Google users perform billions of searches every day. In an endless sea of websites, your page will need to be optimized specially to entice Google’s crawlers to index your website, allowing it to show up in search results. One of the best ways to reach your audience using SEO is to produce engaging website content, but if you want to rank, you’ll need to do more than just write about what you do from time to time. Here are a few ways to improve your site’s content so that it’s not only appealing to Google’s algorithms, but it also reaches the right searchers.
1. Smart Keyword Usage
After you have compiled a list of relevant keywords, the goal then becomes to rank for those terms. Because search engines rank pages, not sites, you’ll want to optimize each page for a specific keyword phrase. One way to do that is through strategically using those phrases in the media you publish to your website.
First, select two or three key phrases that are most applicable to the content on the page. Of the selected terms, categorize them as primary and secondary. A primary keyword phrase is the key term you want that page to rank for in SERPs. Secondary keyword phrases are additional phrases you would like the page to be associated with, but aren’t as much of a priority.
The selected primary keyword phrase should then be used in situations listed below:
- Title Tag of the web page.
- Text Header, or the heading at the top of your page (h1 tag).
- Within the actual content on the page.
- As the Anchor Text in internal and external links.
2. Content that Fills a Need
Even though keyword placement is a part of SEO, it’s essential to keep visitors in mind when creating website content. Search engines are constantly working toward providing users with the best possible results. One way that search engines gauge how successful they are is through engagement metrics.
Search engines analyze the time a user clicks on a result then returns to the search page to try another. Results that have a high bounce rate indicate a poor match to the search query, thus impacting the page’s ranking negatively.
Every searcher has the intent to learn, find, solve, discover or buy, so it is critical to develop content that addresses his or her needs in order to improve your chances of top ranking. Understanding if your users’ searches are transactional, navigational or informational can help you create appropriate content.
With a transactional search, users are looking to purchase or complete a task. Your pages should include easy-to-digest steps or clear calls to action, which will help the user complete his or her transaction.
As for navigational searches, users typically know what site they want to find. Therefore, it is critical to incorporate your branded keyword phrases to differentiate from your competitors.
Finally, with informational searches, users are usually looking for a trusted source to answer their questions. To satisfy informational searches, the focus should be on providing readers with easily accessed data and facts. By knowing what your users want to accomplish, you can develop quality content that fulfills their needs and consequently helps boosts your rankings.
3. Logical Linking
With quality content comes the opportunity to improve your linking strategy. Search engines use links to navigate through your site and determine your relevance to certain topics – hopefully your keywords.
Every internal link helps web spiders crawl through your site more efficiently and improves your number of indexed pages, while external links act as a vote of confidence for your site. Sites with more trustworthy links are seen with more authority than spammy sites that have very few links from trusted sources.
It’s clear that links play a critical part in search engines’ algorithms, but unfortunately we cannot specify the exact attributes that links are measured by. However, we do know anchor text, which is usually a description of the kind of content the link is connecting to, has a lot of weight in how your site ranks. If multiple links point to a page with the right keywords, there is a high probability that the page will rank well for those phrases. Since link signals can weaken with time, it’s important to continually create fresh content to earn new links to your website.
“Websites that add new pages at a higher rate may earn a higher freshness score than sites that add content less frequently … Some SEOs insist you should add 20 to 30 percent new pages to your site every year,” according to SEOmoz contributor Cyrus Shepard.
Content creation should always be seen as a long-term strategy that requires consistency and quality. By consistently providing new website content with the right keywords in place that fills a searchers need, you should ultimately drive SEO.