“Content is king.”
Every marketer has had this phrase inked in their mind over the last decade. Building off of this metaphor, if content is king, then search engine optimization (SEO) serves as the king’s parliament: It shares new information with the public. Without parliament, the king’s orders fall on deaf ears, and without search engine optimization, content does the same.
In 2019, the first five results on a Google search accounted for 67% of clicks. If you don’t work to create successful SEO, then your content will be lost in the red ocean of articles.
Here are five effective ways to ensure that the time-consuming content you create is optimized and seen at the top of Google search results.
Titles… They Really Do Matter
When you search something on Google you are instantly introduced to thousands of titles competing for your attention. Research has shown that there are certain guidelines that will increase interest for both your audience and Google search algorithms.
Neil Patel, a highly respected thought leader in the marketing industry, has suggested a few key tips to help elevate your titles. For example, it is beneficial to include keywords near the beginning of your title.
What are keywords, you ask? Keywords are the specific words you want users to search and find on your page. Google needs to be aware of them too. To learn more about keywords, check out this useful article from Moz Pro.
It is also helpful to include modifiers such as “buy,” “guide,” or “review” to increase visibility for your long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer than your other keywords, but they tend to be more specific and applicable to your intended audience.
Try getting in the mindset of your target audience. What would pique your interest? What would provide value to you and your business?
The Importance of Headlines
Once you have drawn a prospective customer to your page, the first thing they will see is your headline. As the famous David Ogilvy once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Dedicating time to creating an effective headline can have a significant impact on several SEO factors. While there are many different approaches to creating a headline, Neil Patel has offered a few tips on what data has shown to be the most effective. He has suggested the following formula:
Number or Trigger Word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise.
Research has also shown that phrases like “How to” and “X ways to” have generated the most optimized headlines in regards to search engine optimization. There are plenty of ways to begin writing better headlines.
Make sure to do your research before you miss out on a relatively easy way to better your SEO.
The Importance of Those First 100 Words
It is crucial to include your ideal keywords in the first paragraph (roughly the first 100 words) of your page in order to optimize search engine results.
This step may seem simple but it is often left out. In journalism, this technique is referred to as “above the fold,” as the first 100 words are typically what viewers can see before scrolling.
Including keywords near the beginning of your post allows both Google and your audience to better understand what you will be sharing with them on your webpage.
Good SEO Starts From Within
Another great way to develop effective SEO for your website is to include internal links in your posts. Internal links direct the audience to other content you have created.
It is important that the anchor text, the highlighted text that represents hyperlinks, is both natural and relevant to what you are writing about. Think of Wikipedia: nearly every post is covered in links that give more details on a given subject. This is not only user friendly but helpful in optimizing the original post and other content created on Wikipedia. If they can do it, why not give it a try yourself?
Companies don’t typically have millions of articles to link back to, but taking the time to include internal links will generate successful SEO in the future. Think of it this way: successful SEO + successful leads + successful client relationships = successful business.
External Links Build Trust
Oftentimes, bloggers will shy away from linking to competitors or other industry leaders’ content. They worry that they may be conceding expertise by utilizing outside sources. This fear is not backed by research.
Neil Patel urges all bloggers to include external links in their content. Instead of this being a symbol of concession, he argues that it represents credibility.
Now, I’ll be honest here: not all external links are useful. If a blogger directs his audience to an unaccredited website that turns out to have faulty information, it could be detrimental to the writer’s credibility. We certainly don’t want that!
Your best bet is choosing reliable and well-known sources that offer valuable insight for your topic. This strategy helps build trust between you and your audience as well as Google.
So, What’s My Point?
At the end of the day, the key to solid SEO is consistency and remembering that content is king. If you use these SEO tips to guide you as you create effective content, you will start to see your hard work come to fruition. Check out this article if you are still looking for more ways to show up on Google.
As always, if you’d like to continue to learn, just reach out to our team here at Modthink!