SEO Strategies for Content Marketers

There is a phrase floating around that SEO is dead. Please don’t believe the hype. SEO has gotten a bit of a bad rap in recent times, especially with practices such as link buying and web spamming, but SEO still is an important piece to a successful website. Perhaps the goal should be not so much search gaming tactics, but rather a focus on creating high quality content. In order for people to see your content, you still need to practice sound SEO strategies. Remember, you want to entice people to your site and then make them want to stay there.

Originality and Unique is Always Best

If we had to list only one important key to good SEO practices, it would be that original, engaging stories always win. By publishing stories that people want to share, link to, and write about, you are propelling yourself on the most organic path to great SEO. This is an important factor to remember as Google gives high-quality, in-depth articles a prioritized place in search results. 

Keyword and Audience Research Still Matters

While writing quality content is at the top of the list, don’t lose site of the fact that keywords still play a pivotal role. Keyword tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Bing Keyword Tool, and others will help you understand the volume of content already optimized for key terms relative to the amount of queries made for them. Finding out what your audience is searching for is a great way to gauge the type of content you should be writing. Another great way to gain audience insight is to go social. Try creating posts, quizzes and games, that pull information about what your audience desires from your brand, and then develop content accordingly. 

Create a Great Headline

Boring headlines are a great way to kill interest in your content. Creating a juicy, descriptive headline may get you more initial clicks and short-term volume, but it’s not sustainable. If you really want to connect with your audience for the long-term, establish a process for creating smart headlines and test and optimize them continuously. Headlines are the gateway to your content and brand, so take the time and effort to find titles that work and will capture the attention of your audience for the long haul.

Better Content Equals More Content

Take a good honest look at your content. Does it provide meaningful insight against a specific topic or keyword? Does your site have several variations on the same content? If so, you might want to consider consolidating or updating them. Don’t produce large volumes of content at the expense of quality. Each article you write should be unique and specific to a particular topic. Otherwise, your site’s overall authority may be devalued by search engines.

Optimize on Both the Page and Platform Level

It may seem like a time consuming and pesky job to deal with meta tags and descriptions, but you’re actually doing yourself a favor by taking the time to deal with them. They help search engines know what’s on your page and failing to create your meta tags and descriptions can sabotage your content. As well as page level tactics, don’t forget that platform technology is the lifeblood for good content. Cleaning up your HTML code, H1 headers, server errors, URL structures, and how code loads to your page will dramatically increase natural search results to your site. 

Inbound Links are Good

You’ve created original, engaging content that will appeal to your audience and followed the above SEO strategies, but there is still one thing missing. Links can get a bad rap, but it’s still important to find ways to get links to your site from reputable sources. Guest blogging has been a popular way to grow inbound links, but make sure it is right for your brand. Like all link building efforts, intention counts. If guest blogging adds value and authority, this will be pretty apparent to audiences and Google alike. Social platforms can also be another way to get inbound links as these platforms tend to reach a larger audience and may provide the opportunity for more social sharing. 

After reading through these strategies, what is the one takeaway you should have? Tell original stories and write high-quality content! Keep up to date with best practices as you market your content to potential audiences and don’t lose hope in how long in might take you to rank for certain keywords and topics. SEO is a definite waiting game, but if you play it straight and smart, the payoff will be worth it. Good luck!