Oh, sweet SEO. How much you’ve changed over the years . . . and how crucial to brand awareness success you remain!
Any business looking to promote their name on the internet should remember how important search engine optimization is to their prosperity. Defined by Dictionary.com as “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine,” it’s imperative to figure out how to get your site high on that list.
Everyone’s got suggestions, and we’ve been compiling such tips for years - considering how often the “rules” of SEO change, it’s practically a required business tactic. That’s why we’ve created the following checklist, which we can update any time a new step needs to be added, or remove a task from once it becomes outdated. We’re mostly staying out of the technical side of things for now, but instead offer a rundown of how to effectively strategize your SEO for content.
Without further adieu, behold the Content SEO Strategy we employ at ABJ, for your every day content optimization needs - and click below to download the checklist we use to plot out maximum SEO!
Content SEO Strategy
Determine the type of content. Don’t forget that SEO matters for blogs, email newsletters, videos, event promotion, images - pretty much everything!
Time to dig deep. Once you’ve decided on the type of format for your content, start doing as much research as possible. Know the topic of your content inside and out - and don’t be afraid to review competitor content on the same topic, because it will help you create something better. Heavy research will also help you craft more compelling content that’s relevant to your readers - something Google is starting to pay much more attention to.
List ‘em out. While you’re researching, start jotting down every relevant keyword you come across. The buzzier, the better.
Plug ‘em in. Time to evaluate the potential of those keywords - plug your robust list into such a tool as Ubersuggest (free!) or Moz (pricey but packed with features!) and gauge how valuable each word will be for your content.
Analyze. No one but Google knows how they officially rank websites, but using such tools as previously mentioned will help assess how difficult it will be to rank for a specific keyword. A higher score for keyword difficulty means it will be tougher to compete with that word, whereas a low score means it should be easier.
Put a tail on it. If you’ve got a keyword that you really want to use, but are worried about its high difficulty score, increase its search potential by combining another word or two and creating a long-tail keyword. Think of it this way - if you were shopping online for a new jacket, and just typed ‘jacket’ into your search engine, you’d be presented with a wide variety of options that could take a hefty amount of time to parse through. But if you were to narrow the search down to ‘green leather jacket’ you’d almost certainly find what you were looking for, and in a much quicker and easier way. When it comes to keywords, you want to use terms that are specific to your offering, and that bigger, more established businesses don’t use in their marketing. The more detailed your long-tail keyword, the better chance you have of ranking it with.
Where should they be placed? Depending on what type of content you decided on in Step #1, you’ve got a number of great places to position your keywords in.
Blog: Scatter keywords throughout your headings (H1, H2, and H3), paragraphs, and overall content - and be sure to use the top keyword in the first 150 words. Also be sure to include strong keywords in your title tags, URL, and blog categories and/or tags.
Email: Personalize your emails and send specific, relevant content to segments of your audience that will most likely “respond” to it; strategize email sends based on user research, and position links inside the email that encourages viewers to click through to your website. Don’t get too crazy with the use of keywords in the message, though - you’ve got a small space to get your point across, so don’t make it so keyword heavy that it’s obvious to your recipients.
Video: Once you’ve got a video recorded, and are ready to upload it to your YouTube, Blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc., write a keyword-rich description to include with it. Add hashtags - a great place to use long-tail keywords! - and apply categories or tags with similar terms. It’s also a great idea to add captions to the video (we like using Rev or Zubtitle) because this not only provides more viewers access, and greater engagement potential, but CC videos also rank higher in search results. Go one extra step and add a transcript to the video post because it easily increases search traffic!
Images: Adding alt text to your images also increases viewership by making those images accessible for the visually impaired - describe your image accurately when adding those few alt text words, and choose from the most optimal of keywords when doing so. These tags will help search engine crawlers find your page more easily.
Event Promo: There are plenty of great ways to incorporate SEO into event planning and promotion, but it’s crucial to remember where to place those beloved keywords. Make sure they’re located in all the right spots on your event registration page - same as a blog, you’ll want them in the title tags, URL, headings, and throughout the content.
Don’t overuse the same keywords. Keyword stuffing is a practice your audience will not enjoy, as it makes your content less readable, therefore negatively affecting your site’s ranking. You’re also going to run into a big problem if you go light on a certain buzzword in one article, then keep reusing it in other articles on your website - essentially you end up creating keyword competition against that first article!
External & internal links. To determine which ranking factors mattered most to Google’s algorithm, Moz did a survey that revealed external links were the most important in attaining high rankings. External links are the toughest metrics to exploit, so it stands to reason that including them in your content is one of the best ways search engines can measure a site’s popularity. On the other hand, internal links are a nice and simple way to point readers to previously posted articles on your blog, thus increasing traffic.
Calls-To-Action (CTAs). Plopping a pretty CTA inside your content also helps drive readers to other pages on your site, effectively acting as an internal link that will keep people on your website and prove to Google that you’re a popular place to be. Use power words to inspire lots of clicks from your CTA.
Make your content readable. Sounds easy enough, no? Well don’t forget that everyone’s attention span is shrinking, in partial thanks to the mostly digital lifestyle we all live now. So with that in mind, present your content to readers in an appealing way - break up larger paragraphs of text into smaller, more digestible chunks. The kind that keep your reader reading!
Create evergreen content. As you do all that research in Step 2, keep topics in mind that are always relevant to your audience, and will not become dated over time. You can point to this type of wonderful content frequently, in social posts, emails, and whenever someone has a question specific to the evergreen topic. This will boost your SEO by consistently sending people to your site.
Do you have any SEO secrets up your sleeve that you swear by? We’d love to hear them!
And if you’re looking for a guide to help you strategize optimal content, download our beloved SEO checklist: