5 Tips for Building Searchable and Optimized Content
How to Make Your Content More Search Friendly
- Build your content around relevant and focused keywords
- Internal and external links to your content will help build search engine credibility
- Quality is the most important factor when creating search-friendly content
If you’ve been paying any attention, you may have heard the word “content” thrown around quite a bit lately. Marketers and business owners are recognizing how transformational great content can be for a brand. It builds trust between business and customer, it establishes expertise for the business, and it provides valuable information for customers at every stage of the journey.
But you probably know most of that already. We’re not here to convince you that you should invest in content marketing, at least not in this article. We’re here to help you make the most of it once you start.
There is an art to content creation. It’s not as easy as just writing, shooting, or filming anything you think is important. You need to understand your customer base, your relationship to them as a business, and the value you plan on providing them through this content.
Part of the content marketing formula is making sure your content is optimized for search. After all, you want potential customers outside of your current following to find your content and be wow’d by how well you’re addressing their needs.
Making your content search-friendly needs to be a big part of your marketing strategy. This is what helps you rank highly in search engine results, which, in turn, helps people find you.
They say that the best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google. Turns out, there’s some truth to that. 68% of all organic clicks go to the first five results. The more carefully researched content you create, the more likely you will be to get to those positions.
Here are some things to keep in mind at every stage of the process to make your content more search friendly.
1. Identify keywords
Keywords are the lifeblood of content. These are the terms people will be using to search for information.
Rather than creating content and then trying to sprinkle in keywords after the fact, it’s best to do your keyword research upfront and use those as your building blocks.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you identify relevant keywords. You can also just start typing keywords into Google to see what results you get. Refer to the auto suggest or related search options for more ideas.
It’s recommended to focus on one or two keywords in each piece of content. Use them throughout the piece as well as in framework items such as meta descriptions, title tags, and URLs. We’ll get to those shortly.
One important thing to note with keywords; don’t go too crazy and try to overload your content with them. Google sees you. It knows what you’re doing. Search engines reward content that uses keywords naturally and dings content that goes overboard (also known as keyword stuffing).
2. Build a blueprint
Search engines not only consider the main body of content when ranking results, but they also look at the blueprint surrounding it, which includes headlines, sub-headers, meta descriptions, title tags, and URLs. When it makes sense, use keywords in these locations as well to improve your rankings.
When you Google something, the title tag is the text that appears in blue on top of each result. It’s the first thing readers and search engines will see when looking at your content.
A meta description appears underneath the title tag in a search result. It’s meant to give the reader a preview of what they can expect to see when they click on the link.
Yes, even the URL you choose for your page makes a difference. Optimizing this to make it succinct and descriptive is your best bet.
The best content is easily digestible and segmented to make it an enjoyable experience for the end-user. Using headers and sub headers will guide people through the content more easily. Plus, these components help search engines make sense of your material and give it context.
3. Don’t forget the images
Use images to your advantage by including keywords in the alt tags and captions. Again, do this naturally, so it doesn’t sound forced. If it feels repetitive, try a variation of a keyword instead.
Be careful of image size as well. The responsiveness of your website also matters to search engines, so if your pages are taking a long time to load because the image files are too big, you’ll be penalized.
It’s usually easiest to create a few image size templates that you know work, so you can easily use them throughout your content.
4. Hit the links
In a search engine’s eyes, every link to your content is like a vote. The more votes you get, the more popular you become.
Start by building a network of links within your own content. If you’re writing a blog that references information from an older blog, link to it. If you’re publishing a case study, and you have a relevant video on your site, link to it.
Linking to external content can also be valuable when done correctly. Adding data and statistics to articles can build trust with your readers and offer them a place to go for more information. Pro tip: Have these links open in a new window, so your website remains open.
Having other websites link to your content is the golden ticket. It validates your website and establishes you as a trusted source. You can do this by partnering with other companies, sponsoring events, and trading guest blogs with an influencer or organization in the same industry.
5. Be friendly to mobile devices
Even though most businesses investing a lot of time in content marketing are probably already aware of this, we’re going to say it anyway. Your content has to be mobile-friendly.
In 2015, Google updated its algorithm to heavily favor mobile-friendly websites. Not having a responsive design drives away visitors and potential customers. You have to provide visitors with a good experience and meet them where they’re searching.
It all starts with good ingredients
The most important factor in making your content search-friendly is quality. Search engines reward content that is well-written and relevant to readers. If you haven’t done the proper research or create generic and meaningless content, it will show.
Researching, planning, developing, creating, and publishing content is a big commitment. Many organizations simply don’t have the time, expertise, or desire to dedicate that much of themselves to content even though they recognize its importance.
That’s where we come in. ContentBacon is a subscription service that uses content marketing to feed your sales funnel. We can help with all of your content needs from blogs and email to social media and white papers. All those things we just talked about to make your content more search-friendly, we got them covered.
If you’re still unsure about the power of content marketing, download our free guide to find out how content can generate traffic and leads.
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