You may be an award-winning writer, but have you ever considered how your pen-and-paper skills translate into the digital world?
Many outstanding content creators and exceptional enterprises are still fighting to break into the online world. And the explanation is simple: they are probably lacking in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
You see, if you don’t know how to correctly adapt your content to search engines, all of your efforts will be futile. Creating useful, relevant, and entertaining content is only one variable in the equation. It is via optimisation that you will gain visibility, readers, and, ultimately, clients.
So, if you want to get your business off to a good start this year, you need to learn the finest SEO practises. To assist you in learning the ins and outs of SEO and improve the effectiveness of your content, we’ve compiled a list of 7 practical, actionable SEO suggestions you can start using right away.
In order to improve your Google ranking in 2023, you must learn to:
- Write for your audience
- Write captivating headlines
- Leverage long-tail and related keywords
- Use emphasis to improve your article’s readability
- Write appealing meta titles and meta descriptions
- Include a call to action
- Do on-page SEO and increase your site’s speed
Write for Your Audience
You’ve undoubtedly heard this one before, and admittedly, it sounds like a no-brainer. But, who else would you write for?
Despite the fact that this stage is the most important and appears to be the easiest, the majority of people still get it wrong. The fact is that every business proprietor is intimately familiar with their products and services. As a result, presenting their offers and writing about the technical aspects of the situation are effortless. However, they frequently fail at adapting their writing to the intended audience.
Everyone has a general notion of the audience they intend to reach with their content. However, when conducting extensive audience research, your customers’ wants and requirements are only one of many factors you must consider. It is essential to comprehend all of your audience’s demographic characteristics. Thus, you will be able to modify your content to their expectations.
In other words, you must determine why they are perusing your Content and Interacting With Your Business. What are their aspirations and objectives? What information do they anticipate discovering in your articles? How will this information assist them in enhancing their lives and enterprises or resolving a problem they face?
To answer these and other pertinent questions, you must construct a persona of your target audience. It will represent the online audience you wish to reach. Consider it an archetype of a person who would be intrigued in your offering.
Knowing their motivations and desires will help you create engaging content for them. It will also facilitate identification with them. You will be able to create more engaging articles — ones that resonate with your audience — instead of simply stacking facts and writing in a bland corporate voice.
Acquire a thorough understanding of your audience’s wants, needs, and problems. Create a persona of your target audience so that you can write as if you were communicating directly to them.
Write Captivating Headlines
Although they say not to judge a book by its cover, most of us do. It’s in our nature, and it’s most likely an evolutionary mechanism we’ve developed over time. Imagine stepping into a bookshop and seeing thousands of different books on the shelves. It would take years just to scroll through everything that catches your eye, let alone read it all.
As a result, we begin by glancing at the cover. Rather, we’d try to figure out what the book is about and whether we’d be interested in it by reading the title and blurb.
The same is true for content. There are hundreds of thousands of articles online covering every subject imaginable. It would be unreasonable to expect them to click on each one and read a few phrases before picking which one to read.
They naturally make their choice by skimming the first thing they see when the search results appear – the headline. That is why it is vital to create unique, intriguing headlines that spark the readers’ curiosity and entice them to read the rest of your content. If the title of your content masterpiece fails to pique the audience’s interest, they will just move on to another site that appears more enticing at first glance.
So, how can you craft a headline that would entice them and perhaps entice them to read your blog post? By assuring them that they will find exactly what they are looking for and needing in that article!
Here’s How to Create Captivating Headlines:
Tell them what the post is about
Your articles should be centred on a single, central idea. Create your headline around that topic, explaining why it’s essential and how it pertains to them.
Hint at the results
Consider what your material will accomplish for your audience. What will people learn and achieve by dedicating time to reading your articles? What effect will this have on their lives and business?
We enjoy numbers and lists. They aid in the organisation and memorization of information in our heads. Instead of writing about how to lose weight, change the title to make your material more enticing and easier to absorb. For example, “7 exercises you can do at home to get rid of stubborn belly fat” sounds a lot more appealing.
Brief and to the point
Although you may feel compelled to impress your readers with your vocabulary and eloquence, this will almost certainly backfire. They’re seeking for a basic, straightforward solution to their problem or scenario. So give it to them. Simplicity is essential. Concentrate on the issue you’re writing about and the outcomes your readers can expect from reading the post.
Spend as much time creating an engaging title as you do crafting the article’s body. Be concise, to the point, and inform your audience what they may expect after reading your article and applying what it teaches.
Leverage Long-Tail and Related Keywords
Understanding what your audience wants isn’t enough. You should also be aware of how they intend to obtain it. We’re talking about how they use search engines to find your products and services. More specifically, the terms and phrases users enter into Google to find your high-quality site content.
Keywords are nothing more than spoken words and phrases. Naturally, if you’re in the business of selling, say, used vehicles, that would be your top keyword. You should incorporate the phrase “used cars” in your headline, title, meta description, and body of your content. However, everyone else in the same niche will as well.
