Content is King. You have surely heard this before in the age of content marketing. After the Penguin and Panda updates in Google’s ranking algorithm, great content is a sure way to rank higher on the search engine. According to a study by Conductor, 66% of best in class companies involve search in their content creation process. We will list out ways to optimize your content for search engines and rank higher in this article. But before that let us first understand why content and SEO are linked.
Before understanding SEO content optimization it is necessary to understand the factors which decide your rankings in search engines. Here are the four most important factors:
- Trust/Authority of the host domain
- Link popularity of the specific page
- External links to the page
- On-page keyword usage
As you can see, the first three factors will get a boost when your content is shared by the readers. This is possible only if you deliver content that is valuable for your readers. Which bring us to our first point on how to optimize content for SEO:
- Understand your Audience
The first step in creating good content is to answer the questions such as- who are our readers, what do they want to read about, what solutions are they looking for. You can also research about their browsing habits, lifestyle, value and beliefs. The deeper you go into your readers mind the better your content will turn out. This will ensure that your content is relevant, valuable, timely and effective. That is exactly the kind of content that has the potential to go viral.
- Keyword and Keyword Optimization
Keyword is a word or phrase that helps the search engines match the search queries to a relevant webpage. Keywords will tell the search engine what your content is about and rank you for those keyword searches. Here are some tips to choose the right keyword:
- You can use tools like Google Adwords to pick a keyword that is best for your content.
- Check the number of searches for a keyword before deciding. The key is to strike balance and choose a fairly popular keyword.
- Use a keyword that is specific and not very generic. Long tail keywords are a good idea to narrow down your focus.
- Make sure your keywords appear in the Headlines and the introduction of your content
Keyword density is the number of times your keyword appears per 100 words. Using too many keywords in your content is called keyword stuffing and is a bad idea. Search engines want quality results for their users and penalize any content that is stuffed with keywords just to rank higher. Keywords must flow naturally in your content. Remember, it is not the number of times a keyword appears but the quality of content that will help you rank higher.
- Quality Links
Every link that leads to your page is a boost for your ranking. But is not just the quantity but also the quality of links that matters. Links from sites with good reputation and authority on content will earn you extra points. For example, featuring in a reputed site like Indiatimes or Hubspot will boost your page search results. You can find out the popular sites in your industry or a complimentary industry and build links there by featuring your content.
Your content must be regular. Search engines also feed on fresh SEO content, which is why you must consistently update your site. Search Engine Journal reports that companies that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages than those that do not. More content means more indexed pages and the opportunity to rank for more keywords. However, be sure to maintain your quality in content. It is better to have one good blog a week than having ten that are poor in quality.
- Meta description- understand keyword intent
Meta description is the snippet or summary that appears below the search result in Google. It helps search engine to understand what your page is about and also tells the readers about the topic of the content.
Drafting a good meta description that catches attention is key to getting clicks amongst all the search results. Keep the following points in mind to draft a meta description that ranks well:
- Understand the keyword intent behind the keyword. It is not necessary to have the keyword in your meta description but you must understand what the customers is actually looking for and include that solution in your meta description.
- Keep your meta description between 150 to 160 characters
- Include call to action to encourage users to click the link
- Meta description of 113 characters is optimal for mobile screen
These are some simple tips to optimize your website content for SEO. There are a lot more tips and techniques we would be sharing in our coming blogs.