You wonder how to not let your efforts be in vain? Combine content and SEO! If your content is of high quality, you cannot forget to make it easily accessible online. Follow a few SEO best practices and watch your audience grow. Want to know more? Learn 6 tips that will lead to a blissfully happy marriage between content marketing and SEO.
1. Plan actions, set objectives
Careful planning of content marketing activities helps monitor their effects. It’s important to sketch an editorial calendar right at the outset of your efforts. Include there the article publishing frequency, keywords and topics.
If you decide on content marketing activities, post regularly. An editorial calendar will give you more control over content creation. You may also use it to note the effectiveness of individual articles or materials, checking e.g. a number of searches and comments or analyzing a different objective.
When drawing up an editorial calendar, think about the purpose your efforts are to serve. Set goals to achieve through content posted. You’ll get a transparent picture of effects you achieve and check if they’re what you’ve expected. All your goals should be SMART, that is:
- Specific– your goals should be accurate and crystal-clear
- Measurable– identify Key Performance Indicators, they’ll help you verify if you’re on the right path to the achievement of your goals
- Achievable– start with goals that are easier to attain. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – 40mn unique visits to the website aren’t so probable when you just begin. Save such numbers for later J
- Realistic– a goal needs to be specific in value so that it’s worth attaining
- Timelined– set deadlines for your goals.
Goals to take into consideration in your content marketing strategy
- Traffic generation
- Social media organic traffic improvement
- Lead generation
- Bounce rate decrease
- Increase in the number of returning users.
2. Focus on user intentions
Materials you create as part of your content marketing activities are a perfect place to put natural keywords, though in a context.
Google should be regarded as a person for quite a long time now. When creating content, don’t focus exclusively on keywords which, when put together forcibly, are mumbo jumbo. Sentences need to be linked to each other properly. That’s why you should write articles which you’d like to read yourself. What does it mean in practice?
While preparing a piece of writing, don’t focus on increased concentration of keywords but rather on intentions of users who try to find answers to their questions. It’s crucial to predict questions that your target market can have – your posts and articles ought to touch upon all the aspects of a given issue and not merely references to a given keyword.
Remember that so-called keyword stuffing, which simply means overusing keywords, is good neither for your articles nor for your audience.
3. Optimize your text and graphics
Optimize your posts and articles SEO-wise! The main keyword should appear in the heading, the URL and one of the subheadings. It’s of utmost importance to include derivative forms and synonyms of the main keyword selected.
Give titles to your graphical elements
It’s also essential to properly describe graphics you share. If you use stock photos, don’t forget to change their names. Typically, all stock materials have descriptions and you should absolutely edit them!
Add alt attributes
You can provide an alt attribute – alternative text. Alt attributes are read by search engine crawlers which identify and categorize content you post. If an image may not be displayed due to technical difficulties, alternative text will be shown. It’s very crucial for the blind and visually impaired as well who use screen reading software to browse the Internet. Such a form of optimization helps increase the visibility of your photos and images in Google Graphics. Remember that some users look for not only text but also graphics.
It’s also worth using microformats – one of the structured data types that helps the search engine better interpret what a website is about.
The use of structured data allows to display page extended descriptions in search results. They’re so-called rich snippets which are a remarkably attractive and eye-catching form when compared to standard search results.
4. Remember about internal linking
Make sure the pages of your website that contain thematically similar content are interlinked. At the end, you can also provide a section entitled Articles you may also find interesting, More on this subject or Similar articles.
This will make the user further explore your website. It’s more likely then that the user won’t leave your website right after reading one article, which in turn will decrease the bounce rate for your website.
In addition, make sure that breadcrumbs are visible on the website! This will help the user keep track of where exactly on the website (in its structure) they are at the moment.
Act with moderation
Google crawlers find internal linking helpful in website indexing; internal linking increases the visibility of individual pages in the search engine. However, moderation is the key to success. Overusing links repels users who tend to leave the website with too many links earlier rather than to dig deeper in it.
5. Focus on high-quality links
In your editorial calendar identify areas of distribution of your content. There’re two types of such areas:
- Owned media– your own channels to share content, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Slideshare or YouTube
- Paid media– external, paid channels.
Owned media are useful in getting primarily to people who already know you. On the other hand, paid media help reach and cover new fields.
Note that linking strategies shouldn’t be based anymore on linking to directories or encouraging other webmasters to put links on their own websites. A content marketer ought to concentrate on building relations and networks of beneficial links to the website promoted. And how to do it?
- Invite other people to guest blog for you
- Create unique and interesting content capable of generating organic traffic. Visit Google Analytics and check what’s displayed most frequently, use such tools as Facebook Insights to know what’s shared most often. A thorough analysis will help you get to know your audience better and learn what they need and find most interesting
- Reach out to influential bloggers and authors to agree upon mutual benefits from content linking or posting
- Distribute content via owned and paid media.
6. Be mobile-friendly
For quite some time now, the “mobile first” approach has been invaluable in the process of content creation. Google tends to neglect non-responsive websites and blogs.
Make sure your article is clear and digestible – use short and catchy titles, format and align the text, don’t forget about subheadings, paragraphs and bolding selected phrases in the text. Let the user efficiently navigate the content you’ve created for them.
Remember to make all multimedia materials in your posts and articles mobile responsive. Content marketers tend to overlook this aspect and users often find the website layout unattractive.
Secret to success: content marketing and SEO combined – summary
If you follow the aforementioned rules, your content will be seen by much more users and the bounce rate for your website will be lower. Any combination will work if all its constituents interact properly with each other. The same applies to content marketing and SEO!