So how will you ensure that visitors find your material rather than your competitors’? So, you’ll need to broaden the list of keywords you’ll use in your content. You know, not everyone seeking for previously owned vehicles will enter “used cars” into their search engine. Many people may utilise full sentences to try to discover what they are looking for online.
However, you don’t have to be a mind reader to figure out what they’re looking for. There are dozens of fantastic programmes and applications that will scour the internet for the terms and phrases that your target audience has regularly used.
Google’s Keyword Planner is one such totally free programme. Simply enter your principal keyword, and the programme will uncover other, long-tail keywords (longer phrases), as well as their frequency and search volume.
Incorporate Them Into Your Content Naturally
Once you’ve compiled a list of long-tail keywords related to your content, the following step is to organically weave them into it. Creating an article structure before you sit down and start writing is one practise that should help the process.
Consider all of the numerous facets of the issue you’ll be discussing in the writing. Then, see where including these long-tail keywords makes the most sense without sounding too far-fetched. You don’t want to butcher your words, or even an entire essay, to suit a five-word statement.
Another consideration is that long-tail keywords do not have to be precise matches. You won’t have to solve any difficult puzzles or utilise grammatically wrong sentences. The keywords will be recognised by Google’s engines independent of stop words, punctuation marks, or grammatical number.
Furthermore, I recommend SEMrush to keep track of the keywords you’ve used and verify your text is entirely SEO-optimized. It will show you a list of related terms and flag each one you’ve used, making it simple to keep track of them.
Last but not least, don’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing is the practise of inserting keywords into your content. Overuse of target keywords will cause more harm than good to your business, since Google will punish your content and lower your site’s rating. There is no set proportion at which Google will begin to penalise you, but most SEO professionals feel it is somewhere between three and five percent. Realistically, you should merely make the article appear as natural as possible.
Long-tail keywords should be used in your content. Before you go down to write, you should conduct significant keyword research.
Use Emphasis to Increase the Readability of Your Article
The length of your articles will vary depending on the topic. An thorough explanation is often required for the audience to understand what you’re talking about and how to apply the knowledge you deliver. However, this does not imply that they will be willing to spend fifteen minutes reading through a big portion of literature to find their answers.
It has less to do with time and more to do with our attention span and ability to memorise new information. Consider your college days and the many highlighters you used to highlight the important facts in each lesson. To make the learning process less laborious, several pupils produced their own notes, cataloguing and categorising the information.
The same holds true for material. It’s not only about the price; readability is important as well. You accentuate the importance of key areas of your articles when you highlight them. This not only breaks up the monotony of the text but also makes it simpler to recall important information. It also ensures that your audience is paying close attention to what they are reading.
Here’s How to Improve the Readability of Your Content:
Organise your article into multiple headings
Every logical section of your text should have its own heading. When transitioning from one subtopic to another, it is critical to use them to emphasise the change. Headings function as mini-headlines for the various sections of your post. They assist the reader in keeping track of all the information in the text. Aside from that, headings improve the aesthetic appeal of your material.
Don’t stray from the norm
According to industry norms, no heading should be followed by more than 300 words. This is important to remember since readers dislike difficult-to-read paragraphs. And, if your readers don’t like your material, the algorithm will notice. Essentially, avoid over-explaining things. If you need to go over 300 words, consider adding another subheading (H3, H4, etc.) to that section of the text. Remember that it’s easy to get carried away with writing, but your audience must appreciate both the formatting and the content.
Use lists and bullets
When you divide your text into smaller, more digestible parts, you dramatically boost its readability. At the same time, you ensure that the reader retains the most important information from the article.
Use pictures to tell your story
A picture won’t necessarily save you a thousand words, but it will do marvels for your content. Instead of composing an entire boring paragraph about percentages and facts the reader is likely to forget within the next minute, create a visual. When presented visually, arguments have a significantly greater impact. This is why infographics are so popular today.
In your article, emphasise the key points that you want readers to remember. Use bold, italic, and underlined text, as well as lists and bullet points.
Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Your article’s headline is technically not the first thing your audience will see. Instead, when they Google a particular keyword and your article appears in the search results, the meta title and meta description will be the first things they see.
They only appear in search engine results pages and are your first opportunity to attract the attention of your readers. If you’ve ever performed a Google search, you’ve almost certainly encountered dozens of meta titles and descriptions.
Although the meta title and the article’s headline may be identical, they can also be distinct. The most important thing is to include your primary keyword in the title, following the same guidelines as when composing the headline.
Regarding the meta description, this keyword should also be included. This type of preview is your chance to show the reader what they can expect to learn after clicking the link. Here, you can (and should) provide a concise summary of your article. Additionally, you want them to select the link and continue reading. Feel free to inform them! But also give them a reason for doing so.
