5 SEO Best Practices for Content Development
If you create great content but no one sees it, does it provide any value for your business? Most likely not.
We’ve all heard it time and again, but it’s worth reiterating: Developing content as part of your marketing efforts, be it blog posts, webinars, videos or even new pages on your website, is only half the battle. The other half is getting that content in front of the right people at the right time.
While one of the best ways to deliver your content to the right audience is to promote it on a variety of channels, such as on social networks or in email campaigns, that requires you to push your content at designated audiences. But what if you could pull people into your content, perhaps people who you might not have reached otherwise? With SEO, you can.
How SEO Can Keep Promoting Your Content Long After You Do
What happens when you have a new piece of content? You promote it. But for how long? Maybe it’s part of several campaigns for the first few months, but do you keep pushing it out to your networks for months and years on end? Maybe, but maybe not.
Well, search engines do. Search engines never forget, and that means if you properly optimize your content, search engines will keep attracting new audiences long after you’ve stopped heavily promoting your content.
While search engines’ long term memory does make it important to keep all of that content relevant and fresh, it can also go a long way toward benefiting your business by attracting new prospects and increasing brand awareness.
5 SEO Best Practices to Follow
If you’re ready to start reaping the benefits that come from a well-built SEO strategy, what do you need to know? We recommend following these 5 best practices:
Identify and prioritize keywords: One of the most important things you can do from an SEO standpoint is to ensure you use target keywords (both long tail and short tail) throughout your copy. You want to make sure you use these keywords naturally as part of your copy in order to avoid keyword stuffing. But how do you know which keywords to use? You need to identify and prioritize the most important keywords for your company. To start, you should develop a list of keywords that are relevant to your content. Next, you can prioritize those keywords based on factors like interest (how much traffic is any given keyword likely to drive to your content?), context (what type of people typically search for any given keyword? are there other things the keyword could mean, such as apple the fruit vs. Apple the company?) and competition (how difficult will it be for you to rank for any given keyword?).
Use headers properly: When it comes to web copy, whether it’s a web page, a blog post or anything else, how you organize and format your content matters for numerous reasons. Looking at SEO in particular, properly using H1, H2, H3 tags and so on can help search engines better understand what your post is about. As such, using these headers can not only help you neatly organize your content, but including keywords in them can also help from an SEO perspective.
Add links: Gaining backlinks to your site from external sources can help boost your authority, making it a critical part of any SEO strategy. But internal links can provide value as well. While the theory behind internal linking is more complicated, the basic ideas are that it helps clarify navigation and your website hierarchy and that it fuels “link juice” by spreading authority throughout your site. As a result, when creating new blog posts or web pages, it pays to add links to other content you’ve created previously — if it’s relevant. As you add these internal links, be sure that the page to which you’re linking is relevant to the reader and the content of the new page and that you use anchor text that’s relevant to the content of the linked page. You should also make sure to use follow links (as opposed to nofollow links). Most importantly, don’t overlink. Like with keywords, you only want to link where it makes sense and feels natural.
Localize content: If you do business in more than one country, localizing your content can make a significant difference in terms of SEO results. In some cases, this localization might require translating copy to different languages and in other cases it might require making some simple spelling updates (e.g. replacing the letter “z” with “s” when going from the US to the UK). Additionally, don’t forget to consider differences in phone numbers and domain names (e.g. .com vs. .co.uk). The best localization tactics take all of this a step further by incorporating nuances in how people in each country speak and regional preferences in colors, styles, etc.. Although these factors might seem like fluff, they can go a long way toward boosting your SEO efforts in different regions.
Measure results: Last but not least is measurement, which should be a part of any strategic endeavor you undertake. In terms of SEO specifically, you should start by taking a benchmark to see where you rank for your target keywords prior to beginning any optimization efforts. You should then track any changes in rankings for these keywords at designated intervals so that you can see which efforts are paying off. It’s important to note that increasing your domain authority doesn’t just happen overnight, so you will need to take a long term view to really see the results of your efforts. Additionally, you need to consider external factors, as the efforts of others can also impact your rankings.
First published on salesfusion.com