The all-knowing, all-seeing and well basically all-everything, Google, tells us that content is right up there in its three top ranking factors, but what constitutes good content from the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) perspective?
As the leading vehicle for modern SEO, effective content marketing is your best tactic to gain organic search results growth through every (yes, every) search engine! But not just any old content will do, search engines are looking for “high-quality” content – of course, they are never going to tell how to achieve this, so based on our work over the years, we did!
Here are our 7+ Steps to SEO Content Strategy Mastery, enjoy …
Know what queries your audience is searching on, what they are looking for and then design your content to be the solution! There are some great tools online (both free and paid) that can help with this. Some good one to review include Google Keyword Planner, KWFinder, Moz Keyword Explorer and SEMRush.
High Quality Content
Once you know what your audience is looking for, develop and provide them with the solutions they seek. Use your research to answer specific questions that helps move them through your pipeline, and be sure to feature an enticing call to action (CTA) to help them take the next step.
Use the same language as your audience, if you are working with academics, content with little to no referencing will see them click off as quickly as they click on! Use a mix of content, e.g. long form content (over 1000 words and over) tends to rank well in organic results, however, short form (500 words and under) can be just as effective and more time efficient pending your audience – because it is as much about your audience, as it is about organic ranking! The trick is balancing your output to achieve both. Also, don’t forget about infographics, videos, case studies, whitepapers, reports and slide deck content. Interchange the different styles in your SEO content strategy to work out which is most effective and enticing to your audience – then give them what they want.
Good User Experience Design (UX) is good for SEO. UX is probably best summed up as the pleasure/ease of use you provide your audience with when they interact with you online, and it is critical to your content strategy. You should try and cover off on at least some of the following within each piece of content; simple, unexpected, educational, inspiring, entertaining, credible, relevant, practical, trustworthy, and unique. Now obviously not every piece of content can cover them all, but multiple pieces utilising some of the different aspects within, is a worthy goal.
Create Accurate Content
Be a grammar star! While there is no evidence that bad grammar adversely affects your rank, from a UX point of view it counts! Be credible, cite reputable sources, and utilise quality outbound links to demonstrate to the search engines that you are on top of your content game. Be accurate, factual and don’t make claims that you can’t back up with either internal experience and knowledge, or credible sources.
Check Your Keyword Volumes
At the beginning, we talked about keyword research. Now that you have your keywords, you need to figure out how to apply them effectively within your SEO content strategy. Keyword stuffing it definitely a no-no and while it is ineffective, more importantly, it can literally be dangerous. Google is all up in your business and is very savvy when it comes to keywords and they will punish you for overzealous use of keywords! Utilise your keywords (where appropriate) in your heading, throughout your article, blog, infographic, video, etc. Be natural with your usage. Don’t be awkward, instead craft your first few paragraphs to organically outline your meaning and work through from there.
Keep it Fresh
Posting once a month isn’t going to cut it, you have so many channels to get your message out – social media, EDMs, blogs, articles, cross promotion with other sites, notes, insights, I could go on. You don’t need to add to each every day, or even every week, simply utilise the channels at different times to continually provide relevant information to your audience on a regular basis. One example might be – Create a blog post and send it live to your site, then share it with your social media channels over the next few days, then add an intro to your monthly newsletter with a link back to your article on your website for people who want to read more. Voila, your one blog post has reached your audience, when and where they want to see it.
You’ve come this far, so here’s your prize! While the backend or technical side of SEO is generally comprised of an overarching site-wide myriad of fun factors, there are a few considerations you can take on within each piece of individual content to give you an edge!
The quicker it loads, the better your rank. Check your image sizes, along with any other media files, to ensure they are not slowing down your load times. Best practice is 3 seconds or less before you start getting punished for your piece.
Be mobile responsive, make sure you content is easy to access and easy to engage with via mobile or other non-desktop devices. A recent study showed that 76% of people use a smartphone to access the internet, while 81% of people use smartphones to access social media. We got this information from the latest Sensis Report.
Sitemaps are used to help search engines, like Google, to find relevant information quickly and easily on your website. Make sure all of your content is indexed on your website’s Sitemap to help them find you quick and easy.
So, there you have it, our top tips to help your organisation become SEO content strategy gurus! We have worked with multiple clients over the years on their content and SEO in order to gain the above insight, we hope you can use them to ace your goals!
If, however, you want to keep your eyes on the prize and focus on your core business instead of the above, then please feel welcome get in touch with us – we are just a call, click, or email away and we live for this stuff!