Is Optimizing Your Content for Search Engines Really That Important?
Absolutely! In fact, if you’re not creating content with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, you’re giving up the opportunity to drive new traffic to your website. SEO is more than simply abiding by a set of best practices to make your content easier for readers to digest, it is akin to adding a set of directions so that search engines can ensure your target audience has access to your content. Although there are countless SEO tips and tricks out there, here are six that every content creator should consider the foundation.
Keyword Research – Can I Just Pick Relevant Keywords?
A common mistake for content creators is the idea that target keywords — which are the keywords that you would like your content to rank for — can simply be pulled out of thin air as long as they are relevant to your brand or topic. However, this is far from reality. Keyword research is essential to creating content that will rank. There are several tools available to help with keyword research, many of them are even free. To begin your keyword research, check out Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush, both of which can be used to boost your content’s rankings.
Using Proper Formatting – Should my Content Use h-tags?
The use of h-tags (h1, h2, h3…etc.) isn’t just for appearances, they also help search engines better understand the important parts of your content. For instance, without h2 tags on your content’s sub-headers or an h1 tag on your content’s title, Google has a hard time recognizing the hierarchy of your content, thus you risk losing rank position to competitor content with proper formatting.
Including Media – Are Images and Video Actually Important for SEO?
More so than ever before, Google and other search engines are rewarding content with supplemental images and/or video. Of course, providing original media as opposed to stock images/video is always the best course of action, but even using royalty-free media is better than a page only filled with a wall of text. That said, be sure to optimize all media that you include with your content.
Adding Links – Do Search Engines Reward Content with Internal and External Links?
Yes! As long as the links lead to reputable and relevant sources. Aside from providing additional factual support to your content, external links also help search engines better understand your content’s relatability to similar subjects as well as more efficiently reach your target audience. In terms of internal links, it is also useful to include at least one in each piece of content. Just be sure that you don’t overdo it. Three to four external links and one internal link per 1000 words is typically considered sufficient without running the risk of appearing spammy.
Responsive Content – Should my Content be Optimized for Mobile/Tablet Users?
Well over 50% of global website traffic is now generated on mobile or tablet devices, so content and websites that aren’t optimized for mobile users will almost certainly see reduced traffic numbers and higher bounce rates. Using free tools like PageSpeed Insights are generally a good way to determine how mobile-friendly your website is. Some mobile optimizations can be a quick fix, like reducing the size of embedded images and video. Other aspects can fall into the more advanced SEO realm, like resolving specific page elements that are slowing down the user experience. If you’re not comfortable working under the hood of your site, we recommend reaching out to an SEO professional to audit your website and correct any performance issues.
SEO is Never Finished – Should I Update Old Content?
Unless you are part of an industry that never changes — which, to our knowledge, doesn’t exist — then you should always update your existing content as new information, research, products, or solutions become available. Not only will this increase the experience and value for your users, providing routine content updates will also signal to search engines that you’re actively revising your content which will likely boost your search engine result page (SERP) rankings.
Creating content with SEO in mind has become an absolute necessity for brands, content creators, and anyone who wants to appear on the first page of Google results for a specific audience. The world of SEO is fast-paced and ever-evolving. Many people find that they don’t have the time, bandwidth, or technical skills to stay on top of the latest Google algorithm changes, SEO best practices, or constant monitoring of how they’re performing against competitors. If this sounds all too familiar, we recommend a quick 20 minute chat with the team here at The Silver Telegram. We promise that 20 minutes out of your day won’t hurt as badly as if your competition gets to us first!