into alt text in your images
Do NOT, under any circumstances, keyword stuff.
Keyword stuffing is the practice of using a keyword excessively in order to draw attention by search engines. It was common SEO practice back in the mid to late 2000s, but it made for boring content and false value, so Google put the kibosh on text like this:
“Are you looking for an amazing marketing strategy? A marketing strategy is the best way towards a better marketing strategy for added revenue and better marketing strategy.”
No good. Don’t do it. Write great copy you would enjoy yourself and share with your friends. Slipping in a keyword once every 100 words is a good rule of thumb.
SEO Guru Tip: Install the Yoast SEO Plugin into your WordPress site or blog. This helps you optimize your content and not miss any of the 12 or so things that you need to do.
3) Build a Sturdy Index of Pages
Now that you’ve written your blog post and used the right keywords in the right places, you immediately run to Google to search that term, sure you’ll be in the top spot.
And. You’re not.
“Keywords don’t work!” you say as you shake your fist towards the Gods that inhabit the SEO Mt. Olympus.
The way Google ranks pages has a lot to do with web traffic and amount of indexed pages on a particular keyword. You need to KEEP writing blog posts on that subject matter in order to show real progress in your rank. Become an expert on that subject.
Use a keyword or keyword phrase only ONCE in your site
Do NOT, under any circumstances, spam your blog with posts about the same keyword for a month and a half. If your readers notice that every single one of your posts has “Marketing Strategy” in the title, they’re going to think your blog is A.) boring B.) fake and C.) frankly, a little weird. the SEO Guru has spoken.
Vary the search terms and be creative with a new point of view on a subject
That’s why it’s important to have a variety of keywords you’re trying to rank for. Vary your posts, build content based on answering questions your audience might ask. If a topic is particularly hot at that moment, write about it, even if it doesn’t fit with the keyword you wanted to work towards this week. Be a teacher.
4) Cross link from page to page within your site
Reference another page within your page or post. If you write several articles on a subject, link to them. For instance, if you want to know more about Content Writing Tips for Your Target market, click here!
This helps build authority to and from your pages.
These are the basics that can help your content be easier for search engines to index. An SEO expert can go much further with analytics, strategies and looking for any site penalties. And fixing them.