In order for content marketing to be successful there are a number of different factors to take into account. Not only does the content need to read well and appeal to its target audience, it also needs to be optimised for search engines before you move on to promoting it through your social channels.
There are a number of things that need to be considered before publishing content in order for it to be correctly optimised for search engines. A quick way of optimising content on a WordPress website is by installing the Yoast plugin (read our article on the benefits of Yoast). Yoast offers a short checklist of tasks you can complete to make your content search engine friendly.
Ten Step SEO Checklist
- Make sure your content is over 500 words long. Google likes articles of a certain length, so aim to keep a good balance by either keeping your content to 500 words or more, or by adding longer articles to make up for shorter ones.
- Use header tags to break up your content. These make it easier for Google to crawl your content and pick up on your keywords, ready to be indexed. It also allows the content to be more easily read and understood by your audience.
- Optimise your content surrounding the target keyword. Ensure that it is included in the URL, title, content and all alt tags for images.
- Consider the use of long-tail keywords. These are keywords that are more specific to a topic. We have written an article on the importance of long-tail keywords if you would like to learn more about how to use them.
- Make use of different types of media. Google loves the use of images and video, so try to include these where relevant to help enhance your content. They can be used alongside text content or instead of.
- Link back to previous content or other pages on your site. This helps Google easily crawl the site to index your pages, while also helping improve your rankings for certain keywords.
- Make use of anchor text. This is the text you are using to link to another page. Instead of using “click here”, make the anchor text relevant to the page it is leading to.
- Use your location. If your content is location specific, ensure that you include relevant local keywords. Include the location in the target keyword in the URL, title, content and alt tags.
- Double check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Google has the ability to downgrade your article if it finds lots of mistakes in the content.
- Make your social links clear. This gives users the chance to share your content easily. This also has the benefit of helping your page gain higher levels of interaction.
These ten steps will help your content rank better in the search engines. While it won’t always be possible to follow each step, making use of as many as you can on a regular basis will form good habits which in the long term will benefit the content.
Keep your content as natural as possible and always focus on writing articles for your audience. Well written content that receives good levels of traffic with high retention rates will generally rank well, and this means writing quality content for your audience, not search engines.