SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the art and science of creating and leveraging highly targeted content across multiple channels to attract a specific audience in organic search.
SEO also plays an important role in creating brand awareness, providing an outstanding user experience, improving website conversion, and achieving a position of authority in the market.
While there are many free tools that can help you choose relevant keywords – like Google Keyword Planner, creating and leveraging an SEO strategy for long-term sustainability requires consistency, analytics, on-page and off-page linking, and intuition.
In this blog I will share 3 tips for integrating an SEO strategy when creating website content.
SEO Like a Pro with these 3 Tips!
1. Choose keywords for your audience (Psst. YOU are not your audience!)
You may be the subject matter expert on your products and services, but that doesn’t mean you know what search terms are most popular with your audience. Today – right now.
Don’t choose industry-relevant keywords, choose audience-relevant keywords.
I often tell clients to think of each SEO keyword as a valuable solution for the audience they are trying to reach. (Do you own a hat store? Don’t try ranking for hats, rank for big-hair hats. That’s a search on my radar. Just saying.)
Snapshot process for building your SEO profile:
After identifying your target audience and user personas, consider the pain points you can solve. Brainstorm some ideas and enter them into a search engine to get a feel for the results.
Then head over to my favorite free keyword tool, Google Keyword Planner, to nail down a few keywords you’d like to rank for. Check out Neil Patel’s Quick Sprout for a great tutorial on how to use Google Keyword Planner.
2. Optimize your content for organic search – but don’t force it! (Just say NO to keyword stuffing!)
As you create website content use your keyword(s) throughout the page as naturally as possible. There was, not too long ago, a lot of hype (obsession) around the importance of achieving the perfect keyword density – which is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. (Wiki)
While I agree keyword density is an important variable in an SEO strategy, I feel it is more important to write high-quality, easy-to-read content with a meticulous linking strategy versus finding ways to use keywords as many times as possible to increase keyword density.
It’s called Keyword stuffing – and you’re better than that.
Depending on the length of your content, it is generally accepted to achieve 1-3% keyword density. To check your content, try the free tool, Live Keyword Analysis.
Since you are likely working with a limited amount of on-page content, one way to boost your keyword in organic search is to use words as anchor text – words in a hyperlink that link to a blog, asset on your site or a high-authority, relevant off-page location.
When using anchor text as part of your SEO strategy, make sure the keywords used in the hyperlink are relevant to the page you are linking to. One more time: relevant to the page you are linking to.
BONUS TIP: SEO FOCUS KEYWORD CHECKLIST
- If you are using WordPress, download an SEO plugin like Yoast and populate all of the metadata fields.
- Choose a focus keyword for each page of your website.
- Use the keyword in your H1 header, toward the beginning of the first paragraph, in the meta title, and meta description.
- Use the focus keyword as anchor text in a hyperlink.
3. The 3Rs of Content: Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose
For example, choose a group of keywords you’d like to rank for. Write a long-form piece of content – a white paper or an article.
From that piece of content create 1-2 blogs and a few social posts – all optimized for the same keywords. Make sure you use the keywords in anchor text when linking from social to your website.
Bonus Tip: Graphics are Cool!
Always find a way to create an infographic from a piece of content. I call these companion pieces. They are great for social and to use as thumbnails on landing pages.
Always keep your audience top-of-mind. Build an SEO profile that is audience-relevant.
When you write your content, make sure it is is easy to read. Don’t focus entirely on reaching a specific keyword density ratio. If you use your keywords in a strategic linking pattern you will gain traction in organic search without compromising the value of your content.
Finally, Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose. Write a long-form piece of content and create multiple pieces from it – including an infographic.
Contact Pam Turner to discuss your SEO and Go-to-Market Strategy.
Pam Turner is a digital marketing professional with nearly 20 years’ experience creating and implementing strategic and tactical planning to maximize ROI, build brand authority, and deliver an outstanding customer experience.