Step-by-Step Guide: How to Use SEO to Increase Your Content Value

Business.com / Business Intelligence / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

It takes more than quality to get your content noticed by search engines, and therefore, readers. Incorporating best SEO practices is key.

Many would agree that if you want your content to rank high in search engines, focusing on quality is a good place to start.But, it takes more than quality to get your content noticed by search engines, and therefore, readers.

Incorporating best SEO practices, which determines the kind of visibility your content will garner by using a variety of methods, in addition to creating valuable content will greatly boost the chances of your content being seen by more users.

Let’s explore some of the best ways to unite SEO and content.

Related Article: How One Utah Moving Company Conquered Local SEO—and You Can, Too

Keywords

Keywords should be discerned and integrated at the beginning of the writing process rather than added as an afterthought.

In order to do this, businesses must spend time upfront extensively researching which keywords best optimize their content.

Have keywords in mind when brainstorming ideas for content writing. This way you can build your articles around the subjects that are important to your followers.

Keywords should be a part of strategic content planning. When planned, keyword goals can be added to your editorial calendar to ensure keywords are used deliberately. Now that you know which keywords to use, it's important to strategically place them in your content.

Your keyword(s) should appear in four places:

  1. URL: For example, if your blog is business.blog and your keyword is SEO ranking, your URL should be, "business.blog/how-to-improve- SEO-ranking." The URL text can be edited in WordPress.
  2. Page Title: This text appears on the browser’s tab.
  3. Headline: The title of the article.
  4. Post Body: Used once or a few times throughout your post.

Post Regularly

Posting content on a regular basis is imperative if you want to receive a high SEO ranking.

This may be the best example of how content management and SEO are inseparable. Regardless of how well you incorporate SEO tactics into your writing, Google won’t reward you unless your content production is frequent.

Your content will sink to the bottom of the search results the longer you wait to publish new content or post updates.

You can go beyond frequent posting and focus on when you publish content.

According to HubSpot, the best time to publish on the weekend is between noon and 1:00 p.m., Wednesdays are a little later from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays are best between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Backlinks

Include meaningful links into your content from authoritative, well-known sources in your industry.

In short, publish content your followers want to share. This, in turn, will improve your own SEO.

Length Matters

Another way to rank high on Google is to publish content that averages 2,000 words.

Longer articles get more backlinks, which as we discussed before, is an instant SEO win.

Some SEO experts predict the amount of time a person spends on a post will be a factor in search ranking in the near future. This is because Google’s purpose is to help people find information, if a Google search isn’t productive, people stop using Google.

Related Article: Search In the New Year: Understand the Scope of Search Engine Optimization in 2016

Technical Optimization

There are ways to help your audience find the content they are looking for, such as tags, metadata, categories, and sitemaps.

Some techies say that Panda has made technical optimization obsolete, but its simple stuff that can define your content and make finding content on your website easier.

A sitemap guides your viewer to what they are looking for. Good tags help users search for specific content.

Categories give people a way to find similar content they may be interested in.

Longtail keywords are useful, too. These word groupings match what people commonly search for, such as “Affordable rentals in New York City” or “Hotels near Times Square.”

Answer Questions

In this fast-paced world, everyone wants information at his or her fingertips.

Google recognizes this and has adapted how they respond to question searches. In the past, when someone asked, “What is the population of New York City?” Google would list links about the population of NYC. The viewer would need to click on one and scroll through looking for the answer.

Have you noticed how Google responds to straightforward questions now? The first result is, “8.406 million in 2013.” Google eliminated the additional step of clicking on a link, giving you the answer in the search results.

How can businesses take advantage of this? Write a one-sentence answer to common questions related to your field rather than an entire article.

A Picture Speaks Louder Than Words

Images are a great way to catch a reader’s attention. An amazing image will increase the chances of your content being read and shared.

Images can provide information faster than words, which is always a plus to time-crunched readers. Images are also a good way to incorporate branding into your content. 

Consider using imagery with the same stylistic feel to strengthen your brand. Viewers will begin to identify this imagery style with your company and will look for it in their social media feeds.

Video Features

Videos are another way online content can reach its audiences faster and easier.

Videos are being published to provide information in an easy to absorb medium. Similar to photos, people are more likely to watch a five-minute video than they are to read a long article.

Videos can improve SEO when transcripts and captions are included. Higher engagement also improves search rankings.

Related Article: Build It And They Will Come: How to Design a Website With SEO in Mind

It looks like SEO and content are going to be intertwined for the foreseeable future. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on one only to neglect the other.

Both deserve attention, and when done well, complement each other flawlessly.

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