Along with this, you would hear strategy experts say that to reign supreme in search engines, optimizing your content is the way to go. But what does optimization really mean? Why does search engine optimization (SEO) matter?
As a simple guide to understanding SEO, let’s break down the technical term: SEO is the process of improving your website to make it more visible in search engine results pages (SERPs). Why is visibility important? Well, no matter how good your products and services are, there’s little to no chance that they would sell to the market if they don’t see it in their online searches.
As such, optimizing your content for Google, the most commonly used search engine, should be your main goal.
By mastering copywriting on top of SEO, you’ll hit two birds with one stone. Aside from increasing the possibility of ranking high in the SERPs, you’ll draw customers to your website, precisely because your content is tailored to the information they’re looking for. Simply put, optimized content appeals both to Google and to users. So follow these SEO content optimization best practices below:
Conduct keyword research
This is the first crucial step in website optimization strategies, precisely because visibility on Google is a play on keywords. These “keywords” refer to words or phrases people use when searching on the Internet. The websites that incorporate these in their content rank higher in the SERPs.
Aside from improving rankings and outpacing competitors, keyword research matters because you become acquainted with how your target market thinks. In fact, you’ll be able to determine where they are in the customer journey and identify content topics and types that would appeal to them at the time, just by looking at the different terms they search for. Follow these steps for an effective keyword research and optimization strategy:
- Identify topics relevant to your business. For instance, if you’re in the wedding services business, some of the topics your target market is interested in may include wedding catering, wedding venues, event entertainment, and wedding flowers. To further expand your list, use content research and analyze your competitors.
- Now that you have these topics, think of the keywords and phrases that fall under each category. These are the ones you would want to rank in the SERPs for; so you can increase your business’s visibility. So for example, under wedding catering, some terms that are worth writing about are:
- wedding catering prices
- best wedding catering services in [specific location]
- affordable wedding catering packages
- [brand name]’s catering
- To include more terms, use tools such as Google Search Console, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, or Moz Keyword Explorer. Here is a round-up of various tools you can use in your marketing processes.
- Use these keywords strategically in your blogs and product pages.
Create intent-based content
While you use keywords to make your content SEO-friendly, don’t take these terms at face value. Remember, people search for them for different reasons. Some users use keywords to seek an answer to a question (informational intent), a product or a service they need (transactional intent), or a review of a specific product they want to buy in the future (commercial investigation intent). If you look at the history of Google, it has introduced algorithms that made it smarter to sense these kinds of search intent.
Since Google ranks pages that best fit the search intent, it’s important to make sure that your own SEO content strategy reflects this in your pages.
If people search for information, your blogs should show up. If people search for the products you sell, your product pages should appear.
When you’re writing for SEO, incorporating keywords, consider the latent reason behind these phrases.
Below are some steps you can take in optimize your Web content based on search intent:
- With the keywords you collected from your research, key in each term in a private browser or a SERP checker such as Ahrefs.
- Analyze the results. Are they informational, transactional, or commercial investigation?
- From your evaluation, use the keywords accordingly on specific pages in your website and in writing your content.
Write an engaging headline
The headline is one of the things that make or break your audience’s clickthrough behavior. If it doesn’t captivate them, they would likely go to the next most convincing headline in the search engine results. If it does, imagine the traffic you could get. How to optimize content for SEO involves crafting a compelling headline. Use the following tips:
- Include a relevant keyword phrase from your list. Select the one with the most search volume.
- Phrase it in a question. This will pique the interest of the audience and prompt them to click through and know the answer for themselves.
- Use staggering numbers. Impress your readers. A headline that goes, “How We Pulled Off a Budget-Friendly Wedding in Under 14 Days,” can certainly wow the audience and make them curious.
- Avoid including brand names unless they’re relevant in the statistics you share.
- Finally, after crafting the headline, ask yourself if you’ll click on it when you see it in the SERPs. If you won’t, edit it.
Optimize your meta tags
The two most important tags you need to pay attention to as a copywriter are the meta title and the meta description. The former is the clickable title you see on the SERPs, while the latter is the description you see underneath the meta title. Keep in mind the following when writing these meta tags to better improve your content for SEO:
- Google might trim your title or description. So make sure to keep them within the recommended length. For titles, the maximum is a 600-pixel count. For the meta description, it’s a 928-pixel count. Use content optimization tools designed for improving meta tags, such as Pixel Width Checker.
- Google looks for keywords in this section, as well; so include relevant terms in your titles and descriptions.
- To encourage readers to click through, use a compelling call-to-action. Verbs such as explore, discover, or find out are worth using.
Use subheadings and bullet points
This content optimization technique increases the readability of your content, ultimately improving user experience, which is a big Google ranking factor. Especially in long-form content, dividing your blog into different sections would help your audience better appreciate the information you’re serving. Remember the following rules to make subheadings and bullet points more readable:
- Make them parallel. They should follow the same grammatical structure. If you used gerunds in the first subheading, stick to it for the next ones.
- Use punctuation when necessary. If the subheadings are a complete sentence, use a period. If they’re phrased as fragments, leave them as is.
- Keep it concise. Make it intriguing that it will sustain your reader’s attention, and let them finish the entire content.
- As always, use keywords if appropriate.
Include internal and external links
Content that links to reliable blogs from other websites will appear credible in the eyes of Google. The same is true for your readers. They’ll see the citations of additional information as part of a well-thought-out, professional write-up.
Likewise, linking to other pages within your website is a good digital content optimization strategy. This tactic improves your crawlability (or the ability of search engines to scan your content and follow links). For readers, this is also a plus, since they’re able to supplement their readings with other blogs in your site. A few rules you need to remember when linking pages:
- Point to relevant pages, only. Remember that it has to provide additional information to the audience.
- Point to authoritative websites. Include only those that have a domain authority score of 40 and above. Use the best SEO tools to check sites: Domain Score Checker or Moz Domain SEO Analysis Tool.
Content is king in the digital age, but not all will be crowned. Content tailored to the search engine algorithms are the ones that will reign supreme in the SERPs and to readers. Reap these content optimization benefits by improving your copywriting strategies today.