Search engine optimization is the art of climbing up to the top of the search engine results pages. Whether you run a small business, an affiliate website, or a huge digital company, SEO should be one of your top marketing priorities.
SEO is strictly related to content. After all, content is everything you create from headlines and descriptions to articles, videos, and advertisements.
SEO-friendly content is optimized both for the users and for the search engines. While there are roughly 200 ranking factors that Google expects you to acknowledge, you’ll need to pay attention to only a few in order to make your blog content Google-worthy.
Before I go on, I want you to acknowledge the true importance of SEO and the significant benefits it can provide to your business. Here are some noteworthy statistics:
- Google receives over 74,000 searches each second.
- Roughly 70% of digital marketers state that SEO is more effective than PPC when it comes to acquiring leads and driving sales.
- 75% of SEO professionals believe that content is the most important aspect when it comes to creating an SEO-friendly site.
- 82% of digital marketers suggest that improving SEO is an uprising trend, and 42% are convinced of its significant rising.
- An average of 75% of search engine users are ignoring PPC ads while focusing on the organic results
- Organic search gets 51% of the website traffic, compared to 5% from social networks, 10% from PPC, and 34% from other sources.
As you start ranking your content, you’ll realize that these statistics are true and that investing your resources in SEO is not only beneficial in the short run but also in the long run.
Now that you’re aware of the “big numbers” and important stats, let’s have a look at some of the most effective ways to optimize your blog content for SEO.
Determine Relevant Keywords
Optimizing your blog content for relevant keywords is not about filling your blog posts with as many keywords as possible.
As a matter of fact, this practice may damage your SEO performance because Google and the rest of the search engines perceive this as keyword stuffing (i.e., trying to rank high in the search engines by adding a lot of keywords)
If you consider it, adding too many keywords will also affect your readers’ experience. Google wants you to discover the intent of your website visitors because when someone enters your site, he should be able to find the solution he’s seeking.
Therefore, you need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and come up with really relevant keywords.
When it comes to blog content, you should aim for one or maybe two long-tail keywords. The rest of the keywords should be semantic. Rather than focusing on ten keywords, keep your focus on one or two in order to increase the impact of your post.
Why long-tail keywords?
They’re more specific and less competitive. For example, “how to lose belly fat” is way more specific than “lose fat.”
Keyword research can be done manually (brainstorming), or it can be automatized. You should take a look at some of the most popular keyword research tools and use the ones that suit your needs best.
Create Unique and Quality Content
Google and the rest of the search engines are prioritizing unique content. Unique doesn’t necessarily mean original.
“There’s nothing new under the sun.” Most of the things you’ll want to write about have already been discussed. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add a really interesting spin.
For example, if ten competitor blogs explain how to create a website, you can study their points and craft a blog post that is more comprehensive and useful than all ten while adding some elements that haven’t been discussed.
What are the characteristics of “quality content?”
- No grammar and spelling mistakes
- Readable and digestible (no blocks of text)
- Relevant to the target readers
- Satisfies needs and solves problems
- Provides helpful links to additional resources
Optimize Your URLs, Meta Titles, and Meta Descriptions
There are three important elements that you need to optimize every single time you create a new blog post.
The URL must be user-friendly. For example, on a blog post that explains how to write SEO friendly content, instead of leaving your URL by default “www.mywebsite.com/a2fsns28jfmshay”, you rename it to “www.mywebsite.com/SEO-friendly-content”
Include your main keyword in the URL and keep it short and concise.
The meta title is the headline of your search result. Therefore, whenever people search for a term, your meta title needs to be attractive and contain the primary keyword. It is the first element that gets noticed by the users, so make sure it is well optimized!
The meta description has a significant role. Most users skim through the search engine results. When they find a relevant meta title, they’ll go on and read the meta description. To make the best out of it, include your main keyword (SEO ranking factor) while keeping the text attractive.
Create an Interlinking Structure
An internal link is a hyperlink that points to a different page on the same website. Google wants you to have a good internal linking structure because it helps users find more relevant information on your site. When you use internal links properly, they won’t have to seek solutions elsewhere; thus, your bounce rate will be reduced.
For example, if one of your blog posts explains “how to be healthy,” you can send your users to other relevant blog posts from your site that explain “how to cook healthy” or “how to exercise properly.”
You can also add internal links to the footer of your website and add relevant widgets that showcase relevant suggested or previous articles.
Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that never expires. For example, if you write about “how to love yourself,” the blog post you’ll publish will always be relevant because people will always have this need.
Creating evergreen content will bring you the following benefits:
- You’ll be able to rank over time without having to stress about ranking in the near future.
- You’ll benefit from steady and passive traffic a long time after you’ve published your blog post.
- You’ll generate leads and sales in a passive mode because your evergreen pieces of content will keep bringing passive traffic.
Make Your Content Mobile-Friendly and Fast-Loading
Nowadays, 62% of internet users are mostly using their mobile phones to search for information online. That is more than half.
As you set up analytics on your blog, you’ll be able to see the exact percentage of users that are reading your blog using their phones or tablets.
If you create content that is properly optimized for mobile, you’ll be able to provide a great user experience. If you don’t, users will bounce, and Google will penalize you.
First of all, you need a responsive design. Using a responsive template or making sure that your web designer understands mobile responsiveness is key.
Second, you need to make your content interactive and easy-to-read. Use short sentences and make your text “breathable.” Use Hemingwayapp to assess the readability score of your content.
Lastly, your content needs to load fast. Users don’t have enough time and patience to wait minutes for your pages to load. This comprehensive article will show you how to improve the loading speed of your site.
Search engine optimization will stay relevant for as long as people search for information online. Since the digital era has just begun, the digital environment can only grow.
Trends come and go, but the essence (user search) stays untouched. The ranking algorithms may change, but the principles remain the same.
If you want to rank high in the search engines, start focusing on your content.
Use the right keywords, create amazing content for your target audience, optimize your on-page SEO, take advantage of internal links and build external links, focus on evergreen content, and make your website mobile-friendly and fast-loading.
Most importantly, treat the process with a lot of patience!