Content and SEO are both marketing buzzwords – and it’s been that way for many years. But although we’ve seen many companies produce content, few know how to optimize it for SEO. And vice versa; few brands write SEO texts that are readable and engaging.
With this article, we’d like to change that. We’re about to break down how you can make your content SEO-optimized. You can use these tips to take quality content and turn it into a powerful SEO asset.
Read on to learn about keyword optimization, the importance of images for SEO, and why adding internal links can 3x your traffic. But first, let’s start with the obvious…
Why SEO-Optimize your Content?
Most people search for products and services online before making a buying decision. In fact, 66% of the population uses search to research products, and webpages on the first page get most of the views.
That’s why your website needs SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to outrank the competition to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Higher placement within search results increases brand awareness, website traffic, sales, and business growth. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer to invest in SEO, but what are the top strategies to begin climbing the SERP ranks?
Continue reading to learn practical and actionable advice you can begin implementing today to compete in the search engines and explode your website traffic.
1. Importance of Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Search engines like Google pay attention to the keywords in your title tag and meta description, which directly helps with rankings for those KW’s.
The meta descriptions are used to describe your web page in the SERPs. It’s an overview of the content to come on your website, so it must be accurate, or you’ll have a high bounce rate. Meta descriptions should be around 160 characters and unique for each page.
The title tag is a clear, concise, and descriptive title for your page, and it will be displayed in the SERPs. If they are catchy and interesting, users are more likely to click on the link and check out your webpage.
More clicks result in a higher conversion rate, and that’s an important SEO metric used in the ranking algorithm. Title tags must be around 60 characters and include your target keywords for the page.
Wondering how to find keywords your website should be ranking for? Read onwards to learn about the power of ahrefs!
2. Keywords - The Backbone of Any SEO Campaign
You can think of keywords as the language used to interface with search engines. Search algorithms rank web pages according to keywords, and that’s how users find your website. However, you need to figure out the best keywords for your niche.
To simplify the process of finding hundreds of potentially profitable KWs, use tools like ahrefs. You’ll be presented with data such as monthly search volume and competition.
Avoid going after high-competition keywords until you’ve mastered the art of SEO and have the big budget to compete with industry leaders. Instead, look for low-hanging fruit with a respectable search volume and low competition.
Keywords that typically fit this criterion are called “long-tail keywords” because the search strings are made up of 4+ words and specific enough to have low competition.
Finally, you should consider the search intent before building web pages around a specific keyword. The 4 types of search intent are informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial.
Informational keywords should be optimized for blogs and how-to guides, whereas product pages should focus on transactional and commercial intent keywords. For exceptionally important keywords, consider creating pillar content!
3. Images - Optimizing for SEO
Web Pages without images look bland, but incorrect image implementation can hurt your SEO. Here is a checklist to complete for using images to improve your SEO:
- Image sizing: you’ll want the image size to be large enough for easy viewing but not so large that it results in large file sizes. Bigger file sizes mean longer loading times, leading to a higher bounce rate. In fact, according to Google the bounce rate increases by 32% when the webpage loading time goes from 1 to 3 seconds. Hence, consider reducing the image size to manage file sizes.
- Alt tags: search engine spiders cannot understand images, so they rely on alt tags for a description. Use this opportunity to plug keywords you’re trying to rank for in the SERPs.
- File names: similar to alt tags, search engine spiders pay attention to file names to learn about the image content. Therefore, include target keywords and use hyphens to separate them for clarity.
- Responsive images: make sure images are responsive based on the devices they’re being viewed on. This means they can re-size depending on the screen size to provide a good viewing experience.
- Unique images and captions: don’t use stock images your audience might have already seen on competitor websites. Instead, gather unique images and include captions to make them stand out. This will increase the scannability of your content and cause visitors to scroll below the fold – another positive SEO signal.
4. Content [Quality] is Still King
Google uses various techniques to determine the quality of your content and rank the page accordingly. This includes time spent on page, bounce rate, internal link clickthrough rate, and other interactivity data.
Good quality content naturally has a positive effect on the factors above, and it indicates a good overall user experience. It also indicates relevancy for the original search term since visitors spending longer on a page indicates usefulness.
Therefore, you must research the subject matter extensively to provide genuinely interesting content that meets the user’s needs. You’ll also need to sprinkle in the target keywords in the first sentence and subheadings. Search engines pay attention to keywords to determine what the page is about.
5. Links - An Ongoing Process
Backlinks are clickable web page elements like text or images that allow users to navigate from one webpage to another. The links can be internal, which means they are between web pages of the same website, or external, where the links are between different websites.
Search engines use backlinks to measure the popularity and relevance of a page, and view them as a vote of confidence. The link-building process involves reaching out to other websites and leaving comments on blogs. It’s time-consuming, and you have no control over the backlink since it’s on other websites.
Alternatively, building internal backlinks is in your control because you can create as many links as you need between web pages. It assists in the usability of your website and helps search engines better understand the keyword relevancy of each webpage.
You can also do competitive research by checking where your competitors have gained backlinks. Various tools allow you to view the web pages of these backlinks, which you can use to increase your own backlink profile and boost SEO. Also, understanding the backlink profile of your competition enables you to estimate how tough it will be to outrank them for specific keywords.
Final Thoughts - Is SEO Worth the Investment?
Yes, since most SEO practices require no financial investment if you plan on doing them yourself. You can write new content, build links, optimize images, and much more without spending money.
However, you can outsource SEO to companies that specialize in improving SERPs. The ROI of these services can be amazing and worth the investment. Finally, SEO is a long-term game that takes a while for the effort to pay off. Once it does, you’ll potentially receive a constant stream of organic visitors to your website.