Complete guide to optimizing content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
1. Optimizing Content for SEO
Search crawlers are becoming more sophisticated by the day. The algorithms that govern the search rankings are evolving to understand content semantically. Businesses that wish to put a content-based strategy at the center of their brand-building need to optimize posts accordingly.
Being aware of recent developments in the space and following SEO best practices will boost your business’s results.
Google recently announced that their new update, Bert, which aims to make content ranking an organic process. This means that the SEO tactics of the past are no longer active. Emphasis should be placed on the content itself while sticking to SEO best practices and its reception by audience members.
2. Focus on Keywords
Keywords have been famous for SEO from the dawn of the web. However, taking the time to make a list of relevant keywords before writing content will come in handy. The main thing to remember is that keywords should be integrated into your content naturally. It shouldn’t be an effort to stuff as many related phrases as you can in an awkward fashion.
A real general rule to follow is to use your primary keyword for up to three percent of your text. If you find that the primary keyword is repeated more or seems too saturated throughout your post upon proofreading, try using synonyms and related long-tail keywords. Related long-tail keywords are phrases closely tied to your niche.
These keywords will offer you additional SEO benefits as search engines will rank your website for those as well.
Visit this article on keyword cannibalization for a guide in dealing with keywords issues.
3. Proper Use of Headings
Headings are a way of showing search engines the importance each section of your content holds. Breaking down an article with the use of header tags will allow Google’s algorithm to understand your content better and rank it accordingly.
Use an h1 card for your article title and h2 tags for essential subsections. You can further break down your text with the use of h3 cards, which are a step lower than h2.
The length of your content should be enough to complete the main objective your post sets out to accomplish. Past recommendations for post lengths varied as many parties expressed differing opinions. Generally speaking, if you can answer a question extensively in a post ranging from 1000 to 2000 words, you should be fine.
With that said, some niches may require more extensive posts, and others may be more suitable for shorter lengths. One option for dealing with lengthy content topics is to break them down thematically into smaller posts.
A practical way to determine what content length is best for your niche is to run Google searches on various keywords in your niche. Look over the results on the first page and see how many words are in each post.
This will give you the right idea as to what length of content Google values for that specific niche. If you write content that appeals to your audience’s needs and doesn’t become redundant or drawn-out, Google will reward your website.
5. Link Building
Link building used to be a top concern for webmasters. Actively communicating with other website owners to get backlinks was a common tactic. However, updates to the Google ranking algorithm in recent years have made this practice more harmful than beneficial. Search engines frown upon the active and deliberate collection of backlinks, especially if they are of dubious value.
If you create share-worthy content, people will link to it from their websites and their social media. Therefore, placing your emphasis on creating high-value content should be enough of a link-building strategy.
At the same time, you should be developing your internal links. These are links that connect related content within the website. Keep a list of all your posts, possibly in a spreadsheet, so that you don’t lose track of the topics you have covered in the past. While writing your content, find older articles you can link to.
This will not only boost your website’s value in the eyes of Google’s algorithm but also increase metrics like time spent by users on your site and the average number of pages viewed.
6. URL Optimization
Top-ranking pages in Google’s search results tend to have shorter URLs. Results in the first position have URLs that average of 59 characters in length. Aim to keep your URLs around this length.
7. Optimize for Mobile
If you have a responsive website, you are halfway to the goal of optimizing for mobile. Using short and concise call to actions will keep them from running off a mobile device’s screen. Also, centering key text will make it easier to read on a mobile.
It’s always a good idea to view your content on a mobile device after you create it. This way, you can make sure that the user experience is optimal for all of your website’s visitors.
8.Think Like a Customer
With Google using artificial intelligence to maximize its understanding of users’ search behavior, thinking like your customer is the best way to create content that rises to the top of the rankings.