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In case you hadn’t heard, content is king. To emphasise how important an SEO content strategy has become in the SEO toolbox, Forbes, one of the world’s most popular news and feature article publications, presented a feature article on this very topic – Traffic-Boosting SEO Fundamentals for Content Marketing.
The feature was written by one of Forbes’ contributors, Brian Sutter, who himself is an SEO for small and medium businesses. The article looks at 15 ways to increase business by improving your website’s search engine ranking.
Over the last few years, Google has made many changes that have been designed to make it harder for low-quality content to rank well.
In the past, it was relatively easy to rank any site high in Google’s search index simply by inserting the correct keywords and pointing some links at it. Today, it is much harder to manipulate the search engine results – and this is a good thing.
What does work well in search is good-quality content. If you write informative articles that people actually want to read and share, you will still rank well.
However, this is easier to say than do, especially if you are new to the concept. So let’s run through the some of the best SEO content strategy ideas that will help you rank your website.
SEO Content Strategy: Keywords are Concepts
Keywords are still important, but today it is more important to think about the “long-tail”. Keywords have largely been replaced by topics or concepts.
You need to ensure that your content pages cover topics well so that they might be able to rank for related words, as well as the main focus keywords.
Pages should still include many related keywords within the content, but be written in a natural way. People do not generally search with exact keyword phrases – instead, most searches are question-based.
Good content should, therefore, provide answers.
Promote Your Content
It almost goes without saying, but you need to promote your content. This can be done by using search engine marketing strategies (for example, via Google’s paid search platform, AdWords) or social media advertising (perhaps via Facebook).
Also, you should be contacting influencers in your market through LinkedIn and Twitter, and encouraging them to share your pieces.
Using these methods in your SEO content strategy takes time, but it can generate some of the best backlinks. It is always better to promote content to win backlinks than it is to just place some links and then hope it results in increased page views via search.
The biggest benefit of doing this is that you are guaranteed traffic from the outset.
Internally Link Your Content
Another common mistake that website owners make is not linking to their own best content.
Blogging is a great way to help increase visitors to your website, but if you are not linking to your most important pages or other relevant content, you will lose out on some conversions.
Although you can use lists of related content (most content management systems provide this as a feature) it is generally better to link within your content.
People rarely read through the related content lists at the ends of articles – they are more likely to follow links within the text.
Some SEOs warn against too many links. In fact, Brian Sutter suggests two links for every 500 words, but if you look at Wikipedia, the most popular content website in the world, you will see links on almost every single line in some articles, often several links on one line.
For example, on the page about custard (chosen almost randomly), there are 14 links in the first 94-word paragraph alone, representing around 75 links per 500 words – considerably more than Brian Sutter deems acceptable.
In short – do not be shy about linking to your own content!
Optimise Page Titles
Page titles are one of the most important elements of a page. They tell Google what the page is about and are also shown in the search engine results.
Thus, a good title should appeal to both Google and your audience, so it needs to be engaging and also include targeted keywords. Be careful, though – mismatched titles and content can result in a penalty.
Write Good Page Descriptions
Page descriptions are not used to rank pages but are shown in Google search. Therefore, ensure that your descriptions engage readers.
Think of them as bait to get a click. Tease with some facts while making it clear the answer the user is looking for can be found on your page.
Provide Pretty Pictures
A good image can go a long way on a website, especially since lead images are usually attached to social media shares. Entice more people to your site with a great visual that promises great content.
You’ll find some good tips on Entrepreneur.
On average, the best-performing pages in search are the longest ones. Pages with over a thousand words tend to rank better than shorter pages. One study found that pages with around 1200 words rank best.
So do not stop too soon – a short post might provide a useful update on a topic, but it can never provide in-depth insight, so it is less likely that people will share it or link to it.
Content marketing is as much a science as an art. You need to be able to write engaging, interesting and informative articles, but at the same time, you must have an SEO content strategy in place so that your time spent writing is not wasted.
So did you find the above 7 SEO content strategy tips helpful?
Is there anything you think I need to to add?
Join in and tell us all in the comments section below. 🙂
About the Author
Danny Hall is the co-director over at Freelance SEO. Danny firmly believes that the best SEO content strategy you can implement is to always write high-quality content that makes other bloggers want to link to it naturally.
- License: Creative Commons image source