SEO. This is probably a phrase we’re all sick of hearing yet, as content marketers, it’s a term that our lives revolve around. After all, if we want our content to be read and seen by our users, it’s something that we have to do. However, it’s easier said than done. Google wants you to keep your sentences short and precise, yet you have a ton of information to convey. You want to provide your readers with high-quality content yet you’ll get penalized for hosting high-resolution images.
It’s all about finding the right balance. Today, we’ll explore several essential tips and techniques you can use to find that balance, enabling you to achieve a high SEO ranking in your content while giving your readers what they want.
Nail the Headlines
The headline of your content is easily one of the most important parts. Not only is the aspect of your article that will draw your readers in in the first place, but it’s also the first part of your article that will contain the keywords that Google will use to index your content. Invest time in creating the perfect headlines that set the tone of your article. Ensure it makes an impact.
Short & Precise Content
According to LinkedIn statistics, 40% of users will give up on loading a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. This is the reason that Google penalises you for hosting large-sized images. The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is by using ‘lossy compression’ on your images, which shrinks the image while only slightly reducing the quality. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you don’t have too much text in your article. Per the article, you’ll want to aim for around 300 – 1,500 words, depending on the nature of the article. Be sure to check your keyword density.
Formatting Your Content
If this article were written in just a huge block of text, even if the words were the same, you’d have a hard time reading it and Google would have a hard time indexing it. While writing your content, split it up into paragraphs and add essential sub headings where they are due. As a rule of thumb, only have around 3-5 sentences per paragraph.
Know Your Audience
Before you sit down to write any form of content, it’s essential that you know your audience. What language do they speak? What are their interests and why are they reading your article? Your readers will be on your website for a reason. If you don’t supply that reason, they’ll only leave.
Jump on the Bandwagon
Writing content regarding content that is trending in your industry is crucial. For example, if you’re running a rideshare blog and the CEO of Uber has just left the company, this is what you need to be writing about. Not only will you receive more views as well as forming the appearance of being a leading source of information, but Google will also pick up your keywords and stick you right at the top of the page.
I know I’ve been going on about not using slow-loading 10mb images, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use images altogether. The internet is a highly prominent place and including relevant images in your content can award you with increased view rates, sometimes as much as 94%. Optimise and compress them correctly, and you’ll see a huge boost when it comes to your page ranking.
Accuracy is Key
This is predominately for the benefit of your readers, but it’s essential that you proofread and edit your work to perfection. Nobody wants to read through an article that’s riddled with mistakes, bad grammar and spelling mistakes; it harms your credibility as a website. Always triple check your work before you upload it.
Implement Analytical Software
You’re never going to get to the top of your game if you don’t track your progress. Monitor your page views, your engagement rates and your search engine statistics. This will enable you to see what content is successful and what isn’t. With this information, ignore the content that failed and reproduces similar content to the successful posts as this is obviously what your readers what to see.
Make it Easy to Share
Finally, there’s no better form of advertisement than word of mouth. That’s users reading your content and putting their credibility on the line. Include easy to see and use share buttons so users can share your content with their followers, once again increasing your SEO page ranking and your view count. Place the button in a prominent place, and you could even implement a call to action to ensure that your readers to click it. Just be subtle and smart with your placement.
Rachel Summers has been a social media manager for seven years, working for a variety of companies, both big and small, including Top Canadian Writers, a leading custom writing service. In her free time, Rachel also helps and advices a variety of small and start-up businesses on their social media strategies.