How to optimize your blog or website for search engines
Your business’s website is a great tool for increasing brand awareness and audience reach, but just having a website isn’t enough. To be effective, your website must be optimized for search engines, also known as search engine optimization (SEO) in the digital marketing world. SEO helps search engines determine the relevance of your website based on the user’s search query, therefore having a strong SEO strategy in place directly affects your business’s website online visibility and the amount of traffic it receives. SEO is a multi-faceted part of your digital marketing efforts and is constantly evolving. Web design agencies usually have teams dedicated to providing top-notch digital marketing services who can help your business develop a digital marketing strategy that best fits your business. If your business is just starting when it comes to SEO and digital marketing, you may want to consider consulting with an experienced digital marketing agency. For businesses located in VA, we recommend working with TechArk Solutions in Norfolk. Below we will explain how to optimize your website content.
How to Optimize Your Website Content
You may believe that optimizing your website content is as simple as including keyword phrases within the content. While that is a large part of this SEO tactic, there are many other optimizations that can be made in conjunction with inserting keywords into your content. To determine which of these other methods would give you the most return, your business will need to do some preliminary research.
Step one of optimizing your website content is defining your target audience. It is important to remember that you are not only writing for search engines. First and foremost, your content should be appealing to your website users. While SEO will help get more users to your site, it is your content that will keep them engaging. Understanding the audience your business is trying to reach and what you would like them to do once they have reached your site should guide your content strategy. Creating buyer personas is an effective way to start defining your target audience. These buyer personas will consist of ideal traits your potential customers will have and will help you gear your content accordingly. These traits can include age, location, income, interests, and any other factors you think would contribute to a person choosing to make a purchase from your business.
Once you have identified your target audience and created a buyer persona, the next step is to complete some keyword research. Keyword research will help you learn more about your potential customers and what content they find valuable. While this task can be daunting and time-consuming, the best way to avoid becoming overwhelmed is to start by researching the topics your website will include. With this starting point, you will be able to see other related topics that should be added to your content list.
Now that you are ready to begin the content creation process, the time comes to add some elements that will appeal to both your audience and search engines. The first element that will capture the attention of search engines and website visitors is the titles used. Try your best to create catchy titles that will stick out against your competition. The title of your content heavily influences if a user continues to read more or moves on. Catchy titles ask a question, state interesting data or leads with a curiosity that piques the user’s interest. Your title should be powerful, invoke an emotional response and use both common and uncommon words. It is also effective to include numbers when applicable within your titles to help the user know what to expect when deciding to read further.
The next element that appeals to both are visuals such as photos, videos or infographics. Your images and infographics should include important keywords either within the content or within the alt tag as this is what search engines are using to comb your site. In fact, for a strong SEO strategy, all media files on your website should have appropriate alt tags that contain keywords. This will help search engines determine how high on the search engine results page (SERP) your site will rank and the higher the position, the more likely users are to visit your site.
The final element that your website content should have that is important for both website visitors and search engines are powerful calls-to-action (CTA). CTAs help visitors interacting with your business’s website content understand what the next step of their process is based on an action you want them to take. They prompt website users to complete action of your choosing such as filling out a contact form for more information, subscribing to a newsletter or even making a purchase. The key to an effective CTA is to make it relevant to the topic of the content the user just finished reading. When it comes to CTAs, don’t be afraid to get creative, but no matter which type of CTA you decide to use, make sure it is visible and stands out against the rest of the content on your website. Optimizing your website content for search engines should be a top priority to ensure your website gets adequate visibility, but it is also important to not sacrifice the user experience.
Tips for Optimizing Content for Search Engines
Now that we have covered the elements of your website content that play a role in your SEO ranking, let’s discuss some common ways to optimize for search engines on your web pages.
- Incorporating Long Tail Keywords
Back in the early days of search engine optimization, it was common to see what is referred to as “keyword stuffing”. In short, keyword stuffing is the practice of trying to fit a keyword into website content as many times as possible to increase the relevance of your site in relation to that specific term. While it was effective, it didn’t always work out best for the website user. In fact, keyword stuffing can actually hurt your SEO ranking, so instead of focusing on one keyword phrase and repeating constantly, it is best now to incorporate what are considered long-tail keywords within your content. Long Tail keywords are longer keyword phrases such as questions or sentences that are specific and can actually help visitors find what they are searching for much more quickly.
- Strategic Placing of Keywords
While incorporating the keywords you are targeting within your content is a good start, it is not enough. Instead, you should strategically place the targeted keywords throughout the content. Titles are a great place to incorporate keywords as they are what both search engines and users will use first to determine how relevant your website is to the information they are seeking. You should also try to seamlessly incorporate keywords in the headers and body text of your website’s content. When adding keywords into your content, make sure not to go overboard or you may be penalized for keyword stuffing. Your primary focus should remain to deliver valuable content to your target audience.
- Interlinking to Relevant Web Pages on Your Website
During the content creation process for your website, you are most likely going to touch upon topics that are addressed on multiple pages of your website. When possible, you should include hyperlinks to other pages of your website that dive deeper into specific topics. This tactic not only encourages visitors to continue to engage with your site, but it also demonstrates to the search engines the authority your business has on the topic which is a determining factor in your SEO ranking.
When creating content for your website it is important to keep both website visitors and search engines in mind. There are many different SEO tactics that your website can employ to help increase website traffic. One of the most common SEO techniques used is incorporating keywords directly into your website content. Writing keyword-rich content may sound simple, but it is actually quite complex and if done incorrectly, may do more harm than good. If your business is unfamiliar with search engine optimization, your business should leave it to the experts and partner with a web agency that offers digital marketing services. This ensures your website’s SEO is strong and effective. If your business is in need of help with SEO or digital marketing in general, contact TechArk today.