Creating content for your website can be hard and often takes a big chunk of time out of your day. You’re proud of what you’ve produced, and you know it’s perfect for your target audience – plus you don’t want all your effort to go to waste. Learning how to optimise your content will be the difference between a successful website and one that drifts about in the wastelands of the web.
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the best way to attract more traffic to your website. SEO techniques use the search engine to its full potential and allow your target audience to find you.
To simplify this often daunting task, we’ve created a seven-point list that will help you make the most of your content.
Start with keyword research.
This may seem like an obvious point. Everyone knows about keywords – they help viewers find you. If you’re writing about a topic that you are well versed in, you will probably assume that you’ve got most of the keywords covered, which should be enough, right?
Unfortunately, keyword research is crucial no matter how well you know your content. Ensuring that you are speaking the same language as your target audience is key in attracting them to your page. Making sure you know every variation of your industry’s specific keywords means that you can attract viewers from various industries and other countries.
Although you want to make sure you include as many keywords into your piece as possible, it’s important that you hide them in plain sight. You want your keywords to work as hard as they can for you, but you don’t want them to draw attention to themselves. Long-form, thorough content tends to rank best with search engines, so give yourself enough space to optimise your keywords.
Your keyword research should influence every decision you make on your site. From website navigation to URL naming, headlines to the content that you produce, every part of your site will be bolstered by solid keyword research.
To get ideas on different keywords in your industry, scan through your competitors’ pages and see how they’ve incorporated keywords into their content. Another good way to find keywords is through Neil Patel’s ‘Ubersuggest.’
Measure your page speed.
Search engines take speed into consideration when ranking websites. Therefore, not only is considering the speed of your site essential to ensure viewers linger, but it’s also crucial for them even finding it in the first place.
If a viewer has made it to your website, the last thing you want to do is force them off with frustratingly slow pages. Ensuring that your site doesn’t take forever to load, or that your online forms submit without delay, are key factors in engaging a viewer and encouraging them to explore your website further.
According to Neil Patel, website users expect a site to load in two seconds or less and 40% of web users will abandon a site if the load time is three seconds and above. Those statics make it pretty clear that your site’s page speed can make or break for its success.
To see more of Patel’s research findings on page loading time follow this link… https://neilpatel.com/blog/loading-time/
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is a really useful tool that provides valuable insight into your website loads across all devices and what things you can do to improve it.
Work on building quality backlinks.
Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are a link from one site back to yours. Backlinks are valuable for SEO because it’s a sign of support for your site from an external source. However, not all backlinks are of the same value, and not just any old link will do. Focus on quality, not quality.
To get the most out of your backlinks you want to be connecting yourself with reputable, relevant sites. If you can get a backlink from an industry leader then you’ve hit the jackpot. Search engines use backlinks to interprets your site’s credibility and considers whether you are an authority in your area.
In order to develop your backlinks, you may need to reach out to other sites to create these connections. Other ways to secure backlinks are to create unique content – content that catches the eye of others in your industry – keyword research, review sites, write guest posts or offer to give testimonials for related sites.
Internal links are another great way to build your viewer base. They are the perfect companion to backlinks. Internal links can either be links to other related pages on your own website or use outbound links to associate yourself with reputable sources relevant to your field.
Internal links are a form of site architecture that increase the usability of your site by making all your content easily accessible. It’s a great idea to create a few pieces that overlap slightly and therefore allow you to create links that benefit viewers.
Internal links help to reduce what is known as “page bouncing”, or, in other words, reduces the number of viewers who visit one page and then leave your site. Internal links encourage viewers to stay and explore what else you have to offer.
Internal links are important for building page authority. By linking out to other sources you can associate yourself with the right kind of people. Search engines take these links into consideration and begin to associate your site with other authoritative sites on the web.
To learn more about internal links click here… https://inlinks.net/en/benefits-internal-linking – see how we did that!
Meta tags are a form of on-site SEO. Meta tags are snippets of text that exist in HTML describing your page’s content, but they aren’t visible to site viewers. The “meta” stands for “metadata” and is there to tell the search engine what your page is about, so you want to make sure they’re accurate.
Every page should have a meta title which sits between <title> tags. Meta titles show up in search results as the blue link at the top of your listing. For a good meta title chose something between 50 to 60 characters and keep it simple.
Headlines or main headings are a really easy way to grab your audience’s attention. It’s an opportunity for you to set yourself apart from the countless articles in the overly saturated search pages. Take your time and really think about what you want to get across in your headline. How will you convince viewers to click on your website? Not only should your headline grab your audience’s attention, but it should also grab Google’s attention as well.
Your headline should be descriptive and incorporate as many key search terms as possible whilst remaining natural. Search engine algorithms ignore titles that look like spam.
Don’t over-promise with your title and then under-deliver – make sure your headline perfectly represents the content you’ve written. Tricking viewers onto your site will only damage your name. You don’t want viewers to be disappointed by your content and then dismiss your site altogether.
For SEO purposes, the main heading should sit within <H1> tags and there should only be one per page so that search engines can easily identify what the most important topic of your page is. For other headings use the tags <H2> <H3> which still talk to the search engine but are less dominant.
Lastly, keep your title to 60 words or less so it’s not shortened in search page results.
URL Slugs are another form of on-site SEO. Your URL is one of the things users see in the search results, so you want to have one that stands out from the rest. If your content management service gives you the option, update your URL to something simple but descriptive. Include as many keywords in your URL but keep it natural– search engines identify URL’s loaded with keywords as spam and reject them.
One of the main pros for SEO of URL slugs is that you can change the words you use as your content changes.
A couple of easy tips to follow to create a great URL slug are:
- It’s worth reiterating that you want to make sure your URL contains the most important keywords.
- Keep your URL short and descriptive.
- Assess function words like “a” “the” “and”. If you can leave them out do – you don’t want them taking the space of a keyword.
- Your URL slug is a great place to focus your content. Make sure it contains the most important parts of your article so the search engine will present your site to the right people.
- Lowercase letters are best – you want your URL to be as readable as possible so avoid any fancy tricks and keep it simple.
Alongside on-page SEO, off-page SEO is a fantastic way to attract views to your site. Identify other successful and authoritative sites in your content area, and offer to write a guest post with links back to your site. Social media activity can also be a great way to attract an audience or influencer marketing if appropriate.
Another thing to consider is your website’s compatibility with mobile phones. Whilst this seems obvious given how much we use our phones, not all websites work well on them. Search engines take this into consideration when ranking sites, so it’s important both for your viewers convenience and for your sites visibility.
Once you have adjusted your site to incorporate these techniques your content has been optimised to its full potential. Congratulations, you can now start enjoying the payoff for all your hard work! This isn’t the time to sit back and relax, however. Make sure you’re tracking your progress and learning more and more about the interests and habits of your target audience in preparation for your next piece.
For more tips on how to optimise your web content contact us here.