How to Make Your Textual Content SEO-friendly?

Whether you are writing content for your company website or the next company blog post, the goal is to create great content that offers value to the reader, while positively reflecting your brand. But at the same time, you want your content piece to be search engine optimized. Let’s face it; great content is not useful if nobody can find it.

The goal to write a great blog post that is SEO-optimized while attracting an audience can seem contradictory. But if you have great writing skills, it is easy to create content that can accomplish both objectives.

Generally speaking, writing valuable content is one of the best ways to optimize it for SEO and there are no tricks that can compete with the raw power of high-quality content. That being said, even the best content can use a few structural tweaks and tricks to make it even more SEO-friendly.

If you want to be optimized for SEO and easily discoverable/sharable, here are some universal guidelines that you should stick to when creating your next piece of textual content (supposing you already did your keyword research).

 

Headline and Subheadings

First things first – your headline is the first thing anyone sees and reads. If your content is valuable, but your headline is mediocre, your click-through-rate will be low. Before writing your blog post body, write your headline. It should be clear and concise, conveying a specific message or idea that attracts people’s attention and prompts them to click and read further. A good practice is including your main keyword in the headline. Adding numbers is also an effective way to make the headline more enticing and clickable.  

Subheadings are an important part of you blog post’s body because they make the text scannable. Most people read the headline and subheads first, then decide whether to read the whole text or only the parts that matter to them the most. Also, subheads are another way to strategically use your keywords and increase keywords saturation.

When you prepare the blog post for publishing, make sure to add suitable HTML tags (H1, H2, H3…) to your heading and subheads in order to optimize the post for search bots too.  

 

Body Structure

If you created your headline, and are ready to move to writing the body, start by writing a short outline of the text. Think about the purpose, target audience, and the main action you want the reader to take at the end of the text. When writing the outline, you can write the subheadings first. That will give you an overview of what you need to write in each section.    

Once you start the actual writing, pay attention to the quality, originality and the structure of the text.  Always write unique content. Plagiarism can only hurt your ranking with Google, and the trust and authority you built among your audience. Use storytelling principles to improve the content quality and try to connect with readers on an emotional level. Use short sentences and short paragraphs, no more than 100 words, to improve the readability and the blog post structure. Smaller chunks of text are easier to read. When you want to specify or highlight and list certain points, use bullets or numbering to emphasize their importance and separate them from the general text. That will also help readers scan the text easier.

Be careful with the keywords used throughout the body. Use the main keywords and synonyms in moderation. And try to use signal words like “first of all’, “second” and “finally”.  And conjunctions “surely”, “consequently”, “for this reason”, because they will improve the structure of your text, and the reader will get clear signals about what follows.

 

Blog Post Length and Keyword Density

The minimum length of your blog posts should be 300 words. Even though Google likes long articles, and sometimes ranks them better, readers often are scared away by posts that are over 1000 words long. The ideal article length is somewhere between 600 and 800 words, depending on the topic, the target readers, and the goal of the blog post. For example, in-depth guides may require 3000 words or more.

As a general rule of thumb: the ideal keyword density is about 1-2% of your text. So, in a 600-word post, you should mention your keyword 6 to 12 times. Do not stuff your blog post with keywords because instead of making your content more SEO-friendly, it will only hurt your ranking.

 

Links to Previous Content

Page links are the main building blocks of your webpage. Your link structure is important to Google. Links tell Google if your content is valuable to people, and you are connected and sociable. Adding links to high-quality, reputable websites also improves the validity of your website, and your ranking. And using credible sources in the body of your text is also a good way to create trust with your readers.

If you have other posts closely related to your current one, link back to them. It will make the post stronger because it will show more authority on the subject. But whether you link to internal or external pages, use appropriate anchor text which flows naturally with the rest of the content.     

 

Meta Descriptions

Another important part of on-page SEO optimization is writing your meta description. Use the meta descriptions to guide the search engine, and help it understand what your content is about. It is the HTML attribute that provides search engines with a concise explanation of your page’s content. The meta description should be enclosed in the <head> section on your webpage.    

But meta descriptions help searchers understand what your content is about too. The text in a meta description is what Google uses as a snippet when your web page shows in the SERP. And that copy, along with your headline, will determine whether the searcher will click on your page or not. So use those 150 – 160 characters wisely, and make sure to incorporate your main keyword as well.

 

Optimize the Images

Visuals make textual content more interesting and shareable. People are more likely to share the content if there’s a fun or unusual image included. And if it a sales-related text, people will be more likely to buy if they can see the product featured in attractive and relevant photo. But images are important and should be optimized for search bots too. So make sure you enter text in the title and alt tag fields, and preferably use your keyword too.

Optimize the photo dimensions and size. It’s a good practice to match the image dimensions (width) with that of your web page template and use browser resizing capabilities to make the images responsive by setting a fixed width and auto-height. Try to use smaller files because large files load slowly and that can hurt SEO. Make the images slow, but don’t compromise their quality and visibility.

