Ever heard the old philosophical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
As a digital marketer, content delivery is important. Understanding your target audience and knowing what they want is key to crafting compelling product marketing material—and ensuring its success. After all, why make content if no one is going to see it?
One of the major weapons in your arsenal is SEO.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is all about connecting users to the best, most relevant content. Here are three tips to help make your content more SEO-friendly and rank it higher in search results.
Make your content relevant.
At the end of the day, search engines are a business, and they’re looking to generate high customer satisfaction. To do their jobs as best as possible, their goal is to refer users to websites and content that’s most relevant to what they’re searching for, says Search Engine Watch.
Content that’s filled with keywords, which are the words and phrases you use in a search box, likely will be rewarded with better rankings. Some websites use sneaky tactics—such as using white text on a white background or setting a font size to zero—to boost their listing, also known as blackhat SEO. Avoid such underhanded techniques. They’ll earn you nothing but a hand slap from search engines, pushing your content further down in search results.
Ways to improve your content:
- Write strong, clear and concise headlines that immediately convey what your content is about. Use headlines as opportunities for keywords. Check out NPR’s article on how to write great headlines.
- Wrap hyperlinks around keywords and text. When search engines crawl the web, hyperlinking vague words and calls to action, such as “click here,” don’t mean much to them.
- Make sure to provide “alt text” for images in HTML to give search engines a text description of your visual content.
Search engines have discovered that links can serve as a proxy for a good-faith vote in strong content, according to Moz, a marketing analytics software company based in Seattle.
Take Wikipedia, for instance. It consistently ranks as one of the 10 most visited websites around the world, according to Alexa, and it’s partly due to its content using a robust, comprehensive linking structure.
Additionally, use more synonyms to describe your product or a topic. Search engines register content that uses a variety of related phrases as higher in quality, said Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures, at Content Marketing World 2016.
Improve user experience.
Search engines look for the “long click”, in which users click a result without heading immediately back to the search page to try again, according to Moz.
Think about your website’s user experience. Is it difficult to navigate around your website? Does your website look safe? Does it have a high bounce rate? Those are factors that will play into how your website ranks.
Also, work on your URL structures. Search engines like Google display URLs in results, affecting click-through and visibility. Use shorter URLs and keywords wherever possible, and make sure to use hyphens to separate words for easier readability.