Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand, that’s a known fact. Of course, each can exist as a separate entity, but combining these two results in higher search engine ranking and more traffic, and with that more sales and profits.
Whereas using keywords is an important aspect of SEO for content marketing, there are other important ones to consider so you climb up the ranking ladder faster. This is why we’ll give you 10 SEO content tips so you can create your best SEO content this year and improve your search presence.
Boost your CTR
Improving your click-through rate can have a very positive impact on climbing up Google’s ranking ladder, and other search engines as well for that matter. After all, there is a reason why most articles try to find a balance between keyword-optimized and attention-grabbing titles.
There are a few things you can do to increase your CTR, the easiest one being writing great titles for your posts. You can use power words that create trust (expert, authentic, reliable and official), pique curiosity (strange, eye-opening, unique and secret), even include words that are considered greedy (more, quick, now and free). Besides using some of these power words, don’t forget to include keywords as well.
Other than coming up with eye-catching titles, you can write a custom description for each article. Try creating a short description that will make your potential visitors eager to click and read more on that topic. When it comes to how the content in the article is organized, lists are quite popular and easy to read. “Top 10” pieces are very clickable, just take a look at the title of our piece. After all, you clicked on it, right?
Pick the Right Keywords
Keyword research is the most important part when it comes to optimizing your content for search engines, and there’s no SEO content tips list without this aspect. With a plethora of serious competitors for any given keyword nowadays, finding and choosing the right ones is essential.
If done right, you’ll get more organic searches based on the keywords you successfully target. Thankfully, there are many free and paid tools that can help you find the right keywords, like Google’s Keyword Planner which is totally free, or the more advanced Ahrefs that you have to pay for.
Besides one word keywords, using long-tail keywords is something you shouldn’t avoid given that the competition is lower, despite the fewer number of searches. Because of that, it’s clever to use the following method to show that your article or website is relevant to the topic of discussion.
If you write a blog post titled “10 Easy Vegan Lunch Ideas for Work”, you should not only use your main keywords in the article, but also other closely related terms and phrases. Instead of ‘easy’ you can use ‘quick’ and ‘fast’, or replace ‘vegan’ with ‘plant-based’.
Add Videos, Infographics or Engaging Visuals
Embedding a video on your blog posts or adding an infographic in your articles can be quite helpful in a couple of different ways. People love visual content that can be easily consumed, especially if they open a long, in-depth article that’s full of text. If this is the case, engaging your readers with visual content can help keep them on your website longer. That’s why many websites add quizzes or polls at the end of their articles or embed videos from YouTube.
Creating a stunning infographic will help you get more traffic that comes from Google Images or Pinterest, and will encourage your audience to share it on social media. This will additionally boost your rankings, since Google loves to recommend pages that are sharable and engaging.
As we all know, quality comes before quantity when talking about SEO content tips, so giving your visitors better user experience, more engaging content and shareable infographics will certainly count as a positive factor to the search engine algorithms that send you organic traffic.
Learn how to use video content in your SMM in our extensive guide.
Link to Internal Pages of Your Website
One of the easiest ways to lower your bounce rate and boost your ranking is to connect your content with internal links. The higher the number of internal links, the lower the bounce rate, so link to relevant articles, your products, and other content on your site.
For example, if you have a website about healthy food with recipes and articles about the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables, you can link a couple of cashew recipes in your article about the nutritional benefits of drupes or cashews. As long as the link is relevant to the topic of discussion, go ahead and link it.
By doing that, you’ll refer your visitors to other pages on your website, and if they find your website useful, they might even continue to browse through your content. That will lower your bounce rate and give you more page and ad views while you spread link equity throughout your website.
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Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is most often not regarded as a serious issue, mostly because it is not considered a penalty by search engines. However, duplicate content can hurt your search rankings and harm your search engine optimization. Although it doesn’t have a negative impact by itself, duplicate content can confuse the search engines, making it more complicated for them to find and pick the most relevant page from your website for the keyword that is searched.
There are a few ways, however, to fix or remove duplicate content from your website. One way is to make use of the rel=canonical tag, which is there to tell the search engines that a certain page or pages are a duplicate of another page. So if you add the rel=canonical tag to your duplicate pages and link your original page there, search engines will know which one is your main page and they will attribute the ranking power from the duplicates the original one.
Another option to fix duplicate content is to use a 301 redirect. This will not only tell search engines about your duplicate and original pages, but it will also redirect your visitors to the main page if they try to open a page with duplicate content. This fix is permanent, so think about what you want to achieve before using a 301 redirect. If you use this option, you’ll not only fix your duplicate content, but also remove the duplicate pages completely.
