When it comes to content marketing, you need to ensure that you keep up-to-date with the best SEO practices, which will push your content higher up on the search engine results pages (SERPs). This means you need to get very savvy with how search engines read your content, and how they prioritise the ranking of content depending on how helpful the content is at answering the question that was searched.
How can you incorporate the best SEO practices into your content to drive users to your site? Here are five simple SEO practices that can help you understand and incorporate content marketing.
- Understand what SEO content marketing really is
Content marketing is creating organic content and publishing it on your own site or other online channels to attract users who will eventually convert onto your site (this could be through a subscription based model or just taking some desired action).
When you begin optimising your search, it really initiates you into ensuring your content can be found by the search engines, prioritised in the SERPs and found by the users who will most likely convert on your website.
You might be wondering “isn’t content marketing all about having good keywords so the search engine can find it?” Whilst previously this may have been a suggestion for on page SEO, in reality, it has now moved to a different level of sophistication.
To ensure you are relevant today, content marketing needs to show itself amongst a crowded market place when the user has a question. The content piece must have the best answer to the questions being asked by the user. Search engines now have an array of techniques to consider which content should be at the top of a search,
- Know your persona
Now, do you really understand what type of customer you’re looking to attract with your content? What position is the customer at (decision-maker, influencer, company leader)? Where does your customer work? What problems do your customers normally solve?
By answering these questions, it will allow your content to be more specific to the customer you want by optimising the questions this type of customer is likely to search.
- Prioritise natural language
Something major happened in 2016; mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing as the most likely to be used for online searches. Add in voice recognition tech such as Siri, Cortana and the users are most likely going to use plain language questions. You will need to ensure that you optimize your SEO strategy to adapt towards this market.
We don’t speak in keywords, we speak in sentences, as do search engines, and most likely the user is looking for an answer to a question. So, when you create content, be sure to address the questions most likely asked by your target market. The more users who find your content helpful, the higher your content will appear in the search results.
- Format your content
Use the heading tags wisely so they direct your customer where they should find the answer to their question. H1, H2 and H3 formatting isn’t just pretty headlines, it allows the content to be broken up into scannable sections for search engine crawler spiders and users.
The H1 headline should announce the most important, overarching theme of your content. H2 should be used for subsections of H1 content, and H3 for subsections within H2.
Do your current blogs, articles and other content have the correct headlines that reflect the actual questions likely asked by the target market? If not, get reformatting! Your headlines should be easily scannable, you’re effectively screaming at them that the information they need is here.
- Create a consistent content calendar
You must ensure that the content you’re providing is consistent, regular, predictable. Updates can convince a search engine that your content is fresh, relevant and timely for today’s users. Google has a ‘freshness score’ which reflects on timely and updated content, and you want your freshness score to stay high.
To accomplish this, post content regularly, often and add new pages to your website. By providing constant content updates, it will have a positive impact on your ranking on all search engines. You must ensure that your content calendar is well organised and well crafted.
- Use online resources to identify ideas for content and keywords
By using different resources such as Quora, Nuzzel, Google Alerts, Google Trends and Buzzsumo it allows you to gather information about what people are talking about right now. You can search by your ideal target market and see what they are talking about, which will allow you to adapt and create content that is up-to-date with what the users want.