What You Need to Know to Get Your Content Noticed
When you hear about SEO content creation, do you scratch your head and wonder what new-fangled marketing buzzword someone must be trying to pull over on you? We all know what content is, and most of us have a pretty good idea of what SEO is, but when you put them together, what do you get?
Content is information that lives on and can be consumed on the Web, and SEO is search engine optimization, the process of optimizing a website so that people can easily find it via search engines. So, essentially, content SEO is content created with the goal of attracting search engine traffic. In this post we help you to understand the why behind content SEO, and provide you with an SEO content creation checklist that is relevant for 2015.
So Why is This Important to Your Business?
As you are probably aware, search engines use algorithms to sort through the billions of pages of content on the interweb. The search engine picks out relevant results based on keywords in said content and ranks the relevant articles based on a number of factors. In order to help the search engines notice your content and find it significant, you need to include keywords that are relevant to the subject matter at hand. Your goal should be to appear on the first page that comes up when someone Googles (we will use Google as it represents 67% of the search market) a keyword or phrase related to your piece of content. So essentially, you want to produce content that search engines will notice and find relevant, increasing your rankings and, as a result, helping you get noticed by potential customers.
So How Do You Get Noticed?
To have the search engines notice your content, it’s important that you make sure that your content is search-engine optimized, meaning it contains keywords, Meta tags, links and all that good stuff deemed relevant by search engine spiders. Quality content is key to search engine rankings and, therefore, content marketing is becoming a necessity for business owners. According to Smarts Insight, content marketing is the most important digital marketing trend for 2015.
Given that twenty-seven million pieces of online content are shared daily, and Google uses about 200 various factors to rank a site, what can you do to stand out?
First let’s take a look at the different pieces of content; content can include anything that you use to communicate with your customers, including:
- Blog Posts – Write about a topic that your customers will find interesting.
- Video Customer Testimonial – Share a video of an interview with a customer talking about how awesome it is to work with you. Include a transcript with keywords.
- Infographic – A picture illustration demonstrating data or information on a subject.
- Guide – A how-to guide on a product or service.
- White Paper – A detailed report outlining information on a subject or process.
- List – Top 10 tips on how to do something relevant to your audience’s interests.
- Articles – Interview with senior management, a news or feature piece.
- Video Tutorial – Share a video of how to use a particular product or service.
Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.
SEO Content Creation Checklist
So we’ve concluded that content SEO is crucial to the success of your website and your business. By growing your site’s traffic while focusing your content on your target market, the more likely you are to convert these visitors into leads.
Here’s an SEO content creation checklist of 8 things you can start doing today to get your content noticed and guarantee SEO success.
1. Keyword Research is Key
Before writing your content, have a topic in mind and research the keywords that are relevant to the subject matter you wish to write about. Focus on the keywords with the good search volume, in other words, write about topics that people are searching for. On the other hand, don’t waste your efforts competing on high competition keywords if you have just registered your domain name. At TPM, we take the keyword part of the process pretty seriously and ask ourselves the following questions when determining the keyword(s).
- What product or service are we selling?
- Who is the target customer?
- What would make a good topic?
- What are some problems the product or service solves?
- What are some problems the target customer has?
- What keyword is our target customer searching for when they search for that topic?
- Do we have the right intent behind this keyword? (We don’t want the wrong people coming to our page.)
- Is there volume for the keywords?
- Is anyone else competing for this keyword? Can we compete against them and, if so, what is their domain authority?
- What is the likelihood of ranking #1 for that keyword?
- Essentially, what is the efficiency for that keyword – should we consider:
- higher volume/medium competition
- medium volume/low competition
- low volume/no competition
As mentioned, we take our keywords seriously! Determining the right keyword or keyword phrase is key to the success of the content.
2. Create Quality Content
Now that we have our keyword or keyphrase, we need to think about writing a great piece of content. The piece should be informative, engaging and a pleasure to read. Other things we look for when drafting content is:
- Longer, quality pieces (1000+ words) attract search engines
- Simple, yet effective Web design (think of your mobile users)
- Clean and free from distractions
- Clear headings
- Use of numbered or bullet lists
- Free from spelling and grammatical errors (a no-brainer)
- Make sure that your content isn’t too salesy!
