Search engine optimization
or SEO for short is the crucial part of any marketing campaign. Nowadays, if you want people to find your content, you need to make the search engine find it first. To do so, you need to implement the right SEO strategies in your content and make your site recognizable for different search engines.
However, even when you following the right steps in terms of SEO implementation, one wrong turn can take you to the path you don’t want to be on. That’s why you need to set your SEO priorities straight and avoid making common mistakes that can cost you customers and leads. Here are five key points you need to understand and start implementing right away in order to get the best results through your website.
1. Always do research first
So, let’s say you’ve sat down and prepared yourself to write an article, a piece of content that you want to publish on your site. The first and obvious goal you have is for people to read that article, which means they must be able to find it first. Now, there is no doubt that you can create awesome content right out of your head but the question is whether that will raise interest and get people to pay attention?
Your content is what attracts people to your site and it is also what makes them stay there for longer than two seconds. Therefore, you must make sure you are delivering the kind of content that has value and that the readers are interested in checking out. So, instead of improvising and writing about something that popped in your head that morning, do some research and find out what people are looking for at the moment.
Doing research will help you make sure you are delivering correct information, as unreliable content will only drive the readers away and shake up the trust they have in you. Therefore, always use valid sources but never copy their content. That is the golden rule of content creation: do research but never copy!
You can even check out the website of your competitors to get an idea of how they are presenting their content but always remember to stay unique when creating your own. To make sure the readers trust you more, make your content sound more professional by using the words and phrases that are common for the industry you are writing about. These phrases also help search engines categorize your content, but that’s something we will discuss later on.
2. Know what the audience wants
This is a quite connected with the previous point of doing research, as without proper research you cannot know what the audience really wants to read. Before you start creating your content, firstly decide who your audience is. That depends on your niche, product or service. For example, if you’re writing about real estate, your audience are going to be people who are already engaged in the industry or who those who just want to start investing.
Once you know who your audience is, you can tailor your voice and content to their interests and needs. One good way to find out what your audience really wants is to interact with them and ask them. If you have social media pages within your business, use them to communicate with your audience, ask questions and set up polls to find out what their interests are.
Later you can use the results to tailor your content to their interests. Another way to get inside the mind of a customer is to actually put yourself in their position. Let’s say you’re writing about a specific product, think of yourself as a person who is looking for that kind of product at the moment. Ask yourself what would you write in Google in hopes to find that product and what kind of questions you would ask about it. Then write posts answering those questions and using the keywords that would be searched the most.
3. Take advantage of the metadata
Many people ignore the whole metadata subject, which is a huge mistake in terms of search engine optimization. Metadata can significantly help you get your content out there by telling both people and the search engine what your posts are about. For example, if someone shares your content on Facebook or any other social media page, the meta title is going to be the first thing that appears through that link.
Therefore, many people will be seeing that meta title which is going to make them decide whether to open the page or not. Other aspects of metadata such as the alt tags on images and meta descriptions also play an important role in SEO. These pieces of content should always be concise and straight to the point, as you will only have a few characters to describe what the content is about. The metadata should also contain important keywords, which we will discuss below.
4. Don’t forget the headlines
Headlines don’t only serve to capture people’s attention. Even though that is one of their objectives, headlines also play an important role when it comes to web crawlers recognizing the types of content. When Google scans your page, the headline is going to tell the bots what the page is about. Therefore, it is important to include the major keyword right into the headline of your article.
The thing is, people make the mistake of only including the keywords in the body of the text and completely neglecting the titles, while the titles remain the most important aspects when it comes to proper SEO. Therefore, make sure the title contains the right keyword but at the same time sounds natural and written by a human, instead of some sort of artificial intelligence bot.
Finally, we saved the best for last. Keywords are the most important part of search engine optimization. SEO success completely depends on your ability to integrate the right keywords within your content and website in general. So, what keywords to choose and where should they appear?
Firstly, you should have your keywords equally distributed throughout the whole text, as well as in following sections:
- Headlines (H1, H2, H3)
- Meta title and description
- Alt tags on all images
- URLs of each page
Now that you know where to put the keywords, you need to know which ones to put in as well. It’s good to have a variety of different keywords within the text but you also must focus on two or three most important ones that you are going to mention several times. Make sure to include the major keyword in the first and last paragraph of the content. Other keywords should be included in the text naturally, so that they don’t repeat too often or sound stuffed into the text.
When it comes to picking a keyword, it’s good to be specific. Don’t overlook longer keywords, as those are the ones that are going to attract the specific audience. The longer keywords are phrases of three or more words and they work effectively because they target the users who are looking for that specific information. It is also good to add location to the keywords in order to appeal to the local users, however, don’t overdo it as it may sound unnatural.
For more information and helpful tips on the topic of SEO success, contact the search engine optimization experts at www.bethesda-list.com.