Make Use of the 404 Page
Sometimes when you try to open a page, an error occurs. That can happen for many reasons, but most often it’s because the content is deleted or a product from an e-store is removed. In any case, if that happens to you, you’ll see a 404 error page that tells you that the content you’ve tried to access is not found.
By creating a custom 404 page, you can keep your visitors on your page and give them some other option so they don’t immediately close it.
If you have an e-commerce website, maybe you’d like to link your customer support page on the 404-page, so your potential customer, with the help of the support, will find the product they wanted to access.
If you have a news website or a blog, you can link other popular articles on your error page, or show the categories so your visitors can continue browsing. You can also include a search bar and write a joke or try to be witty, given that error pages are, in most cases, very dull and boring.
This part of our SEO content tips list is often overlooked, so be different from your competitors and show your readers that you care.
Create Useful & Evergreen Content
In-depth articles that contain research and useful references rank much better compared to shorter or not that informative posts. By creating long-form content, you’ll not only offer useful reading to your visitors, but you’ll also receive a ranking boost for your content.
One study by SerpIQ found that the first three links from Google’s results page have, on average, quite lengthy content with around 2500 words per article. Lengthy content will also get you more shares on social media since people find it more beneficial and are more inclined to share it with their friends.
Evergreen content can additionally benefit you, considering that you’ll gather backlinks over time as people share your article and link to your page. Other than writing content on evergreen topics, you can periodically update your longest and most popular articles with the latest information so that Google considers them fresh and gives them a higher ranking.
Be Mobile Friendly & Speed Up Your Website
Ever since 2015, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches which is something that’ll only continue to grow. So it’s only logical that a few years ago Google updated their algorithm to give a boost to all mobile-friendly websites.
Today, if you search for something on the most popular search engine via your mobile phone, the first few results will almost always be from mobile-friendly websites. This is very important to Google since its algorithm is all about giving their users the best possible experience, so don’t neglect it.
But sometimes having a responsive or mobile-friendly website is not enough. It’s also crucial to have a website that loads fast. Slow loading is seen by most search engines as a negative factor and your rankings for specific keywords will be lower than they would be if your website loads in the first 3 seconds.
If you use WordPress, you can install some plugins that will optimize your website and minify some of the code, so that your visitors have a faster and better experience. If you don’t use WordPress, there are other methods to speed up your website that most web designers and developers can help you with (like optimizing your images, using fonts from Google Fonts servers, minifying the code or using a CDN).
Optimizing your articles in order to rank for featured snippets is a powerful way to get more traffic to your website. When people search for something on Google, featured snippets are sometimes shown and they often include an image, one paragraph of text, and a link to the page from where the image and text are taken.
They are positioned before the organic result on some searches, so you can use them to boost the CTR on your articles. More than 10 percent of searches include a featured snippet, where people can find a partial or full answer to the question they are posing.
In almost all cases, the articles that rank for featured snippets are already in the top 10 positions on Google’s results page for that search term. If you think you can achieve a high ranking, then it’s worth the try.
The most searched types of queries that have a featured snippet are about health, math, finances, and DIY. As for keywords that are most frequently found in the featured snippets, “recipe”, “best”, “vs” and “make” take the lead.
If you want to rank for featured snippets, using keywords such as “what”, “why” and “how” can help you a lot, as well as creating valuable and informative content.
Keep Visitors on Your Website Longer
Imagine someone opening a page from your website and closing it in 30 seconds, and compare that with another person who stayed on the page for 3 minutes. You would assume that the latter had a better experience and found relevant information to the query they’ve searched for, and you’d be right!
Well, that’s most probably the case in this imaginary example, since people will leave your website much faster if your content quality is low, not relevant for the thing they searched for, or hardly understandable.
Because of that, one of the best ways to have better user engagement and user experience is to publish easy to read articles that contain valuable statistics, relevant information and a lot of visuals.
If you offer visual content to your visitors, you can be sure that user engagement will be better, considering that people love to see images and GIFs or watch short animations and videos. Infographics and tables are also quite valuable as they can help you make your article more interesting and shareable.
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By applying these 10 important SEO content tips into your content marketing strategy, you’ll climb up that ranking latter in a relatively short period of time. So bookmark this article and get down to work if you want to succeed sooner rather than later.
Want to know more about how to create an awesome content marketing strategy? Check out our guide on how to make it count.