There is nothing sadder than a piece of writing that has never been read. One way to fix this? Optimizing your content for SEO. If you think about it, content marketing and SEO go hand in hand. In a perfect marriage, SEO helps people find your and your content, and good content is a way of doing better on Google. Anyone who knows a bit about having a content marketing plan knows that the formula does not lie in just writing well, but in being found.
But what about those who don’t know much about SEO? I mean, SEO can be scarily complicated, even for so-called SEO gurus. Constant updates to Panda, Penguin and other of Google’s animal-denominated algorithms keep on changing, making it even more impossible for content marketers who know very little about SEO to catch up.
If you are in a similar situation, this article is for you. If you know very little or nothing about SEO but want to optimize your page’s content to gain maximum visibility, read on.
First things first: the Importance of keywords in Content Marketing and SEO
The first thing you should know about optimizing your content is choosing the right words, or keywords. As the name suggests, your keyword should be a word or string of words that sum up your content, tying it together like a theme. It should also be something people are likely to search for when looking for content like yours. If you are wondering ‘but how do I know what keywords people will look for?’ Try Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner. This tool that has worked wonders for me, and best thing of all, it’s free!
Keyword selection is a major component of SEO, and should be the first thing you look at when optimizing your content. But remember: use, not abuse. Including keywords in your writing should be done in a natural manner which makes sense when read. Doing so will not only help you not only be found, but rank higher on Google as well. Avoiding to do so might make you end up blacklisted on Google. Take a look at our list of the most common mistakes in SEO for future reference.
Check your Titles
I cannot stress the importance of titles in SEO. A title is probably the most important item/factor/element/whatever-you-want-to-call-it on your page. Not only is the title the first thing search engines register when looking at your site, but the first thing people see when they are doing a search. Including your main keyword in the title is a must.
The title of your article or page should not only be catchy, but include your keywords. I often am caught up in the catchy title vs. keyword-driven, SEO-friendly title dilemma when writing. The key is combining both. Reevaluate your title at the end of writing your piece and make sure it embodies the content of your page without missing out on your key words.
…and headings, and subheadings
Like titles, including your keywords in your headings is important for SEO. You don’t have to do so in every heading and subheading, because it would be impossible keep viewers on your page. But at least include it in one heading. Doing so helps Google know that your content is about that keyword, and not just a bunch of gibberish to appear on Google. The headings appear as <h1> and <h2> in your HTML code.
Readable images = findable images
Believe it or not, the text behind your image is also pertinent to improving your findability online. Known as the alternate text or “alt” tags on HTML, this feature allows you to include a description that suits what the image is about. Doing so allows Google to make sense of your image and place them on Google Images. Next time you are putting an image on your page, (which I am hoping you do, in the name of visual marketing) make sure the “alt” tag is properly filled in. If a keyword can be fitted there naturally, then better. The point of including a descriptive alt tag is for people to find your image, and page, consequently, when they search for phrases similar to the one you placed in your tag.
What the alt tag for your image looks like on HTML
If you have dwelled in the world of digital marketing or SEO, you are bound to have heard the phrase “meta description”. For those who are unfamiliar, meta descriptions are the text that appears under your title on search engines. Having said that, the importance of it being keyword-friendly is evident. But like I have countlessly mentioned, a proper meta description should not only invite Google’s search engines, but viewers as well. Stuffing a bunch of keywords is not the point. Catchy and keyword-friendly is the way to go.
The meta description, ladies and gentlemen.
Hyperlinks on your page, also known as anchor text links, are extremely powerful to users and search engines, telling them to go somewhere else – another page on your website, a blog article, or even an external source with relevant information. While readers are given an idea of what type of content the link is going to lead them to, search engines can know whether the link is relevant or useful in the context it is in. Linking something to the words “click here” are futile, and a severe waste of a link. Neither the user nor the search engine will have an idea of what the link is about. The words you use to describe the link are extremely important and should be chosen wisely.
While SEO is not all about content optimization, it is a major part. We’ve tried to make it simple for you, and not go way too into the world of SEO. Mainly, it is all about keeping your keywords in mind, (prior to choosing the right ones, of course) and making some tiny tweaks here and there.
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