Optimizing both your site content and content marketing efforts helps your site rank for target keywords and terms and establishes the basis for a comprehensive SEO strategy says, Grayson Kemper, Senior Content Developer, Clutch
SEO is not a singular effort that your company can just “do”.
Instead, SEO is a process that describes various services and factors that improve your site’s chances to be displayed prominently in search engine results for certain keywords and terms.
Optimizing your content to rank for your target terms is among the core SEO services you can pursue. This applies both to your site content and content marketing efforts.
This article details how to optimize your content for SEO through on-site optimization and content marketing and how these efforts work to benefit your search rankings.
Use Keyword Optimization for All of Your Site’s Content
Keywords are the backbone of SEO. They are the most basic, underlying factor on which search engine results pages (SERPs) are built.
Given their importance to your search engine visibility, it is imperative that you consider how to optimize your content for your target terms, both for your on-site and off-site content efforts.
Your site content refers to everything that is included on the pages of your website: Product descriptions, your “About Us” page, client testimonials, etc.
Optimizing your site for keywords does not mean stuffing them as much as possible in your site content. It means strategically placing keywords where search engines will recognize and associate them with related search queries.
3 On-Site Optimization Techniques
Three example methods of on-site optimization methods for your site content are title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text.
- Title tags: Include your target keywords in the title tags, or the HTML code that represents the title of your web pages, of relevant pages on your site. For example, if you are targeting the term “men’s reef sandals”, make sure to include that wording in the titles for relevant product pages.
- Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions provide insight to searchers about the content that they will encounter by clicking on your search listing. Include your target keywords terms in your descriptions to show that your content is relevant to the term.
- Image alt text: Include alt text with every image you use on your site. Image alt text describes the content of your images so Google can recognize and associate that with a given topic. Ideally, most of your images relate to one of your key terms, so including keywords that includes your keywords can have SEO benefit.
It should be said that each of these tactics require familiarity with the basic back-end structure of your website.
Make sure you consult with your site administrator or consider hiring an SEO company that you can consult to make sure you properly adjust these functions.
Content Marketing: Blogging and Guest Posting
Content marketing allows you to leverage content as a marketing tool. Specifically, it provides two primary benefits:
- Engaging customers: Your content can both attract new customers by communicating your value proposition and retain existing customers by producing content about topics you know they are interested in.
- Improving search ranking: Content marketing efforts can drive traffic to your site, reduce bounce rate, and earn backlinks – all of which have a positive SEO impact.
Two of the most familiar forms of content marketing are blogging and guest posting.
If you are able to maintain a consistent and high-quality blog on your site and take advantage of guest posting opportunities, you can achieve both of the core benefits of content marketing.
1. Maintaining a High-Quality Blog On Your Site
First off, your site needs to have a blog.
Regardless of your industry, maintaining a blog allows you to speak directly to your site users about your about your products and services and the value they can provide.
Put effort and resources towards maintaining a high-quality blog and discuss your target keywords and terms in-depth.
High-quality blog content, or content that discusses relevant topics in an engaging and thoughtful manner, both drives and retains traffic to your site. If you are able to create content of this quality about target keywords and terms, it signals to search engines that your content deserves to among the top search results for that and related terms.
For example, let’s say your company sells watch bands, and you are targeting the key phrase “fitted leather watch bands”.
With this phrase in mind, you can author a blog post that compares various types and brands of leather bands and their lapses in and out of fashion trends over the decades. Given the topic of this piece, there is ample opportunity to include your target term both in the body of your content in addition to your title tag and meta description (see above).
This sort of content production engages your target customers, who are likely interested in learning more about leather watch bands before deciding to purchase on for themselves.
That being said, the value of blogging can sometimes be clouded by the fact the content exists on your site, as readers may have a tough time separating your content from purely sales or marketing efforts.
This is especially true for companies that blog irregularly. If readers notice that your site’s blog posts only sparingly, they will be less likely to view your post as an authority on a topic. This makes sense: If you are an expert on a subject, the last thing you want to do is avoid talking about it.
However, consistently producing high-quality blog content makes a positive impression on potential customers, even if you may sell products or services that you write about.
Companies like Moz and HubSpot are examples of organizations that have earned a reputation as producers of incredibly valuable content, although their blog content often discusses the types of software and services they sell.
2. Guest Posting on Other Sites
Guest posting blogs and content on other websites is another content effort that helps to improve your SEO.
However, instead of mainly targeting keyword performance, guest posting also helps build links back to your site from other publishers. Links back to your site benefit your search ranking, as they serve as a form of “endorsement” of your site about a certain topic.
Guest posting about your target keywords and terms on other sites also builds industry authority outside of your own site, particularly for industry-specific readers.
If you contribute thought-provoking content to industry blogs and publishers, it has the potential to make a positive impression on readers about you, and by association, your company.
Given these advantages, I recommend your company conducts outreach and pitches sites or blogs that focus on your industry. These sites are both likely renowned among target audiences and rank well for your target terms, both of which serve to benefit your company.
3. Optimize Your Content Efforts to Build Comprehensive SEO Strategy
Your site’s search rankings are determined by your content.
Both of the SEO services discussed here – on-site keyword optimization and content marketing – are even more effective when they are done in tandem.
Optimizing both your on-site content and external content marketing efforts for target keywords sends strong messages to Google that your site both contains relevant content and has authority on a certain topic.
Use the suggestions and guidelines above to optimize your content and improve your SEO.
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