You can have a killer product and the world’s best writers tasked with promoting it. But, we are still at a point where marketing efforts live and die by their search engine placement. Four out of five purchasing decisions start with a Google search. To make sure that your excellent, persuasive content is part of what consumers see, it needs to be well-optimized. A few of the best ways to get to the top of the SERPs:
1. Create a keyword-rich, enticing headline.
Your headline should include keywords that lets audiences and search engine spiders know what your work is about. By including this bit of information, you can significantly increase your chances of indexing well. Make sure your headline is short, as well. Five or fewer words is best. Load keywords toward the beginning of the phrase so that it catches readers’ eyes.
2. Break content into sections with relevant subheads.
Well organized, skimmable content is more likely to be read than impenetrable walls of text. Breaking up using subheads also gives you the chance to inject your keywords into H2 tags. Make each subhead descriptive and inviting.
3. Tune up your technical SEO.
The technical specs of your page matter as much as the content that is on it. Every page should load quickly and completely, no matter what device your visitor uses to get there. The average surfer will leave your page if it takes more than three to four seconds to load. Image files should be small so that they don’t cause people to bounce before the page fully loads. Ensure that pages are mobile-friendly; this is now a major part of how Google assesses your site.
When you are setting up how URLs appear on your blog or website, make sure that they are descriptive. “http://www.myawesomesite.com/web-content- blog-post” does much better than “http://www.myawesomesite.com/3033ab4.” When QuickSprout analyzed the top ranking URLs, they found that they were short, contained few subfolders and generally had no extraneous characters.
4. Use descriptive title tags.
Pages on your site should not have names like “home” or “index.” These tell search engine spiders nothing about what your site is about. Instead, title your pages in ways that add valuable information. “South Texas Exterminators” tells search engines and surfers what they can expect.
5. Create a great description Meta tag.
While many Meta tags have fallen out of use, the description tag is still a valuable one. In most cases, search engines pull from this tag when they are listing your page in the search engine results. Think of this tag as like the title, but more detailed. You should organize the description so that the most important information comes first. If you have a background in journalism, think of it the way you would an opening sentence in a traditional newspaper article. Keep the content here short and to the point, no more than 160 characters.
6. Never forget that you are writing for the reader.
With all of the technical details involved in good SEO, the most important thing that you can do is always consider the reader first. Create content that is novel, informative and compelling. Elicit a reaction. Tell people something that they didn’t know. This leads more people to read and engage with your content. They are more likely to post links to your work on their own blogs or on their social media pages. These earned backlinks and the boost in traffic that they bring are also good for improving your SEO. In the end, you get rewarded by the search engines for doing the right thing by your readers.
With a little fine-tuning, you will find that you are able to get much better results with your content. By creating content consistently and keeping in mind what is needed for optimal performance, you can increase your number of readers and their engagement and get better visibility for your content and your brand.
About the Author
Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal Web Solutions, an award winning digital strategy agency based in Atlanta, GA. Named Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)’s 2015 Digital Marketer of the Year, his innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. Cardinal has been 3-time consecutively named on Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately-held US companies. Visit www.CardinalWebSolutions.com to find out more about Cardinal Web Solutions. Membrillo tweets @Alex_Membrillo