Content Strategy Tips to Improve Your Site’s SEO
While the simple mention of “a complex search engine algorithm” sends you running for the hills, the best thing you can do to get your website to rank well is to create and publish content that is user centric and valuable.
When search engines consider indexing your website's content with their ever-evolving search algorithms, whether it’s Google, Bing or Yahoo, they are generally looking for a few high-level boxes to be checked.
1. Useful Content
When users search for something, are they seeing a list of results that match their request to as close to as 100% as possible? If someone lands on a page of your website, are they finding what they're expecting/hoping/looking for? And if so, are they finding it quickly and easily — or even better, on the first try? If you have a high bounce rate with people leaving as soon as they arrive, then you are likely not providing the right content to them or your target audience.
What you can do: Research your target audiences, and put yourself in their shoes. Think about what content can be most useful to them. Look into your analytics to see what search terms your audiences used to get to you. As necessary, update your page content with keywords that are highly relevant to the topic.
2. Valuable Content
Is your content laid out in a clear way that’s easy to navigate. In addition to presenting useful content, are you providing further solutions and valuable insights? Search engines prioritizes high-quality content that is both useful and valuable. So show your value!
What you can do: Ask yourself directly, "what value are we adding for our audience?" If there is a common issue that your audience struggles with, present the problem clearly, and provide tips and strategies that they can use immediately.
3. Credible Content
Google wants to be sure you're in a good position to provide information users are searching for. Publish original content, cite things when relevant, and link to other experts.
What you can do: See who else is providing valuable thought leadership in your area, and reference them directly within your own content. While it may seem that you’re giving the ‘competition’ some air time on your platform, linking to outside research and resources allows search engines to connect your content to topics hubs, which in turn improves your indexing.
4. Well-Structured Content
Are there some errors that you might have missed within your content? Is it structured with H1 and H2 headers? The better structured you are, the easier it will be for search engines to index your content.
What you can do: Don't take content for granted. Make sure drafted content is reviewed by at least one other person before it goes live, and make sure that you are using, at the minimum, an H1 header for your page title, that you are using alt text on any image that you include, and that links are clearly embedded into text sentences, i.e., avoid “read more” or “click here” text links as they are not helpful for search engines to understand.
And Remember: SEO = Quality
There are many resources out there about how to execute on the above areas, some of which are included below. The biggest point here is that good SEO doesn’t happen by accident. It does require a dedicated initial investment of time, as well as optimization over time. If you take it seriously, you will get the returns you are looking for.
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