Search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing go hand in glove. When both digital marketing techniques are implemented effectively they should work in tandem together to achieve the best results. However, optimising content for SEO is often viewed as complicated and not worth the hassle.
This is why many marketers often see SEO and content marketing as two separate strategies. If you can successfully combine the two, marketers can increase search rankings, attract high-quality backlinks, and improve the user experience. SEO for blogs isn’t impossible. With the right blogging strategy, marketers can publish optimised, high-quality content that attracts better quality traffic, expands your reach, and improves the user experience.
What Is Content Optimisation & Why Is It Important?
Content optimisation is the process of ensuring content is written to appeal to search engines as well as readers. This gives the content the best chance of reaching the largest possible audience. It also makes it easier for a larger section of the target audience to discover the content.
The process involves including keywords throughout the content, adding relevant meta and title tags, as well as valuable internal and external links. Optimising the title, headings, and adding engaging images increases click-through rate as well as search engine rankings. Optimising content for SEO is important because it generates organic visibility in search, rankings, and traffic.
The Benefits Of Content Optimisation
– Increase rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
– Generate leads.
– Attract organic traffic.
– Bring in backlinks.
– Engage your target audience.
Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches every day. With every algorithm update, the search giant aims to promote more useful and relevant content to users. If you don’t optimise your content, it won’t rank highly on SERPs. However, SEO for blogs isn’t only about writing for Google, it needs to appeal to your target audience.
Google wants to show search users relevant content that they want to read. Optimising content for SEO involves creating content that’s unique and valuable to your intended audience. This should be your number 1 goal during every content creation process. The content optimisation process also includes a few other crucial steps.
Steps To Optimising Content For SEO
– Planning With Keyword Research
– Optimising Blog Titles
– Links (Internal & External)
– Technical (Meta Descriptions, Tags, & H-Titles)
– Other Considerations (Featured Snippets, Etc)
Optimising content helps marketers write and publish more valuable content for users as well as search engines.
Planning With Keyword Research
Keyword research involves marketers discovering the keywords their target audience search for. It’s a process of audience analysis that shows what key search terms to include in content and generates ideas for content creation. Keyword research is essential when producing SEO for blogs as it shows what your target audience is interested in.
Using keyword research tools, marketers can view the search volume for keywords and how difficult they are to rank for. Avoid highly competitive keywords and focus on long-tail search terms. Long-tail keywords are longer more specific phrases rather than individual words that are great launching points for content ideas.
Effective keyword research also establishes gaps within your website’s content. Marketers use this method to discover search terms competitors are ranking for or are missing and adjust their strategy to capitalise. Understanding competitor’s keywords helps marketers align their content marketing with the buyer’s journey as it’s possible to learn what’s working for businesses in the same industry.
Optimising Blog Titles
Once you’ve identified your target keyword and topic, create an engaging title. Your title should encourage users to click while demonstrating the relevancy of your content to search engines. Its widely accepted title tags should be between 50-60 characters long; any longer than the title will be cut off on SERPs.
The title tag doesn’t have to match the title of your blog or webpage. It should include your primary target keyword and a semantically related search term. However, don’t stuff the title with keywords as this will provide a bad user experience and confuse search engines. Always consider if your target audience will click on the link after reading the title.
Link Building (Internal and External)
Credibility is an important ranking factor for search engines. The founders of Google said they started the organisation with a mission to:
‘organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’
To understand what information is relevant and useful to users Google uses many different ranking factors. One of the main ways they establish relevance is by assessing your content’s credibility. When writing your content include links to relevant and trustworthy information on authoritative sites.
The important thing to remember is links must be relevant; this means relevant to the words they’re embedded in. The links should also only cover six words or fewer. This process is easy for the content creator, during any research keep a note of the websites you’ve found. Use these sites as links to add relevancy and value to the content.
Internal links are also necessary to include when optimising content for SEO. Pages on your website should be relevant to what you’re writing about. Add in links to internal pages that provide value to the user, this also helps you transition site users through the buyer’s journey. However, don’t stuff internal links, always add links, external and internal, that provide value to the reader.
Optimise Images For SEO
Content is more than words on a screen. It needs to capture the site users’ attention and images, an interesting title, and unique headings are the way to do this. However, stock images won’t necessarily improve the user experience. Original, high-quality images are the best way to add relevancy and increase organic search visibility.
Make sure the image is the right size before including it in your blog. A large high-resolution image can slow down page speed and affect the user experience. The solution is to scale down the file size without sacrificing the quality of the image. Once you’ve done this, add an alt tag to the image that tells the search engine what the image is and shows it’s relevant to your target search term.
Technical SEO (Meta Descriptions, Tags, & H-titles)
There are several technical SEO tasks to complete when optimising content for SEO. The main areas include the meta description, tags, and H-titles. Meta descriptions are an HTML element that summarises and describes the content beyond a link. They need to be optimised for search engines and encourage users to click through to the page.
The ideal length of meta descriptions is 155-160 characters. Any longer and Google will cut off the text which can affect how likely users are to click on the link. Include relevant keywords throughout the meta description and focus it exclusively on the subject of the content.
Meta tags provide data about content to users and search engines. Their main purpose is to help search engines understand what your content is about. This is why they’re vital to showcase relevance and a key part of SEO.
H-titles, also known as H1s and H2s, are the headings used throughout the content. They show readers and search engines the topic of your webpage. Add keywords to each heading and treat them like a newspaper headline; they should make it easy to understand what the blog is about.
Other Considerations (Featured Snippets, etc)
SEO for blogs can sometimes feel endless. However, it’s important to focus on key elements of optimising content for SEO. This enables marketers to attract traffic and generate leads by improving rankings on SERPs. For example, try to win the featured snippet for a target keyword.
Featured snippets are short paragraphs that appear at the top of SERPs. They’re a valuable element of Google to win, research shows they receive approximately 8% of all clicks. The key to capturing the featured snippet is by producing useful and informative content. Answer the user’s search query to give your content the best chance of landing at the top of SERPs.
Loop Digital Content Optimisation
At Loop Digital, we’re experts in optimising content for SEO to bring sustainable growth and success to our client partners. Content marketing isn’t effective without SEO. Learn how optimising content can attract organic traffic, increase CTR, and secure sales. Discover more about our content marketing strategies and how they can level up your SEO efforts, get in touch with our team today.