Again, conciseness is emphasised. There are only a limited number of pixels available for the meta description. Google has a tendency to cut off anything longer than 160 characters, leaving your audience to ponder what the second part of this single sentence said.
You have the option of using an excerpt from your content as your meta description or writing a new one. Remember that your meta description should reflect the main idea of your article. Never, and I emphasise, never write a misleading description; doing so will only increase your abandon rate.
After you’ve completed your writing, take the time to create an engaging SEO title and meta description. Together, they should pique the reader’s interest and motivate him or her to select the link and read the article.
Include a Call to Action
The purpose of a call to action, or CTA, is to encourage your audience to interact with your website or services after perusing your content. But CTAs are also useful in meta descriptions; in this case, however, they serve more as a means to entice users to click on your link. That is usually accomplished with a lure or an encouragement to take a look at your website.
In terms of the actual content, the CTA is typically situated near the conclusion, typically in the final paragraph. The reason is straightforward: you don’t want to distract your readers or appear pushy in the midst of the text. Instead, it is preferable to perform after they have completed consuming your content. This is the ideal time to direct them to additional reading material or a product or service you are offering.
In addition, if your content did its job and provided genuine value to your audience, they will be much more likely to check out what else you have to offer. However, it must never lead to the checkout page.
Slow and incremental change is required for a first-time visitor to become a client or customer. Instead of pressuring them to make a purchase immediately, you should encourage them to interact with your company again, thereby strengthening your relationship with your prospects.
What Should Your CTA Be?
For instance, one CTA could be to sign up for your newsletter. Thus, you can continue delivering them relevant content and ensure that they return to your website. Alternatively, the call to action could be to obtain a cookbook. In general, any beneficial content or tool that you believe your audience would be interested in after finishing your article will suffice.
No matter what your call to action is, you must provide a purpose for them to click the link. In other words, you must provide something in exchange for your visitors’ time and interest.
Don’t be afraid to tell your readers what you want them to do after finishing your article. Direct them to a different page on your website, offer them another valuable piece of content, or ask them to subscribe to your mailing list so that you can keep sending them helpful content.
On-Page SEO and Site Performance
Your content’s SEO optimisation is by no means complete once you’ve completed writing it. If you wish to rank on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs), you must address a few additional issues.
In addition to determining the quality of your content and analysing the keywords you’ve employed, Google’s algorithms also consider site performance, engagement, bounce rate, and visitor retention. This is where on-page optimisation becomes relevant.
Your website should be well-optimized. It must launch quickly, be compatible with devices besides the PC (laptops, tablets, and mobile phones), and elicit immediate interaction. Several important on-page SEO factors have a significant impact on your overall ranking.
Ways to Ensure Your Content Is Friendly to Both Algorithms and Users:
Create a clear and orderly URL Structure
Before publishing your content online, WordPress enables you to construct custom links for it. Instead of having a link such as website.com/cars#135336ofyast0, which nobody wants to visit, you can use yourwebsite.com/where-to-find-the-best-used-cars. You will be able to type in the precise URL that you desire for your content, demonstrating the extensive customization options. The feature is there, so there’s no reason not to leverage it.
Use images and videos
An online article is not a book; it need not consist entirely of text. Using images and videos to enhance your content will significantly increase engagement. This decreases the bounce rate and increases the amount of time users spend on your website, which does marvels for your Google ranking.
Incorporate outbound links
If you have used sources other than your own knowledge to create your content, be sure to properly cite them and provide links to authoritative websites. Although outbound links are not a ranking factor in and of themselves, they are still extremely essential. Multiple case studies and surveys have demonstrated that outbound links increase a website’s visibility.
Use the main keyword at the beginning of the article
Within the first several paragraphs, your primary keyword should occur at least once. This tells Google that you have indeed based your content on that term.
Include social sharing buttons
If someone enjoys your content, why not allow them to share it with others? Add sharing buttons for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media to the bottom or side of your page. You’ll gain a lot more exposure this way. Furthermore, having your material shared on social media is a strong indicator in Google’s eyes that you’re doing something right. While social shares or likes aren’t a ranking criteria, the increase in traffic and prospective queries that may drive visitors to your website can be. Your reward: a higher ranking!
SEO optimisation doesn’t cease once you finish writing your content. Ensure that your website’s pages render in less than four seconds and are optimised for various devices. Create a custom URL and add social sharing icons to your posts to allow others to share your content.
Making Use of What You Have Learned
A well-oiled content marketing machine requires SEO optimisation as one of its mechanisms in order to produce consistent, satisfactory results. However, you can begin implementing everything I’ve discussed immediately, and your website’s organic traffic will increase significantly.
If you are interested in learning more about SEO-optimisation techniques and want to create an effective, results-driven content marketing campaign, please feel free to contact us. My services include discussing the fundamentals of SEO, assisting you in understanding how to apply them to your business, and developing the ideal marketing strategy for your company’s requirements.