There’s more to a keyword than you think.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content ranking criteria can be volatile. With numerous changes being made often, SEO algorithms are constantly evolving. And in order to keep your SEO, well, optimized, you too will need to evolve in the way you go about writing content. While you will need to brush up on SEO at least once a year, here are a few ways to go about it now, and build on as needed.
infographic courtesy of: expresswriters.
Focus your keywordsThough search engine results are now able to parse out users’ intentions when entering a query, old-fashioned keyword usage is still a great tool. If you aren’t sure what keywords are mostly likely to drive your SEO rankings up, set up some analytical tools to find out what your readers are most interested in. From there, you can tailor your content to the keywords and topics your readers prefer, or come up with some related keywords to draw them in. Competing websites with a similar focus as yours are also good sources of keyword inspiration.
Lengthen your contentSearch engines prefer lengthier writing, so aim high at around 1,500 words. They’re looking for content with extra authority and evidence behind it, and length is a pretty decent indicator of that. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. It will vary depending on the context of the article. It’s entirely possible that a short article will be more popular, if that is what is appropriate for your topic, reader demographic, and other relevant factors. Also consider that from the reader end, interest may fade with long articles. Be sure to have a user-friendly layout with images in order to encourage readers to read to the end of the article.
Prove your comprehensionContent word count isn’t the only way to show that there’s evidence behind your writing. You will also want to incorporate keywords that are relevant to your primary topic. This shows the search engines that you are also discussing specific details of the topic, and thereby providing a more rounded article to your readers. For example, if you’re writing about how to find the cheapest airline tickets, some relevant keywords you should use would be ‘layover’ and ‘frequent flyer.’
Strategize your placementKeywords will likely be in your articles’ body text already, but try to incorporate them into the headings and title as well. Putting the keywords in prominent places will help with SEO as well as provide structure for your readers. You can also strategize placement on the back-end through meta-tagging. Within the HTML of your articles, use the header and other structural elements to allow search engines to make sense of the page.
Consider the user experienceEnabling your readers to easily navigate and use your site is critical to your metrics, and therefore also critical to your SEO ranking. Make sure your website is mobile friendly, complete with a navigation menu, and that it is quick to load. A decent design will also help with usability, and may even get you some extra visitors for style alone!
Hire a SEO expertIt might take some time to get the hang of SEO, and perhaps even more time to backtrack on existing content in order to optimize it. Instead of overloading yourself with extra work, consider hiring a web developer or content writer to help you boost your SEO fundamentals. With the help of job boards like Gumtree, you’ll be able to find plenty of highly qualified candidates in your area.
While you can’t directly change your SEO ranking, these tips will certainly help your efforts. Ultimately, though, a large part of getting your readership numbers up will be to write compelling and helpful content that serves a specific point rather than generic content that has been done many times over. You can still use popular keywords, but try to find a unique angle to use them with.
Amelia Knott is a team member at AuBiz.net – a free online ABN lookup tool. She is passionate about new marketing trends and branding strategies. She shares her insights through blogging.