A well-crafted piece, whether blog or text, not only provides an engaging and informative read but places relevant keywords and phrase arrangements throughout the work. These techniques will get the piece listed well when organically considered by search engines with their fleets of bots and crawlers.
SEO, CONTENT MARKETING & OPTIMIZATION
Gone are the days when 500 words were wrapped around a handful of keywords purely for SEO and where the piece didn’t necessarily have to make much sense. A separate piece was written to convey greater detail and each was linked to the other.
The contemporary content provider needs to blend the needs of SEO without blatant and unappreciated repetition of keywords with the clarity of a well-written and engaging marketing piece. Together they form part of a site’s content optimization.
WHAT IS MARKETING?
Marketing, as opposed to sales or advertising, has less to do with getting customers to pay for a product as it does with developing a demand for that product and fulfilling the customer’s needs in an entertaining and captivating way.
Advertising and sales are about the tricks used to ensure an exchange of goods or services for money. Marketing is about developing a rapport with the customer about values.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
There are three aspects to SEO: technical, off-page and on-page. Content providers need only be concerned with the technical and on-page aspects.
Technical SEO is all about how well search engine spiders can crawl the website and index its content. This information is considered aside from the content itself. 90% of the technical SEO is done behind the scenes with site management.
The remaining 10% is done by content providers as tactical keyword and key phrase placements which influence the way bots rate the piece in question. Tactical placements may include headings, subheadings, and keyword density.
On-page SEO is primarily concerned with content and how well it is optimized for relevant keywords while being engaging and providing good user experience. Algorithms at Google can now identify good content from poor content. Pieces that are heavy-handed with keywords are ranked lower than creative pieces with well-placed keywords.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
This is where things turn indigo. Is it blue? Is it violet? Is it a mutually enhancing combination of both at once?
Content marketing and the on-page aspect of SEO can be considered to be the same thing. It is the showcase for the culture of the company. So rather than producing confusing jargon here, just re-read the paragraph above regarding the on-page facet of SEO.
A lot of content optimization is done behind the scenes in the world of ones and zeroes, search engine analytical statistics and social media funnelling. As a content provider, you can put that fearsome stuff out of your mind. It is still about creativity, but creativity with a twist.
Good content is engaging and reads well. Some bots are close to passing the Turing Test so writing for a human being is paramount. Writing to readers in a conversational tone is also preferred, just like chatting with a friend about a topic of mutual interest.
Bots scan texts similarly to humans and can distinguish between original, inviting content and poorly structured keyword vehicles. You don’t want to sound like a HAL 9000. Creative and original texts or blogs with forthright headings and strategically placed keywords are ranked higher than bland texts where keywords are repeated.
Ignoring the “person” factor of the end product may produce lots of click-through’s, but people often don’t stay and read. The same goes for bots and spiders. If a customer finds answers to their problems in an appealing way, they are going to stay and explore the site further.
Keywords can offer a solid foundation upon which high-value, creative content can be built. Writing purely creative content and inserting keywords afterwards can sometimes cause clunky results. Relevant keywords and phrases are a strong base upon which to build and should make up at least 1% of the main body.
Including keywords in titles and subtitles is ideal. When possible, put the keyword at the start of the heading; bots only read the first one or two words. For example, “SEO & CONTENT MARKETING – MASTERING THE ART” is preferred to “MASTERING THE ART OF SEO AND CONTENT MARKETING”.
Two great places to find keywords include LongTailPro and Ubersuggest:
TAGS & METAS
Tags should start with the strongest word, followed by a second and a third, etcetera in descending order from left to right, ending with the company name. Use ampersands and separate with pipes, not commas, hyphens or slashes.
SEO & Content Marketing | How To | Guide For Writers | “Company Name” will rank better than “Company name” shows you how to write well for SEO and Content Marketing
Similarly, meta descriptions need to be strongly worded but inviting sentences. Remember, you are chatting with a friend. A friendly sentence will result in a 10 to 15% higher click-through rate (CTR) than a string of keywords.
CONTENT QUICK TIPS
- Always avoid spamming type language, repetitive keyword abuse, poor spelling and bad grammar. Proofread, edit and spellcheck fastidiously because search engines will give naughty points and rank pages lower or abandon a page altogether if you don’t. More importantly, readers will just think the site is unprofessional and click on.
- A great deal of subject matter is perennial in that the details won’t change over time. This is called Evergreen content, meaning the content will remain relevant for months or years after it has been originally posted. There is a responsibility to provide especially good content for Evergreen blogs and texts. They should be easy to read and interpret, relevant, clear and concise. Evergreen posts receive the additional benefit of an immediate traffic boost, followed by steady long-term traffic from search engines.
- Try to limit paragraphs to four lines.
- Include many links. External links will imbue credibility, whereas internal links display confidence, knowledge, and reliability.
- Use ampersands in titles and headings.
- Always avoid plagiarism.