In a recent post, we shared some “Cliff’s Notes” on what is SEO and why it is so important. (Here’s a link in case you want a quick refresher.) Let’s focus now on how to incorporate some SEO best practices for your writing. Ready, set, go!
Keep in mind that the big search engines’ top concern is the user experience. In this digital age, not only are you writing for your target audience but also for the internet gods that control what pops up in search engine queries. An infinite amount of data is culled through every nanosecond of our existence by search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, online review sites, and social media outlets. These services want to cut through the clutter and give their users the most relevant content.
Before we dive deeper, please remember that awesome content is always king when it comes to great SEO. All that follows here are ways to raise your SEO game and maximize your visibility.
Start with a list of five to ten keywords that are most relevant to your product or service. Then make sure there is a focus on mentioning them early and often. Don’t get us wrong, if you squeeze them in and unnecessarily overload it may actually work against you, but be sure they are included in prominent spots. If you were searching for a business of your type in a blind search, think about what terms you would plug into the search bar, and then go from there. Like a healthy lifestyle, balance is key.
Titles and Sub-Headers
Juicy titles may look good and point out your charming wit, but they’re not helping your search results if they have to be deciphered. Remember the digital crawlers from Google cannot interpret your sarcasm or wordplay. It’s best to be direct in the title and then give a little pizzazz to a sub-headline for some style.
Similar to headings, we like this both for readability in addition to SEO and conversion metrics. People mostly don’t read; they scan. Lists are easy to digest and are quick and to the point. This may not be ideal for selling complicated ideas but strike a balance between overly wordy and simplicity. Lists break up the page and stand out from the rest of the text, which means they’ve got a better chance of being read.
When you are using WordPress, now the world’s most popular website platform, there are a number of handy plug-ins that can enhance your SEO – and they are free! Two of the prominent leaders are Yoast SEO and All In One SEO Pack. They let you add SEO titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords to each post and page on your site.
No need to get technical, but here is a description of meta from Yoast. “The meta description is a 160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description. Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO.”
Social Media Links
Blast out that post ‘til you annoy your girlfriends. They know you are looking to grow your business so they’ll be inclined to share – it can only help. Post on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts with no shame. They are hitting you over the head by selling funky leggings or their latest fitness fad, so the least they could do is reciprocate!
Share with Associations & Groups
Keywords are only a small part of Google’s algorithm, which is constantly changing. Trusted links are so important as it gives your site and content instant credibility. Get your content linked to your local chamber of commerce, networking group or professional association. Not only will it look good professionally, it will help your searchability. Association sites like this are starving for content and if you’re presenting them a ready-made article that they don’t have to research, both of you are getting a bang for your buck.
Are you ready to become an SEO rock star? Just follow these standard practices and watch your SEO grow. Let us know if you have additional tips that have worked for you.