Content marketing is an invaluable tool to any business with an online presence, thanks to its cost-effectiveness, wide potential reach and long-term benefits. When it comes to search engine optimisation, the focus is on creating content that is highly visible on websites like Google, in order to generate traffic and leads.
In terms of creating solid, SEO friendly content, you need to consider the way search engine algorithms work, as well as the target audience of your content, and then balance these two aspects. This article presents some useful tips to make sure you strike that balance and create quality content, which works for your company.
Use SEO Tools to Steer Content
A business or SEO company has a range of tools available to them, which can steer them in the right direction when it comes to creating highly visible content. Sites like Soovle will help you to pinpoint popular search terms, while Portent’s Content Idea Generator can help you to think of interesting subjects. Then, of course, search engines like Google have a number of their own tools to make use of.
“We have used Google’s Keyword Planner to identify a list of valuable terms and phrases,” says Graham Charlton from Econsultancy. “Having identified these terms, our content team then brainstormed article ideas to target [them]. This kind of planning exercise ensures that the content we create does as much work for us as possible.”
Make Content Evergreen
An experienced search agency will often reference the importance of evergreen content – that is, content which retains its relevance for a long period of time. For example, news pieces may not be ideal for SEO, because they can become dated quickly, but advice pieces stay useful for months or even years.
In relation to search engine optimisation, the primary benefits of evergreen content are its ability to continue to generate traffic, leads and shares on social media sites long after its publication date. As a result, this enables content to occupy valuable positions in search results for much longer than current affairs articles.
Take Care With Keywords
Once you have decided upon the content you want to produce and the keywords you want to include within it, you need to consider how they are used. Many readers are familiar with the concept of SEO and while that can be a positive, it means that any jarring use of keywords will stand out like a sore thumb. For this reason, keywords need to make sense within the context of the sentences and paragraphs they are in, and relate to the heading.
In addition to context of keywords, it is also crucial to think about placement. It can be beneficial, for instance, to include popular SEO keywords in the title itself, but it can be counter-productive to place your keywords in close proximity of one another.
Remember to Include Images
Finally, it is worth remembering that graphics can also play a valuable role in your SEO strategy, helping your content to show up in image searches, like Google Images. The most important steps are to include an alt tag (the ‘label’ of your image) so that search engine crawlers know what it is about and are able to index it. Also ensure the file name is descriptive and appropriate for the image.
“If you spend hours crafting the perfect post, don’t miss out on the chance to optimise your images for maximum search engine benefit,” says Derek Halpern, a marketing expert and the founder of Social Triggers. As a further tip, due to the fact that page load times can impact SEO, smaller images are generally better, where possible.