1. Thinking “like so”
I’m sure you’ve heard it both ways: build your web content from your own voice, or from that well-crafted voice of your business’ brand, so as to avoid sounding artificial and to create unique and meaningful content that people value. And write for search, using those targeted words and phrases that reinforce and support your brand with the search engines. So, how do you know which is true? Essentially both are. Allow me to explain. While it is important to find and use your own branded voice, and to create content that’s engaging, persuasive and appealing, why not do it with some added search benefit?
2. Keep your keywords in your pocket
Knowing what you’re going to say prior to sharpening your pencil, or warming up your keyboard, is a great way to plan the words and phrases you’ll be using in creating your content. Another way of going about this is of course forging full steam into your content and then backtracking to find and optimize your keywords and phrases. My strategy is the former, as it tends to be more, well, strategic, but both work just fine. Give it a try and see which best suits your content writing style.
3. Human friendly phrases
You can build human friendly phrases by turning keywords into keyphrases; real ones that your readers will be using to find you. Using keyword rich phrases with consistency will build relevance for your target phrases, while also helping to reduce keyword clutter, which ends up losing you points with the search engines.
4. Know where to find em’
A few great resources for figuring out how much traffic your content is receiving and how well you’ll be able to compete on your words and phrases are Wordtracker, Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool, SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool, and of course, Google’s keyword suggestion tool. These tools are user friendly and provide valuable insight into your content terrain before you tread.
5. The golden tags
Search engines still place importance on your title tag content, and also, although to a lesser degree, to the URL of your page. Your title tags are where you summarize what the page, or if it’s your homepage, the site, is all about so the engine knows how to categorize your content so it can display it in search results.
6. Optimize within
In all of your content, it’s important to go back through and find opportunities to optimize your pages further. Asking the question: “Where can relevance be added?” is a good place to start. You can build links from keywords or keyphrases that match up with words or phrases in the title tag of the page the link is pointing. This external link should be additional content you’ve created. This can point to your blog post, Facebook page, LinkedIn event or poll, Twitter stream, or anywhere else you hang online. If you point to additional links outside of your content realm, you risk losing relevance for your keywords and phrases to the site you’re linking to. Optimizing your onsite content to your offsite content, yet still keeping your readers engaged in your brand, is a win-win strategy for optimizing your pages.
7. The rule of two
As you build your content, make sure you remember the rule of two: two pages with the same content can get you penalized with search engines. If, for whatever reason, duplicates are unavoidable, make sure you use ‘no index’ tags in your header content.
8. Keep your head in the clouds
Tag clouds are an effective way to help your readers, and the search engines, know what your content is about and to help them navigate they’d like to go.
9. Both sides count
Yes, content rules, but good content is only part of the equation. If your content isn’t written in a way that is readable, informative, search-friendly, and actually read, there’s a good chance it won’t be found. The search engines now have a way to penalize content that’s been copied. They’re able to see if your page mirrors the content of another page, whether on your site or on your competitors’ in the next state, and similarly associate credit to pages where content is being copied from.
Have fun with your content, think like an expert – and an engine – when writing for web, and when you’re done with that step, let’s discuss your optimizing your offsite content for organic search.
The Savy Agency, 541-306-3948, Christina@savyagency.com.