As a content marketer in 2013, there is no way that you haven’t had at least a handful of colleagues and coworkers expound on the importance of Search Engine Optimization. Getting your work noticed is what matters, and getting the web pages that you publish to rank well in a Google search is an outstanding way to get noticed.
Has learning more about how to create a SEO based content strategy been rolling around in your head for a while? Perhaps you suddenly had an epiphany of the greatness that can be had with SEO mastery. Whatever the reason, you need to start somewhere. Here are some of the basics to keep in mind for all of your content, in order to optimize the work that you write and publish online.
Relevance is King
Decide what you want your focus to be and choose 2-3 keywords that represent your primary topic. Use these words frequently throughout your text, but don’t overdo it. Your keywords are particularly important in the title and primary headline of your post, and within the first and last 100 words. The title of your page is what tells readers what to expect, it also gives search engines context and relevance as they index and rank your work. Mentioning it a few more times within the article reinforces the expectation. Other webmasters are likely to use other words and phrases, which are closely related to your key terms, when they link back to your content. These inbound links pass ranking signals to Google, helping it know where to place your pages in its index.
Use Google Authorship
Google has created a way to link your Google+ profile to the content that you author. When you use Google Authorship correctly, certain search queries will display your G+ profile picture, along with links to your G+ page directly within the search result. These rich snippets are proven to increase organic click-through rate, even when your URL is farther down the search engine results page (SERP). Additionally Google has developed what is called AuthorRank, which allows content written by influential authors to influence the overall SEO value of a Webpage.
Let Your Links Tell a Story
Mindfully placed links can make a real difference in how well a site or page is optimized. When you’re writing your article, try to come up with between 2-3 relevant links, depending on the length of the article, and the right keyword or phrase to use as the anchor text. Don’t overdo it with the links! Ambition is good, but a link-heavy page not only looks spammy to your audience, but Google hates it to. Poorly executed link placement can limit your search ranking potential.
There aren’t very many instances in life when being regular isn’t a healthy, beneficial thing. This is definitely the case when you are trying to improve the overall value and findability of your website. A site that’s actively posting content, on a regular basis, indicates a company that is invested in the information they provide their users. Furthermore, new content is given a freshness score by Google. This freshness factor can influence how Google ranks search results.
Pay Attention to Pictures
Many times, photos can be an afterthought in an article, but it’s a real disservice to your business to miss out on such an easy opportunity to optimize. Properly tagged photos that have been given a title add extra keyword power to your page and they make the page look more appealing when displayed on social media sites.
Sharing is Caring
Speaking of social media, many people don’t realize how valuable having their work shared on various social media sites can be, not only from a marketing point of view, but for SEO best practices as well. Getting your links out there on Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter builds links back to your site and the more those links get clicked, the more search engines pay attention to your site.
Above all, keep your audiences in mind while you flex all of your sweet new SEO skills. Don’t ever let your desire for link building or keyword density underscore the importance of providing users with meaningful content that is interesting, entertaining, and valuable. Keep a healthy balance of strategy and information and you’ll find that the SEO basics are a lot easier than you think.