- Include a call to action that is clear and prominent
- Includes images that support the content
40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
Organize your content in a way that is logical; this is good for SEO and good for your visitors. Create content that is linkable – you will want people to link to your content and share with their audience. If possible, update your content (Google prefers freshly updated content), but remember not to sacrifice quality.
3. Optimize Your Keywords
Place your keywords in a manner that will answer the questions that people are searching for, while telling them how your content will give them a solution. For example, Channel Sales Enablement Through Continuous Learning.
How often should you use the keywords?
Everyone has an opinion about how many times a keyword should appear in a content piece. You’ve seen it before — a blog riddled with misplaced and crammed keywords that only makes the piece confusing. In 2015, there still really is no percentage or perfect guideline for the “right” amount of keywords you should place in your content. Focus on quality and use your keyword as needed. Keyword stuffing is a sure way to fail! Make sure that your URLs include keywords, for example:
4. Include a Precise Title Tag
Ensure that your title is an accurate and a concise description of the page’s content. This will help for both the user experience – i.e., helping the readers to find what they are searching for — as well as SEO. If possible, try to have the keyword(s) at the front of the title tag, for example:
SEO Content Creation Checklist 2015 – Total Product Marketing
Pages optimized this way will rank better than those with keywords closer to the title’s tag end. Remember that titles should also be compelling – there’s no point ranking #1 if no one clicks on your result.
5. Include Image Alt Text
Include text that conveys details about the images in your piece. This will provide information in the event that the image is not available to the reader. By including alt text, a caption and a description, you will optimize your images for SEO.
Articles with images get 94% more views.
6. Use Appropriate Meta Tags
A Meta description provides information regarding what the page is about and represents the page’s content. Meta descriptions help boost your rankings with search engines. Every page should use a unique, concise description that ideally isn’t truncated in Google SERPs. The best Meta tags are clear, short and precise. If you’ve been advised by your friend who knows SEO to add a Meta keywords tag to each page, run!
7. Publish, Promote and Link!
When your content has gone through its editing process and is polished and ready, it’s time to publish and promote! Make sure more eyes are on your content by following these few tips:
- Send out a blog that touches on the subject matter and links to the original piece.
- Send out email campaigns to your contact lists and link back to the original piece.
- Pitch online publications and guest blogs to try to get your piece published.
- Include the content in any company newsletters and magazines with a link to the original content.
Linking back to the original content is very important as it will drive visitors to your site. Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
8. Share Your Content Socially
What better way to get your content to the masses then by sharing it socially?
- Share through your own social media channels.
- Have employees share on their own social channels.
- Directly connect and engage with social media followers, influencers and groups.
- Reach out to content publishers to share.
Clicks from shared content are 5 times more likely to result in a purchase.
The Dos and Don’ts of SEO Content Creation
When creating content, in addition to following the SEO content creation checklist, keep these tips in mind:
- Write for humans; don’t write for robots.
- Ensure that your content is natural rather than a regurgitation of keyword phrases.
- Consider using synonyms and related keywords instead of stuffing keywords in.
- Use in-depth, unique, quality content – choose quality over quantity.
- Get your content shared.
- Remember to implement a mobile-friendly site — Google tests mobile friendliness as a ranking factor.
- Link to other sites, which gains trust with Google, but can hurt rankings if you are competing for the same keyword. Use with caution!
- Don’t stuff keywords in your content just to get them in. Google doesn’t favor keyword density.
- Don’t over-optimize link text. Link text to match keywords and phrases.
- Don’t duplicate content. Write original copy for each page.
- Don’t get so wrapped up in SEO that you forget to write for your audience.
- Don’t use Meta keywords!
If you have questions or need help with content SEO, contact us! We’d love to answer any questions you may have about working with Total Product Marketing.