 

There are no special tricks on how to write great content. Nor are there tricks on how to rank high in Google if your content is average. Remember to always write for people, and don’t underestimate the importance of SEO-optimization. High-quality, original content is what matters the most, but it takes a little extra effort to additionally optimize it for SEO and rank highly for SERPs, clicks, reads, likes and social shares.

It may be difficult at first, but it’s very much possible to achieve both goals. Then again, if you believe that it’s a job best handled by the pros, you are welcome to drop us a line or give us a call, and we’ll make sure your brand’s name and story take off.

 

 

 

Google AdWords: A Guide to Finding High-value Keywords within Campaigns

Your work is only just beginning after you launch your campaign.  To get the ROI you need from your campaign, it is crucial to determine the strongest keywords within your AdWords campaign as soon as you have actionable data. The only way to keep your campaign strong enough to meet your goals is to regroup and analyze the performance of your keywords. This can seem daunting, especially if it is your first AdWords campaign. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to analyze and pin down high-value keywords within your campaign without relying on any expensive tools or secret tricks.

1. Pay attention to your click-through rate

If your CTR is low, your keyword selection and corresponding copy isn’t inviting clicks. This could be from poorly written ads, or mismatched keyword grouping. Your bid price goes up if you mismatch keywords with ads, further diminishing your ROI, so pay attention.

An easy way to boost your CTR and improve your ads readability is to use the {keyword} variable to generate a headline or sub headline for your ad based on the related search. To utilize this variable properly, you also need to choose a keyword for Google to fall back on if someone searches for a word or phrase that exceeds the ad text character limitations. The code is then {keyword:replacement text}. If you don’t choose a proper keyword that matches up with the text, it can confuse your audience.

Using Google’s keyword matching system is an important way to make your keywords work harder and improve your click-through rate. The fact is your audience is more likely to click on ads that reference their specific search query.

Utilizing Google’s keyword matching system, you can control how Google chooses whether or not to display them on a certain page of results. Search for bids on keywords with these variations to refine how your keywords target your audience:

Keyword = broad match

[Keyword] = exact match

“keyword” = phrase match

Eliminate any quote when you enter your keyword to match it as broad a search as possible. Add the square brackets, and Google will match your keyword to a search of the exact phrase.  Use quotes, and Google will match the words to the specific sequence they are entered. This further refines when your ad appears, further increasing the potential for a higher click through rate. Of course, there is no reason no bid on all three varieties to improve your results!

 

2. Experiment with keyword grouping

How many ad groups have you created? Your PPC campaign’s success hinges on connecting your target audience with the correct ad. If you are only showing one ad regardless of the keyword entered into Google then you are setting yourself up for failure. This is a major reason for low click-through rates. Take the time to create different ads based on your keyword groups. Make sure they make sense! And make sure they match.

If you are using too many keywords, usually over 20, you could be aiming too broadly with your keywords. Create new ad groups and refocus your keywords and their corresponding ads.

Also as important, is creating more than one ad for your group of keywords. Creating two or three ads is a great way to test your copy and see which ad is sharpest. This is also a great way to test how dynamic your keywords are, and what kind of language works best for them.

3. Pay attention to your ROI

Are your keyword purchases putting the right ads in front of the right crowd and creating conversions? If not, your keyword choices are either too broad or too specific.

Usually, it is the broader, short tail keywords that are problematic. They are usually high cost and high risk because they appeal to a broad audience. Short tail keywords do not necessarily create more conversions because they lack actionable phrasing. Stick with specific phrases and similar keywords. These long tail keywords are better for your ROI, generally being cheaper and stronger at connecting your target audience and creating conversions.

4. Compare your conversion rate to your landing page

If your conversion rates are low, your keywords and your landing page might not be meshing. It’s also possible that your keyword usage on the landing page or your call to action is weak. Sometimes all the keyword strategy in the world can’t make up for a dud of a landing page.

Start by tightening up your copy by keeping things relatable. Make sure to buy words that match the audience’s intent on their journey from the search, to your ad, to your landing page. Take a look at what your competitors are doing.  Compare your keyword choices with the choices of your competitors. How do they stack up? How does your copy and its use of keywords stack up? Are your keyword choices matching the ads you’re writing?

5. Use conversion tracking code to see which keywords are working and where

Google will supply any advertisers with a conversion tracking code that can be placed into certain parts of your site code to monitor whether your click-throughs are creating the desired effect of your campaign. You must place the code after the point on the page you want your audience to reach. This is crucial so you can accuratly track the visitors who reached your call to action or email sign up list, not just visitors to the page. Your keywords and their integration into the copy will have a large role in creating conversions while serving as a handy tool for gathering data to manage your keyword selection and usage.

 

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